Welcome back to our Homeschool Tips from A to Z series. This week is the letter H.
Homeschooling Tip #1: History
History never came easy for me when I was in school. I guess that’s because I thought it was so boring. I mean, how exciting is it to read dates, names, locations and facts?
Secret to Homeschooling History for any Grade Level
Ok. so here’s the secret, in my opinion, for history….it’s called Living Books. Living books are books that make the people, places and problems come to life.
There’s conversation. You know what the person is thinking and feeling. Why they make the decisions that they do.
If you want to make a fact stick in someone’s brain, you just add a story to it. Ever since I’ve learned this, I have loved reading about people and places in history. I promise, you will too.
To get you started with living books, I would recommend reading my article on How to Homeschool Effectively with Living Books.
For a free middle school literature study guide, Abraham Lincoln Gets His Chance is a really good book to read and study.
The free kindle edition is on Amazon at, Abraham Lincoln Gets His Chance.
For a list of middle school age group living books on the Underground Railroad and Slavery just click on the link to see my favorites.
Youth With A Mission, Publishing (YWAM) has a ton of Heroes of History and Christian Heroes of History Living Books that are EXCELLENT. I can’t recommend them enough.
I personally have all fifty books in the Christian Heroes of History, all sixteen books in the Heroes for Young Readers set, and I have started my collection of the Heroes of History series for more advanced readers.
You won’t be disappointed by reading these.
To see my review of YWAM’s biography of Louis Zamperini: Redemption (in the Heroes of History series) just click on his name above.
How to Homeschool History from Homeschool Mom Bloggers
There are other wonderful homeschool bloggers that have plenty of tips also, for history. Here are some of my favorite.
Lori, from At Home: Where Life Happens, has tips, resources, and plenty of curriculum reviews to get you started finding the perfect history topic to study.
Desiree from Our Homeschool Notebook has plenty of reviews and articles. I thought her American Girl History post was really interesting.
Chareen from Every Bed of Roses has a ton of information on where to find the resources that will work best for you. Chareen likes to study history chronologically, so if that interests you, go have a look!
Kristen from A Mom’s Quest to Teach, shares tips on how to choose a history curriculum, how to study history while you are taking a break from school, and plenty of curriculum and book reviews.
Kristen has also been Blogging Through the Alphabet with us every week, filling us with her knowledge of the American Civil War. To see her posts in the series, just click on the link above.
Anette from A Net in Time, has some good history activity ideas, as well as historical book reviews that are worth checking out.
On-line Homeschool History Courses
SchoolhouseTeachers.com provides you with many choices for on-line history courses.
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I did a review of SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
As part of this membership site, you can create a history package for your kids that is totally awesome.
Here are some of SchoolhouseTeacher’s History Courses.
- American History Classes for all age groups
- Ancient World History
- Asia: Its People and History
- Middle School World History
- Church History
- Civil Rights
- Classical History
- Drive Thru History
- Early American Civilizations
- Fashions in History
- Figures in History
- Kindergarten American History
- Great Leaders in History
- History of Air Travel
- History of Christianity
- Modern History for High School
- Abraham Lincoln
- Modern History for Elementary
- Women Through History
- World History
Homeschooling Tip #2: Health
For my homeschool oversight requirements, the kids do one semester of health for high school.
I’ve only tried one Health curriculum, and have stuck with it for all my kids.
It’s Alpha Omega’s Health LifePac. There’s only 5 worktexts to go through, and the kids work on them at their own pace.
It’s thorough and easy to understand.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com also has health and fitness classes for every grade, plus nutrition classes.
Homeschooling Tip #3: Handwriting
Handwriting is so important, but it does take a lot of encouragement and practice for some kids. Their fine motor skills are really put to the test.
Abeka’s Handwriting course gets really good results. My sister’s kids used it, and their handwriting is beyond perfect. The last I heard, Abeka teaches cursive first. They say that a child can do circles well enough by Kindergarten to be able to learn and do cursive well.
I personally, waited until my kids were in about third grade before we tackled cursive. I didn’t want to overload my kids on learning to read print, and write cursive at the same time. I waited until they had a good grasp of printing and reading first.
If you think about it, besides their own signature and handwriting a letter or something, that’s the only time they’ll write in cursive.
Magazines, newspapers, texts, e-mails, etc. are all in print. So it’s really up to you.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com Beginning Handwriting for Elementary looks so cute. It’s for Pre-school and Kindergarten age, but you could easily wait if your child is not ready.
Homeschooling Tip #4: Home-Economics
It is so easy to skip over basic skills when you are intent on everything else you need to do.
Home-Economics is one of these areas that can easily get passed by. I’m not just talking about cooking and cleaning, menu planning, etc. I’m talking about basics like sewing on a button or simple home maintenance.
SchoolhouseTeachers.com has a Home Economics for High School Course, and a Home Economics Course for Elementary age kids.
It’s never too late to get them started. Some of the topics covered in each of these classes are:
- Time Management
- Cooking skills
- Home maintenance
- Basic Sewing Skills
- Managing Money
- Hosting Parties
Homeschooling Tip #4: Homework
Depending on the age of your children, and when the kids get started in their day of doing their school work, most kids get done their assignments by lunchtime.
I have noticed though that my oldest daughter easily gets behind if I don’t ask her to do some work on the evenings she’s not working, or on Saturdays. She just has a very busy schedule with extra-curricular activities and work schedules. (But, graduation is right around the corner. Yeah!!)
So for all of the other grades, I never assign homework. I try to keep my kids diligent and focused, but if they are genuinely getting frustrated, then it is time to take a break. Even then, I don’t give them a worksheet or other type of homework. I feel that their brains need time to process things before moving on. I don’t know…. it’s just me.
Homeschooling Tip #5: Holidays
There are certain holidays we don’t miss out on taking. For a September to June school schedule, we take a break Thanksgiving week, two weeks at Christmas and New Years, Good Friday, and then Memorial Day. (We try to be finished our school year by Memorial Day, but ya know… life happens)
By no means are these the only days we take a “holiday”. If it’s snowy and the kids and I need a snow day, we’ll take it. Of course, if we’re sick we don’t do much. I may ask them to read if they feel up to it, but if they’re really sick I don’t make them get up and do much.
As far as Christmas goes, you’ll want to take a look at Arlene Pellicane’s free ebook “25 Days of Christmas“.
This book is full of fun, engaging, family activities that you can do together to keep Christ in the center of your Christmas.
Homeschooling Tip #6: High School
I really enjoyed teaching my kids during the early years, but I also really enjoy the high school years.
I don’t have to actually teach any subjects, but I get so happy in seeing my kids learn and do subjects that they enjoy.
I feel it’s a time to really let them go with their interests, and encourage them with decisions for the future.
The fears of homeschooling high school, I feel, are not needed.
If you’re worried about teaching a subject, there are plenty of on-line classes to do. Tutors are available for hire, and even your friends or family can help when there is a question about something.
State laws for homeschooling are different for each state, so you will want to make sure that as you homeschool that you are legal.
Transcripts, early college classes for dual credits, etc., don’t let that stuff worry you. There is plenty of help to be found on-line.
Homeschool Legal Defense Association:
Professional Help for Homeschoolers
Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is an organization that should be on every homeschool parent’s bookmark list.
The resources that they give are endless, and they are willing to discuss any homeschooling problems that you may be having.
When my son was young, they were beginning to put information together about teaching struggling learners.
When I signed up for more information, the nicest lady called me and spent time with me answering my questions, and giving me advice.
Not only do they deal with legal issues, create courses, but they have every service imaginable for homeschooling parents of high schoolers.
Transcripts, college prep, career planning, state laws, etc. are all topics where you can find more information.
Don’t let fear keep you from enjoying this special time with your teens. You can do it, I promise.
Can you think of anymore homeschooling tips that begin with the letter H? If so feel free to let me know in a comment. Thank you!
A big thank you goes out to Desiree and Chareen for hosting this Blogging Through the Alphabet Blog Hop series.
If you would like to join in and contribute a post or to read more Blogging through the Alphabet articles, just click on one of the links below.
Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Last week’s letter G posts were very good. I’d encourage you to take a look, leave a comment, and share them with your homeschooling friends and family!
Lego ABC’s: G is for Green, by Desiree at Our Homeschool Notebook
G is for Geography, by Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Gingerbread Village by Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Gingerbread House by Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
Geography from A to Z by Chareen at Every Bed of Roses
G is for Going to the Movies by Kristen at A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Grainger, Ginastera – Composer ABC’s by Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens
G is for Giraffe by Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens
Giraffe Party by Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens
G- Middle School Books by Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens
Gulf Coast: Texas Bucket List by Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens
G – New Mexico Bucket List by Lori at At Home: Where Life Happens
If you would like to read more Homeschooling Tips from A to Z, just click on the alphabet letter below.
Homeschool Tips – A
Homeschool Tips – B
Homeschool Tips – C
Homeschool Tips – D
Homeschool Tips – E
Homeschool Tips – F
Homeschool Tips – G
Homeschool Tips – H
Homeschool Tips – I
Homeschool Tips – J
Homeschool Tips – K
Homeschool Tips – L
Homeschool Tips – M
Homeschool Tips – N
Homeschool Tips – O
Homeschool Tips – P
Homeschool Tips – Q
Homeschool Tips – R
Homeschool Tips – S
We like the YWAM books but don’t have all 50 – maybe seven or eight? I do agree that living books are the secret to enjoying and learning history. I’ve learned so much more about history since my kids have been homeschooling and we’ve used living books.
You can’t go wrong with YWAM’s books. Thanks for commenting, Megan.
I’ll just thumbs up these tips! So many are ones I could have written myself. Except maybe handwriting – my youngest is still struggling with that. The homework – I wish so many would listen to this. No busy work is needed. Do the regular work, do it well, and enjoy conversations about it. This is enough. Then, by the time they hit high school, they know what they need to do and can do it independently.
I agree, Lori. Good thoughts. Thank you for commenting.
it’s fascinating watching the highschool years, the things my lad is interested in…it’s good to see him build skills.
I totally agree, Annette. Thanks for commenting.
This is jam packed with so many useful tips! I love the YWAM books so much. And thank you for sharing my blog in the history section. If you couldn’t tell, history has always been my favorite subject.
Kristen, history is becoming one of my favorite subjects too. I especially like to be able to accompany world history with content found in the Bible. Thank you for commenting.
Oh, how I miss those American Girl History lessons! I wish we would have done more. Unfortunately, she grew out of it, and now I only have boys.
Love all this advice! Such great resources.
Thank you, Desiree. My girls have grown out of American Girls too. They really enjoyed them and they are educational.
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