Lessons from the First Week

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We started on August 5 this year because we needed to have 150 school days before their nationally standardized test in March 2020. That is how I know when to start. I give myself 150 days of instruction not because I have to, but because I want to.

Why send them to this test unprepared? It would only demoralize them. As I have written here before, we do not think the standardized test represents the benchmark of our success in homeschooling. However, it is a strong indicator of our level right now. Continue reading »

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Our Son’s Second Book

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Our son continued writing after he published The Knight of Asper. He came up with a second book in the series: Battle with Herobrine. The series title is “The Adventures of Stickgamer135” and it is an unofficial Minecraft novel series for children age 9 and older. You can purchase it on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle format.

Unofficial Minecraft Novel

Batle with Herobine, our son’s second book, another unofficial Minecraft novel

So many things have happened in the last two months, I have not had a chance to even blog about his second book. For your information, my children do not play Minecraft with other players, and we limit their time on the computer drastically.

Continue reading »

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101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling

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It’s finally here, the book I wrote about homeschooling second grade: 101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling. I dedicate it to my husband and children, without whom this book would have been published 15 months ago. Yes, I got this funny saying from The Language Nerds.

 

There are two formats available, paperback and Kindle. This is volume 4 in my series titled How to Homeschool. After writing books about Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade, I took some time to put on paper 101 ideas or tips for how to teach second grade.

101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling

101 Tips for Second Grade Homeschooling is now available.

The format is the same: 10 chapters with 10 ideas or tips in each, followed by chapter 11, with Tip #101. I have a son and a daughter, 28 months apart from each other. They are very different learners. They have taught me a thing or two about second grade. Continue reading »

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Third Grade Curriculum

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You have asked, so I will answer. Which curriculum did we have actually use in third grade? Without further ado, here it is:

 

Reading – Mensa for Kids, K-3 book list

 

Spelling and grammar – Logic of English Foundations, C and D; once finished, we started LOE Essentials – Level A

Story of the World Volume 2

Story of the World Volume 2

 

Writing – Writing with Ease, Level 1 – if your child is not yet writing well, do some more copywork. Alternatively, you can make your own sheets online. I had a book for cursive copywork with nature facts and Bible verses, titled Cursive Copywork. Continue reading »

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Second Grade Curriculum

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“What curriculum are you using?” That is one of my favorite questions from homeschooling parents. I love talking about the great curriculum available to the homeschool community. Since several of you have asked, I will take some time and share our choices, grade by grade, in several posts.

Latin and French for Children

Latin and French are totally optional in second grade.

As a rule of thumb, I go with The Well Trained Mind recommendations, but not every single thing. I have not started teaching my children Greek, for example. Besides, her recommendations for spelling have not worked for us. Continue reading »

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Back to Homeschool, 1 of 3

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For the next three weeks, I will be blogging about going back to homeschool. Research indicates that writing goals down dramatically increases your chance of reaching them, so all of us need to spend some time planning for success.  If you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, you go right ahead. We will not judge. However, the rest of us must organize our chaos at least a little bit.

Color-coded schedules help moms.

You are a professional. Plan accordingly. Color code your planner if you prefer.

In this first post, we will focus on looking back at this past year. First, what has worked for you? Secondly, what has not worked? Thirdly, how could you improve? Above all, did you experience burnout? Do you know how that happened? We all know our strengths and growth areas. If we do not, this is the time to sit down and spend five minutes writing down what comes to mind, under two columns called Strengths and Growth Areas. Continue reading »

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Planning for the School Year

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On my week without children, because they spent this week at camp in Georgia, I decided to tackle planning the school year. Over the years, I have tried different planners and even made my own. This year, some homeschooling moms told me about a digital conference which, so far, has been worth every penny.

Trello Board for Homeschooling

My daughter’s first week of homeschooling as laid out in Trello.

One of the workshops dealt with planning your entire school year in Excel. I tried to do what she wanted us to do, but it just never seemed right. What if Lesson 46 does not get done in math one day? Well, you put it on the right side and move it to the next week. Then, you build in make up days. It just seemed too difficult.

The other thing that did not work for me was how fiddly Excel is. The presenter offered some free forms and logs, but they all got changed by the time I opened my Excel file. Then, I had to mess with cell formatting and that’s just not something I enjoy. Continue reading »

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The Best Graduation Gifts for Homeschoolers

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Homeschoolers, like any other students, deserve only the best gifts to celebrate their graduation. Therefore, you should make it more memorable by giving the perfect present for reaching an education milestone. No idea what to choose? Read on for the best gift ideas to consider.

Shutterfly Photo Book

Shutterfly Photo Book I put together about 2017

 

Cash or Gift Cards

Do you know your graduate’s favorite store or restaurant? Get them a gift card for that particular store. Do you  trust your graduate’s ability to spend cash wisely? Then simply write them a check. It’s easier on you and they will have the freedom to personalize their gift according to their own desires. Everybody loves cash or gift cards. You just added to their financial freedom a bit. We all love freedom.

 

Photobook

If you are looking for sentimental gifts for homeschooling graduates, a photobook will be the perfect option. It is a great way to remind the graduate about happy times before graduation. This is a perfect way to reminisce about fun times during one’s younger years. If you are looking for a photobook as a graduation gift, check out Shutterfly.com. Continue reading »

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Beach Vacation Becomes Field Trip

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Children learn so much when the family travels. Last week, we spent a few days in Butler Beach, Florida. Just outside of St. Augustine, this area has plenty of wildlife and history to qualify as a full-fledge field trip.

Gopher tortoise

Gopher tortoise on the beach dunes.

We observed gopher tortoises and lizards in the conservation dunes – the 30 yards or so between our condo building and the beach. Gopher tortoises burrow and are endangered, so we kept our distance and took pictures from afar. Continue reading »

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Gridopolis Game Review

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Gridopolis is an award-winning 3D strategy game which teaches STEM principles through a fun and engaging board game. When it comes to STEM activities, I am all ears. My son loves science and technology. He knows a lot of things that I still cannot wrap my mind around, like how to get a rocket into orbit and the differences between SpaceX rockets versus Blue Feather rockets.

Gridopolis Game Box

Gridopolis Game Box

I took note when I heard about Gridopolis, a board game that teaches STEM principles without screens. Think of it as a cross between chess, checkers, and a strategy game, all in 3D. Continue reading »

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