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Calendar Time!, by Jennifer

Calendar Time!, by Jennifer

Now that we’re sure the Mayans were wrong, let’s talk about calendars! A calendar can be a great learning tool for kids of all ages.

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Love Your Family, by Jennifer

Love Your Family, by Jennifer

To quote Mother Teresa, “Go home and love your family.” It’s simple and true and it’s all that we really can do, and if everyone did just that, the world would be a better place.

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Routine Doesn't Have to Be a Bad Thing!, by Kami

Routine Doesn't Have to Be a Bad Thing!, by Kami

Enjoy your children and remember a basic routine is doesn’t hurt anyone. Kids do well when they know what to expect of their day and what is expected of them. No drill sergeant needed.

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Rabbit Trails, by Jennifer

Rabbit Trails, by Jennifer

I’m a big believer in planning. I rarely do it like I should, but I believe in it nonetheless. Sometimes, though, it’s best to forget the plans and follow your children’s interests. Last week we went down a couple of rabbit trails in our house!

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Homeschool Groups & Co-ops, by Kami

Homeschool Groups & Co-ops, by Kami

The idea behind home school co-ops and groups is not only to get together to meet new people and let the kids socialize in a supervised and safe environment, but to also support each other, share information, and often times to pool resources.

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Holiday Planning, by Jennifer

Holiday Planning, by Jennifer

Our tree is up and we’re ready for Christmas—all except that whole wrapping and shopping part. We’re in the mood, though, and as we usually do, we’re carrying over the Christmas fun into our school work!

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Black Friday Math, by Jennifer

Black Friday Math, by Jennifer

Thanksgiving is over and it’s on to Christmas! Like many other Americans, you might have gotten up in the wee hours to shop for some deals—or you may have never gone to bed at all. Whether you stay home like I do or you finished your shopping for the season by 8:30 this morning, this is a day you can stock up on some teaching aids—all of those Black Friday sales ads!

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The Holidays are Coming, The Holidays are Coming!, by Kami

The Holidays are Coming, The Holidays are Coming!, by Kami

There is so much to do and so little time! “The holidays are coming” rings in my head like Chicken Little’s “The sky is falling” or Paul Revere yelling “The British are coming!” It is enough to make the most organized person want to crawl under the covers and hide until Boxing Day!

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Fun Ways to Teach About Thanksgiving, by Jennifer

Fun Ways to Teach About Thanksgiving, by Jennifer

Thanksgiving is almost here! Some years we have done quite a bit of schoolwork tied in with Thanksgiving and other years—like this one—we have just added in some fun things here and there. Here are a few of my favorites!

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School for Young Kids, by Jennifer

School for Young Kids, by Jennifer

One of the questions I have been asked the most—especially from non-homeschoolers—is about what to do with young children. So what are some simple ways to play with your kids to help them be ready for more formal academics later on?

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Involving Your Children in the Voting Process, by Kami

Involving Your Children in the Voting Process, by Kami

It is very important to teach our kids about how our government works and what role our law makers have in our government. They need to understand what the President’s job is and why it is so important to make informed decisions when we cast our votes.

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Happy Birthday, Oklahoma

Happy Birthday, Oklahoma

Oklahoma turns 105 in just two weeks! On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the Union. No matter how old your children are, this is a great time to learn about our state!

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Homeschooling Multiple Ages, by Kami

Homeschooling Multiple Ages, by Kami

The key to all of this is communication within your family. Everyone needs to be on the same page and know what the game plan is.

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Halloween School

Halloween School

Next Wednesday is Halloween, and in case this is your first year of teaching kids, let me warn you that schooling and Halloween don’t mix. Should you completely call off school for the day? Well, I guess you could, but there are some ways that the kids can have some fun and you can feel like they’ve exercised their brains a little, too!

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Learning to Say "No!"

Learning to Say "No!"

I am sure that my family is no different than most when it comes to how many activities we are involved in, but one thing I have noticed since we started home schooling is that there are so many things we NEED to do and some many awesome opportunities that we WANT to do, that it doesn’t take long for our calendar to fill up and for this momma to get very overwhelmed and just a little bit stressed out!

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Fall Nature Activities

Fall Nature Activities

Here are a few fun ideas for exploring the great outdoors in the gorgeous autumn sunshine!

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Team Teaching, by Jennifer

Team Teaching, by Jennifer

Confession time: I don’t really enjoy science. Yes, the hands-on stuff is fun with younger kids. Yes, it’s important. No, I don’t find it very interesting. Thankfully, while I was busy doing field experiences and hanging out in Collings Hall, my husband was working on his microbiology degree.

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Having Confidence, by Kami

Having Confidence, by Kami

Are you new to schooling at home? Are you worrying about whether or not you made the right choice because family, friends, your children’s former teachers, and even complete strangers are telling you that you are crazy for even attempting this, that you are not qualified to teach your own kids, questioning your curriculum choices, and asking you about how your plan to socialize your kids?

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Election Day, by Jennifer

Election Day, by Jennifer

Election Day is in just over a month and no matter which way you lean politically, this is a great learning opportunity for your kids! We’ve been studying the presidents all year and will add in some election activities in the next few weeks, too. Here are a few fun ideas you might want to try.

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Fun, Learning & Socialization, by Kami

Fun, Learning & Socialization, by Kami

Socialization is not about being stuck in a classroom with 20+ kids of the same age group. Sure that works for some kids, but our kids are thriving by being in different groups, with different backgrounds and interests, and different environments and more importantly to us, they are in safe environments.

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Favorite Fall Books, by Jennifer

Favorite Fall Books, by Jennifer

Though it still doesn’t quite feel like it, fall is here! It’s time to open the windows, pick out pumpkins, and start planning costumes—though you may want to wait until the temperature drops a bit more for the first one. To kick of the new season, here are five of our favorite fall books!

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Supplementing Doesn't Have to Be Hard!, by Kami

Supplementing Doesn't Have to Be Hard!, by Kami

Supplemental activities are basically anything not covered at all or not covered in depth in your curriculum and you decide you want to supply more information or a subject not covered at all. This can be anything from art, PE, music, religion, and more. The sky really is the limit!

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Is a Morning Basket for You?, by Jennifer

Is a Morning Basket for You?, by Jennifer

So what is a morning basket? It’s just a collection of resources to spend some time on each day. Some people have them geared toward Bible study and devotions while others have a little bit of everything. It’s a great way to have the things you want to cover with everyone at hand so you can all start your day together! If the morning doesn’t work well for a group time, you could use it after lunch or even at bedtime. This could work well for any family, whether you homeschool or not!

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PreK Rocks!, by Kami

PreK Rocks!, by Kami

Just like every parent out there, I have days when I wonder “Why do I do this?” or “Can I really do this?” or “What have I gotten myself into?” I think all parents question a decision they made about their children at some point. Whether it be about picking the right school., the right tutor, the right sports program, the right doctor, it is a parent’s job to worry about their kids. We all want what is best for them!

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What We're Keeping, What We're Tossing and What's New, by Jennifer

What We're Keeping, What We're Tossing and What's New, by Jennifer

Now that we’re a few weeks in to the school year I’m confident I know what we’re using—at least for the most part! I try to have plans at least sketched out for the year so I know how to pace myself, and some years I am more specific than others. I love to have definite plans, but I have found that I don’t always use them. This year I have the general idea in my mind and I’ve almost collected all of our resources.

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We Will Never Forget, by Kami

We Will Never Forget, by Kami

September 11, 2001 is a day that the world will never forget. For those of us with family members that are currently serving our country, have served our country in the past, or are getting ready to serve in the future, it has a meaning that many of us cannot even begin to describe.

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Surviving the Waiting Game, by Jennifer

Surviving the Waiting Game, by Jennifer

I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent with a two year old lately, but most of them aren’t particularly good at waiting quietly and patiently for more than three minutes or so—unless they’re asleep. Two days a week, Alice had to spend two and a half hours waiting on Jack, and that’s just counting his class time; driving time is a whole different issue!

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Summer is Officially Over!, by Kami

Summer is Officially Over!, by Kami

Labor Day week is widely considered the end of summer! For us it is officially the end, starting today both kids will be “schooling at home”.

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Back to School. by Jennifer

Back to School. by Jennifer

School’s back in session! At our house, we started last week, and so far it’s going pretty well.

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“I’m almost in PreK!”, by Kami

“I’m almost in PreK!”, by Kami

To me there is nothing more awesome then hearing my kids being excited about learning! So when my daughter’s PreK curriculum arrived yesterday, she was ecstatic! “Mom, I am almost in PreK!” she shouted as I opened up the box to explore the wonderful treasures inside. How can a person not smile at hearing that?

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10 Tips for Reading Aloud, by Jennifer

10 Tips for Reading Aloud, by Jennifer

Since I spent last week telling you to read aloud to your kids, I thought this week might be a good time to pass along a few tips in case you’re new to reading aloud or having some problems during read aloud time!

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Our First Day of School—Glitches and All!, by Kami

Our First Day of School—Glitches and All!, by Kami

Last week we had our first day of school for the 2012-2013 school year. Like most kids, our “first day of school” came with its own set of glitches.

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Why Read Aloud?, by Jennifer

Why Read Aloud?, by Jennifer

There is something all parents need to be doing, no matter how old your kids are, no matter where your kids go to school, no matter how academic or athletic they are.

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Back to School Fun with LEGOS, by Kami

Back to School Fun with LEGOS, by Kami

Back to school events are something we look forward to. We have some amazing friends here in Oklahoma, and over the last few years, several of us try to get together just before school starts for one last “hurrah.” This year it came in the form of a Lego Party.

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Plan a Family Weekend in Tulsa!, by Jennifer

Plan a Family Weekend in Tulsa!, by Jennifer

If you’ve read through the August issue of MetroFamily Magazine, you may have noticed the article on all the fun things to do in Tulsa. If you’re looking for a good time to head up the turnpike, you might want to consider August 24-26. Why? A couple of great reasons!

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Back to School Fun, by Jennifer

Back to School Fun, by Jennifer

Most classroom teachers have some kind of welcome back celebrations for their students, so why shouldn’t homeschool moms have some, too?

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Just One of Many Ways Learning Can Look, by Kami

Just One of Many Ways Learning Can Look, by Kami

Learning at home can be fun, impromptu and in this case FREE! It cost us nothing, but some time, to sit down and experience this amazing event together as a family.

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Olympic Learning, by Jennifer

Olympic Learning, by Jennifer

Today’s the big day! The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics are tonight, and not only are the games fun to watch, they’re a great learning opportunity, too!

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The End is in Sight. A New Beginning is Near!, by Kami

The End is in Sight. A New Beginning is Near!, by Kami

As the last week of July begins, I have noticed a trend in all my homeschool groups and on many of the blogs I follow. They are all started to look for, buy, and plan their curricula for the fall. I checked my calendar and realized that we have a little less than a month till school starts.

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Planning Artist Studies, By Jennifer

Planning Artist Studies, By Jennifer

We started doing different artist studies last year as a way to learn about different artist and different types of art. Each month we learn about someone new and read books and watch DVDs and try out some projects ourselves.

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Thinking and Coloring Outside the Lines, by Kami

Thinking and Coloring Outside the Lines, by Kami

We have been having a wonderful summer full of nice weather, family, friends, and lots of color! In the last week we have participated in two very colorful events.

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Learning with Legos, by Jennifer

Learning with Legos, by Jennifer

If your child has an interest—or obsession!—with Legos, make it work for you and have fun—just watch out for those tiny pieces underfoot!

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What the 4th of July Means to Us, by Kami

What the 4th of July Means to Us, by Kami

The 4th of July, our country’s birthday, is a day that everyone in our country knows about. What does it mean to you? Is it just another holiday? Is it just another day?

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Museum Scavenger Hunts, by Jennifer

Museum Scavenger Hunts, by Jennifer

I love living in Oklahoma, but I am not a fan of the heat, especially when I am dragging two kids and all the related gear. We all know hot weather is here, so now is the time to plan for some fun ways to stay cool and maybe learn a little something while you’re doing it!

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Enjoy Some Children's Theatre!, by Jennifer

Enjoy Some Children's Theatre!, by Jennifer

Why do we enjoy plays so much? They’re fun! It’s one thing to read a story and another thing to see a movie version of it, but it’s completely different to see people acting it out right in front of you.

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Another Side to Socialization, by Kami

Another Side to Socialization, by Kami

One thing I have learned this year is that socialization is not just about spending time with kids the same ages as my kids. It is not just about learning to stand in line, sit in circle time, listen to authority figures, following the rules of a classroom or school, eating lunch in the cafeteria, or dealing with bullies. It is about all that, but it is about SO MUCH MORE.

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Surviving Crazy Time, by Jennifer

Surviving Crazy Time, by Jennifer

In our house, the time between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is also known as Crazy Time. Besides those two holidays, we have the end of school, both kids’ birthdays, our anniversary (actually two of them since we celebrate the anniversary of our first date), VBS, yearly check-ups, and my father-in-law’s birthday.

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Learning is More Than What You Read in Books!, by Kami

Learning is More Than What You Read in Books!, by Kami

The “firsts” in our children’s lives are always important to us and we don’t like having to miss out on them. Being a military family, my husband has had to miss out on a lot of firsts due to deployments, tdys, training schools, and just plain work. This past weekend we experienced a few firsts and as luck would have it, hubby had to miss out again. He takes it all in stride and I do my best to take LOTS of pictures!

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Getting into Summer & a New Family Member, by Kami

Getting into Summer & a New Family Member, by Kami

Our summer is blasting into FULL SPEED and it is only the second week!

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Nature at Home, by Jennifer

Nature at Home, by Jennifer

Nature study is a very popular topic with many homeschoolers. Like many moms, I love having my kids outside enjoying their surroundings and learning about the plants and animals that live in our area. And like many moms, I really don’t know squat about the plants and animals that live in our area, and when it’s 90 degrees, I really don’t feel like loading the kids in the car for a long drive to some wooded area where we’ll probably all get covered in ticks. There is a solution, though: study what’s in your own backyard!

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What Worked for Us, by Jennifer

What Worked for Us, by Jennifer

Now that our school year has ended, I’ve been looking over our year in an attempt to make some final decisions about what we’ll do next year. Things that worked will be kept, and the things that didn’t work will be tossed, though there may be a few exceptions.

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Summer Learning, by Jennifer

Summer Learning, by Jennifer

I know some homeschoolers go all year, and even though I can see some big advantages to that, the truth is that I need a summer break just as much as my kids do. So what are some fun ways to make sure your kids are learning without requiring you to do lots of planning?

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Recap—Homeschool Year 1, by Kami

Recap—Homeschool Year 1, by Kami

We are on our last week of school! It has been an amazing year. We have met so many wonderful people, been to new places, and learned all sorts of new things! Today, we want to look back on some of the fun we had and share some of the things we learned this year.

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5 Things You Don't Need to Be a Homeschooler, by Jennifer

5 Things You Don't Need to Be a Homeschooler, by Jennifer

As I said last week, even if the list of things you truly need is short, the list of things you want can be endless. This week, I’m sharing five things you DON’T have to have to be a homeschooler.

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Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is SUMMER!, by Kami

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is SUMMER!, by Kami

This year it is looking like we won’t be going very far, but we have been looking for lots of fun things to do that are fairly close to home and won’t break the bank.

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5 Things You Need to be a Homeschooler, by Jennifer

5 Things You Need to be a Homeschooler, by Jennifer

As you’re planning and shopping this summer, remember that some of the most important things you need won’t cost you anything!

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Life is a Juggling Act!, by Kami

Life is a Juggling Act!, by Kami

As we prepare for our last month of “school” and start planning what we want to do for the summer, we are discussing the changes we want to make, what we want to work on over the summer, our schedule for the fall, and our children’s extracurricular activities. There is so much to keep in mind!

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Summer Adventure Boxes, by Jennifer

Summer Adventure Boxes, by Jennifer

Even though we don’t do regular school things over the summer, I try to sneak some educational things in here and there. One way I do this is with Adventure Boxes.

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Repurposing for fun!, by Kami

Repurposing for fun!, by Kami

Education is not just about book work or finishing the curriculum. Sometimes it is simply about fostering your children’s imagination and encouraging their creative side.

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Finding Good Books, by Jennifer

Finding Good Books, by Jennifer

There’s no shortage of books for kids these days. At first thought, it seems wonderful that there are so many books available, but as you begin to read through more and more, it becomes painfully clear that many of the books being published are twaddle.

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Community Involvement, by Kami

Community Involvement, by Kami

One of the things we have been able to add to our already crazy schedule since we began homeschooling is community involvement and volunteering! Not as much as we would like, but something is better than nothing right?

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Homeschool blogs, by Jennifer

Homeschool blogs, by Jennifer

When you start homeschooling, it won’t take you long to discover the world of homeschool blogging. Whether you’re using a packaged curriculum or you’re completely unschooling, there’s someone out there doing the same and sharing it with the world!

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Spring Fever? Download N Go!, by Jennifer

Spring Fever? Download N Go!, by Jennifer

Spring is here, and with it comes spring fever! It’s hard to get the kids to concentrate on school work when they would rather be doing just about anything than their regular old stuff. You’re just as ready to wrap things up, but you don’t want to quit just yet. What to do? Try a Download N Go unit!

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April is Month of the Military Child, by Kami

April is Month of the Military Child, by Kami

I was a military child. Now I am military wife and Mom to two military children. Children who have spent more than their fair share away from their father and extended family. It is a not an easy life to live. It comes with a lot of heart break and frustration, but it also comes with many blessings.

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Fun with Food!, by Jennifer

Fun with Food!, by Jennifer

There are lots of fun ways to include food in learning! Besides being fun, cooking itself can be a great learning experience.

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Am I Qualified to Home School?, by Kami

Am I Qualified to Home School?, by Kami

Regardless of what type of home schooling you choose for your family, most of us have spent a lot of time, energy and even money researching the different styles, curriculums, co-ops, and more. Most of us take this process and the ultimate decision very seriously.

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Art with Littles, by Jennifer

Art with Littles, by Jennifer

As my two year old has gotten bigger, one of the biggest challenges with homeschooling is that she wants to do everything her brother does. Never mind that her brother is seven years older and two feet taller, she’s determined to try the same things. If she wants the same math sheet, that’s an easy enough fix. Art is another story...

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Enjoying the Weather!, by Kami

Enjoying the Weather!, by Kami

Are you anything like my family in that all Spring Break manages to do is get me thinking about the summer? Warm weather, outdoor fun, museums, and family vacations are all things that most of us look forward to in the summer. Did you that there are tons of camps, events, and even classes for the kids to take?

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Go Medieval!, by Jennifer

Go Medieval!, by Jennifer

Have you marked your calendars yet for next week’s Medieval Fair? It’s a great way to spend the day and it can be educational, too!

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What is socialization really?, by Kami

What is socialization really?, by Kami

The truth is that children educated at home are not all that different than those who go to a “brick and mortar” school!

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Great Homeschooling Books, by Jennifer

Great Homeschooling Books, by Jennifer

This is the time of year when many of us are searching for some inspiration. Some of us need something to get us through to the end of the year and some of us are already looking toward the fall and making plans. Whichever category you fall into, there are some books I love that I hope will help you out!

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Where did you to find activities, sports, and classes for your home schoolers?, by Kami

Where did you to find activities, sports, and classes for your home schoolers?, by Kami

One of the many perks of home school (of any type) is being able to go and do things at different times than anyone else, Especially being able to do it without worrying about needing a doctor’s note or other acceptable excuse note in fear being reported for truancy.

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Planning Field Trips, by Jennifer

Planning Field Trips, by Jennifer

This week we’ve been road tripping every single day, and I’ve got a few tips for you to make sure you have the best field trip possible, no matter when you take it!

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Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck, by Jennifer

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck, by Jennifer

If you’re really watching your budget when planning for the upcoming year, take the time to see what’s available at your library or at museums around town. For a few dollars per person you can create learning experiences your kids will remember forever!

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Snow is Science Fun for All Ages!, by Kami

Snow is Science Fun for All Ages!, by Kami

Activities we do at home do not have to be complicated or cost a lot of fun for the kids to like them. Keep it simple and have a blast. These are the memories your children will have forever!

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Read Across America Day, by Jennifer

Read Across America Day, by Jennifer

Read Across America Day is coming up soon! Read Across America Day is a day to celebrate reading and it takes place on March 2—Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Here are five suggestions to make it extra fun!

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Moving at OUR Pace!, by Kami

Moving at OUR Pace!, by Kami

We are very proud of our 5th grade son! He has been working really hard this year and his report card shows it. Yes, kids who are educated at home can have report cards too.

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Combining Content, by Jennifer

Combining Content, by Jennifer

I know from personal experience that when you’re in a classroom setting there are incredible demands for your time from many different sources. Now I’ve discovered that even though the demands are different, there are just as many of them when you’re teaching at home.

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What about P.E., Music, Art, Foreign Language, and Extracurricular Activities? by Kami

What about P.E., Music, Art, Foreign Language, and Extracurricular Activities? by Kami

Home schoolers and “school at home” families get asked a lot of questions about why we choose to take control over our children’s educations. Since we started this journey I would say that there are six questions that I get asked most often.

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Beating the Winter Blahs, by Jennifer

Beating the Winter Blahs, by Jennifer

February is officially the month of the winter blahs. So many days are chilly and gray and after five or six months of school, students everywhere suddenly realize that they aren’t interested in doing much of anything. Unfortunately, moms aren’t immune to this, either, which can be a bad thing when mom is also the teacher!

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Saying No, by Jennifer

Saying No, by Jennifer

When we first decided to homeschool, I’ll admit that I worried some about my son not having enough opportunities to be around other kids. I was afraid he might become “that weird homecshooled kid” that looked and acted differently.

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Snow Days? What are Those?, by Kami

Snow Days? What are Those?, by Kami

When we started schooling at home, I posted on Facebook something along the lines of “I wonder if our son has realized that technically there is no such thing as 'snow days' when you do school at home?” It was a joke of course, but there is some truth to it. The difference is we can fit in a “snow day” whenever we want to!

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Planning, by Jennifer

Planning, by Jennifer

The great thing about using a flexible curriculum is that you get to decide what you’re going to cover and when you’re going to cover it; the awful thing about using a flexible curriculum is that you have to decide what you’re going to cover and when you’re going to cover it.

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Housework: Is it Ever Done?, by Kami

Housework: Is it Ever Done?, by Kami

How do you keep up with everything? What is your secret? How do you stay so organized? Where do you get your energy? No matter how your phrase it, the question is pretty much the same. The answer is “I don’t.” I promise I am not “Super Mom”.

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Getting Back in the Swing of Things, by Jennifer

Getting Back in the Swing of Things, by Jennifer

Sometimes it’s hard to get started again in January. It’s cold and dark and spring seems to be three years away and really the only thing that sounds good is staying in bed all day with the stack of books you got for Christmas...

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School+Work+Chores+Extracurricular Activities= A Very Busy Mom!, by Kami

School+Work+Chores+Extracurricular Activities= A Very Busy Mom!, by Kami

One of the questions I get asked the most is “How do you find the time to do all that?” My answer is pretty simple actually. A basic schedule.

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Socialization, by Jennifer

Socialization, by Jennifer

Homeschooled kids today typically do not fit the old stereotype of the sheltered oddball that stays home all the time and only comes out to win the spelling bee. They’re all over the place, playing sports, taking classes, volunteering, and just living life--and they’ve got the exhausted moms to prove it.

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About Adventures in Homeschooling

Kami is a mother to two, a wife and a licensed in-home childcare provider. Her children's education has always been a priority, but now she and her husband are making their education a MISSION! Share in the McManus family's adventures as they strap on their educational combat boots and charge the front lines to invade the world of homeschooling!