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I Survived Mock Trial

For several years, I regarded the coming of Challenge B with fear and trembling because of one thing: Mock Trial. I had never participated in any form of debate during my school years, so it was a vast unknown. (Well, not entirely unknown, but I am not sure my fascination with courtroom dramas on television counts as courtroom experience.) I was not sure I could help my son with Mock Trial in any constructive way. Yet I concealed my fears from him, took a deep breath, and took the plunge.

How to Learn a New Language

Perhaps you are familiar with the book Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham.

If you need a refresher, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is the story of an early American merchant who spends quite a bit of his time at sea. As Bowditch sails around the world selling his wares, he teaches himself various languages. He begins with Latin. After Latin, he teaches himself Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

How does he do it?

6 Tips for Doing Foundations with Your Littles

I am part of a couple of Facebook groups for Classical Conversations families where we share many good ideas, but there are also frustrations vented by those beginning their homeschool journey. I have seen everything from parents saying they were giving it x-number of weeks and then putting their children in public school, to moms of 4-year-olds frustrated that their children won’t sit still for three hours to do memory work for Foundations. Take a deep breath, parents. It will not always go according to plan, but I can assure you, it is all worth it…if you keep pressing on!

Here is some advice from me, a mom who has been there. Please take it cum grano salis—with a grain of salt—and remember that every child and family is a little different. What worked for us can be tweaked to fit your family’s unique needs.

Some Advice for a New School Year

You are the best teacher for your child!

The new school year brings many new things. Among these are new families and new students who have joined Classical Conversations communities around the world. For many of these new families, homeschooling moms and dads are experiencing new emotions: fear, excitement, being overwhelmed, or perhaps feeling under-appreciated. The truth is you are not alone. Many of us (homeschooling fathers like me, homeschooling mothers, veteran homeschoolers, newbie homeschoolers, and tutors) experience these emotions at one time or another. For many of us, they drive us to fall back on one singular tactic: imitation.

Things to do With Your Foundations Student

As my daughter approaches the transition from Foundations/Essentials to Challenge A, I often find myself reflecting on the time we spent together throughout her younger years. Like every parent, I smile remembering the things we did well, but also have a few things I know we could have done better. My goal is not to throw a pity party, but rather to inspire you to try the things in your homeschool that I didn’t do with her.

How do I Homeschool While Working from Home? (Part 1)

COVID-19 has, of course, forced many to work remotely. At the same time, it has made parents consider homeschooling their children rather than sending them off to school where they would be at risk from the pandemic. Yet this has undoubtedly caused parents to wonder how they could possibly homeschool while working from home simultaneously. Amanda Butler, a homeschool mom who works full-time, is proof that both are possible.

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Homeschooling through Every Season

One thing you can predict about life is that it’s unpredictable. You can’t anticipate every life situation that comes up. Life goes on with broken bones, health scares, funerals, financial difficulties, you name it—all while you’re homeschooling. How do you continue to stay diligent when truly all you want to do is go back to bed? I think we’ve all asked that question.

I’m not sure I have all the answers. But I do have one answer—God. During seasons of difficulty, I press into Christ, asking Him for the provision I need, the wisdom I need, the energy I need, the daily portion to walk one day out.

Here are some lessons I have worked on for homeschooling through the hard seasons:

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How do you homeschool your high school student?

Teaching kindergarten? Fine. Teaching elementary and middle school? Not easy, but doable. But teaching high school? Let's be real. You probably think you've basically forgotten everything from your own high school years, right? How could you ever teach this level to your own children?

If these questions are swirling around in your head, this homeschool mom has good news for you—the job of a homeschool parent is not so much about providing your high-school students with information; it’s about teaching them how to learn.

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