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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Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers Review

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers is a charming chapter book, the first of many in a series by Douglas Bond. Published by Christian Liberty Press, the series follows the affable Mr. Pipes and his young American friends as they journey through the fascinating history of Christian hymn writers.

I was privileged to read Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers as part of the HomeSchool Review Crew this summer. I received a PDF version of the book that I read aloud via iPad to my 13 year old Fashionista each evening at bedtime. The book itself is quite long – 242 pages – which offers quite a few pages to each chapter, so some nights we read only a portion of a chapter.

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Vocab Videos Review

Have you ever faced a challenge where the outcome would determine your future possibilities? Such a concept is daunting, yet that is what every college-bound student who takes a standardized test faces.

It sounds like a good opportunity to declare WAR on any obstacles that might lead to failure, right? Enter stage right: Vocab Videos.

Vocab Videos is an online SAT-level vocabulary learning program that offers an arsenal of ammunition for blowing the vocabulary section of any standardized test out of the water.

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King Alfred’s English Review

As part of the SchoolHouse Review Crew over the summer, I had the opportunity to read King Alfred’s English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie White. Little did I know that this would become my new favorite history book.

With humor and keen historical and biblical insight, Laurie White combines my two favorite subjects – English and history – with a large dose of linguistics. One would think that such a college level combination would cook up a torture as dry as dust, but White has a way with words that makes you feel like you are actually being entertained rather than merely educated!

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NOT Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Curriculum

This week the iHomeschool Network is hosting the 4th Annual NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop. Each week in August will cover a topic pertaining to the new school year.

This week’s topic is Curriculum. If you were following the TOS SchoolHouse Review Crew Blog Hop last week, I posted about our favorite curriculum over the years here.

Because it’s fun to share and compare what the multitudinous varieties of homeschoolers do for curriculum each year (there are almost 400 blogs to hop already!), let me share our curriculum list for the year:

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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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Da Planners! Da Planners!

Have you ever been at a homeschool curriculum fair and been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of EVERYTHING? If only you could camp out at such an event for a week or so and get familiar with all your options.

SchoolHouseTeachers.com is a little bit like that at first. It is a smorgasbord of practical and useful homeschool resources, and after a month or so, I still feel like I have only scratched the surface of what it offers. Part of the reason for that could be that SchoolHouseTeachers.com is constantly adding new material to the already ample selection of materials.

Basically, SchoolHouseTeachers.com is divided into 4 major categories, and I will try to give you some highlights of each area.

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The WORLD is Our Classroom

Howdy, folks!

It’s Day 4 of the Back to Homeschool Blog Hop, and today’s topic is Homeschool Classrooms. In case you are just tuning in, hop on over and enjoy Day 3 Planning (free Bible Reading Plan download!) and Day 2 Curriculum too!


I couldn’t resist the title for this post – it’s classic homeschool cheese because, DUH, that’s just Basic Homeschooling Philosophy Number 1 – meet the educational needs of your child in whatever way you best can. You have the whole world to work with, not just a desk and textbook, so go for it. After 12 years and counting, we have homeschooled in the car, in the yard, the library, at the dentist, the grocery store, under the covers, and in the bathroom! The list of locations could go on forever. The whole key to homeschooling is thinking outside of the 8AM-3PM-Classroom-At-Home box. A classroom is really just a place to keep your school supplies. ;-)

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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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Zane Education Review

Zane Education: the motherlode of educational videos.

I had the opportunity to review a Gold Membership subscription with the Schoolhouse Review Crew this summer. Zane is so full of amenities, it’s hard to decide where to start this review!

My daughters (13 and 16) and I hopped around the Zane playground for a few weeks to get to know the site. I quickly realized that Zane is not a playground; it is a homeschooler’s/teacher’s TOOL CHEST of resources.

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