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Finding Time for Quiet Time in Your Busy Homeschool Day

When we're caught up in the hustle and bustle of our homeschooling days, there's an important component that can get left out- making time for our own time with God.

You see, I believe that homeschooling and being a mom and a wife are all a part of my calling. If I didn't believe this, you can be sure there would have been many times by now that I would have thrown in the towel. I couldn't do any of this in my own strength and for my own purposes.

Quiet time for homeschool moms

But even though I know the truth of this, the important act of spending time with God, time to strengthen my own heart, gets pushed out of the way, often, in the midst of day to day living. I've learned that when I'm feeling particularly stressed and overwhelmed, it might be because I need to regroup and make sure that I'm spending time with God.

As with most things, I've found that I can do this much more faithfully when I have a plan for it. All you non-plan people are rolling your eyes about now. But I'm not saying that you have to have a set in stone, never to be changed time and place for spending time with God. I am saying that if you don't have a plan, a time in your regular schedule, that you're going to pray and read Scripture and spend time with God, it probably won't happen.

That plan is probably going to look different for those of us in different stages of life. What worked when I had young kids is not what works for me now. And I know moms with kids who are even older than mine- some in college or moving out- that have an even different look to their days.

If I were to take a little survey and ask, "What is the right way to do this whole quiet time thing?", what would you say? I imagine there would be many different answers. And I also think there would be at least one person reading this who would think she's doing it all wrong.

Let me tell you a little story about my journey to making time for a quiet time.

Once upon a time there was a young mom who wanted to have the "perfect" quiet time experience.

For many years as a young wife and mom, I struggled with the fact that I hated, hated, hated trying to have an early morning quiet time. I would read books- and later blog posts- with descriptions of the author, up in the wee hours with no one else in the house stirring, coffee in hand, sitting serenely on a front porch sipping coffee and reading the Bible and praying as the sun came up. Maybe it was just my defensive nature, but I often got the impression that the authors viewed anyone who didn't do this as less than spiritual.

I am NOT a morning person. But I tried this approach many times- because I didn't want to be less than spiritual.

I would determine to get up when my husband did. He's always had early morning jobs, and it's been rare for him to get up later than six. The alarm would sound, and he would roll out of bed and head to the shower. I would push snooze. After about four or five snooze cycles, he was out of the shower and headed to work. I was finally dragging out of bed.

At times I had a sleeping child latched on to my breast. I would try to move stealthily, dislodging the child without waking her. After all, the whole point was to be up before my family. Usually said child was awake and screaming by the time I made it up.

I would stumble to the kitchen with a baby attached and pour a glass of iced tea. (I hate coffee.) I would pick up my quiet time journal and Bible. With sleep blurred eyes I tried to read. Heaven help me if I closed my eyes to pray because I'd just fall back to sleep. About the time I was reading through the first few verses and trying to write down something meaningful while maneuvering the nursing child and blinking my unfocused, sleepy eyes, the rest of the crew would emerge, clamoring into the kitchen and demanding breakfast.

So much for my quiet time.

For a long time I struggled with guilt over this.

I read my Bible and prayed before I went to bed at night, in the solitude of a sleeping house. Or I waited for those blessed few moments when everyone was quiet at naptime, and then I stole in my room to read. But I felt guilty all the while.

I finally realized, as I matured spiritually and, frankly, began to care less about what people thought, that the time of day of my quiet time did not indicate my spiritual state. The fact is that I'm not a morning person. I'm just not. I am a night owl. And I love my mid day nap- even now when my kids are older and I'm the only one who actually takes a mid day rest. Those are times I can find to make a quiet time. I can also read my Bible on my Kindle when I'm waiting in the car to pick up a child or when I'm sitting in the gym, waiting for my gymnast or when I'm at a long sporting event

I've come to realize that the time isn't nearly as important as making time.

I've learned to choose a time that works and try to be consistent with it. When I'm faithful to read Scripture and pray and just be still with God, I can tell that I am refreshed. So, what do I do in that quiet time? I also need a little structure there. Just letting my Bible fall open to a verse has never really worked for me. I like to have a little focus.

What to do during quiet time

What to do during quiet time

Reading through the Bible

There are many places that offer Bible reading plans that you can print out or plans that allow you to go online and read the day's reading. One of my favorite is Biblegateway. They have a variety of plans. You can print them or read online in all different versions. You can also have the day's reading delivered to your inbox.

If you have a little more time on your hands, you might want to try a 90 days reading plan. I've done this quite a few times now. It's much more reading on a daily basis, but it is a great way to get a big picture view of the Bible.

Memorizing Scripture 

I think that Scripture memory is important- even for me. I'm very thankful that I grew up in a church and Christian school that stressed Bible memory. I'm fortunate to be able to recall many of those verses now. I like to try to keep my mind sharp with continued memory work. I loved it when the kids were in AWANA because I was always learning some new verse with them.

We aren't doing AWANA now, so it's a little more difficult to come up with memory work. I found a site a few years ago that provides some structure for Bible memory-Memverse. This site helps you practice your verse(s) in an organized way until they are completely memorized. It doesn't give you the verses to learn, so you'll have to pick verses or a passage- maybe from your regular reading- but it does make for a really nice way to keep up with the memory work.

Praying

In a Bible study when I was a young mom, the leader showed us how to make a prayer chart. She had taken a blank piece of paper and written the days of the week across the top. Down the side, she placed categories- family, church, friends, missions, etc. For each day of the week she filled in people and requests in each category. She updated this regularly so requests for people in her church or specific missionaries were kept current.

I loved the idea. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the numbers of people that I would like to pray for- not to mention the regular prayer for my family. This prayer chart is an easy way to break up the requests and make time for them.

Studying the Bible

Besides just reading through the Bible, I like to take time to do more in depth Bible study as well. I've done this several ways. Sometimes when I'm doing the Bible reading plans- which are more overview than deep study- I'll mark or jot down some verse or passage that I want to know more about. After I finish the reading plan, I go back to the verses and do more in depth study by looking up words in a concordance or using a commentary or study Bible to read more information. I like Blue Letter Bible for finding commentary notes or word meanings for verses and passages.

Writing Scripture

Recently I've picked up the idea of writing Scripture. Think of it as the copywork you give the kids. I write a section of verses out each day during my quiet time. It's a great way to keep me focused on the meaning of what I'm reading, instead of just skimming over some verses and then not even knowing what I read.

I got the original idea from Heidi St. John- The Busy Mom. She has a Scripture writing section on her blog, and you can download beautiful schedules each month that have a set of verses to write each day. I started with her charts. But I began this year with the goal of writing through the book of Romans. It's a book I've enjoyed studying and even memorizing parts of, so I thought I'd like to write through it.


Whenever we decide to have a quiet time and whatever we decide to do- reading, praying, studying- having a regular quiet time is important. It's a crucial part of preparing and strengthening our hearts in the midst of our busy homeschooling lives.


Hip Homeschool Moms

”TheNaturalHomeschool”

Nonfiction Books About Winter and Snow...And the Literacy Musings Monday Linkup

I've shared some great snow and winter-themed picture books lately in keeping with the season and weather around my area right now. But what if you want to teach kids some of the science behind the winter season?

I think that good books are usually a better- and more interesting- way to learn than just reading a chapter in a textbook, so in this post I'm sharing some good nonfiction books that you can read with the kids to learn about winter and snow.

(Don't forget to link up your reading related posts and enter the giveaway!)

Nonfiction kids books about winter and snow
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Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder


How do animals cope with harsh weather in the winter months? Read to find out what animals do in the winter.


Winter Wonderland (National Geographic Kids) by Jill Esbaum

This book is all about the things kids can experience during winter. Kids will be drawn to the beautiful photographs of real kids.


Snow Is Falling (Let's Read and Find Out Science Stage 1) by Franklyn Branley

Kids can learn some of the science behind snow and snow storms as well as interesting facts about snow in this easy-to-read book.


The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder by Mark Cassino

Kids can learn about how snowflakes are formed and see some awesome illustrations and magnified snowflakes in this book.

How Do You Know It's Winter? (Rookie Read-About Science) by Lisa M. Herrington

How do you know it's winter? This book takes a look at some of things that make up winter. It includes facts about the weather, animal behavior in winter, and some of the fun things we can do in winter.


Do you have a favorite read aloud about winter or snow? Let me know in the comments or link up your post with the linkup below.

Kids nonfiction books about winter and snow


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Now it's time for the Literacy Musings Monday Linkup! (The giveaway is still going on as well!)

Literacy Musings Monday linkup

Mary @Maryandering Creatively
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Brandi @living between whimsy & reality
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Leah@As We Walk Along the Road
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Last Week's Top Clicked Post




My Favorite Post of the Week



This is an awesome collection of homeschooling posts!

Remember to check out other hosts' blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

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Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop!

LMM Linkup











Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
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  And now...A Giveaway for You!

In our new year's giveaway, which will run through January 31, 2017, you can win three great books, along with $30 in Paypal cash. Enter the giveaway tools giveaway below.

What three books can you win?






Book giveaway

(Note: For one of the entries, you can follow Brandi on Instagram. The link in the Giveaway is incorrect. Her Instagram link is https://www.instagram.com/brandiraaeblog/)

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling


The Finger of God That Points the Way (Devotions for Real Homeschool Moms)

I'm starting a new feature on the blog this week. Each Saturday I'm going to be posting a short devotional here. In the Renew Your Homeschool eCourse that's been going on, we've talked about regularly spending time with God as one way to find refreshment in your homeschooling days. But I know from experience that it's hard to find those times to spend with God.

Each week, as I share a devotional reading, I hope that will help you as readers and me as the writer to make time to be in God's Word. If you want to read past devotions, you can click the link in the menu bar at the top of the page. If you're looking for a way to dig deeper into Scripture, Bible Gateway has a great variety of Bible reading plans. You can choose one that fits your schedule.

I'll be presenting each devotional live on Facebook on Monday mornings as well. If you'd like to catch it live, I can answer questions or respond to comments. If you've missed the live video, I'll be sharing the link here each week as well. And the Saturday devotions will be a written version of the devotion shared the Monday before.

God gives strength devotion

Here's this past Monday's video on Facebook (which wasn't live due to technical issues). And now...this week's Devotions for Real Homeschool Moms.

I Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

I don't know about you, but I often wonder if I'm really able to do what I believe God has called me to do. Homeschool? Really, God? But my kids might not listen to me. Love that hard-to-love person? Really, God? But I just don't feel love. Honor my husband? Really, God? But he can be so obstinate!

Whether it's a homeschooling situation, a relationship issue, or a financial decision, we can often feel inadequate to do what we really believe that we're called of God to do. When I'm struggling with this, I remember a quote from my childhood. It was one of those moments that sticks with you, that you remember years and years later.

"The finger of God that points the way is on the hand of God that supplies the need." 

I heard that quote at a Missions Conference when I was young, and I have always remembered it. The speaker was talking about those who are called to be missionaries and pointing out that if God called one to the mission field, He would provide the means to get there. As I have grown older, though, I have realized that the quote is true for me in every aspect of my life.

God has called me to be a wife and mother. He will provide strength when I am tired and frustrated and discouraged. God has called me to homeschool my children. He will provide the resources and the wisdom I need. Whatever God may call me to do, He will also equip me to do.

Isn't that a comforting thought? Isn't it an encouraging thought? What God has called me to, He's going to equip me to do. What about you? Is there something you've struggled with because you've believed it to be God's will but just couldn't imagine how you were going to pull it off? Trust God's finger that points the way, my friend, and let God's hand supply your needs.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Devotions for mom

Favorite Winter Read Alouds and Activity Links for Extended Learning

It's a new year with a new link up! Last year I hosted Read Aloud Wednesday, but I noticed that there were several book related link ups around on Wednesdays. So I decided to step back and consider keeping a reading link up but hosting it on a different day. I love to share great reading ideas and activities. And I would love to see what your family has been enjoying reading lately. So, on Fridays, I'll be sharing a post with favorite books and book related ideas. And I'll have a link up for you to share your book related posts as well.

Although we've had unseasonably warm weather here, in this  post, I'm sharing some of our favorite winter read alouds along with links to some fun activities I've found for those books.

Winter-themed kids books
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The Mitten by Jan Brett


Age recommendation: 3-8

The story: Nicki loses his mitten in the cold and snowy forest. One by one forest animals take up residence inside it. The book has beautiful illustrations by the author- Jan Brett.

Activity links:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats


Age recommendation: 2 and up

The story: Peter wakes up in the morning to see snow outside his apartment building window. The charming story and great illustrations tell young readers about the adventures that Peter and his friend have in the snow and the joy of a young child experiencing fun in the snow.

Activity links:

Snow by P.D. Eastman


Age recommendation: 3-8

The story: This is a class beginner book edited by Dr. Suess. It's such a classic that I believe I have an original that belonged to either Jason or myself. The story is timeless, following the adventures of children sledding, building snowmen, throwing snowballs, and all the other great fun that kids can have in the snow.

Activity links:

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton


Age recommendation: 3-7

The story: Katy is a determined little tractor. Although she acts as a snow plow in the winter, she isn't often needed in her little town that doesn't get much snow. But when a blizzard hits, Katy is ready. The illustrations in all of Virginia Lee Burton's books are excellent, and the story is a charming one that I enjoyed reading to the kids.

Activity links:

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers



Age Recommendation: 4-8

The story: This is Robert Frost's original poem illustrated beautifully. The landscape is a New England winter. The artist does an excellent job of drawing attention to parts of the landscape, and even young kids will enjoy the pictures as you read aloud the classic poem.

Activity links: 



Kids winter themed books

Pick up a few of these and enjoy the cold weather with some winter read alouds.


The Homeschool Post

The Day I Got It Right

I've lapsed into that mid-life mom stage. You know, the one where moms with older teenagers or young adults begin to wax eloquent with sappy stories that begin with, "Oh, they grow up so fast! When my kids were young..." Having been a young mom myself, I know that these stories often make young moms roll their eyes, thinking, "The baby's crying; the toddler's covered in poop; and I think I just burned the Hamburger Helper that was supposed to be our 'home-cooked' supper. Will you just shut up about how fast this is all passing and let me just get through it?" Come on; admit it. I know you're thinking it.

Because I'm in this stage of life, I've become very reflective. What did I do right as a mom? What did I do wrong? Unfortunately, because we're always our own worse critic, the what-I-did-wrong column seems much, much longer than the other. There are always things I think I could have said or should have done. I shouldn't have been as hard on the kids when they did this. I should have been more firm about that.

When mom gets it right

But every once in a while, usually when I'm talking to the kids about things they remember or when we're all talking as a family about something that happened way back when, I'm happily surprised by a time when I got it right. Really right. 

This was one of those times.

My children were about 6, 4, 2, and 1. (Just to see those numbers so close together now makes me shudder, and know that there, but for the grace of God, was a nervous breakdown just waiting to happen!) I had the three oldest children outside "helping" me wash the car. What this meant was that they put on bathing suits and old clothes and dabbed some soapy wash cloths on the car and sprayed each other with the hose.

We had come to the end of our washing, and they had settled into playing in the water, when one of them found the thick, gooey mud that was forming right where the water ran into the dirt. I'm pretty sure that getting muddy was accidental...at first. But after the first child got muddy and didn't get in trouble, the mud became fair game.


And I didn't get mad. I didn't fuss. I didn't tell them to get out of the mud. I didn't start spraying people off and hurrying them into the house. Instead, I hit "record" on my camera. And I watched.

They played. They laughed. They danced. They rubbed mud into their own heads and into their siblings' heads. They even made up a song about it all.


You know what? The world didn't come to an end because my kids were muddy. After they tired of playing, I herded them in, having them wipe muddy feet on a towel at the door, and headed them down the hall for showers. And that was that. Sure, it made a little extra laundry, but my life was not made exponentially harder because I let the kids get really dirty.

Life moved on. And kids grew up. 

And that event melted into the thousands of other events that happen in the life of a family. And I wouldn't have thought about it any more. 

Except that not too many years ago, when I was looking at some old pictures and videos, the video of that day came up. And my older kids- who had headed into their teen years by that time- saw it. They stopped, transfixed. And they began to talk about how wonderful that day was, about how much fun they had. They sang the song along with their younger versions on the video.

And I knew it. I knew I had done something right. It was just a little day in the big scheme of things. It was just a little moment during that day. It was one decision, to let the kids get muddy and have fun instead of fussing at them and hurrying them off inside to clean up. 

I think that's the way it is, friend. We live our lives in the trenches with runny noses and sick kids and dirty diapers and messy houses. And every once in a while we have a decision to make. Do we live in the moment and soak it up and enjoy it? Or do we shuffle through not looking, just trying to get to the next thing? Because I think that those times that we choose to live in the moment and just have fun with the kids are the times we- maybe inadvertently- do the right thing.

Mom insecurity



Do You Want to Build a Snowman? A Snow-Themed Picture Book List (And Literacy Musings Monday with a Giveaway!)

I live in the South. We don't often get snow, so when it's called for, people get pretty excited. The weather forecasters predicted snow this weekend. Six to eight inches some estimates said. Friday night we headed to bed sure that we'd wake up to a winter storm on Saturday morning. Trucks were out salting the road. Events planned for Saturday had already been canceled. The grocery stores were raided as we all stocked up on bread and milk. And Saturday morning?

We had a little bitty dusting of snow, along with some really cold temperatures and ice. So much for our snow. Instead the kids went to a local site known for its big hills and sledded on the ice...until it began to melt.

Snow-themed picture books
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If we can't enjoy the snow, we might as well read about it. And so, in honor of our "six to eight inches of snow" this weekend, here's a list of snow-themed books you can read with the kids.

5 Fun and Simple Winter-Themed Unit Studies You Can Create...and Resources to Get You Started

When my kids were just a little younger, I loved to celebrate holidays and seasons with unit studies. The changing of the seasons provide many opportunities to learn naturally through unit studies. Sure, you could read a science textbook lesson about animal hibernation, but diving into hibernation with a unit study in the thick of winter just makes sense. It's natural learning. And, typically, it's the learning that kids can remember better and longer because it has context.

If you're looking for some fun unit study ideas to explore this winter, you can start with these five. I'm sharing books and website links that you can use in your study. If you've never created your own unit study, don't worry. It's really simple. This post has more information as well as a printable guide to get you started. I'm also sharing a few pre-made winter unit studies at the end of the post, so if you don't have the time- or desire- to plan your own, check out some of those.

Learn about winter for kids
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Hibernation

Animals are almost a favorite subject of kids. So it's fun to talk about hibernation in the winter. What animals hibernate? When do they hibernate? And, what exactly is hibernation?

Links

 BrainPop Jr. has a great (free) video about hibernation, along with a quiz, game, and other activities.

This article from Home Science Tools can help you and the kids to understand hibernation better.

Science Made Simple has a page about the different ways that animals cope with the winter- including hibernation. There's also an easy reader version at the bottom of the article, so kids can read it for themselves.

This page is mostly about bear hibernation, but it has some good information and photos.

Booklist

Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft and Richard G. Van Gelder

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows

The Animals' Winter Sleep by Lynda Graham-Barber

Snow

We don't often get much of the white stuff around here. That's really okay with me. But my kids and most kids seem to love the snow, so it makes for a fun unit study.

Links

Science Kids has fun snow facts for kids.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center (I never knew there was such a thing!) has all kinds of information about snow- what it is, how it forms. You can also check out all the links on the side of the page for more about snow.

Teacher Planet has a whole page of (free) snow goodies, including lesson plans and printables.

And, if you don't have much snow, you can make your own with only two main ingredients!

Booklist

Snow! by P.D. Eastman

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino

Snow by Cynthia Rylant

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Polar Bears

Polar bears aren't only around in the winter, of course, but the fact that they live in snow and ice makes them a fun topic for winter-themed learning.

Links

Follow the links on the Polar Bear International site to learn all about polar bears- where they live and what they're like.

National Geographic Kids has this page with information about and photos of polar bears.

Defenders of Wildlife has an online fact sheet about polar bears.

Kidzone has some great polar bear information, including nice photos, a map, and (free) printables.

All Things Animal TV has this video about polar bears.

Booklist

If I Knew a Polar Bear by Karen Sutula

Ice Bear: Read and Wonder: In the Steps of the Polar Bear by Nicola Davies



Penguins

Like polar bears, penguins aren't only around in the winter. But they live in a cold and icy place and so are a great topic for a winter-themed unit study.

Links

Science Kids has these fun penguin facts.

National Geographic Kids has this page about Emperor Penguins. (There are more penguin links under the article.)

All Things Animal TV has a fun penguin video geared toward the younger set.

Kidzone has this page of penguin-themed activities. You'll find prinatble worksheets, notebooking pages, the penguin life cycle, and more.

Kids Play and Create has a whole page of amazing penguin facts.

Booklist

Penguins! by Gail Gibbons

The Emperor's Egg: Read and Wonder by Martin Jenkins

If You Were a Penguin by Florence Minor

Penguins (Smithsonian) by Seymour Simon

Penguins: The Ultimate Guide by Tui De Roy and Mark Jones

Weather

Weather is really a topic you can study year round. But, if your kids like to be on the "snow watch" like mine, winter is a fun time to study weather and all the types of winter weather you can watch for.

Links

On the Weather Wiz Kids site, you can learn all about common kinds of winter storms.

BrainPop Jr. has a (free) video and activities page about winter weather.

The National Severe Storms Laboratory has some great printable coloring and activity sheets for kids.

Web Weather for Kids has a page with information about all kinds of winter weather.

Booklist

Winter Wonderland by Jill Esbaum

Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Richard B. Smith and Felix Bernard

The Everything KIDS' Weather Book: From Tornadoes to Snowstorms, Puzzles, Games, and Facts That Make Weather for Kids Fun! by Joe Snedeker

Oh Say Can You Say What's the Weather Today?: All About Weather by Tish Rabe


PreMade Winter Unit Studies

Homeschool Share has a variety of free winter themed unit studies and lapbooks for different grade levels.

A Journey Through Learning has a Wonderful Winter Lapbook with Study Guide for grades 2-7. It covers a variety of winter topics, and I love A Journey Through Learning lapbooks because they are all self-contained. All you need to do the study is written in the study guide.



Whether you have tons of snow or no snow at all, I hope that you can your kids can have some winter fun- and learning- with these resources.


Can I Really Homeschool For Free?

There are websites devoted to it. Blog posts are written about it. Whole blogs serve as resources for it. But is it true that you can homeschool for free? I have a friend my age who was homeschooled during many of her school years. Back then- thirty years or so ago- there were no curriculum companies for homeschoolers. Most curriculum companies wouldn't even sell to homeschoolers. If they were lucky, a Christian school or private school might give them some old, used curriculum materials. But for them, a trip to the library was often the extent of gathering resources for their homeschool.

Now we have a host of curricula choices targeted specifically to homeschoolers- classical homeschoolers, Christian homeschoolers, secular homeschoolers, Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. There are choices for every subject area and any extras or electives you can imagine.

Homeschool for free
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With all of the choices we have to choose from, it's easy to spend a small fortune on homeschooling materials. So the thought of homeschooling for free is an appealing one. And if you google "homeschool for free" you'll find the promise of many free resources. I have a page here on the blog devoted to free homeschool resources, and I add to it all the time.

Literature Extension Activities for The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you'd like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you're reading and working on your unit study, you can dowload this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

The Tale of Despereaux literature unit
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One of my favorite books that I've ever read aloud to my kids is The Tale of Despereaux. It's a beautiful story that's all about the power of love and the importance of being who you really are. Those can be some deep themes to talk about with kids. But the book itself can be enjoyed just for the great story, even by younger kids.

Love Book Reviews? You'll Love This Move. (And the Literacy Musings Monday Linkup)

Do you love to read? I do! In the days before Kindles and the ability to buy books any time from the convenience of home, I may have been known to send my loving husband out at 10pm to find a book for me to read. Thankfully, my mother always had the equivalence of a book store in her house, so he could go shop at Mama's House of Books. Heaven forbid I be without a book to read.

In the past few years, I've not only been a crazy avid reader, I've also reviewed books- first at a blog named Leah's Good Reads and for the past two years at Good Books for the Journey. This year I'm doing something a little different. I'm combining my blogs and moving my book reviews here to As We Walk Along the Road.

Christian book reviews

"Why?" you may ask. The truth is that it's just too hard to keep up with two blogs. And most homeschool moms like to read, if you can find the time to. So I'm combining my two passions- homeschooling and reading- and moving my book reviews here.

Don't worry if you aren't a reader. My book reviews aren't going to show up in my main feed. Instead you can find the up there in the menu bar. See that word "Reviews"? Hover over it, and you'll see a menu for "Good Reads Book Reviews." If you love to read- and I hope you do- you can find all my book review there. (You can also type in the name of a book in my search bar to see if I have a review for it.)

So, there you go. If you love reading, there's more valuable content for you to look forward to. If you aren't a reader, don't worry. Your reading about all things homeschooling won't be interrupted.


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Now it's time for the Literacy Musings Monday Linkup! (There's also a giveaway you don't want to miss!)


Mary @Maryandering Creatively
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/ Instagram/Google+
Brandi @living between whimsy & reality
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Google+
Leah@As We Walk Along the Road
Blog/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram/Google+
Last Week's Top Clicked Post


Sky color book review

This book was super cute, and Carrie has some ideas to use for extending the book.

My Favorite Post of the Week


Gift ideas for families on the go

There are some awesome gift ideas for families who are on the road. Even though it's after Christmas now, you'll want to book mark this one for later.


Remember to check out other hosts' blogs to see which posts from last week were their favorites. Want to be the next to be featured! Just link up a post and if you are read the most, we will feature you. Also please make sure you link back to us so others will know about our link up and join in. We try to make it worth your while to linkup with us by promoting your posts across our social media networks. We also pin our most clicked and featured posts to our Pinterest Board each week!

Follow Mary Hill's board Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup on Pinterest.
 



Now, it is time to link up to the Literacy Musing Mondays hop!

LMM Linkup






Linkup Rules:

  1. Include a link back or the blog hop button linked to this hop on your posts.
  2. Link up the urls to your posts not to your blog.
  3. Please remember this is a family-friendly linkup. Although we believe in the right for adults to read whatever they want to read, we prefer to read wholesome posts that feature literature that edify and uplift families. We reserve the right to delete any posts that are not family friendly. We love all kinds of literature and genres including family-friendly inspirational romances, fantasy, or science fiction. We do not welcome any posts that feature excessive violence, sexual content, or any cursing. This rule also applies to book review posts that feature books that are not family-friendly. These posts will be deleted without notice to the blogger or explanation. While we believe in the right for all adults to read whatever they want, we feel our linkup is for family-friendly posts only. Thank you for understanding.
  4. We also want to be loving community by supporting one another. Please make a point to do this this week! Visit the two posts before yours and at least one other blogger's post of your choice! I want to see lots of clicks on everyone's posts. Remember it is also nice to follow them on their social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Follow your hosts and co-hosts on their social media.
  6. Tweet about the link up too.
 



Renew: 2017 Word of the Year

It's that time of year again. In the final week of the current year, people begin to think about...New Year's resolutions. And, you probably know as well as I do how New Year's resolutions work.

December 31- Write down all the resolutions in a brand new planner. Buy a new set of pens to record all the progress you make as you keep your New Year's resolutions.

January 1- So far, so good. Happily record how you've worked to keep your resolution today and smile because you're well on the way to keeping those resolutions.

January 20- The baby's sick and you spend all day playing nurse in between homeschooling and taking care of the other kids. You have a few minutes to think about all your resolutions and at least glance at the list. But not much progress is made today.

January 30- The baby is still sick. Two other kids are sick. The stove isn't working, so you're trying to cook meals in the microwave. Any thoughts of homeschooling have been thrown out the window because you have to make time for a doctor's appointment. You don't have time to breathe today, much less to open your handy, dandy planner and check on your New Year's resolutions. Maybe you'll have time when things slow down.

February 10- The whole family is finally well, and your husband was able to fix the stove. You have time to pull out your planner today, but when you see how much you've slacked off, you get really discouraged. You put the planner away without recording anything. You push the planner to the back of the shelf so that you can forget about it.

Word of the year- renew

Has it happened to you, friend? It's happened to me as well. I've even had years where I blogged about those resolutions, determined that if I checked in with readers every week or so with my progress that I would surely stick with them, right? Wrong.

So when I read about the concept of a word for the year a few years ago, I loved the idea.


Why a Word for the Year?

 
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