Lessons from the Second Week

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This is the beginning of Week 3 already. As I look back at Week 2, I can see improvement already. Our attitude is more professional, and we approach homeschooling with purpose. We can even take walks and reap the benefits of nature study by discovering plants and animals in our neighborhood.

One of my children finished her school work at 11:11am one day this week. This has only happened once before in our homeschool.

USA puzzle

Putting together a USA puzzle helps with learning the 50 states.

The other child finished his work around noon one day on the first week. Finishing this early may be rare, but it proves that it is possible. When you stay focused, and do not take a ten-minute break after every subject, and do not stop to pet the cat every two minutes, you can finish it all early. Continue reading »

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 »

Our Son’s Third Book

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A lot has happened for us since school ended in May. Among other things, our son finished the third and last installment in The Adventures of Stickgamer135 series, The Strike of Era17. An unofficial Minecraft series for children ages 9+, the series opens up with Book 1, The Knight of Asper, and it continues with Book 2, Battle with Herobrine. The series ends with Book 3, The Strike of Era17.

Unofficial Minecraft Novel

The Strike of Era17

For their own sake, we limit the time our children spend playing Minecraft. Moreover, they do not play against other players. Also, we talk to them on a regular basis about video game addictions. Technology in general has a way of pulling people in. We want to make sure our children know the risks of screen time. Continue reading »

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 »

Homeschool Consulting

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Recently, it became evident to me that some homeschoolers and potential homeschoolers would like to receive more personal attention than just reading my blog. I love homeschooling and started this blog to help others thrive in their homeschool, but everybody is unique. Besides, your questions may have some personal information that you do not want on the Internet in the form of a comment on a blog.

Adriana Zoder, homeschooling consultant

Adriana Zoder, Homeschool Consultant

Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk from somebody who is in the trenches with you. Other times, you have specific questions about how to implement the schedule or which curriculum to use.

The passion for our children, for giving them a great start in life, is common to all homeschoolers. But, at the end of the day, homeschooling is different for everybody. We all have different ways of teaching. When a consultant can answer your questions in an individualized way, it really helps.

In order to fill this need, I am offering three homeschool consulting packages: Continue reading »

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 »

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 Also, the National Spelling Bee Bookshelf titles. They change from year to year. User discretion is advised. We have had to skip some titles because of their political or occult content.


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 »

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 »

Back to Homeschool, 3 of 3

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One more week of summer break and then we are off to the races! Maybe you have a few more weeks. But I need to think about starting in a very real way. What is there to do, once you got a plan, organized your schoolroom, and ordered your supplies? Put some finishing touches on your preparation.

Relaxing at the pool

Relax by the pool while you still can.

Start by putting yourself first. As I said in a blog post around this time last year, homeschool moms need self-care. Do you have enough time in the day to exercise and clear your mind at regular intervals? I need about 30 minutes every morning to myself: reading, writing, praying, answering urgent emails or social media communication with my family – these are all important to me as a person. If I do not take care of “me,” it will be incredibly hard to focus on my children’s needs for the rest of the day. Continue reading »

Back to Homeschool, 2 of 3

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Last week, we analyzed your homeschool’s performance in the previous school year and planned for the next school year. This week, we will spend some time cleaning the school room.

Boy hides behind cape at hairdresser's.

My son hid behind the cape at the hairdresser’s when I took his picture.

Do you have a school room? If you do, chances are you could spend at least one hour organizing its contents. If you do not, you probably have some book shelves and drawers or cabinets for your supplies. It will help you to go through your inventory and determine if you need any school supplies. Soon, stores will be dropping prices on school-related items and you can go there with a clear list of what your need.

Amazon, Rainbow Resource, or other online retailers offer great deals this time of the year, as well. If your children attend a co-op, they probably need a lunch box and a backpack. What about other gear? Special shoes or sports clothing your children have outgrown?

Yesterday, I noticed that my son has grown even more, to make his black dress pants too short for the next school year. He wears them for concerts with the youth symphony or other formal occasions. So I added “black trousers, size 14” to the list of things I need to get for the next year. What about haircuts? Why not get them out of the way now?

In conclusion, don’t think of cleaning the school room as drudgery. Think of it as an invitation to make a shopping list. Shopping for our homeschool has got to be my favorite activity, but I like to know that I have a plan of action and a reason for spending money.