Great Resources for Homeschooling

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So, you are thinking about homeschooling next year. That’s awesome! You may be wondering, “Where do I start?”

I found it helpful to find a few trusted sources for information. Start out with just a couple of things to investigate. It can be overwhelming if you try to tackle it all at once. After you have answers for those couple of questions, then pick a couple of more to research. Pretty soon you will be a pro and ready to go! Here are a few great resources to help you get started.

Are you looking for curriculum? Cathy Duffy Reviews is a good resource with a summary of each of her top picks. She also has a book called How to Choose Homeschool Curriculum that would be worth the investment since it covers setting goals, types of learners, and  philosophies of education.

Two great companies from which to buy homeschool books/ curriculum are:

Join a Facebook Group and/or a support group. There are both secular and Christian groups. Facebook groups are very helpful, but I liked talking and meeting up with people. People are more than happy to help you. If you have any questions that I can help you with, comment below.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~


Multisensory Learning

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Did you know that we all remember and learn better if we have information presented when it involves our senses?  I think about when I am learning something new (like gardening) I like to read a description of the plant and growing conditions, and see pictures of it. If there is a video about the care of it then I like to watch it which involves both seeing and hearing. The final step in the learning process is to purchase the plant and care for it. (hands-on) Sometimes that’s more multisensory than I want!

Do you have a child who just can’t seem to get a concept? You have gone over the example in the text several times. So, instead of just reading the directions and explanations one- more- time, try doing something else, get the senses invloved. For instance, instead of textbooks and worksheets see if you can…

  • watch /take notes on an educational video on the subject
  • discuss the video that was viewed
  •  read library books on the topic
  • go on a field trip if appropriate
  • talk to someone who understands the topic and might be able to give a different perspective
  •  go on to another topic and come back to it a while later
  •  have your child draw pictures of what they understand this far
  • create a comic book about the topic
  • listen to an audible version if possible
  • give your child an opportunity to vent (Write a nasty letter to fractions, geography, etc. Just remind them that what is written on the paper only applies to inanimate objects. 🙂 )
  • Act out the topic if possible. Years ago I had a student that did not understand Shakespeare so the whole family did a reader’s theater and even acted out particularly difficult scenes he was struggling to understand.
  • Create a  video, PowerPoint, or a tri-fold board If you are reading about the Battle at Vicksburg, find maps of the battle; go on Google to see the battlefield; draw the area and the battle plan, etc.
  • Use Post-It Notes and break down the topic into smaller pieces. Addition- Point 1- Each number of objects is represented by a number. (2 candy bars or small candies) and (2 people). Point 2- You can add these together to see how many you have in total. Ask your child what they think the number will be. Point 3: Count them (2 candy bars or small candies ) and (2 people) and determine if the answer given was correct. Point 4: Eat the candy bar or small candies if the answer was correct. If not, cut the candy bar in smaller pieces or use more small candies for extra examples.

I know there are other ideas, but I hope this will give you some other options for teaching. If you care to share I’d love for you to comment.


Have a great week! ~ Lisa ~ 



Fake Snow for Indoor Days



Maybe winter hasn’t had a lot of snow for your children to play in this year. Maybe you live in a climate where there is never snow. Well, I have a fun solution for you. I made this fake snow recipe that I found on the internet for my granddaughter and she loved it! It only requires 2 ingredients and you probably can do it as soon as you finish reading this post!

  • 1 box of baking soda
  • 1 can of shaving cream (regular)

Add shaving cream little by little until you get the consistency that you like. If you add too much then you will need to add more baking soda.

While it doesn’t stick together like snow would, it is still a lot of fun! I am going over weekly to do activities with EJ and we made this three weeks ago. She has played with it for hours and asks for it every time I am at their house.  We had plastic googly eyes and made snowmen and snowgirls with small mounds of the snow. Bury some objects in it for a treasure hunt (a nickel, a pen cap, a paper clip, etc.).

Not only will little ones enjoy playing with it, but so will big kids. The texture is very interesting and fun to pick up and pretend like it is “snowing”. Yes, I played in it almost as much as my granddaughter. lol

Play area: You can let your children play with it inside of a baking tray or a rectangular plastic container. Be sure to wash hands when finished.

Storage: It can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container until it dries out or your child loses interest. 🙂


Completing the Home Education Notification Form

I thought this worth posting since school is just around the corner.

Schoolmarm Ohio

photoIt’s nearly time for school to begin! You may be wondering, “How do I  let the school know I am going to homeschool?”

In order to homeschool here in the great state of Ohio, you must submit the necessary paperwork in order for your child(ren) to be excused from compulsory attendance. The notification form can seem a bit intimidating, but once you have gone through this step-by-step explanation you will realize it wasn’t too difficult after all. Please have the Ohio Home Education NOTIFICATION FORM  in front of you for reference. This is not legal advice- please contact HSLDA or a state/local homeschool organization if you have questions.

A. This is just the introduction- no need to put anything here.

(1) Fill in the upcoming school year- Write the current school year on the blank.

(2) Write your name and address. There is no need for you to…

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To Assess or Not

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Spring is finally here and that means we as home school parents in Ohio must have some type of academic evaluation done for each of our children if we are going to continue to homeschool for next year.

“Should  I have my student assessed or should I have them take a standardized test ?” is a question I hear quite often from home school mothers. There are many advantages to a portfolio review (also known as a narrative assessment). Here are some reasons to consider:

  • This is a terrific way of reflecting on all the work you and your student did over the course of the academic year. It causes you to evaluate your curriculum and your schedule and decide what worked well and what needs to be changed for the upcoming year.
  • It is a marvelous option for younger and older students alike. Younger students may not be reading at an independent level that is required for testing, while older students just don’t want to take one-more-test!
  • Alternate studies You may have used a curriculum that would not be covered on the standardized test such as in the area of history. You may have used a curriculum that concentrated upon ancient history instead of doing American history like all the rest of the children on your block. That is the beauty of homeschooling!
  • Your child is an individual. Nationally normed tests do not allow for any differences. Questions may be interpreted differently by your child and because they did not what was being asked they get it wrong. It’s difficult to watch a student ask you about a test question and knowing you could clarify their misinterpretation of it, but not being allowed to do so under the testing conditions. 
  • Feedback from a certified teacher Test results only confirm what you know are strengths and weaknesses of your student. You might have a question or concern about your child. Narrative assessments can provide you with an opportunity to ask me, a certified teacher, for ideas and resources to help your student. I can also provide encouragement with areas of strength and progress your child has made. We can also discuss areas where we see your student will want to pursue for the coming year. 

If you are a resident of Ohio this fulfills the requirement in order to continue to school your children for the upcoming year.

I believe in you and your role as a teacher. I  believe in homeschooling and the opportunities we each have to teach our children according to their unique ability and gifting. Please contact me if you are in need of a teacher to review your student’s work. 

Have a great week! ~Lisa~