What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter’s Pinterest

What I Discovered on My Teen Daughter’s Pinterest

Recent conversation with my 14-year-old… Me: “What are you working on, Sweetie?” Her: “Oh, I’m just on Pinterest.” Me: “Really? What are you doing?” Her: “Just getting ideas” Doubts that hit my brain…. “Again? She’s always on Pinterest.” “Should I let her be on so much?” “Is she being productive?” “Is this helping her grow?”   (These is the same “in-my-head” conversations I had when she was younger and always had her nose in a book.) We’ve been teaching our 5 daughters to develop healthy tech habits. [Read 5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family] So, I needed to trust her. I bit my tongue, walked away and prayed, asking God to work in Julia if she was developing unhealthy habits. I reminded myself of … [Read more]

5 Benefits of a Paperless Homeschool

5 Benefits of a Paperless Homeschool

“Mommmmmmm the printer’s not working!” For some reason, that holler grates on my nerves. That is one of the wails I dislike more than anything, probably because I struggle with finding a solution. I see the documents in the queue, but it takes deleting the documents, shutting down the computer, and reprinting to correct it. I have a theory  though. I think the little minions inside the printer forget what they are supposed to be doing because ….we hardly ever use the printer anymore. We only print monthly chore charts and schedules to post on the fridge and an occasional math worksheet. You see, we have pretty much become a paperless homeschooling family. It’s not like we went all environmental and became paperless intentionally. It’s just that we … [Read more]

New & Improved Homeschool Unit Studies

New & Improved Homeschool Unit Studies

  What’s not to love about homeschool unit studies? You can choose topics that interest you and cover multiple subjects at once. They work great for families with a range of ages and learning styles. And unit studies lend themselves to a more experiential education with hands-on project-based activities. We’ve been homeschooling with unit studies for over 12 years. However, as much as I love unit studies, for the past few years, I’ve been disappointed with the format of traditional unit studies.  I need to gather and/or purchase lots of additional resources. I end up with tons of paper and projects cluttering my home when the study is done. Often the suggested projects seem like “busy work” and are not relevant to the way my kids learn. … [Read more]

Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask

Are Your Kids Wasting Time on Electronics? 3 Questions to Ask

Here we are, all home on a Sunday afternoon, most of us cozied up on the couch….and there are six screens glowing. Daddy’s researching products for a client, I’m writing a blog post, two girls are playing Minecraft together, two girls are watching YouTube and one girl is jamming to some tunes while she washes the dishes. Some people look at our family and think “They are on electronics all the time. They should be doing something more productive.” And, honestly, I think that myself sometimes and start doubting our unlimited tech time policy. But, my children are digital natives, and using electronic devices is a way of life for our family. We need to keep a balance between “plugged in” and “unplugged” time, helping the girls to … [Read more]

5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family

5 Tips for Healthy Tech Habits in Your Family

I am “that mom” You know, the one who wouldn’t feed her kids junk food when they were little.  I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to put something in your body, it should be worth it. It should be full of nutrients that will sustain you and help you grow. I did this in hopes that when my girls grew up, they would make good food choices (because they certainly aren’t going to be eating only at my table forever). I was also diligent about teaching them to make good reading choices when they were young. As a former English teacher, I was comfortable discussing the attributes of a good read. I exposed them to rich literature and guided them toward good book … [Read more]

A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World

A Mom’s Greatest Struggle in This Tech-Driven World

“They’re always sitting in front of a screen. That’s all they want to do. I’m tired of nagging them to get off. Things are so different than when I was a kid. I wish they would just play or read a book or do something unplugged.” Sound familiar? Those are the words in my head. And the conversation I have had with many of my friends. And the complaint I read about online. It’s a big issue for us moms, trying to figure out how to guide our kiddos’ media consumption and electronics usage. And to balance the good of technology with the bad. Living in a tech-driven world is not all evil, so why do we struggle so much with our kids being “plugged … [Read more]

5 Ways to Create a Timeline Online

5 Ways to Create a Timeline Online

Timelines….a common discussion topic in the homeschool community. So many popular homeschool methods and curricula encourage timeline creation, so most likely it is part of your home learning. I was going to let you know all the wonderful things about using timelines, but realized some other bloggers have said it better than I can. Check out Why You Should Make Time for Timelines @ The Unlikely Homeschool or Why Timelines Matter When Teaching History @ Our Journey Westward. I am a history lover, organization freak , and visual learner, so I pretty much geek out over timelines. To add history to our unit studies, our family has used multiple methods over the years to create timelines. We’ve done the a drown-yourself-in-paper timeline notebook, the large hide-it-under-the-bed posterboard and the take-over-a-wall-in-your-home timeline … [Read more]

15 Projects Homeschoolers Can Create With Canva

15 Projects Homeschoolers Can Create With Canva

I don’t think anyone can argue that we live in a visual world.  90% of the information sent to our brains is visual, and we retain 80% of what we see as compared to 20% of what we just read or 10% of what we hear. [Check out this infographic] And this doesn’t just apply to adults, my homeschoolin’ momma friend. Your kiddos respond to visual information the same way, if not more. Now combine this with the fact that 21st century learners need to apply what they learn. They want to do something with the information they take in, putting the knowledge into action. [Related post: What Homeschoolers Don’t Know & What They Need] So, why not add more visual design projects into your homeschool lesson plans? … [Read more]

8 Homeschool Webtools for an Aspiring Designer

8 Homeschool Webtools for an Aspiring Designer

Do you have an aspiring designer at home? A child who… Is always itching to make stuff Likes things “just so” Gets  excited about art or building supplies Carries around a notebook just in case they see anything they need to draw Sees shapes in everything Uses color names like “coral” and “salmon” instead of “orange” Likes to take things apart to figure out how they work Explains things in pictures     Whether it be graphic design or industrial design….fashion design or interior design….it is up to you, my homeschoolin’ momma friend, to nurture their interest. You don’t need to be a design expert to guide your child.  In fact, it’s OK if you don’t have the slightest clue. You just need to direct … [Read more]

What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need)

What Homeschoolers Don’t Know (& what they need)

Have you ever seen the “Kids React to Technology” Youtube video series? A narrator gives kids a rotary phone or a walkman or an old computer, and the kids need to figure out what it is and how to use it. I relate to these videos so much more than my girls do.They just sit there wondering “what’s so funny?”…since they don’t know what the items are either. (I’ll show you an episode at the end of this post. But promise you won’t watch  until after you read this, or else you will get sucked into YouTube land and I’ll never see you again. I know you too well, my homeschooling mama friend.) But, even without watching the Youtube, I’m sure you’ll agree that technology … [Read more]