The fact you’re here, reading this article tells me that you care about your child’s education. I know it can feel overwhelming for a parent considering homeschooling. There are so many things to consider, so many things to do, and what seems like so little time until school starts. So, where do you start?Continue reading “Yes You Can Homeschool and This Can Help!”
Potential homeschool parents are always asking if homeschooling is expensive and how to make it more affordable. So, can you homeschool on a shoestring? Absolutely!
Entire homeschool curricula can be found online, as can books, games, worksheets, you name it. I don’t know how homeschoolers did it before the advent of the personal computer! To peruse a whole bunch of homeschool freebies I’ve found, you can click on Free Homeschooling Resources to see a list of everything I’ve shared in the past. And here is a list of some of the resources I’ve found to help you homeschool on a shoestring.Continue reading “Can You Homeschool on a Shoestring?”
In case you didn’t know, in addition to this website, I also run another website, Geek Schooling. I started it after having posted a lot about geek schooling here on Homeschooling in Nova Scotia and wanting to branch out and reach a wider audience beyond our province.
This week, I appeared on Shout Your Cause with Sally Hendrick. I had a such a great time chatting about my favourite topics. We discussed delight directed learning and geek schooling, including homeschooling during the pandemic, and more. Here it is! Just click the play button to watch below.Continue reading “Learn about Delight Directed Learning and Geek Schooling”
We’re stuck in our homes. Homeschool conferences won’t be held in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick this spring (I was going to both of them so that makes me feel sad). Many parents are home with their kids for the first time, looking for homeschool information. Whether you’re a new or experienced homeschooler, we can all use encouragement during this difficult time. Enter my friends and fellow homeschool moms Ana Willis and Cori Dean. They’ve put together a new Canadian homeschool conference, yay!Continue reading “Canadian Homeschool Conference April 14 to 18 2020”
I have dance on my mind. For dancers, this is usually competition season. My daughter is usually preparing for exams, recitals, and perhaps a competition or two at this time of year. I got in on a competition myself back in 2016 and competed in a big studio number on stage with my daughter. Here we are backstage at the competition:Continue reading “I Hope You Dance in Your Homeschool”
Did you know that not only can an abacus help a child with math, but your child can also have fun schooling with the abacus?
What is an abacus? Do you imagine one of these?Continue reading “Fun Schooling with the Abacus”
Spelling doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. Spelling can be fun! Toss those work sheets and spelling tests aside and give some of these resources a try for spelling fun in your homeschool. Spelling is important. Because spell check doesn’t catch everything!Continue reading “Spelling Fun in Your Homeschool”
During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.
History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.
Eat Through History
What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world.
Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada site.
Include Primary Source Material
There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.
Read Historical Fiction
Historical fiction can bring history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!
Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades
There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. You may even be able to find local tradesman and artisans that will let your child try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:
History Through Song and Music Videos
It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many terrific audios available to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers by listening to that one CD than in all my years of public school!
You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!
History Dress Up Time!
Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes (check out Bluprint for some sewing help). Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton:
Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with the history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.
History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.
Love, Luck &
Please note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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As we head into week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Enjoy!
Homeschool fun, for me, isn’t only the subjects or activities you and your children find fun (such as fibre arts for art class), it’s also finding the fun in your homeschool day. This can be particularly important as you’re winding down your homeschool year and everyone wants to be done!
Finding the Fun in Your Homeschool Day
How do you find the fun? Part of it is having the right state of mind. Wake up determined that you’ll have fun today! The fun may happen between bouts of sibling bickering or whining about math – finding the fun doesn’t mean it will be a perfect day, but try to find some moments to enjoy!
Easy, Fun Ideas
- Are you working on spelling today? Incorporate some phys. ed. with your child’s spelling and have them jump rope or jump on a mini trampoline while spelling out “e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e, exercise”!
- Is it read aloud time? Do you usually read aloud to your children yourself? How about taking turns instead? Whoever isn’t reading can work on some of those fibre arts projects or other handiwork.
- Are your children studying their multiplication tables? Sing them or rap them today instead! If you don’t feel comfortable making up your own song or rap, let the children try (you might be surprised to find out how easily coming up with lyrics can be), or use Audio Memories if you like.
- Is it time for penmanship? How about posting big pieces of newsprint on the wall and letting the children paint their copywork with paint and a paintbrush. Or if you have a writing tablet for your computer or gaming console, let them write it on the tablet (it may not be nearly as legible, but it is fun)!
- Are you reading the Bible today? Don’t just read it – act it out! Act out Moses’ confrontation with Pharaoh, or create a skit depicting the love passage from Corinthians (Love is Patient, Love is Kind).
- Get outside for science!
- Studying plants? Go look at some!
- The sky? Study at night – lay outside on a blanket and look up.
- Simple machines in physics? Build some using things in your yard.
- Are you doing some art today? Turn on some beautiful music while you do your lesson, maybe some Mozart or Beethoven, or even something to sing along to while you draw.
- Are your children studying logic/critical thinking? Watch some commercials and point out the logical fallacies to each other – commercials by political candidates are extremely entertaining for this exercise!
- How about a theme for the day?
- Backwards Day: Have breakfast for supper, walk backwards, dress backwards, start with what you usually end your homeschooling day with.
- Pyjama Day: No getting dressed today!
- Silly Hat Day: Start the day by making silly hats and then wear them the rest of the day.
The possibilities are endless! I challenge you to find the fun with your children this week! What did you do? Please let me know in the comments below.
Love, Luck &
Please note: This article was originally published in May 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
It’s a positive homeschool news story, and it’s about my family homeschooling our daughter through high school especially! Yay! A big thank you to CTV News Atlantic, especially Maria Panopalis and Cory McGraw for doing a beautiful job on our homeschool story.
A Big Day
I got the call on Wednesday requesting an interview. Then on Thursday, we met them at the Conservatory School of Dance since my daughter had “Dance History” class that morning (part of her Professional Training Program). Cory filmed my daughter dancing part of her self-choreographed dance for Taking Steps to Fly (happening this Sunday at the Dalhousie Student Union building). And Maria interviewed us both. It was a terrific experience, especially for my daughter, who plans to train in dance post-secondary and pursue a professional dance career.
You can watch the video story, A Teenage Perspective on Homeschooling here:
Be sure to check out our positive homeschool news story in print as well. Maria covered some different aspects of the interview entirely in the print version, which is terrific as the two together give a better picture of how we homeschool high school. Check it out here, A Lesson in Homeschooling: a Smart Move for a Halifax Family.
It’s been a busy time for my daughter. Last weekend she appeared as Drizella in the Cinderella ballet at the Spatz Theatre. For Taking Steps to Fly this weekend, she has prepared two pieces of choreography for adjudication – one the solo you see above and the other a trio. Next month, as mentioned in the news story, she will be starting rehearsals for Billy Elliot at the Neptune Theatre. She is a ballet girl. It’s so exciting as it’s been a while since she’s been in a musical and this is her first gig in a professional theatre.
What did you think of the story? Please let me know in the comments below!
Photo credit: Cory McGraw, CTV News Atlantic