3 Keys to Fitting It All In

One of the most common questions people ask about educating your children is “How do you fit it all in?” There are so many opportunities and topics and subjects to cover throughout the course of a student’s K-12 education, how can anyone possibly cover all the bases?

The question is somewhat a red herring because the truth is, you can’t fit it all in, and you shouldn’t even try. Somewhere along the line, homeschoolers (and other teachers too!) learn that trying to fit in all the possibilities is a short cut to burnout and the quickest way to suck all the love of learning out of your student.

Any sense of accomplishment and success in education, homeschooling or otherwise, is in the basic, foundational approach. In reality there are just 3 key skills that will actually unlock everything else your student will ever need to study.

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3 Types of Homeschool Co-Ops

WOW! It’s day 5 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! The week’s last topic is Homeschool Co-Ops!


What do you get when you mix a bunch of homeschooling families with similarly aged kids? A co-op!

Co-ops can be great fun for the whole family and a worthwhile investment of your time and money. Just like the homeschoolers that they serve, co-op organizations come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Over the years, my family has taken part in 3 different kinds of co-ops: traditional, parent-support, and tutorial.

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Homeschool Planning

It’s day three of the Back to Homeschool blog hop and today’s topic is PLANNING…


Somewhere over the years, I finally discovered a planning approach that works for my family. I call it “Chunky Planning”. I learned the hard way not to get too detailed because five minutes into the first day, life in general was going to derail the whole thing.

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Curriculum Gone By

In case you missed it, the Schoolhouse Review Crew is doing a back-to-school blog hop this week. Each day highlights a special topic pertaining to homeschooling.


Monday’s topic was homeschooling methods. I clicked through 60+ blogs to check the whole hopping thing out, and I came away with one impression: IMPRESSIVE! If you are new to homeschooling or just thinking about it, you will definitely want to bookmark this resource. It is a gold mine of information for newbies and skeptics alike – all in one place!

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3 Essentials for Family Fun on the Road

We took our first ever and probably only ever family vacation this summer. The 4 of us squeezed into my delightfully fuel-efficient Honda Fit and road tripped it from Minnesota to Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, San Diego, Utah, and Colorado, and back home again. Road tripping can be grueling, but it can also be a whole lot of fun if you include three essential ingredients.

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Straw Bale Gardening

Somewhere along the way, I heard of a gardening approach that eliminated the need for weeding. I’ve never had a thumb of any shade of green, but I LOVE homegrown tomatoes, so I eagerly gave it a shot. My daughter and I attended a community ed class about straw bale gardening (SBG) in March of 2011. We had great success last summer and have a SBG again this year.

The 2011 SBG – tomatoes at the end of June.

Straw bale gardens offer many advantages:

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Even Teens Need Story Time!

When my kids were younger, I made a special effort to read aloud to them at least once a day. It set a warm, cozy atmosphere in our home. Who doesn’t love to cuddle next to mom and listen to The Duchess Who Baked a Cake, The Big Green Pocketbook, or The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane ? Now that they are ages 13 and up, that time is past, right? No way!

It is not often that we hear anyone urging us to keep that special read aloud time in place when our kids are older. However, it is common to hear that teens need a healthy connection with parents to survive adolescence. In How to Really Love Your Teen, Ross Campbell says that despite their appearance and abilities, teens are not simply mini-adults.

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