Colouring our way through history

The youngest, who recently turned five, has remarkable pencil control. She calls herself an artist, you won't be surprised to hear....more

Life Skills with Toddlers: Vacuuming

First off, let me apologize this post did not go out on Monday, as planned.  It also didn't go out Monday evening.  I feel like a bit of a flake and I hate feeling that way.  I've noticed my energy is really starting to wane now that we're entering 3rd trimester with this pregnancy.  Legitimately, my pregnancy induced carpel tunnel has also really been bothering me.  Needless to say, the blog and writing has suffered the last few days and I apologize.  Hopefully, I can get myself back in order as the week progresses.  Now, on to this week's life skills...more

Home Sweet Homeschool

So now there are three. Three homeschooled teens out of five total kiddos. Evan and PJ LOVED traditional high school, and thrived there. Indeed, had they chosen to homeschool I cannot say if they—or I—would have survived the experience. Both boys were wont to procrastinate about assignments until zero hour (or beyond). When Evan was in fifth grade, he completely blew off a book report, a diorama affair involving shoeboxes, construction paper and glue. Not only did he not make his diorama, he didn’t even bother to read the book. To teach him a lesson, I marched him into class, empty-handed....more

Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers: a Review

Today’s review is on the book Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers by Funtastic Unit Studies. This book is by Susan Kilbride; we received a physical copy of the book in the mail, and did two units from it with our 4 year old, 6 year old, and 8 year old kids....more

Using a smiling monk to teach gratefulness to kids

Been thinking about how to teach gratefulness to kids a lot lately. Interacting with kids from other families will sometimes do that. Here's the thing. In our house, people say please and thank you or else get nothing but sarcasm. And that includes the adults. We say please and thank you to each other and to the kids....more

The gift of free time

I am always struck, every time I spend any time in the company of school kids, by how little initiative any of them have. And I'm talking good kids here. Middle class, socio-economically speaking (though some are more privileged than that), good stable families, living in a good city with all kinds of opportunities, attending what are considered good schools and doing well there.Everyone agrees they're great kids. But put them in an unstructured environment and they do not know what to do. Literally. They sit around waiting for you, the Adult in Charge, to tell them what to do....more

Learning About the Civil War: An Audio Production Review

We were recently given the opportunity to review the audio production With Lee in Virginia by ...more

Lovely light on a drastically underused, modest home theatre

  We don't watch television. We cut cable a long time ago and never missed it for one minute. We do watch movies on Netflix (not TV shows, at least not for the kids - these are like soda for the brain, with similar effects), and I also have an old laptop hooked up to the TV so we can find documentaries or watch Crash Course videos on YouTube....more

History for children done right

Hatshetsup's mortuary temple, one of the world's finest buildingsYou'll agree it's not every 6-year-old who can recognize Hatshepsut as the ancient Egyptian queen who pretended to be a boy (not particularly successfully, but still) so she could rule her kingdom....more

How to teach the multiplication table to mildly reluctant kids

By jove, I think I've got it.Understand: I'd been struggling for a while with my older two (who'd be going into grades 4 and 2 this fall if they had the misfortune of going to school - the third one is too young for this kind of math yet) not really wanting to put in the effort to learn their multiplication table. And I think I found the way. It's sneaky as all get out, but it might just work. So I thought I'd share with you.I'm teaching them their multiplication table by making them do division problems.Told you it was sneaky....more