posts in Homeschool Resources

Homeschooling Middle School Kids with GrammarFlip

A simple, straight-forward homeschool grammar program that is perfect for independent learning in the middle school years.


{This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.}

Over the years, I've pretty much stuck with grammar books that fit with our Charlotte Mason philosophy. And I still like those books.

But the world is more technology-oriented these days, which means we have more options when it comes to homeschool curriculum choices.

As most of you know, my kids and I prefer real books and pencil/paper over online learning. Every now and then, however, we try out an online learning program.

This time, it's GrammarFlip.

TLTR Synopsis: This grammar program is fantastic for middle school kids. We loved it and you can get a 30-day trial here.

Notebooking for Reluctant Writers

Guest Blogger, Kaylene, joins us today to share her experience with
notebooking for reluctant writers

child writing on notebooking page
{Disclosure: I am a paid brand ambassador for this company. Having used their products for years, and finding them worthy of promotion, all thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.}

Mr. C absolutely loves to learn, but he's always been a struggling writer. Well, struggling, reluctant, unmotivated, something. 

He's always been my "writing is not my favorite" kiddo. You can imagine my surprise when my struggling writer asked about notebooking. I'd been Pinteresting, and he read the blog post I found over my shoulder. 

I explained what it was and he decided he wanted to try, but only if "it was a really cool topic and the sheets looked cool."  Oh dear. I'm the farthest thing from "cool!"

I drive a minivan. How was I going to get notebooking pages "cool" enough to inspire my struggling writer to use them?

Learning about U.S. Elections with Homeschool in the Woods

Guest Blogger, Kaylene, joins us today to share her experience with Homeschool in the Woods U.S. Elections Pak.


{Disclosure: The Heart of Michelle has been hired as a Brand Ambassador for this company, a position for which I am compensated, having used the products myself and finding them to be a worthy of promotion.}

"Mom, what's Trump?"

Caught off guard I tried to figure out what my six year old was asking me. Apparently he read "Trump" on a sign while we were driving and was curious what it was.

10 Supplies that Changed Our Homeschool Forever


I've been homeschooling for 17 years. In that time, I've been through a lot of products, books and curriculum.

Only a few have been what I would consider life changing.

The following is a list of products that had a profound effect on our homeschool in one way or another.

A Simple Way to Include Music Appreciation in Your Homeschool


If you've been a long-time reader here, you know I'm all about fine arts in the homeschool.

Music, art, composers, artists - I write about them all the time. I've raised several artists and composers.

It's what we do here.

So when I was approached to review Zeezok Publishing's music appreciation curriculum, I couldn't have been more excited!

The 7 Best Benefits of Notebooking

benefits of notebooking

Let's talk about notebooking.

I discovered notebooking in 2009. I've found it offers an array of benefits to my children and our homeschool. Today, I'd like to share a few of those benefits with you.

Winter Nature Studies Made Easy


Deciding it's important to conduct nature studies in the winter is one thing. Knowing how to do it is an entirely different thing.

The easiest way I've found to add nature studies (for any season!) is NaturExplorers. I've written about this curriculum here and here.

Here are a few examples of things you could study in the winter.

2 Books Every Homeschool Mom Needs

two homeschool books

Maybe you're new to homeschooling. Maybe you aren't. 

No matter what your situation is, these books need to be on your bookshelf (or Kindle).

When you're new, you feel unsure about where to start. When you've been at it for 20 years, you need fresh ideas. 

In these two books you are sure to find creative ideas for managing your homeschool, teaching your kids, and feeling like there is someone else on this journey with you.

Because we are out here. And we want to help.

17 Living Books about the World Wars for Middle School Kids

book list

Middle school is a great time to teach about the World Wars. 

During the middle school years, a child's mind is developed enough to truly appreciate and comprehend the issues of war. It is also a time when they can begin developing their own morals, thoughts, and feelings about such things.

By providing children with rich living stories, we are able to help them develop a mental picture of the time period and it's happenings. As well, through rich stories, portrayed through a character's eyes, we continue to develop empathy in our children.

17 Living Books about the World Wars for Middle School Kids

{This post may contain affiliate links.}

World War I

The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy - A sequel to The Good Master, Kate and Jansci, now teens, learn about the realities prejudice when war comes to their Hungarian village. 

In Flanders Fields by Linda Granfield - Focusing on the 15-line poem "In Flanders Fields," this unusual book discusses the life and wartime experiences of Canadian poet John McCrae. 

The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett - Set in WWI France, this superb story is about an English soldier, temporarily blinded by trench warfare, who attempts to get home. Three French children find him in the forest and care for him. His one keepsake,- a silver donkey, leads to him telling them beautiful moral stories from history of courage and faithfulness and humility, all of which include donkeys. 

What Tommy Took to War by Peter Doyle - This book looks at fifty objects with which every Tommy would have been familiar, from official uniform and equipment to good-luck charms and letters from sweethearts. With each artifact, the accompanying text explains the significance of all the things that, together, help to define him both as a man and as a soldier.

Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery - "Rilla of Ingleside" is a novel in the Anne of Green Gables series, describing the coming-of-age of Anne's youngest daughter, Marilla or Rilla. Set during the First World War in Canada, the narrative traces Rilla's development from a self-obsessed fifteen-year-old girl to a mature and brave nineteen-year-old. 

One Boy's War by Lynne Huggins-Cooper - Sixteen-year-old Sydney is overwhelmed by the excitement of the 1914 recruitment campaigns and the bravado of men leaving for the Great War. Bursting with enthusiasm, he runs away to join up but soon finds himself a long way from home in a frontline trench where reality — and the rats — begin to bite. Told through Sydney's optimistic letters home and his journal, this is a frank portrayal of the realities of life and death in the trenches of World War I.

World War II

The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum - Set in Holland during WW2, this is a story of bravery and faith in the face of great inhumanity.

The Borrowed House by Hilda Van Stockum - A teenage German girl, raised in the Hitler Youth, moves to Amsterdam were she realizes war is more than the proganda she's been taught. (Contains mature war-related themes such as gas chambers and starvation - ages 12+) 


The House of Sixty Fathers by Meindert De Jong- Telling the tale of a boy hundreds of miles from his family, the author draws on his own experiences in China during the Japanese invasion.

The Avion My Uncle Flew by Cyrus Fisher - The hero in this story is a young boy who solves a mystery after discovering a Nazi hiding in the countryside.

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan - The heroic (allegedly true) story of a group of school children, who transported gold bullion from a local bank to a camaouflaged ship, during the Nazi occupation of Norway.

Number the Stars by ois Lowry - A young girl and her family hide a Jewish girl to protect her from the Nazi party. 

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury - Written from the perspective of a 13-year-old boy of Japanese heritage whose life is drastically changed when the Japanese attacked America on December 7, 1941. 

Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop - Twenty school children hide ten Jewish children from the Nazis occupying France during World War II. 

Great Escapes of World War 2 by George Sullivan - 7 short non-fiction stories: British from German POW camp; Jew from Auschwitz; German from US POW camp; US from Italian POW camp; US from Japanese POW camp; Japanese from Australian POW camp.

Growing Up in World War II: 1941 To 1945 by Judith Pinkerton Josephson - A terrific supplemental resources for students about life in America in the 1940s. Includes photos, personal quotes, and descriptions of life at that time. 

Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi - In 1945, 10-year-old Sookan's homeland of North Korea is occupied by the Japanese. Left behind while her resistance-fighter father hides in Manchuria and her older brothers toil in Japanese labor camps, Sookan and her remaining family members run a sock factory for the war effort, bolstered only by the dream that the fighting will soon cease.

I'm always looking for book recommendations. What would you add to this list?

Need more assistance? 

Sign up for more great homeschool tools and resources! Subscribe here.

Happy Homeschooling!

Latest Instagrams

© The Heart of Michelle. Design by FCD.