Teaching Strategies

U.S. Election for Kids:  10 Fun Activities to Teach the Election Process {in less than 30 minutes a day}

Teaching the Elections Process to Kids:  3 Things You Need to Cover SKILL:  Critical Thinking Voting season has begun, so what better way to introduce your homeschool kids to the U.S. presidential and gubernatorial process than to host your own mock election?  Whether you want to replicate the actual candidates and issues, or make up your own imaginative…

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My Favorite Bible Study Tips for Families Doing a Classical Christian Education

Family Bible Studies:  The Cornerstone of Our Homeschool Curriculum In our classical Christian homeschool, studying Scripture took priority over all other subjects or activities. First place.  Why is that? Are we “Bible-thumpers” who learn Scripture so that they can correct others? No, we want to drink deeply of Scripture because we find that the Lord regularly reveals His character through His Word,…

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STEM Homeschool: Math Assignments Are Better When they Solve Real-World Problems

STEM Math Activities Replace Hypotheticals with Relevant Problem-Solving Granted every kid needs a serious homeschool math curriculum that will carry him from elementary school through high school graduation…one that is serial in nature, circling back around every now and then to review math concepts that have already been learned…a homeschool math curriculum that will adequately prepare…

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STEM Education: Engineering Activities Are More Valuable When Your Kid Builds a 3-D Model

Engineering Mustn’t Wait ‘Til College or Career; Homeschoolers Should Tinker Now with STEM Nearly forty years ago, my husband David got an electrical engineering degree from Vanderbilt University back when computers were in their infancy.  After ten years as a software engineer, he went to law school, and for the last thirty years, he’s secured patents and worked directly with inventors…

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STEM Education: Science Fair Projects Are Most Effective When Questions Are Open-Ended

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math (STEAM) Education Encourages Exploration STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) curricula was a new concept ten years ago when I took my middle school kids to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition which was hosted at the Indianapolis Convention Center. Meandering through the rows…

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Creative Homeschool History Projects for 5 Ancient Civilizations {day 2}

Hands-On Homeschool History Projects Are Perfect for Learning About Government How ancient people governed is a fascinating field of study for your homeschoolers, especially given the fact that these five civilizations influenced our own founders (Greece’s democracy and Rome’s republic) and Christian Church (Israel).  Any homeschool kid who’s studying the Old Testament knows about Israel’s…

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Fun Homeschool Art Projects With Textiles {day 1}

Design Your Own Wearable Homeschool Art Projects Like the Ancient Cultures Don’t confine your homeschool art projects to painting; there are lots of other creative ways to explore and play with aesthetic beauty like sculpting, metalworking, animation, and composing music.  In this series, we’re specifically looking at five ancient civilizations (Egypt, Israel, Greece, Persia, &…

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To Paraphrase Charlotte Mason, You’ve Got to Put It In Your Own Words {Classical Methods # 9}

Charlotte Mason and the Classical Method Now Known as Paraphrase Skill:  Writing | PARAPHRASE Paraphrase…a fancy multi-syllable word for a simple, one idea concept. In Victorian England, Charlotte would’ve called it rendition or reproduction. You’ve heard the vocabulary root ‘para’ thousands of times before, right?  Paratrooper, parachurch, paragraph, paramount, and in today’s Charlotte Mason post on…

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Nature Studies: Observe, Identify, & Describe {Charlotte Mason Classical Methods – day 5}

Charlotte Mason Treated God’s Creation as the Ultimate “Classic Text” Skill:  Critical Thinking | OBSERVATION Classical Christian educator Charlotte Mason had an intense affection and appreciation for the natural world just as she adored classic literature, poetry, hymns, and Scripture. So when I say she treated God’s creation as a “classic text,” what do I mean?…

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Charlotte Mason Might Agree: Recitation Is the “Cream” on a Memory Work “Scone” {day 4}

Recitation Embellishes Memorization in the Classical Model of Charlotte Mason Skill:  Public Speaking | RECITATION I love tea parties with my daughter (who happens to live in London), so British scones delivered on blue and white English transferware plates with clotted cream and jam are particularly yummy! A plain scone (an unsweetened biscuit-like cake) is not nearly…

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Classic Memory Work for Kids {Charlotte Mason Classical Education Series – Day 3}

Charlotte Mason Assigned Poetry, Literature,  & Scripture that Made the Child’s Heart “Sing” Skill:  Reading | MEMORIZATION Unlike today’s public school philosophy of memory work where the child is expected to learn by rote unrelated facts to parrot back on a quiz, classical educators like Charlotte Mason believed there was more long-term, transformational value in memorizing whole passages of…

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How Did Charlotte Mason Teach Narration? {Classical Homeschooling Tips – Day 1}

Charlotte Mason Believed Narration Prepared a Child for Self-Education Skill:  Reading | NARRATION Like most British girls raised during the mid-1800’s, Charlotte Mason received a classical education at home.  Her mom and dad followed the ancient Greco-Roman “master-apprentice model” as they taught Charlotte how to read, think, write, and speak.  She enjoyed education so much that she…

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Charlotte Mason Education: 10 Classical Lessons for Your Homeschool

Charlotte Mason + Classical Education Methods = Winning Combination When I speak at homeschool conventions or deliver small coaching workshops, I often meet moms who enthusiastically embrace the Charlotte Mason method, but because of the popular neoclassical method of classical (three chronological stages), they mistakenly think there’s a conflict between teaching their kids the Charlotte Mason…

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15 Free Homeschool Writing & Speech Lessons

Teach Writing & Speech: 15 Free Homeschool Lessons If you enjoyed using 21 homeschool freebies for critical thinking & 18 free homeschool curricula for teaching reading skills in your homeschool planning, you’re going to love today’s goody…15 more free homeschool lessons for teaching writing and public speaking.  As with the other two teaching strategy posts, I’ve organized…

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94 Homeschool Field Trip Ideas from A-Z

Plan Field Trips, and Work Your Way through the ABCs When the kids were younger, one of my favorite breaks from the daily homeschool routine was field trips! Not only do they provide a way to get out of the house, but they almost always offer a hands-on experience that is hard to get from learning…

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Teach Your Kid to Write a Multiple Source Essay {homeschool video}

Teach Your Child the Keys to Writing Essays From Multiple Sources In this episode of The Classical Scholar Mom’s Course Teaching Workshop, I’m having a conversation with homeschooling parents, Alexis and Todd, about one of my systematic strategies for improving writing skills:  teaching your child how to write a nonfiction multi-source essay.  (As a bonus perk, this…

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Scientific Method: How to Teach It to Homeschool Kids {watch video}

Scientific Method: Asking and Answering Questions In this episode of The Classical Scholar Mom’s Course Teaching Workshop, I’m coaching homeschooling parents Colleen, Alexis, and Todd about teaching the scientific method as a strategy for improving critical thinking skills.  Humans have always been curious and eager to understand our natural world. Scripture opens with a glorious passage on creation…

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Should Homeschool Kids Memorize a Statement of Faith?

5 Common Creeds to Memorize Do your kids know what you believe?  When the kids were little, our family adopted the Apostle’s Creed as our statement of faith.  David and I learned it by heart, and when Meredith and Connor were able, they memorized it, too.  The recitation of the Apostle’s Creed was a weekly part…

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Why Your Homeschool Math Curriculum Is Not Enough

Add Real-Life Problem-Solving to Your Homeschool Math Curriculum Homeschool math curricula is typically written with the ultimate goal of helping your child pass standardized grade-level achievement tests; most math books are not written from a pragmatic perspective.  The focus is almost always theoretical. In fact, some homeschool math vendors don’t offer a real-life math textbook…

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How to Teach Sight Words with Homeschool Games {video workshop}

How to Teach Sight Words by Playing Homeschool Games In this episode of The Classical Scholar Mom’s Course Teaching Workshop, I’m chatting with homeschooling parents, Alexis and Todd, about teaching sight words as a strategy for improving reading comprehension skills. During the 1940s, literacy expert Dr. Ed Dolch came up with a list of 300+ “sight…

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Authentic Classical Education…What Are the Historical Facts?

Classical Education is Not Without Controversy, So Look to the Ancient Texts Immediately after I published Trivium Mastery (2009), I had a few people challenge me on my interpretation of classical education because I was pushing back against the status quo and some pretty popular authors who also happened to be homeschool vendors and convention speakers.  There…

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21 Homeschool Freebies for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

21 Free Homeschool Projects, Printables, & Worksheets for Teaching Logic Skills Don’t limit your homeschool planning search to curriculum fairs…there are lots of free homeschool materials online!  Here are 21 imaginative projects, printables, and worksheets that you incorporate into your teaching strategies today.  I’ve organized the links so that they fall within each critical thinking category…

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Read-Aloud Every Day for Better Readers, Writers, & Speakers

Do You Want to Improve Your Child’s Reading, Writing, and Speaking Skills? Author of the elementary series A History of US, Joy Hakim, argues that public school teachers spend so much time teaching strategies for reading and analyzing paragraphs that there is no longer enough classroom time for reading whole books! Hakim clearly prefers the…

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99+ Homeschool Resources for Your Teaching Toolbox

Teaching Tools & Homeschool Curriculum When I first started homeschooling 15 years ago, I had no idea where to find all the teaching resources and homeschool curriculum for language arts, math, science, and social studies that my kids needed to learn.  The vast amount of knowledge out there threatened to paralyze me if I didn’t organize it into neat categories;…

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Punctuation Games that Make Homeschool Learning Fun {video}

How to Have Fun Teaching Your Kid Punctuation Rules In this Coaching Workshop of The Classical Scholar Mom’s Course, I’ll show you how to get creative and have some real fun teaching your homeschool kids when to use marks that punctuate sentences, a critical reading and writing skill.  But first, let’s get a little bit of perspective (now…

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18 Free Homeschool Curricula (Reading Skills)

Teach Your Child How to Read with Free Homeschool Curriculum Homeschool curriculum vendors would have you believe that you’ve got to spend a lot of money to get quality teaching materials, but that’s not true.  Some of the best homeschool curriculum is absolutely free! Thanks to the generosity of other homeschool moms who share ‘already-prepared’…

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How to Teach Writing Using the Rules of Storytelling {VIDEO}

Use 4 Storytelling Rules to Teach Writing In this Mom’s Course Teaching Workshop, we’re talking about how learning the rules or conventions of storytelling can not only help you teach literary analysis, but can also help your homeschool child improve his writing skills.  In this homeschool planning workshop (28:03), you’ll learn how asking the: “Who” question identifies…

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FREE Narration Template Teach Your Child to Summarize…Here’s Mine!

Written and Oral Narration Are Equally Important Homeschool Skills Oral narration has been a staple of classical education for nearly 3,000 years, but it’s not the only way to improve reading comprehension and long term retention in your homeschool child. Written narration can be the catalyst for deepening knowledge, intelligent interpretation, and regular note-taking. You…

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7 Things to Look For in Classic Baby Books

Do You Know Which Books Appeal to Babies? Pop Quiz:  What’s your favorite baby book?  I’ve never met a homeschooling mom who didn’t absolutely adore reading.  As a collective community, we love books!  So I don’t need to tell you to read to your baby…you’re probably already doing it.  But do you know what types of books will…

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Seven Laws that Will Make You a Better Homeschool Teacher

It’s Not Too Late to Recover Your Inheritance If you’d been born in the U.S. before 1918, you would have received a form of classical education just like scores of American children.  But after the great wave of immigration that began in 1880 and exploded in the first decade of the 20th Century, classical education…

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5 Easy Strategies for Memorizing the Bible

Bible Memory is Critical If You Want Your Child to Grow Commit to daily Bible study, memory, and recitation in your classical homeschool if you want to see inward and outward transformation in your child.  Start each morning together around the breakfast table with community recitation of this week’s Scripture passage.  Recite the entire passage in unison,…

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