Teaching with Movies

popcorn-707364_1280Are you tired, Mom? Wake up to an effortless way to make a lasting educational impact on your children!

We all know how powerful and convenient the “electronic baby-sitter” is! (I don’t think I’d ever get a nap without it.) The “electronic baby-sitter” can be an “electronic educator”—if videos are carefully selected. It can ease our teaching load in a very productive, meaningful way.

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The “Subject of the Day” Approach

Learning about the ocean, hands-on!

Studying the same subject together as a family, unit studies, has many advantages. It is much easier for mother to teach just one topic, rather than trying to explain several different subjects to several different children each day. The whole family can enjoy discussions together on the same subject. Enrichment activities such as movies, art projects, or field trips on the subject apply to every member of the family. I have found teaching all my children the same subject together has been a most rewarding experience!

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Setting Up a Family Schedule


Some of my kids at Arches National Park

As much as I hate to be confined to a schedule, I have to admit that it is very liberating to the whole family to know what to expect. If I don’t follow a schedule, life goes somewhat like this: get up late, work on something that is high priority (in my nightgown), get waylaid on a long phone call while the kids wreck havoc, fix breakfast when the complaining gets too loud, get dressed because it’s too late to exercise now, try to pull homeschool together late and unorganized, fix a quick (rather than nutritious) lunch when the complaining gets too loud (about 2:00 p.m.), feel discouraged because I’m so far behind, etc. Get the picture? It is a downward spiral because you get to bed late because you are so far behind on fixing dinner, and so you are off to a worse start the next day.

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The "1/3 Plan" for Kids

onethird_plan_smallWhen I first began homeschooling many years ago, I heard an elderly educator give her “One Third Plan” for how to plan a child’s day. I was intrigued!

Once I took my children out of public school into homeschooling, I really wondered what I was supposed to be doing with them all day long. I wanted with all my heart to raise them right and to teach them what they would need to be happy, faithful, upright people who benefited the world in which they lived. I couldn’t keep them busy in homeschool from dawn to dusk, but I didn’t want them free playing all the time either. I thought long and hard about it, so when I heard the “One Third Plan”, I was all ears!

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Egg Carton School


I am always looking for ways to “fun up” learning, and this one is a hit . All you need is an egg carton to make practicing facts fun. For little ones, you can practice color or number recognition, or beginning letter sounds. Elementary age children can drill their addition facts or times tables, or practice more advanced phonics sounds. Even 12-year-olds think it is fun to do their math facts practice this way.

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Adrift on a Sea of “To-Do’s”?


When we have little ones in our home, or are homeschooling our children, it can feel like we don’t have much time to call our own. Sometimes I feel like a ship adrift, being tossed around on the waves of all the things I have to do. I can’t ever get to the end, no matter how frantically I paddle. Have you ever felt this way?

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An Elective Summer

I hate to stop homeschooling for the summer. Not many of my friends feel the same way, but for me it takes so much momentum to begin again that I’d rather not stop at all. Homeschooling keeps the children in an excellent pattern of waking for scripture study, doing chores, and then getting on with their schoolwork every morning. There is still lots of time in the afternoon to swim, play with friends, and do all the summery things children look forward to.

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It’s Gotta be Fun!


This is our second year of homeschooling. Our first year we homeschooled our kindergarten son and were very actively involved and had learning experiences outside of the house. This year, we enrolled him in an online academy. We have not yet finished our first week of lessons and I already hate it! The lessons are long and tedious. Much too academic for our style from last year. Also, we have no more time for our beloved outings to the park or the zoo. I feel like a slave to this program because of the load of work and no real learning going on. My son is starting to hate anything to do with the word “school” or “lesson”! Any advice on this would be really appreciated! [Read more…]

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