posts in Homeschool Resources

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

17 living books to teach kids about the world wars

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

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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?

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Happy Homeschooling!

45 Book Lists for Tweens and Middle Schoolers

book lists for tweens

Homeschoolers love books and book lists.

I don't often create book lists, but I do enjoy them. They're a fantastic resource for any parent. 
Below you'll find a collection of 45 of the best book lists for tweens and middle schoolers. 

4 Reasons Your Children Need Their Own Homeschool Planners


{Disclosure: I am working 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.}

Every homeschool mom needs a planner.

We have to keep our activities and time organized. Chores, kids' lessons, grocery lists, we keep all of this in our handy-dandy planner. So why get the kids their own? 

I could easily use my own planner to keep track of my daughters' lessons, but I don't. I have two reasons for not doing that.

10 Items Absolutely Every Homeschool Should Have

Whether you're a new homeschooler, or you've been doing this for twenty years, you need a few things to help your homeschool run smoothly.
List of homeschool supplies

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Every homeschool needs some basic supplies.

Of course you'll need pencils and other basic school supplies. But what else is helpful to a homeschool family?

Paradigm Accelerated: A High School Anatomy and Physiology Curriculum

Homeschooled high school students can earn their science credits with this easy to use, yet challenging biology course.

{Disclosure: I received this product free of charge. I was also compensated for the time I took to write this review. All opinions are my own; I was not required to make positive statements.}

Our homeschool is in an interesting place right now. While Lorelai has just begun middle school, Alexis is working her way toward graduation and college. She's currently an 11th grade student. I can hardly believe she's almost finished!

In the high school years, especially in the junior and senior years, our focus is to provide challenging lessons and projects that will prepare the student for life beyond homeschool. In this case, the focus is to lead her into college.

I also need products and curricula that encourage independent learning. We were a bit slower in moving her toward independent learning due to her profound dyslexia. But she needs to navigate that herself at some point, so here we are.

One product we've decided to try is a science course from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum.

This year, Alexis is taking anatomy and physiology. While I don't think Alexis will pursue a career which necessitates knowledge of biology, I believe all kids should take the course. 

Every human should understand how the human body works.

Top 10 Pinterest Boards for Homeschool Art You Should Be Following

The last post in my 5-day series is to share some of my favorite Pinterest boards for homeschool art. In no particular order, here they are.

Chalk Pastels: Easy Art for All Ages

Chalk pastels are an easy and affordable medium for teaching homeschool art.

One of Lorelai's favorite pastimes is creating art with chalk pastels. In fact, my girls do some pretty creative stuff with them.

Chalk Pastels: Easy Art for All Ages

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Learning chalk pastels is easy and fun.

We got started with chalk pastels a couple of years ago when my friend Tricia came out with a book called A Simple Start to Chalk Pastels. I was able to obtain a copy and try it out with Lorelai. It was an immediate winner.

How to Include Art across Your Homeschool Curriculum

A couple of ideas to help you include art across your homeschool curriculum.

Including art as a subject is the most logical step when attempting to add art to your homeschool. But did you know you can include art in your other homeschool subjects? You can.

Just how would you do this?

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