Today is the start of new new school year for our homeschool. The day is filled with celebration and excitement: Pancake breakfast. Diploma from the principal for graduating from elementary years. Those first day of school paper cones filled with candy and school supplies they give children in Germany (throwback to my mother’s childhood). New homemade planners to decorate (now that the kids are starting middle school years). And we are all filled with happiness and anticipation to begin the next year’s journey. Happy Day Everyone!Read More →

Imagination abounds in our house on good days. Preparing for a birthday party earlier this week, my daughter festooned our dining room with dancing sculptures. “Mommy, may I use some coffee filters please?” “Sure, what are you going to do with them?” “I am not sure yet, I just want to make decorations” I was busily working on my computers. After what seemed like just a moment, I looked up from where I was sitting at the dining room table to find the entire room filled with floating, dancing, jellyfish. My daughter wanted them to be UFO’s to go with the space-themed present her brotherRead More →

Combine two nearly twelve year olds, a tremendous love for Harry Potter and his world, a pile of Hogworts science kits, and insatiable curiosity, mix in free Harry Potter soundtrack music curtesy of Amazon Prime Music, stir for a few minutes, and then watch the magic happen. Science these days has been absolutely ruined by people who have no concept for the love of discovery and digested into unimaginative steps that ruin the joy and frankly block great discoveries. Nearly all great discoveries in science were made either by accident or by active play. The scientific method, as touted by so many, is really anRead More →

As you plan for the coming year of learning for your children, it can be really difficult to track down the historical primary source documents they need. If you are fortunate, your local university library may have some material. Last year I ran into Avalon Project at the Yale Law Library. This is repository of primary source historical documents ranging from, 500 B.C. to A.D. 2003, that are wonderful for your classically educated child to use as part of his history studies. Also the information is freely available, which is such an important quality to consider when homeschooling. So if you are looking for primaryRead More →

As we head into the next “school” year, and I wrap up paperwork, I have been pondering the echo’s of Independence Day. Yes, a moth ago we focused on celebrating the birth of our great nation and engaged in discussions of how we can continue to keep it great, but those ideas have been spreading into my thoughts of homeschooling as I am occupied by packing and planning. What to do declare simply by virtue of being homeschooling families? Fundamentally, we loudly declare our independence. Independence from traditional schooling, Independence from mainstream thought, Independence from preconceived notions, and Independence from an overbearing external force dictatingRead More →

What parent, especially one who invests the time and sacrifices so much to homeschool, would not want to help their child to find a creative niche of their own. A place where their interest can develop and bloom. One option is a freely available online world called Shidonni that magically allows your child’s drawings to come to life through automated animation and interact with each other. This is a wonderful place for kids. You draw your own creatures and them place them in worlds that you design. Then you can interact with them, even feed them. And as the parent you can, if you areRead More →

I love engaging my childrens’ creative inventing juices. It is wonderful to set up a project and then step back (usually with my camera in hand) to watch the fun. Nearly always my kids don’t actually end up with an unadulterated version of the intended project, but they have a ton of fun and add their own creative mark. Here is one to try with your kids: the Archimedes Screw. All it takes is a few simple “ingredients” you can easily find in your home. Maybe you can even take your kids outside and build a larger version in the sandbox, turn on the waterRead More →

Storytellers are not just for fables. In the long, long past days before the written word, storytellers were perhaps some of the most important people in a community for they carried the history. Fables and myths were really grounded in a mixture of truth and faith. An expression of history grounded in religion. Too often historians and teachers dismiss the myth as not possibly carrying truth but when you open up to the concept of history as not simply a regurgitation of statistics but a broader understanding of our past morals and thoughts, then you can understand how myth merges with fact. A true storytellerRead More →

Yes, you kids may be able to complete the math worksheets and ace the math tests, but are they really understanding what is going on, or are they simply memorizing formulas and processes (as I did when I was a child). Explaining the foundation and meaning of math is a wonderful gift  you can give your child, if you can find the explanation that get through to their own particular way of seeing the world. Some explanations are easy. Cutting up the pie works for understanding fractions, and is tasty too. But how do you explain to your child the practical meaning of dividing fractionsRead More →