Logic is critical to so many tasks and processes in life and it is wonderful to find it being faithfully utilized in an engaging history book. We cleared the decks this morning so that I could finish reading ‘the Roanoke’ book to my kids. After a marathon 4 1/2-hour long session, punctuated only by threats by my children of misbehavior if I were to “dare stop reading” before we got to the conclusion and found out what happened to the lost colony, we finally reached the end just in time for our ‘1-3 break’ (the time I spend regaining my thoughts, working, reading literature andRead More →

We use classical education as a framework to homeschool our children. But my kids love to exert their own interests and views into their learning, which is an aspect I celebrate now that they are older and possess self-control and are developing sound judgement. And so our little homeschool takes on a new form of classical education most days: a multi-stacked classical approach. When my kids learn about art, they also learn about history and math and science and literature. I am constantly relating what they are learning at any given moment to things they read or discussed yesterday, or last week. or even lastRead More →

In our little homeschool yesterday my children got to choose a science activity. We have what was once ‘a science drawer’ that has now grown to three drawers and a bin full of science activities and bits that can be combined, with a little imagination and ingenuity, to create an infinite array of science-related projects. When my kids were younger I laid selections out for them to choose from, the overall pile being far too massive for youngsters to sift through without going cross-eyed with possibilities. But now my kids are old enough to handle the ever-growing possibilities and choose for themselves. Anyone who hasRead More →

When my children say, “I want to watch Susan Wise Bauer history again,” what they really mean is, “read to me.”  This mix-up of reading, hearing, and seeing perfectly reveals the deep and wonderful imagination that my kids use to learn and experience the world. And of all stories I can read to them, true stories are definitely on the short list of favorites. Nothing offers intrigue, mystery, adventure, heroism, bravery, and morality like a true story. If written in an engaging manner, history is absolutely the most satisfying read out there. And if you can find authors with similar morals to your own, readingRead More →

Math, while a fascinating subject, can become a bit dull and ordinary for kids faced with studying the subject day in and day out. This is especially true for homeschooled kids as many families homeschool year-round. My kids have experienced “Saxon Burnout” from time to time. This is a condition characterized by glazed, defocused eyes, slouched posture, and small outbursts of “Mommy, please don’t make me do every single problem!” No matter which curriculum you use for math, even if you write your own and are one of those super-human moms who survives her days with no sleep at all, keeps her house immaculate, andRead More →

My kids are learning to map. They are not memorizing states or capitals, but learning how the world is shaped and how settlements and historical events relate directly to the surrounding geography. We start with a blank piece of paper and they free-hand draw the general area they are studying. And then they fill in the major mountain ranges, rivers, and cities (historical and contemporary). Once they have a number of maps of areas located in a general geographic area, we lay them out and relate them to each other and to a broader event. I adapt a book written by Ellen J Mchenry thatRead More →

My daughter walked in on me one evening last week as I was watching an episode of Sherlock, a witty and updated BBC television version of the old Sherlock Holmes stories. She asked if she could watch it and I told her that if she read a Sherlock Holmes story (we started with The Hound of the Baskervilles) without getting scared, she could then watch an episode of the program with me. Well she devoured that book and was gone on to read a new one each afternoon. I would have been scared whit-less if I had read those stories as a pre-teen, but spookyRead More →

For those of you who have escaped the Whovian craze, there is a television series that has been running for more than a generation called Dr. Who (a BBC creation). My kiddos discovered it thanks to some friends who migrated to the land of BBC a few years ago and who are still missed around our household. My daughter lives in the Whovian world, with its logical conundrums and twists. Yes there are aliens and space ships, but it is really the adventure and the obstacles to be overcome in the name of morality that really attracts my kids to the series. Yesterday we startedRead More →