You are here

Practical Helps

Math and the Young Child

Because I love math (and majored in it), it was my favorite subject to teach. Now that all my kids are grown and my homeschooling days have passed, I really miss teaching math, especially algebra. One of the reasons that I chose to homeschool was that it provided the freedom to tailor the education of my children around their unique interests, abilities and the family’s priorities. When homeschooling parents adopt the institutional approach to education, they miss out on so many of the beauties of homeschooling. If you are going to homeschool, take advantage of its advantages.

Make Your Priorities a Part of Your Reality

It is probably not hyperbole to say that there is one thing that has transformed our homeschool in the past year. A simple 30-45 minutes each day revolutionizes our perspective. It provides the framework for my ultimate goal in education: raising people who believe what is true, honor what is noble, stand uncompromisingly for what is just, keep their desires pure, love things that are lovely and relish those things that are praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). As we resume our intellectual endeavors this fall, it is a thing that lends great joy to this crazy homeschool life.

Ten Things My Personal Trainer Taught Me about Homeschooling

Self-doubt swam through my mind as I climbed the steps to the workout floor of my local fitness center. Would I be able to handle this? Could I do it? Would I throw up? After spending the summer dealing with an ankle injury, surgery to fix it and then recovery, I honestly felt like a slug. I knew it was time to exercise regularly, but I was afraid to do it on my own and re-injure myself. During a brave moment, I casually mentioned to my husband, Bill, that I was interested in receiving personal training sessions for my birthday in September.

How to Study Science as Leonardo da Vinci

What do Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Thomas Jefferson and John D. Rockefeller have in common? Not all of these individuals were professional scientists, but all of them used the same simple tool of scientific inquiry to pursue their passions: a notebook.

Leonardo da Vinci’s scientific notebook is perhaps the most famous. The Renaissance artist’s “Codex Arundel” was handwritten in Italian and features mirror writing (legible only when held up to a mirror), diagrams of the human body and sketches for flying machines, catapults and other devices.i

How to Give Yourself a Scholarship

One February morning a few years ago, I stood in my son’s bedroom looking at his Apologia biology textbook. He had been diligently working his way chapter by chapter through the book, and I was preparing to quiz him on the vocabulary and end of chapter review questions. “This is such a thorough course,” I thought to myself. “It’s too bad that he’ll have to learn it all over again in a few years when he goes off to college.”

Are You Considering Military Service?

Spring is the time to take action if a home-educated child is interested in a military academy nomination or a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship leading to a commission as a military officer. Note that spring is specifically time to take action, not just time to prepare.

Clearing Up Testing Misconceptions

As someone who deals daily with questions and concerns about testing homeschoolers, I have encountered a number of misconceptions and some erroneous information concerning testing of homeschoolers. I hope that this article will clear up some of these misunderstandings for the homeschool teacher!

What I Wish I’d Known—about Homeschooling

My son Michael wasn’t all that thrilled to be homeschooled the first year we started. He gave me a month and then took matters into his own hands. He said we needed to set a schedule. We were doing something different every day! He wanted to have math at the same time followed by spelling (which I should be teaching, by the way) and then he wanted to go outside at 10:15 am. I said “sure,” and did my best to accommodate his desires because I was that kind of child-centered homeschooler.

Go Fish

Go Fish! is a children’s card game I played a couple times in my youth, around sixty years ago. For my father, Go Fish was not a card game, it was an adventure. He loved to fish. When I was a boy, he went fishing whenever he could. He took me fishing one time when I was very young. On this trip, he did everything for me. He found the worms, baited my hook and even put my line in the water for me. I caught a fish—or at least a fish swallowed the worm with my hook in it.

Homeschool Artists: How to Prepare an Art Portfolio

As a professor of fine art for over twenty years, I have often reflected on the most meaningful contributions of my career, asking myself, “What is the most worthwhile, and useful contribution I have given to young and hopeful art students?” Having worked with hundreds of young students, my answer is always: helping them develop a good portfolio. Often it’s also one of the last projects they ask me to review before they graduate.