Helping Kids To Thrive During Coronavirus School Closures

Helping kids to thrive during the coronavirus school closures

Help Your Kids to Thrive During Coronavirus School Closures Coronavirus has caused many disruptions to our normal schedules, including kids staying home from school. While I can’t help with the financial or childcare problems that families are facing, I can offer some advice on making this break time a productive, learning experience for children. I […]

Teaching Botticelli’s Venus and Mars

Looking for a fun way to incorporate art history into your February homeschool plan?  Teaching Botticelli’s lighthearted painting of Venus and Mars is the perfect Valentine’s Day study. This painting has fun details that are sure to delight a curious child, and in this post I’m going to give a quick lesson plan including a […]

Stress Free Homeschooling for the Holidays

Great resource for stress free Christmas ideas for homeschoolers

Stress free homeschooling is possible, even during the holidays. In this post I wanted to give you some simple ways to incorporate Christmas into your school day without adding planning time or complicated supplies. These ideas are meant to be productive,  simple and fun. I’ve tried to stick to ideas that require minimal teacher input.  […]

Introducing Children to Art and Art History

Art and art history have been a part of our school life from the time my boys were toddlers, both producing art and enjoying works by others. This reflects a strong belief in introducing children to art and art history – art is interesting, expansive, and leads a well rounded education.  I enjoy art and […]

Hate History?

  Do you hate History? Did you watch the clock tick off each minute as your teacher droned on? Did you suffer through dry readings, memorize meaningless dates, and answer pointless review questions? Do you dread subjecting your child to the same boring process? If so, I’m sorry. Believe me, it doesn’t have to be […]

Get Your Museum On…

Summer, beaches, baseball, museums…yes, museums. It is a great time to take the family to the museum. We have made two museum trips so far this July. The first trip was to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Next to the La Brea Tar Pits, LACMA is a complex of museums that is […]

Why We Need to Rethink Rewards

Do you have some sort of reward system in place for chores?  Do you reward yourself when you lose a certain amount of weight or work out every day for a week? Do you pay your kids for good grades, or take them for ice cream if they read a certain number of books? When […]

Curriculum for Elementary School Recommendations

curriculum for elementary school

These are many wonderful curriculums out there, so this list just shows the tip of the iceberg. While the variety of choices is great, it is also OVERWHELMING. When choosing a curriculum for elementary school there are many things to consider, in this post I will give you important guidelines and suggestions. If you just […]

Video – The Conversation That Is Art

Check out the video below “Conversations in Art” and the full article here on the Blog: The Conversation That Is Art: An Introduction to the Study of Art History.   Art is an exchange of ideas that expands our understanding of what it means to be human. Across time, geography, and social constructs, artist reveal […]

The Habit of Thought Determines Your Child’s Future

The habit of thought is not an option in education. Whether parents with kids in school or homeschoolers, this area of the thought life of a child is central to life. I wrote the article for homeschoolers, but I find this area of life is something I still need to work at in my 50’s. […]

Another No Prep Writing Exercise

easy writing lesson

Here is another no prep, easy writing exercise to keep up your children’s skills during this time we are ‘sheltering in place.’ For some basic tips to help transition to schooling at home you can check out this article.  Collect 10 Mystery Items Take a bag and walk around your house picking up 10 random […]

Schooling At Home Facebook Lives

Schooling in Place Help

Hi all, I’m going to be adding the video’s of my FB lives here. I’ll apologize here for the quality of the videos. FB live doesn’t record in the highest definition. In these video’s I’ll be sharing tips for parents to survive and thrive with their school age children who are home for the duration […]

Fun Writing Exercises

fun, easy writing lesson

Fun writing exercises, that resemble games, are a great way to pass the time while we are ‘sheltering in place’ during this pandemic. While children in school might be working through a structured writing program, for now let’s set the writing standards aside and focus on having some fun while keeping kids busy (and writing.) […]

My Greatest Fear

My greatest homeschooling fear

My greatest fear when we began this homeschooling journey was not that the boys wouldn’t get into college, or even that I would miss some crucial bit of information, (that was inevitable); it was that when they finished high school, they would breathe a sigh of relief and say, “I’m done.” Over the years I’ve […]

Let a Child Lead You

Color in art is…complicated. While working on writing a clear, somewhat comprehensive article on the subject for my curriculum, I’ve struggled far more than seems reasonable. Connected to my thoughts on color, in a round about way, is another topic I’m interested in: teaching art to children. Color in art can be realistic, symbolic, emotive, […]

Color Crash Course – Part 1

Quick color crash course. Color is one of the foundations of art, and  so we need a basic understanding of color theory. For thousands of years artist and craftsmen have been passing down their knowledge of color and how to use it effectively.  In the 1660’s Isaac Newton began experimenting with light and prisms, and […]

Get Organized And Ditch The Overwhelm

getting your homeschool organized

People who know me might be laughing right now. I am a go with the flow type mom, and messes are part of the flow. However, without some serious organization, homeschooling and 4 sons meant overwhelm. (Yes, four sons, the cutie in the photo is a granddaughter, a new adventure.) Since, organization can be a […]

Molly’s Pilgrim

Molly's Pilgrim

True confession, when I read this book out loud to students I cry. I cover it well, but every time it gets to me. Part of the pull for me is that Molly is a Russian refugee looking for a new home in America. My in-laws were also Russian refuges who fled Stalin’s Russia. Molly […]

Make This a Summer to Remember

Summer to Remember

  Summer is here!!!!  Except it’s not. I was at the library with my 18 month old granddaughter this morning and overheard some conversations between moms and the children’s librarian. They were discussing ‘summer slide.’ That dreaded decline in students abilities over the summer break. On Pinterest, I was deluged with posts about how to […]

Reduce Stress In Your Homeschool Day

Law of the Farm

Homeschooling is stressful. There are time constraints, financial burdens, and parent burnout. However, the big source of  stress is fear that we are not doing enough to provide our children with the education they will need When this fear snuck up on me, I found relief and hope in applying, what I call, the law […]

Are parents really qualified to teach their children?

Are parents qualified to teach their children

I understand if you have your doubts. We have been taught to think that we need a special credential to teach our children and that if we teach something in the wrong order our children will be permanently damaged. As you will see in a minute, the research suggests that not only are parents qualified, […]

Shakespeare Resources

Resources Shakespeare

  In a previous article I made the case for teaching Shakespeare to your students. If you haven’t read that article you can find it here. Or if you are interested in background information that is helpful when teaching Shakespeare you can check here.         As promised, here are some resources I […]

Shakespeare’s England

shakespeare's england

The ability to place Shakespeare, the man, into his historical context can enrich our reading and understanding of his plays. While dealing with universal themes that will resonate with modern audiences, there are portions that will yield richer rewards if we are able to place the plays in their context. Shakespeare was born during the […]

Why Shakespeare?

Why teach shakespeare

I admit, I’m one of the nerds who loves Shakespeare. I was introduced to the Bard in Jr. High in a drama class, and was asked to compete in a Shakespeare Festival performing a soliloquy from King Lear. While I’m sure my performance was sadly lacking, I was able to watch performances by some very […]

Why Geography?

Why teach geograph

We live in a crazy and exciting time, the world is changing… daily. When I wrote up my Philosophy of Education, and looked to the future, one of the things I wanted to impart to my kids was a concern and interest about life outside of the United States. With advances in travel, communication, commerce, […]

Busting The Myth Of The Perfect Homeschool

busting the myth

This post is dedicated to all those homeschooling moms who fear that they are not doing all that they should to assure their kids get a great education. I was scrolling through some past newsletters and came upon this paragraph. In the article I was talking about the value of going on field trips, I’ll […]

Making the shift to homeschooling, not doing school at home.

Shifting to Home Education

One of the easiest mistakes to make when beginning the homeschooling journey is to model our homeschool after our local public schools. Each of us has our own reason for choosing to homeschool, most often that reason includes the thought that we want more for our kids than our local school offers, or we want […]

Solving at least one common homeschool frustration

Homeschool box

  On a typical homeschool morning it was a major accomplishment to have all the kids up, dressed, fed, and chores done.  Then we need to start school, which often went something like this. Math first, except child # 2 can’t find his book and child #4 broke his pencil. After 10 minutes of searching […]

Steps to Becoming a Confident Homeschooler

Confident Homeschooling

As many of you know, over the summer I’ve been working on getting my website up. Part of doing that has been listening to a TON of podcast to learn all I could about the process. In a Podcast by Michael Hyatt, sort of a platform building guru, he talked about the 7 C’s to […]

Easy Books Are Key To Kid’s Loving Reading

Why children need easy books

Easy books, lots of easy books, are a key element in raising kids who love to read. We all want our children to be good readers. We want them to love books!  A child who loves to read has a huge advantage in life. Why Challenging Books Backfire But there is one common mistake we […]

Curriculum is not the key to your homeschooling success

One of the biggest mistakes parents and teachers make is teaching a curriculum. Let’s take math. Our child needs to learn mathematical concepts, so we choose a math program. Then, almost universally, we become focused on the curriculum instead of the student. Have you ever become hyper focused on your child finishing that day’s math […]

Advice for getting the most from those Junior High Years

Those Jr. High Years

So Just what do your kids need to do in Junior High?     In elementary school our children are learning the basic building blocks of education; reading, writing, and arithmetic. Their understanding of basic science concepts and vocabulary are growing, and  they are gaining a sense of the flow of history. Make this framework […]

New Homeschool Year Checklist

Homeschool Checklist

I LOVE September.  Forget the whole ‘January is a new year’ business, it’s the start of a new school year I love. So here is my list of what needs to be done as you begin the new school year. 1.  Evaluate  Most of us want to jump straight into ordering curriculum, but there is […]

Homeschool Vs. Charter School

Homeschool vs. Charter School

This has been a difficult article for me to write and one I have put off repeatedly.  I was asked again today about Charter Schools and I decided it was time I address the issue. First, and most importantly, I fervently believe parents should be able to determine how best to educate their children.  We […]