Summer Reading Challenge: Explore New Genres

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Summer is almost here, and we are winding up our school year very rapidly. As I look forward to a nice relaxing little break, I'm also making plans for a summer of learning with interest-led unit studies, Five in a Row, nature study, and lots and lots of reading. More on this to come very soon! Since I have an avid, independent reader as well as a beginner, I wanted to create a challenge for them to want to keep reading during the summer months. Year round schooling helps to keep us in books, … [Read more...]

Homeschooling with Little Ones: Some Tips & Tricks {Real Life Homeschooling}

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This week I'm teaming up with the Schoolhouse Review Crew to share what homeschooling looks like "in real life." You'll see the good, the bad, and the ugly in our homeschool as I give you a glimpse into life in our home with 4 girls ages 6, 4, 2, and 7 months. It's a wild ride, but there really is some learning going on!  When I first considered homeschooling our oldest daughter, I imagined a quiet learning environment with just the two of us huddled around the kitchen table focused … [Read more...]

Bible Memory Work for Kids (with Free Chart)

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What do your kids commit to memory? Bible verses Bible facts Poetry Math facts Hymns History timelines Foreign language vocabulary Spelling & phonics rules Bible stories Nursery rhymes Fairy tales The list could go on I know. For children, memorization comes easy because their brains are still flexible and retain quickly what they see and hear. My kids and I are memorizing 1 John 4:7-10, and let's just say that they had it memorized a lot more quickly than I did. … [Read more...]

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World {Book Review}

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This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information. Thank you for supporting my blog!Recently I had the opportunity to review Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane. Usually, I turn down a book review, but when I saw the title, I was intrigued. Ever since Abigail was born, I've been more lax about screen time and have started having some concerns about the influence technology is having on our young … [Read more...]

Great Books to Give Children for Christmas {Guest Post}

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Unlike toys that break and lose their appeal after a few days, great books will stay with a child from the cradle to the grave. I'm over at Year Round Homeschool today, sharing some great books to give your children (or the children in your life) for Christmas or any time of the year. From my post: Growing up I didn’t care for dolls or toys at all really. Give me a book and I was the happiest kid on the block. I vividly remember the Christmas my aunt gave me Little Women, unabridged. … [Read more...]

What We’ve Been Reading Aloud in September & October

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I'm always curious as to what others are reading. I like to keep a running list in the notes app on my phone so when I'm at the library, I can find a new book for myself or my kids. So, I thought, someone might be interested to know what we've been reading during read-aloud time. If you are looking for some good read-aloud books for your first grader, check out this post. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White If you've … [Read more...]

Get the Kids to Help Out

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This is Day 16 of our series on "Surviving & Thriving with a Newborn" -- part of the 31 day writing challenge hosted by the Nester. Every day in October I'll be sharing a tip about how to make the most of and enjoy the sleep-deprived newborn days. For a list of all the posts in this series, click here. This post contains affiliate links. Check out my disclosure policy for more info. The house seems to be falling down around you, but you only have two hands and right now, they're … [Read more...]

5 Criteria for Selecting Read-Aloud Books for Children

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I'm over at Year Round Homeschooling today sharing how I pick the books we read aloud to our kids.  From my post . . . When I first started teaching my oldest to read, we would bring home dozens of library books. Try as I might, my daughter always found Dora or Scooby-Doo books. So as not to discourage her in her efforts to read, I allowed her to check out these books, but I also picked out my own books-- those more in line with what I consider "quality literature." Since then, my daughter … [Read more...]

The Birth Story of Abigail Lynn

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Let me preface this post by stating the obvious: the birth of a baby is a messy affair. This post is not for the squeamish or weak-hearted; however, if you'd like to read a birth story with adventure and excitement, continue. You will not be disappointed.   Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. I awoke to a strong contraction. Mixed thoughts flooded my mind, from: "I've had days of strong contractions that simply fizzled out in an hour, so this is not an indication of labor," to "Today is the 3rd … [Read more...]

How to Encourage Good Reading Habits in Kids

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I'm a book nerd. Reading is my favorite pastime and slowly my girls are also claiming it as their own. One way to encourage healthy reading habits in children, I've learned, is to let your child see you reading. Even though you may have many (or even all of your) books on an electronic device, there's something about holding a physical book in your hands that provides a visual example to your child that reading is important to you. Try to make it a point to read from an actual book each day … [Read more...]