​The Cat and The Green Army Men – A Homeschooling Parable The Parable We had a birthday recently in our house, which is always a cause for decorations and chocolate cake. This time I decorated the table with little plastic green army men and plastic chickens, for reasons that could only make sense if you knew my kids. Strangely, my kids never got to play with the green army men. Our little orange cat decided that in fact those green army men were for him. God only knows what goes through the mind of our cat and why molded green plastic toys are on hisRead More →

Hi! If you are like me, you spend some portion of the summer planning. Planning, and searching, and scouring the ‘net for that perfect game, or worksheet pack, or algebra curriculum that will make your kids’ schooling year fantastic. I discovered the most useful finds are often free and are materials that moms, like us, made for themselves and their children and then offer up as downloads. So, this is why I accumulated the start of my pile of worksheets. and planners. and games, and curricula on one page for you: New Curriculum Download Page Share With Your Friends31Read More →

Mentoring a child is an old idea. It is what has happened in villages and communities for centuries and centuries. Children would learn from the older generations. It was the logical way to pass information from generation to generation. They would learn history and perhaps a trade or a skill, but they would also learn a culture. And that is where the magic lies. That shared culture is precisely why your children can stand on your shoulders and achieve far greater feats than you did. And that is the magic of a mentor. My daughter has a friend who shares stories of his childhood, storiesRead More →

There is a new resource for logic and critical thinking that is worth investigating. James Nance, of Roman Roads Media, recently began a blog expanding upon and supporting a logic curriculum he sells that appears to be built on years of hands-on teaching in the Logos School. Logic curricula can easily end up dry and dull. In our little homeschool we are currently working through a David Kelley logic book because is one of those with a strong conservative viewpoint and his examples reflect that worldview. To me that is the most critical piece since so many fallacies are born in a progressive mind. TheRead 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 →

The great people who made the Fallacy Detective (or as my kiddos refer to it: the dog detective book) have released an online ten minute mystery called the Mystery of the Missing Mask. It is a fun way to end the week! Share With Your Friends31Read More →

Serendipity is a funny thing. If I had not been force-marching my kids through heavy duty grammar complete with sentence diagramming, their progress through the study of logic would be troubled. We set out to learn the next step of logic yesterday, beginning to study logical definitions. We discussed that definitions have two levels: the genus and the differentia. Immediately the kids recognized the distinction, mostly because they have been learning grammar and diagramming sentences. That previous ability enabled them to easily break a written definition into composite sections and see it diagrammed much the same way they learned to diagram complex sentences. I haveRead More →

Maps. Without maps in our ‘schoolroom’ my children would not feel grounded. The maps we have on the walls provide them a constant reference to where they are in relation to what they read and what we talk about. My kids run the the map to check what timezone Aunt lives in or whether her house will be impacted by an incoming storm. They look at the map each time we discuss history to see who lives in that area today. When they were little they even made up games on the world wall map. And yes, they still do… I have tried many timesRead More →

Today is the day I create a planner for each of my kids to use so they can take more control of their learning in the next year. I attached some pdf forms you might find useful. Feel free to use them however you wish. And have fun planning! Share With Your Friends31Read More →