Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: encouragment

classical conversations

Homeschoolers teach children themselves for a variety of reasons.  One thing we all have in common is that parents can be the best educators for their own children. No other teacher loves your children as much and knows your children’s unique learning needs. So we teach our own children…sometimes at home, in the car, at the library, at the museum. We homeschool at home, but that doesn’t mean we have to homeschool alone.  Community is the secret sauce.  A Parent Practicum can show you the way.

Two people are better than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. —Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

Parent Practicum is a FREE, 3-Day Parent Conference on Classical, Christian Homeschooling. You’ll find a community of local families, eager to explore the classical model of education and tools that make learning all subjects with all their children satisfying. At Practicum you will practice the skills of learning and get your hands dirty becoming students. Student Camps are available for students of all ages at a nominal fee. For both adults and students, advance online registration is required. Hundreds of Parent Practicums are offered around the globe from May to early August. Find a Practicum near you!

Students and parents learn best together in community

After summer Practicum, families gather together during the school year in communities, meeting once a week and creating a safe place for practicing speaking skills, encouraging one another and discussing big ideas. Trained parent-tutors model skills and facilitate. Young children enjoy learning in a group setting. They get to play games with the memory work and cooperate on science projects. A CC community provides parents and students with encouragement, fellowship and accountability.  Practicum trains Parents, Tutors and Directors.  Everyone grows through encouragement, leadership, and training. Hear from Sean about why he loves community.

Community helps teens build strong, positive friendships

Our Challenge program for teens is designed for students to build lasting relationships with their peers. They go through mock trial, debates, presentations, and other challenging activities together, sharpening their presentation and debate skills against each other—something they just can’t do on their own.

Visit Classical Conversations to begin the journey and find a Practicum near youGet expert advice and resources from our knowledgeable Product Sales Specialists at Practicum.  Listen to parents talk about their why for going to Practicum here.

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hot chocolate candy cane january

That can mean only one thing. It’s time to relax and evaluate for the new year ahead.

Somehow, we have to pull ourselves back from the great holiday blitz and go on homeschooling. One of the things that helped me most was to realize it would take a little time to adjust — just like back at the beginning of the school year.  It was o.k. to take a deep breath and relax.

Reading aloud makes a cozy winter language activity.

The rhythm can create a feeling of  peaceful re-entry. Pick a book about a winter adventure or new beginnings. Introduce a series that will invite your children to read the other titles in the series, on their own time,  just for fun.

The new year is a perfect time to take inventory of what we accomplished this past semester.

Make special individual time with each child, hot chocolate in hand, and chat about what they learned academically and in real-life skills. Give each child  new journal to record their progress and write down goals for the new spring semester.

It’s a good idea for mom to create a journal too.

Include what worked and what didn’t. No matter how optimistic our beginning-of-the-year goals, failing to reach a few is okay. We learn best through trial and error. Innovation comes from failure. Did you know that Kellogg’s Corn Flakes was invented when a pan of boiled wheat was left in a baking pan overnight? Sounds like homeschooling to me!

Pray and ask God for creative ways to accomplish what you could not.

When I realized my 6th grade daughter was behind in math, I needed to be honest myself. I did not have the time to think through algebra with her. A huge weight dropped off my shoulders when I could admit she needed a tutor. Many teenagers in other homeschool families make perfect tutors. They’re happy about the income and most are open to bartering.

There are plenty of free homeschool checklists online.

Too often we want to keep pushing forward when a little evaluation can yield a better result. Checklists cover social skills, practical living skills, character qualities, and spiritual growth as well as academic milestones for each grade. I use evaluation lists to help me think through my objectives, but I implement them loosely.

Children are not wired the same and develop at different paces. If my child isn’t good at something now, I know in two to four months, he or she will catch on just fine. By backing off for a month or two, then reintroducing a concept, I found my children caught on after all.  All children have their own gifting and learn in their own way. Striving to fit them precisely into a curriculum scope and sequence will only led to tears and frustration. For you and them.

Below are a few points to help evaluate the fall semester:

  • Has your child mastered concepts he was taught in each subject?
  • What special projects did they complete?
  • What books did they read?
  • Are they growing in their extracurricular interests and skills?
  • Do children follow instructions better?
  • Are any of them moving towards self-government?
  • Are they learning to control emotions?
  • Can your preschooler or K5’er sit still longer? Pay attention longer? This was a huge accomplishment for my son!
  • Is your schedule working for you?
  • Can you work smarter and not harder anywhere? If it’s easier for the kids to do math in the morning because you are freshest, then-do it!
  • Are you doing too much? Too many outside commitments?
  • Are you doing enough? Is there a child who is bored and needs to be challenged more?
  • Could you use a mom-time of refreshment? Can you build in some necessary self-care somewhere? Don’t feel guilty!
  • How are chores going? Is it time to graduate someone to more responsibility?
  • Has Bible time been a priority or has it fallen through the cracks?
  • Can I implement hands-on activities to liven a subject up?

Most companies complete inventories. Like them, doing an evaluation can give you a good perspective of how much ground you’ve gained or where you lost ground.  Taking an inventory of your homeschool progress can help refine your focus and objectives. Above all else, you can rest easy knowing learning comes in all forms,  Homeschool children are absorbent sponges and are probably further along that you think!

For a special evaluation treat,  try a hot chocolate snowflake-float with vanilla ice cream and a peppermint stick as you relax and evaluate for the new year.

Blessing to you on your new year!

This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.


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girl writing with laptop

Thanksgiving writing prompts for  middle school students offer a variety of ways to sneak a little bit of school into your hectic holiday-schooling days. Use the holiday excitement building in your home to make writing assignments more exciting as well.

These ideas will help get creative juices flowing. Let your student brainstorm others to add to the list. Make these assignments easy and breezy by requiring only a paragraph or two. If your student gets excited by a topic, you may hear pleas of, “Let me write more?” Who is gonna turn down an offer like that?Image result for turkey

  • If you had a pet turkey, what would you name it?
  • Write a list of things that remind you of Thanksgiving. Which are your favorites and why?
  • If you could make your own Thanksgiving pie, what would it be? What ingredients would you use?
  • Describe your perfect Thanksgiving Day!
  • Make a list of things you are thankful for.
  • Make an Acrostic Poem out of the word THANKSGIVING
  • If you could be in a Thanksgiving Day parade, what would your role be?
  • Talk about your favorite Thanksgiving Day foods and why you like them.
  • Write out clues for a game of ‘What Am I?’ to play on car trips. For example, use one of the list-building ideas above. Write clues for those items on slips of paper. Put them in a Ziploc baggie. Pull them out during the trip, and see who can guess what the items on your list are from your clues.

Topics may be meaningful, exciting, silly and funny.

If you want your middle school student to reflect on and  appreciate the deeper meaning of Thanksgiving use these prompts.

  • Describe an act of kindness you gave or received. How did that inspire you to be kinder?
  • What brings you joy? Why?
  • Describe something beautiful you enjoy. Why do you find it meaningful.
  • List 5 things you are good at and 5 things each family member is good at.
  • What are you thankful for and why?

Give your middle schoolers ways to express gratitude during this season. Include a theme like ’10 Days of Gratitude’. Create a thankful tree and have students hang tags on the tree listing things they are thankful for.

There are many ways to have middle schoolers express simple but meaningful ideas on paper when you use Thanksgiving-themed writing prompts. What prompts have you used with your middle schooler that received the most surprising or enthusiastic response?


This article was originally published on our Homeschool Launch Blog.


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Secrets to Making Writing Fun

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“Secrets to Making Writing Fun”

Writing can be an enjoyable activity for budding writers. This workshop will equip you with tips and ideas to use with elementary-age children during writing time. The result? Your children will not only produce polished writing projects, they’ll also be begging for the next lesson!

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About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on

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