Homeschool Posts

Thursday, May 31, 2018

How a Few Kind Words Changed the Destiny of this Site

This time last week, I wasn't sure if I would continue to maintain Homeschooling Hearts & Minds. 



There were some changes in EU privacy law that affected websites worldwide and I knew I would need to do some significant updates in order to comply. I haven't been adding new content to this site in recent months and I wasn't sure if I would ever come back to blogging, so it seemed like a lot of work to maintain a site that for all I knew was just sitting like a lump on the interwebs.


Perhaps it would be better to just pull the plug? 


But it seemed a shame to do that after almost 10 years of blogging so I moved it to "private," figuring I would deal with it in a few weeks when I wasn't in the midst of graduation and other important life stuff.

Within a day, I was receiving messages through my Facebook page, asking how to get access to the site. There were things that I had created over the years that my fellow homeschoolers needed to help their kids.

And there were kind words. Something I don't often hear. I see stats that show me how many have visited and I know that my most popular pages are free things that I've created and shared.

But I never really knew that people really wanted, liked, and appreciated them. Lately, people click through and I never hear from them.

This is not a complaint---I've done the same myself. Grabbed a freebie, but without taking 30 minutes to message or comment thanking the person who provided it. I should know better---after all, I know the hours of uncompensated work that goes into making those freebies in the first place.

The thing is, without feedback, how does the website owner know that what they are doing is making a difference? How do they know their work is valued?

The feedback I received showed me that this site is still needed, so I'm working to update it. 


I've added a plainspeak privacy policy and have removed my mailing list. I'm still working to remove any remaining opt-ins to old mailing lists that are floating around (I know, I know, I'm so disorganized, lol), so if you spot one, just drop me a line to let me know.

I may or may not return to blogging on this site or another, but (for now at least) this site will remain as a resource for homeschoolers. 

The formerly subscriber only freebies will be added to my private FB group---come visit me on FB to find those. :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Good-Bye? Or See You Later?

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds will be switched to “private” beginning Friday, May 25, 2018 for an indefinite period. Thank you for visiting. For updates on the site, please visit my Facebook page.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Celebrating 7 Years of Homeschool Support & Encouragement

After 7 Years of providing homeschool families with support and encouragement, the Virtual Homeschool (Curriculum) Fair is coming to an end.

homeschool high school-002It has been a good run, and I’m thankful for the dozens of homeschool bloggers who have participated in this event over the years. In celebration, I’ve decided to do a quick retrospective. Since our final week is on Enriching Our Learning, it seems fitting to share the treasure trove of wisdom that has been shared here.

Note: When you click through to each week, you will be taken to my anchor post, but will be able to click through to all the posts that bloggers shared for that general topic that week. Think of this as a homeschool time machine.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades

Welcome to Week 3 of the Virtual Homeschool Fair: Our Homeschool Curriculum!

Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th GradesWe have 19 bloggers participating this week. Be sure to visit them to see how they homeschool their families---you’ll find their links near the end of this post.

Last week, I told you that we are using a 2-day a week classical tutorial for most of my kids’ studies this year.

Today, I’m going to share with you what each of my kids is studying this year. I hope it will give you some ideas for your future studies.

My children are in 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 12th grades. Let’s start with the youngest…

3rd Grade CurriculumEmma is in 3rd grade this year.

Last summer, she was reading, but not yet a strong reader. She could read most things, but she had little stamina for chapter books. Over the fall, she became a strong reader and is burning through books faster than I can keep up with her. Our co-op does not have classes for 3rd grade (it starts with 5th), but it does have a Classically Catholic Memory (CCM)  program for K-4 and one of the moms also does Story of the World with the children.

Language Arts: in the fall, this was primarily reading lots of good books and copywork. This spring, she is doing English Lessons Through Literature Level 2. I chose this level for her because of the book selections and because the writing expectations are light. Emma is a lefty and also tires  easily when it comes to physically writing. She could do oral narrations for hours, though. She continues to read just about everything she wants to independently.

Math: In the fall, she was using Math Lessons for a Living Education Level 3. She was doing just fine with that, but was getting bored, so I decided to change things up a bit. She is currently working in Beast Academy 3A, but we are also doing regular arithmetic practice. CCM also has a math component to it (skip counting and learning formulas, like the perimeter of a polygon).

History: She is doing Story of the World volume 2 with her friends at co-op.

The other subjects revolved around her CCM memory sentences. We do: Religion, History, Great Words (poetry and speeches), Latin, Timeline, Geography, and Science. Our co-op has also added in composer and artist studies.

Peter is in 6th grade this year. 6th Grade Curriculum

He is really doing well with his independent work and keeping up with his co-op assignments.

Math (at home): Math U See Zeta. Math U See continues to be a good fit for him and I’m very thankful for this program.

English (at home): He started with Shurley English 6 with co-op, but this proved to be a poor fit for a child who is already writing his own novels. He just started English Lessons Through Literature Level 4 a few weeks ago and it is going really well. I chose this level because I wanted to give him a solid introduction formal grammar and diagramming without overwhelming him (his grammar up until this point has been primarily through copywork, so he has a very good intuitive grasp of the rules and the mechanics, but doesn’t always know the names or how to explain why something is grammatical). We also like the assigned reading in this level. He’s enjoying it. And he still writes novels. And movies.

History and Literature: He is studying Ancient Egypt at co-op. His reading list is pretty long.

Religion: Baltimore Catechism 2 and the Bible with co-op.

Science: Apologia’s Zoology 2 (Swimming Creatures) with co-op.

8th Grade CurriculumMary is in 8th grade this year.

The transition to co-op went really well for her. She does well in a classroom setting and hasn’t had any difficulty keeping up with her coursework.

Math (at home): In the fall, she was working  on Math U See Pre-Algebra, but has now moved on to Math U See Algebra 1.

English: Voyages 8 and Medieval Literature with co-op.

History: Medieval History with co-op using a variety of sources.

Religion: Baltimore Catechism 2, the Bible, and Faith & Life 7 with co-op.

Science: Earth Science with co-op.

12th grade curriculum

David is in 12th grade this year and will be graduating in the spring.

One of my goals for him this year was for him to enjoy his senior year, so he chose his courses (for the most part).

Math (at home): Teaching Textbooks Pre-Calculus

German 2 (at home): Rosetta Stone and Duolingo

History and Literature: Ancient World with co-op using various sources.

Shakespeare: several of his plays with co-op.

Science: Apologia Chemistry (2nd edition) with co-op.

And that’s all for the planned academics.

2018 Virtual Homeschool Fair

Looking for more curriculum ideas? Visit my fellow homeschool bloggers! 

Note: all posts will be live after 8 am EST on Monday, Jan. 22nd.

Our Homeschool Plan for 3rd, 6th, 8th, & 12th Grades by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Our 10th Grade Plans by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Planning Out Our Unschooling Studies by Jen @ A Helping Hand Homeschool

The Details of Curriculum by Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays

Reflections of a Curriculum Junkie by Brittney @ Mom's Heart

Freedom through nature journaling. by Kim @ Good Sweet Love

How I pull together a homeschool curriculum without packaged curriculum by Dana @ Life Led Homeschool

Our Favorite Curriculum and Resources - An Annotated Bibliography by Sabrina @ Kids, Crunch, and Christ

Our 2018 Homeschool Curriculum Choices by Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool

Top Home Educating Resources by Sarah @ DeliveringGrace

Homeschooling Curriculum We Are Using This Year by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Use the Force and Complete the Course by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

Choices, choices - how to choose your curriculum wisely by Lizzy @ Peaches@Home

Our Curriculum Needs - grade seven by Annette @ A Net in Time

The Heart of Our School by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Curriculum We Have Loved Using - Virtual Homeschool Fair -Week 3 by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

How to Avoid Gaps in Education by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

Tricky Subjects and Starting the Decision Making Process by Lori H @ At Home: where life happens

High School Syllabus by TrueNorthHomeschoolAcademy @ GoldenGrasses

How We Homeschool Together (Our Curriculum Choices for Preschool, First, and Tenth Grade) by Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine