Category Archives: Practical How To’s

Better Use of All About Reading

We’ve been using All About Reading (AAR) for about two years. It is, by far, the best curriculum for children with dyslexia that I have seen. I wish it had been available fifteen years ago when our Luke was a little guy struggling with reading. At that time I had fifteen phonics programs on my  Read more »

Three Little Habits that Simplied My Life

Perhaps these simple tips will not be as revolutionary for you as they have been for me, but since it took me fifteen years of homeschooling to develop these strategies I might be able to save you some time and frustration. Clearly Mark Assignments Since I do not use a planning book, I would often  Read more »

Handwriting ABCs

Learning to write can be either a great adventure or a terrible bore. The quickest way to frustrate a young child is to set him down to handwriting pages and expect him to fill lines of paper with the same letter. Before you begin the handwriting workbook, check make sure your child has the fine  Read more »

What Homeschoolers Do on Car Trips

As promised, here are suggestions for how to capitalize on car time during family vacations—or even when running around town Audio Books: We love to listen to books that are downloaded or on CD in the car. The best candidates are those read with appropriate accents. We love Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner read in the droll British  Read more »

Traveling and Learning

Homeschoolers are infamous for turning family vacations into field trips. But with our philosophy of simply living life with our children we don’t have to label our trips in educational terms to see the value of family travel. Summer is a traditional time for taking road trips. Even if you are just going to stay  Read more »

A Day in the Life of the Murphys

Debra asked: I would LOVE to know what a typical day looks like for you (I.e. waking, chores, school, length of reading aloud, play, lunch:). Pretty much I would love to be a fly on the wall:). I consider myself to be a generally organized person. I like order and definitely strive for it. I  Read more »

Integrating Holidays and Celebrations into Homeschooling

Next week we will celebrate our country’s birthday. Perhaps you will meet with friends and family, grill hot dogs, and set off fireworks. Children are always ready to participate in celebrations, but they do not always understand why there is a celebration. Holidays and celebrations are a key ingredient in our quest for living real  Read more »

Watercolor Paper

For the more serious art student, consider purchasing watercolor paper for his exploration of watercolor paints. Summer is a wonderful to try these messier art supplies outside. When done, we hose the children off and let them jump into the pool. They love the experience and I love the simple cleanup.

Memorizing Poetry

Either of today’s poetry selection make good choices for poetry memorization. At times, I instruct each child to choose one poem to memorize and let them work independently. Some are better at this than others, but we all can and should memorize more poetry. Using the whole method of memorization as explained by Ruth Beechick  Read more »

Lessons from a Four-Year-Old

Today is our Josiah Calvin’s fourth birthday. It brings to mind another fourth birthday, our oldest son Rich’s. As a young mom expecting our fourth child, I was eager to begin “doing real school” with Rich. Our meager attempts at three-year-old preschool, complete with a highly aggressive, academic curriculum had failed. Rich’s complete lack of  Read more »