Posted in Homeschool Information, Things to Do, Places to Go

I Hope You Dance in Your Homeschool

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home.

I have dance on my mind. For dancers, this is usually competition season. My daughter is usually preparing for exams, recitals, and perhaps a competition or two at this time of year. I got in on a competition myself back in 2016 and competed in a big studio number on stage with my daughter. Here we are backstage at the competition:

dance in your homeschool

When did you last dance with your children? Whether you are a trained dancer or can only step side-to-side to the music, you can include dance in your homeschool day. There are many amazing benefits to dance! It’s also an easy way to add physical education inside the home, especially on rainy or snowy days when you don’t want to go for a walk.

Here are some ideas for having fun with dance in your homeschool.

Moving to the Music

Pop some orchestral music on and hand your each person in your family a scarf to move with to the music. You can throw the scarf, sway with the scarf, make circles with the scarf, or anything the music moves you to do. The William Tell Overture finale is excellent for this, as is Holst’s The Planets, or even your favourite movie soundtrack. This is especially fun with young children.

Enjoy Historical Dance in Your Homeschool

How did people dance from the historical period you’re studying? If you’re studying the 17th or 18th century, try a Minuet. If you’re studying Modern times, have some fun with the twist, the polka, or the bunny hop! Or put on some music from your youth and show your children how you used to tear up the dance floor in your day.

dance in your homeschool
Enjoying Colonial Dance at the Fortress of Louisbourg

Cultural Dance in Your Homeschool

Are you studying a different culture? Learn the Mexican Hat Dance if you’re studying Mexico (here’s a fun way to learn the Mexican hat dance with young children), or some Indian Bollywood to go along with your studies of India.

dance in your homeschool
Bollywood Dance at Disney World

Dance In Your Homeschool with Gaming Consoles

Do you have a Wii U or a Switch? Enjoy “Just Dance” or the Wii or Switch Fit. Parents can dance too, it’s a hoot and it’s great exercise! (We like to pull Just Dance out for birthday parties and often the parents will dance in the background to some of their favourites while the children play).

Learn a Specific Style of Dance in Your Homeschool

Do you or your children want to explore a specific style of dance? Here are some of our favourites and some online resources.

Breakdance

Check out BreakSpace NS on Instagram, where my daughter and other bboys and bgirls have been sharing some quick, easy beginner tutorials. And check out VincaniTV on YouTube which offers free breakdance tutorials. My daughter says BBoy Vincanity has been around for a long time and is the introduction to the art for many young breakers.

Tap Dance

dance in your homeschool - kimberly tap dancing

Check out this tap visual dictionary website. Click on the links and a video will show you how to do each step, starting with the easiest ones and progressing in difficulty. And be sure to join the amazing Debbie Allen on Instagram as she teaches free tap classes during the pandemic crisis.

Tap has always been my favourite – this photo is me at age 16.

Ballet

Here is a great ballet site, The American Ballet Theatre Ballet Dictionary which has definitions and photos for everything ballet.

Jazz

Jazz is one of my daughter’s favourite dance styles. She’s pictured at left, dancing in her Jazz Initiative classes. Check out The Building Blocks of Jazz on Bluprint. It’s absolutely free until April 16, 2020.

More Dance in Your Homeschool Resources

For a roundup of free online classes available during the pandemic crisis, check out Dancing Alone Together on Instagram.

Whatever the style of dance you’re interested in, there are videos and books available at the library (and on their website) or YouTube videos online. And Bluprint offers a number of online dance classes (which are free until April 16, 2020). Of course, nothing can compare to lessons at a terrific, local dance studio, whether it’s for your children, yourself, or both. Enjoy classes at the studio then have fun practising daily as part of your homeschool day (once the pandemic crisis is over)!

“I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean.
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens.
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…
I hope you dance,
I hope you dance.”

~ from “I Hope You Dance” – song by Lee Ann Womack


Do you dance in your homeschool? What online resources are you enjoying? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in April 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information

Fun Schooling with the Abacus

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home.

Did you know that not only can an abacus help a child with math, but it can also make learning fun? What is an abacus? Do you imagine one of these?

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That’s more of a toy and can’t be effectively used for calculations any more complex than addition and subtraction. An abacus is an ancient calculator that has been used for thousands of years. It is still in use today, especially in Asia and the Middle East. The word abacus originally comes from the Greek word abax for “counting board”. The Greeks used boards with sand on them to draw out their equations. The Romans used boards with grooves and beads or rocks. The abacus we are more familiar with originated in Asia.

Did you know the abacus, especially the soroban, can be used not only for addition and subtraction, but also multiplication, division, and also square roots? In 1946, a person using the soroban outperformed an electric calculating machine! The abacus can be a useful tool in your homeschool. It is visual and tactile, and its usage can be transferred to mental math easily. Once a child has done calculations repeatedly using the abacus, they can start to visualize them without using the abacus – math calculations can become a mental picture.

The Chinese abacus has 7 beads on each rod, with 2 on the top and 5 on the bottom, separated by one horizontal beam.

stock image courtesy of catwoman1
stock image courtesy of catwoman1

The Japanese abacus is called a soroban and has 5 beads on each rod, with only one on the top and 4 on the bottom, divided by one horizontal beam (the reckoning bar). It has at least 9 rods, and the number of rods is always an odd number.

Each abacus is set to zero when all of the beads above the bar are up (not in contact with the reckoning bar) and all the beads below the bar are down (not in contact with the reckoning bar). The units rods on the Japanese abacus are the rods with the dots on them. The units rod on the Chinese abacus is the one on the far right. For either abacus, on the units rod, if you raise one bead below the bar up to the reckoning bar, that represents 1. Two raised up to the reckoning bar represents 2 and so on. A bead above the bar lowered to the reckoning bar represents 5. To the left of the units rod, you will have the tens. A bead above the bar lowered to the reckoning bar in the tens rod represents 50. Two beads below the bar raised up to the reckoning bar represent 20, three represent 30, and so on. On the soroban, you can also show decimal places, to the right of any units rod.

Your child can make an abacus out of Popsicle sticks! Here’s a great how-to make a Chinese abacus at Simple Kids Crafts.  Consider adjusting the directions to make a Japanese soroban instead, because it’s easier to use and handle.

Once you have made or bought your own abacus, you can start using it with your children to make homeschool math fun! Here is an article on How to Learn Math with an Abacus.  (Please note they are using a Chinese abacus in the article, but you can easily follow the steps with a soroban as well.) Your children will have fun clicking those beads for a change instead of the usual pencil and paper. It sure beats counting on your fingers!

Start with addition and subtraction and then give multiplication and division a try. You may find your child memorizing the patterns each number makes. Once this starts happening, they may be able to use the abacus in their mind. Here is a handy, step-by step abacus lesson plan designed for Grades 4 to 6, complete with worksheets. (Please note it’s on the wayback machine since PBS has taken it down from its website, but you can still download the worksheets).

If you would prefer your child learn about the abacus and mental math from someone else, you could try a UCMAS centre. UCMAS has locations all over the world and their programs are for ages 4 and up. Unfortunately, the only one in Canada at this time is in Mississauga.

Are you having fun schooling with the abacus and trying one out or making one in your homeschool! Let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in April 2013 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Homeschool Information, Resources

Spelling Fun in Your Homeschool

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.

Spelling doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. Spelling can be fun! Toss those work sheets and spelling tests aside and give some of these resources a try for spelling fun in your homeschool. Spelling is important. Because spell check doesn’t catch everything!

SpellQuizzer

SpellQuizzer is great for any age, especially if your child loves to type and hates to print or write. Drill spelling words on the computer by recording the words (and a sample sentence or definition for your child), OR let your spouse or a special guest do the recording for even more fun. My daughter used to adore being a special guest for her big brother’s spelling words. You can also use it to drill vocabulary words, foreign language words, and more! Learn more, check out our SpellQuizzer review and get your free 30-day trial here.

The Homophone Machine

Homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently) are fun to learn about and they’re even more fun with the free online homophone lesson. Check out the free homophone machine at the bottom of the page! Your elementary age child will enjoy typing in words and phrases and seeing all the homophones appear. Try all the wonderful ideas and games suggested on the page for even more spelling fun.

Board Games for Spelling Fun

Board games play a big part in our everyday homeschool. Of course, Scrabble can be a great help to practise spelling. But there are many more games for spelling fun, such as Pick Two (which I adore) or Boggle. What’s your favourite?

Rummy Roots for Spelling Fun

Card games can add fun to your homeschool day, too! We’ve owned and used the Rummy Roots card game for many years. It is recommended in The Well-Trained Mind. We find it a terrific help for spelling words with Latin roots, studying Latin, and expanding vocabulary.

At first, when our kids were younger, we used it as a matching card game – simply matching Latin/Greek roots to their English definitions. Then we began playing the game properly – making compound words out of the various Latin and Greek roots, at first with two roots, and then with two or more. Recommended for ages eight to adult, I find anyone who reads well can play it.

Spelling Bees and Spelling Bee Resources

I wish I could have participated in more spelling bees when I was a child – I only had the chance to enjoy one spelling bee in my Grade 4 classroom. My son enjoyed competing in spelling bees when he was elementary school age, although I don’t think he ever quite enjoyed spelling as much as I did.

Spelling bees aren’t as proliferous as they once were, but they are still around. Check out your nearest spelling bee and use their resources to study! Start studying now and consider entering the Spelling Bee of Canada in future. Even if your child doesn’t want to compete in a spelling bee, you can join the Scripps Spelling Bee Word Club for free spelling bee materials!

To practise, let the child who just can’t stop moving jump rope, bounce on an exercise ball, or jump on a mini trampoline for some extra fun while they spell. The spelling words will even stick in their brain better with the exercise!

Learning to Spell for Little Ones

There are many enjoyable resources available for your little ones who are learning to read and spell. My daughter thoroughly enjoyed The Phonics Road to Spelling and Reading. Spelling rules are so easy to remember when sung to the well-known tunes included in the program as “Rule Tunes.” And there are many more spelling games, including Bingo.

And check out the JingleSpells spelling songs CD by Talking Fingers. It includes 20 incredibly well done tunes. They’re catchy and fun to sing along with, including everything from country to rock.

Are you making spelling fun in your homeschool? What resource makes it fun for you? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in April 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information

Fun Schooling History

During week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Most of the ideas can be enjoyed now, but a few you can look forward to once things return to normal.

History is often the dry, dreaded class in a public school setting, but it doesn’t have to be in your homeschool! Here are some tips for fun schooling history in your homeschool.

Eat Through History

What did the Vikings eat? How about the Ancient Romans? What were popular dishes in the Medieval period? Many of these dishes are still eaten today in different parts of the world.

Have some fun in the kitchen with recipes from a book such as the Usborne Children’s World Cookbook, or look for recipes online. You may even find some of your historical dishes become family favourites! One of our favourites is a Viking fish dish we found on the Parks Canada site.

Include Primary Source Material

There is nothing like reading first-hand, personal accounts of wars and different times in history – using primary sources. These first-hand accounts can be so exciting, or at the very least eye-opening! Here is a great collection of primary source material from different periods in world history.

Read Historical Fiction

Historical fiction can bring history alive! While historical fiction isn’t all true, generally the setting and way of life will paint a good picture of the time period in a compelling way. The Book of Negroes is an excellent example (for older teens). I thoroughly enjoyed reading it myself and learned so much about slavery in the U.S. and Canada that I hadn’t known about before! Once you read the book, watch the miniseries. It was filmed here in Nova Scotia!

Enjoy Historical Arts, Crafts & Trades

There are so many arts, crafts, and trades that have been enjoyed over the centuries by different cultures around the world. Many of them are simple and can be done with items you already have around your home, such as the fibre arts. You may even be able to find local tradesman and artisans that will let your child try a historical art, such as glass blowing or working at the forge, like my son is doing here:

Fun Schooling history

History Through Song and Music Videos

It is so much fun to learn history through music! There are many terrific audios available to learn from and sing along to, such as the History Songs from Audio Memory and the Presidents’ Rap and the Prime Ministers of Canada from Sara Jordan. Bring them with you in the car for some “car schooling” fun. I learned more about our Canadian Prime Ministers  by listening to that one CD than in all my years of public school!

You can find a great example of fun music videos that teach all about history on the “historyteachers” channel on Youtube – for example, learn all about Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface!

History Dress Up Time!

Have your children dress up like a famous figure you have been studying. They can memorize and recite a speech or piece of writing that the famous person is most noted for. You can make it simple and use clothes or sheets you already have around the house, or teach sewing and make more elabourate costumes (check out Bluprint for some sewing help). Some heritage sites offer a chance to dress up, such as the Fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton:

fun schooling history

Integrated Learning

Another way to keep history interesting, is to study it in context. It doesn’t have to be a separate subject. Learn the relevant geography along with the history. Look at old historical maps and compare with present day maps. These black line maps to print out and label are a great resource. You may even want to use a unit study or an integrated curriculum such as Tapestry of Grace.

History doesn’t have to be boring! How do you make history fun in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in May 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information, Resources

Finding the Fun in Your Homeschool Day

As we head into week 3 of our new normal amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m bringing you 5 days of fun schooling ideas for your home. Enjoy!

Homeschool fun, for me, isn’t only the subjects or activities you and your children find fun (such as fibre arts for art class), it’s also finding the fun in your homeschool day. This can be particularly important as you’re winding down your homeschool year and everyone wants to be done!

Finding the Fun in Your Homeschool Day

How do you find the fun? Part of it is having the right state of mind. Wake up determined that you’ll have fun today! The fun may happen between bouts of sibling bickering or whining about math – finding the fun doesn’t mean it will be a perfect day, but try to find some moments to enjoy!

Easy, Fun Ideas

  • Are you working on spelling today? Incorporate some phys. ed. with your child’s spelling and have them jump rope or jump on a mini trampoline while spelling out “e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e, exercise”!
  • Is it read aloud time? Do you usually read aloud to your children yourself? How about taking turns instead? Whoever isn’t reading can work on some of those fibre arts projects or other handiwork.
  • Are your children studying their multiplication tables? Sing them or rap them today instead! If you don’t feel comfortable making up your own song or rap, let the children try (you might be surprised to find out how easily coming up with lyrics can be), or use Audio Memories if you like.
  • Is it time for penmanship? How about posting big pieces of newsprint on the wall and letting the children paint their copywork with paint and a paintbrush. Or if you have a writing tablet for your computer or gaming console, let them write it on the tablet (it may not be nearly as legible, but it is fun)!
  • Are you reading the Bible today? Don’t just read it – act it out! Act out Moses’ confrontation with Pharaoh, or create a skit depicting the love passage from Corinthians (Love is Patient, Love is Kind).
  • Get outside for science!
    • Studying plants? Go look at some!
    • The sky? Study at night – lay outside on a blanket and look up.
    • Simple machines in physics? Build some using things in your yard.
  • Are you doing some art today? Turn on some beautiful music while you do your lesson, maybe some Mozart or Beethoven, or even something to sing along to while you draw.
  • Are your children studying logic/critical thinking? Watch some commercials and point out the logical fallacies to each other – commercials by political candidates are extremely entertaining for this exercise!
  • How about a theme for the day?
    • Backwards Day: Have breakfast for supper, walk backwards, dress backwards, start with what you usually end your homeschooling day with.
    • Pyjama Day: No getting dressed today!
    • Silly Hat Day: Start the day by making silly hats and then wear them the rest of the day.

The possibilities are endless! I challenge you to find the fun with your children this week! What did you do? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in May 2018 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Posted in Homeschool Information

A Positive Homeschool News Story

It’s a positive homeschool news story, and it’s about my family homeschooling our daughter through high school especially! Yay! A big thank you to CTV News Atlantic, especially Maria Panopalis and Cory McGraw for doing a beautiful job on our homeschool story.

A Big Day

I got the call on Wednesday requesting an interview. Then on Thursday, we met them at the Conservatory School of Dance since my daughter had “Dance History” class that morning (part of her Professional Training Program). Cory filmed my daughter dancing part of her self-choreographed dance for Taking Steps to Fly (happening this Sunday at the Dalhousie Student Union building). And Maria interviewed us both. It was a terrific experience, especially for my daughter, who plans to train in dance post-secondary and pursue a professional dance career.

You can watch the video story, A Teenage Perspective on Homeschooling here:

Be sure to check out our positive homeschool news story in print as well. Maria covered some different aspects of the interview entirely in the print version, which is terrific as the two together give a better picture of how we homeschool high school. Check it out here, A Lesson in Homeschooling: a Smart Move for a Halifax Family.

What’s Next?

It’s been a busy time for my daughter. Last weekend she appeared as Drizella in the Cinderella ballet at the Spatz Theatre. For Taking Steps to Fly this weekend, she has prepared two pieces of choreography for adjudication – one the solo you see above and the other a trio. Next month, as mentioned in the news story, she will be starting rehearsals for Billy Elliot at the Neptune Theatre. She is a ballet girl. It’s so exciting as it’s been a while since she’s been in a musical and this is her first gig in a professional theatre.

What did you think of the story? Please let me know in the comments below!


Photo credit: Cory McGraw, CTV News Atlantic

Posted in Homeschool Events, Homeschool Information

2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference Feb 5-11

The 2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference starts this Wednesday! It is a 7-day online event featuring knowledgeable speakers, a vendor hall, opportunities to interact with other attendees, fun, and giveaways! The best part is that you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home (or pay for gas or travel ). It is free to attend live. Plus you can grab a lifetime pass for only $17 (available at this price until Feb 11) so you don’t miss a thing.

Speakers and Sessions

The 2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference features speakers who are homeschooling moms, business owners, and from homeschool and educational organizations. Learn from speakers such as Lisa Marie Fletcher (The Canadian Homeschooler), Cori Dean (Maple Tree Publications), Laurie Beesting (Bridge the Gap Math), Lisa Knight (HSLDA Canada), and more! There are sessions for parents, youth, and kids, so it’s for the whole family! Some sessions are even in French. Topics include homeschooling as a single parent, planning your curriculum, starting your own business (for youth), learning the time tables, learning a second language, stars and constellations (for kids), and more.

Vendor Hall

Visit some of your favourite homeschool vendors and learn about fantastic new ones in the vendor hall! Check out Oak Meadow, The Learning House, Usborne Books, HSLDA, Classical Education Books, Crayola Teachers and more! You’ll get a goodie bag from the vendors full of coupons and special offers!

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t miss this amazing conference. Register for the 2020 Canadian Homeschool Conference now! Choose free Live Conference Access for access until February 11th. OR banish the fear of missing out and get Lifetime Access for only $17 for the whole family.

Get Live Conference Access or Lifetime Access here. See you at the conference! I’m looking forward to it!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information

Save Money on Printing Costs in Your Homeschool

Printing out your digital curricula, assignments, eBooks, planners, and research for your homeschool can add up quickly. And if you’re like me, you’d rather spend more money on curricula than on printing. Here are some tricks and tips to help you save money on printing costs in your homeschool.

Change Print Settings

In your printer’s settings, choose “fast” mode, lowering the quality of the print and using less in. It’s still readable enough for your kids to complete their homeschool work.

Use Less Paper

Besides printing on both sides of the paper (which, let’s face it, can be difficult or even impossible on some printers), you can choose to print two to four “pages per sheet.” This can be an especially good choice for reading material.

Use a Different Font

Not all fonts are created equal – some use more ink than others. To use the least ink possible, download the Ecofont font.

Print a Webpage without the Ads

If you’re printing out a web page, use the Print What You Like website. It’s a free service that eliminates ads and creates a printer-friendly version of the page that saves on ink and paper.

Fool the Printer

When the printer tells you it’s empty, take out the ink cartridge and put it back in again. If it’s a laser printer, give it a good shake first. Of course, this won’t work forever, but it can often let you eke out a few more printouts.

Don’t Print

Rethink printing. Do you really need to print it? Your could fill out the answers to worksheets on a tablet with Adobe Acrobat Reader or a similar free app. And eBooks can be read on a tablet, reader, or laptop. There are many benefits of a paperless homeschool, including saving money and space and reducing clutter!

Buy Brand Compatible Ink Cartridges

The Staples store offers Staples brand ink cartridges that cost less and are designed to be used for each specific brand and style printer.

Change your Printer

Get a new printer, such as a laser printer, which use toner cartridges instead of ink. Or banish cartridges forever with an EcoTank printer. These printers have tanks that you refill instead of cartridges – the refills save you about 80 percent on the cost of ink. EcoTank printers come with enough ink to last about 2 years (5200 colour or 6500 black and white pages). We need a new printer and I’m seriously considering an EcoTank. I used to refill printer cartridges myself, by boring a hole in them and using a refill kit, but it was a real hassle and doesn’t work with some cartridge brands.

Do you have more tips to save money on printing costs in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below.

If you’d like more real-life, money-saving strategies from people who know what it’s like to live in expensive areas, have large families, and want to enjoy the little extras (even on a tight budget), then check out the Master Your Money Super Bundle! You’ll get:

  • 12 eBooks
  • 11 eCourses
  • 12 videos
  • 7 printables & workbooks (that you can use the above tricks to print out affordably!)
  • Plus bonuses! (Right now, I’m checking out my two months of free access to WalletWin Academy)

The Master Your Money Super Bundle ends April 1st, 2019. Get help paying off debt, budgeting like a boss, and reaching your financial goals now! Learn more about the Master Your Money Super Bundle here.

What's inside the Master Your Money Super Bundle! Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Events, Homeschool Information

2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference Feb 6-11

The 2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference starts this Wednesday! It is a six-day online event featuring knowledgeable speakers, a vendor hall, opportunities to interact with other attendees, fun, and giveaways! The best part is that you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home (or pay for gas or other travel expenses). It is free to attend live. Plus you can grab a lifetime pass so you don’t miss a thing.

Speakers and Sessions

The 2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference features a variety of speakers, from homeschooling moms to business owners and organizations in the homeschool and education realm. Speakers include Lisa Marie Fletcher (The Canadian Homeschooler), Kathleen Cotter Lawler (RightStart Math), Dr. Lisa Roman-Dwyer (Social Worker and Therapist), and more! There are sessions for parents, youth, and kids – something for the whole family! Sessions include topics such as teaching kids to cook, special needs, unschooling, Google maps (for kids), story writing (for youth), and more.

Vendor Hall

Visit with some of your favourite homeschooling vendors and learn about some fantastic new ones in the vendor hall! Check out The Learning House, Usborne Books, HSLDA, Tree of Life, Crayola Teachers and more! You’ll get a goodie bag from the vendors full of coupons and special offers!

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t miss this amazing conference. Register for the 2019 Canadian Homeschool Conference now! Choose free Live Conference Access for access until February 12th. OR banish the fear of missing out and get Lifetime Access for only $35 for the whole family.

Get Live Conference Access or Lifetime Access here. See you at the conference! I’m looking forward to it!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may make a few bucks to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia. Thanks for your support!

Posted in Homeschool Information

The Key to Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

It’s the time of year when homeschool parents typically experience burnout. So, I’ve been thinking about the key to avoiding homeschool burnout this week. As I chatted with my husband one day, I realized that, for me, “keeping fresh” centres around one thing – one of the things that I consider to be a wonderful advantage that we have as homeschoolers – Flexibility.

I love to take advantage of our flexibility as homeschoolers!

Flexibility with …

Our Homeschool Day

I realized early on, from chatting with many homeschoolers at first and then through working with my son while my daughter was a toddler, that keeping traditional school day hours isn’t necessary when homeschooling. We can get so much done in merely a few hours, leaving time for all of us to enjoy interests and pursuits together or separately – and not feeling burnt out because we still get down-time, even though we participate in many outside activities.

I also have never worried about what time my children get up in the morning. When they were younger, my daughter slept in until 10am and my son was up by 7am at the latest. As they got older, and approached the teen years, they both started to sleep in until around 10am or even until closer to noon. They’ve always been able to go to sleep and wake as their body rhythms dictate and I am so glad that we have been able to accommodate that in our homeschool.

At age 15 and 20 now, they are still easily able to get up on their own when they need to go to an early dance class or work respectively. Not fighting my kids over sleep for all these years has definitely helped us all keep less stressed.

Field Trips

At times, we find out about an activity that would make a great field trip at the last minute. So, we simply drop everything and go! Sometimes I can tell we need a change of venue and dropping everything and going on a field trip is exactly what we need. Instead of a field trip, a good change of pace can also be as simple as a walk or relocating to finish up homeschool work outside.

Scheduling Homeschool Breaks

I can feel when I need a break from homeschool or my child needs a break, or all of us need a break! I’ve always liked making the announcement, “Guess what, no school today,” or “Guess what, no school this week.” There are so many things we are interested in doing that we are rarely bored – from fibre arts like knitting, to drawing, to writing, reading, or relaxing and playing some video games. There is plenty to do and enjoy.

Curricula

A wise homeschooler I know once said that you should never be a slave to curriculum, it should be your slave. If I want to cover a subject a different way for a time, I do. For instance, when studying the World Wars, we’re likely to play the board game, “Axis & Allies” to learn about it. We love using board games as much as possible in our homeschool (and puppet shows when my kids were younger)! I also don’t worry if we leave things out of the curriculum – with Tapestry of Grace (which we often use as our core curriculum) that is expected anyway, as you can’t possible cover everything in it; it’s like a buffet of options

You Can Be Successful at Avoiding Homeschool Burnout

Acknowledge that you and your kids all need a break sometimes. Remain flexible so you can enjoy all those unexpected moments that come up and can enjoy your children while you homeschool.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Please note: This article was originally published in January 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.