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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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!

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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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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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Review Crew!

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I have recently been invited to jump on board with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew. Soon I will be posting reviews of homeschool curriculum, and I eagerly look forward to the whole experience!