5 Days of Homeschool Essentials, Day 4 – An Internet Connection

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The internet has changed our lives so much, I don’t know how we managed before it. I know people who homeschool without internet at home. It is possible. After all, pioneering homeschoolers of the 80s and 90s all managed without it.

My children coloring a page as they follow instructions from Kinderbach.com - our piano curriculum online

My children coloring a page as they follow instructions from Kinderbach.com – our piano curriculum online

However, the internet makes it so easy for me to teach. Here are some ways in which the internet plays an essential role in my homeschool:

  • researching homeschooling in general and curriculum in particular
  • inspiration from other blogging, homeschooling moms
  • finding the best deals on curriculum
  • downloading free printables
  • science4us.com, mangolanguages.com, kinderbach.com, k5learning.com – all these curricula, which we currently use, are online. I will be writing reviews on all of them in a few weeks, by the way.
  • finding about the weather, which can change our plans for the (following) day. Who has time for the TV news to get to the weather forecast? We live in a mountain town, with steep neighborhood streets. Our driveway is at an incline, too. Not bad, compared to other homes around our town, but enough to make it dangerous to walk to the mailbox when it freezes over. Even getting two inches of snow means we are snowed in.
  • Amazon Prime, baby! Love it, love it, love it.
  • Google Translate – sometimes I draw a blank when my kids ask me for a word in French or Romanian or Spanish. Then, I tell them, “Let’s look it up!” Bonus: they learn the process of getting information.
  • blogging – the multitude of opportunities for dialogue and sponsorship a blogging, homeschooling mom exposes herself to is astounding.
  • Code.org – if you want your children to learn how to program a computer, you’ve got it made with this site.
  • The Khan Academy – my children are too young for it still, but we look forward to diving into this free resource for math, science, history, economics, with subjects being added regularly.

To see what my fellow crew members see as a homeschooling essential today, please click on their websites below:

Laura @ Day by Day in Our World

Julie @ Nurturing Learning

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures

DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor

Lori @ At Home: where life happens

Nicole @ Journey to Excellence

Brandy @ Kingdom Academy Homeschool

Meg @ Adventures with Jude

Sarah @ Delivering Grace


5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials

Happy New Year 2014!

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Whether you homeschool or not, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day bring so much excitement. We all appreciate a new beginning, a clean slate, a fresh start.

Traditionally, we wish each other a Happy New Year. That’s nice, as long as we go beyond wishing and hoping.

Children wishing a happy new year 2014 in front of a white board

My children with their new board and easel.

Salman Khan of the Khan Academy inspired me with his 2012 commencement speech at Rice University. He encouraged the graduates to take a pro-active approach towards happiness and challenged them to increase the net happiness of the world.

How do you do that?

1. Be positive in a delusional kind of way, even when the situation looks hopeless. “Sometimes I force myself to smile. Good things happen in your body when you smile,” he says.

2. Appreciate the smallest things people do for you and tell them so. A waiter, a bank teller, a sibling, a friend, a store clerk – they all need a word of encouragement and a compliment. By saying one nice thing, you might not only turn a bad day into a good one for someone, you might turn a career around. The ripple effects of positive words cannot be measured.

3. Travel forwards and backwards in time. Let’s say that you were 70 today, but somehow you could magically go back in time to today and re-live your life. You can re-live all your successes, and fix all your regrets.

What kind of things would a 70-year-old person regret?

  • not spending more time with their children
  • not saying “I love you” more to their spouse
  • not telling their parents how much they appreciate them

There’s nothing on that list about bringing more work home from the office for the weekend or getting all the laundry done by a certain time each day.

Corollary: by homeschooling your children, you touch not only your children and grandchildren, but this world in ways you don’t even dream about.

On that note, let me wish you a Happy New Year and a successful homeschool in 2014.