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Strew to Learn | Five Days of Inspiration and Support For Strewing In Your Homeschool

strew to learn five days of inspiration and support for strewing in your homeschool

What is strewing and how can it help you homeschool? We strew to learn in our day to day and it has made all the difference. This is all about how strewing works and everything you need to get started.

I love to sleep in, snuggled deep into my covers, all cozy warm while the world gets started without me.

It’s a little piece of Heaven.

Two of my children are just like me in that regard, and for that, they’ll always be my favorites. Shhhhh… don’t tell the other two. ::wink::

The other two are the type of morning people night owls like me love to hate. They wake up talking. Ready to tackle the adventures of the day. And they want to drag non-morning people like me along with them, not understanding why we can’t form coherent sentences right off the bat.

And so I thought I was doomed to be a homeschool failure from the start.

But I wasn’t.

Strewing saved my mornings, and taught me that learning really does happen all the time.

Our homeschool has evolved over the years as I’ve gotten out of the way, and let my kids drive their own learning. I fill our home with fun and educational games, open-ended toys, amazing books, engaging documentaries, and give the kids rich experiences, and then watch what they get excited about and give them more of it.

I strew to inspire learning, creativity, and a love of exploration.

People ask all the time about the things I strew and how to do it because I share about it on Instagram and during my weekly Facebook Live chats.

And to answer them — and you! — I’m bringing you a quick and easy, no-fuss, chock-full of inspiration and ideas, five day series to encourage others to incorporate more strewing into the day.

Strew to Learn - Five Day Series of Support and Inspiration for Strewing Success

The Strew To Learn In Your Homeschool Series

I hope this series inspires you to enjoy your kids and their learning more and more. You have amazing kiddos with great ideas, and those kids know what they love when they find it. When we act as facilitators of learning, rather than impart-ers of knowledge, we give our kids ownership of their own learning, and we make it more fun for them. And, truthfully, more fun for us as well.


What You’ll Get

  • One email a day for five days focusing on the benefits and practice of strewing
  • My best tips and inspiration for using strewing to create a more delight-directed and child-led approach to your homeschool
  • Access to a growing library of subscriber-only resources, discounts, monthly giveaways, AND my favorite resources for strewing, gaming, reading, and learning
  • Support and encouragement via weekly newsletters and in a brand-new private Facebook Community for Raising Lifelong Learners (coming soon!) readers and listeners
  • And, for those of you following the series during its inaugural weeks (before February 9th, 2018), a chance to win a rock and gem collection to strew — curated just for you by my kiddos as an example of one of their favorite things for me to strew (details below)

How to Join: Strew to Learn | Five Days of Inspiration and Support

Strew to Learn - Five Day Series of Support and Inspiration for Strewing Success

Do you want to see strewing in action?

Be sure to follow Raising Lifelong Learners on social media because we share the things we’re doing to encourage a love of learning and cultivate creativity every day — and you’ll be the first to hear about new challenges, posts, and podcast episodes! Can’t wait to get to know you!

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101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

101 reasons eclectic homeschooling works for gifted kids

It started out an easy, relaxed conversation, and then the mom at the library asked me the question I most dread answering… “What curriculum do you use with your kids?”

I always stammer and then feel like a deer caught in the headlights. I mean, how can I possibly even answer that semmingly simple question? You, dear reader, can pop a search into the sidebar and find posts of curriculum past, but I’d have to warn you that those plans almost always changed right after posting them… we just don’t stand still around here, and we loathe ruts.

We’re eclectic.

101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

We pick and choose from a bunch of different approaches to learning, curriculums, and styles — and we are very often following a child’s lead, diving down rabbit holes, and even leaning into more unschooling than schooling.

It suits us — a family with several gifted and twice-exceptional kiddos. Maybe it would suit you too?

I’ve compiled a bunch of reasons that an eclectic approach to homeschooling is right for gifted kiddos. What would you add?

101 Reasons Eclectic Homeschooling Works for Gifted Kids

  1. Eclectic Homeschooling allows you to incorporate your favorite aspects of other methods.

  2. You can settle into an ease of mind and enjoy homeschooling again once you let go of overly rigid programs and curriculums.

  3. Your children can explore their own passions freely.

  4. Eclectic homeschooling allows for gifted kiddos to embrace unschooling in their strongest areas.

  5. Delight directed learning is a natural way for kids to learn.

  6. When homeschooling eclectically, you can incorporate any curriculum you want to without worrying if it fits into a specific method.

  7. You can incorporate STEM into just about any lesson easily.

  8. Notebooking is a natural fit for documenting and letting kids take ownership of their own work when using the eclectic method. 

  9. Got voracious readers? It’s easy to “count” that independent learning as school when you let go and let the child lead.

  10. When you’re eclectic in your homeschool, it’s easy to incorporate unit studies and let the kids explore the rabbit trail-y topics they find interesting.

  11. You can easily design lessons to fit the individual needs of each of your kids with eclectic homeschooling.

  12. Learning happens in a more organic, relaxed way when you’re eclectic.

  13. There’s a lot of flexibility so you can adapt when your children have a variety of interests and activities outside the home making for crazy schedules.

  14. It’s a great method to use to teach kids of varying ages, skill levels, and passions.

  15. You can spend as much time as needed to fully research and understand a topic or concept.

  16. With eclectic homeschooling you aren’t held to specific time frames like 36- or 48- week periods so you can school year-round.

  17. It’s a great way to be purposeful and organized about the educational goals you set for your individual kiddos.

  18. Relaxing the choices and adapting to individual needs can make for a more peaceful home. 

  19. Being eclectic means you can pivot easily to meet the specific needs of your gifted or twice-exceptional kiddos. 

  20. Eclectic homeschooling allows for kids to learn through their own unique learning styles.

  21. The eclectic method of homeschooling allows families to create an atmosphere of learning that is all their own.

  22. Being eclectic means you can pick and choose from a bunch of different methods and curriculums to meet your kids where they are in each different subject.

  23. Passion-driven learning is lifelong learning.

  24. Your entire home becomes a learning environment when you homeschool in an interest-driven, eclectic way because you tend to start strewing things for your kids to find.

  25. Eclectic homeschoolers see learning opportunities all around them.

  26. It’s easy to teach kids of different ages and abilities with eclectic homeschooling as you’re already picking from various sources, you can adapt to different levels as well.

  27. You can tweak curriculum as you go to adapt to the ever-changing needs of your gifted kiddo.

  28. Anything can be a learning resource when you think eclectically.

  29. Eclectic homeschooling makes it easy to take time off whenever you need to.

  30. You can effortlessly foster that lifelong love of learning in your kids by encouraging them to explore their interests anytime during the day.

  31. Learning can happen anywhere when you’re an eclectic homeschooler.

  32. Eclectic learning might be right for you if you love to mix and match your curriculum.

  33. Gifted kiddos are asynchronous and don’t fit those boxed curriculums anyway.

  34. It’s a cinch to fill gaps when you find them when you’re not tied to a single curriculum.

  35. Eclectic homeschoolers can fill their days with the beautiful — books and nature

  36. Save money by not buying a boxed curriculum and focus on picking and choosing to suit your kiddos’ needs and interests.

  37. Eclectic homeschooling provides a perfectly custom education for your child. 

  38. Eclectic homeschoolers learn right alonside their kids.

  39. Incorporating lots of experiments is super easy with eclectic homeschooling.

  40. There’s more time for art and music.

  41. Eclectic homeschooling looks different for every family, so there’s no pressure to be anyone but yourself. 

  42. If you find yourself leaning towards several different methods of homeschooling, then you’re already an eclectic homeschooler… Embrace the adventure.

  43. Gifted kids get the freedom to pursue the things they love in an eclectic homeschool. 

  44. It never gets boring in an eclectic homeschooling home — there’s always something new to try.

  45. Gifted kids learn differently than their neurotypical peers, and eclectic homeschooling allows them to be themselves.

  46. Being eclectic means it’s easy to meet each individual kiddo where they are and allow them to learn new things every single day.

  47. Oftentimes families discover that what they thought would work well in the fall, is not a great fit by spring. Eclectic moms know it’s okay to switch things up mid-year.

  48. Being eclectic makes it easy to adapt to both strengths AND weaknesses.

  49. Rather than feeling frustrated that one curriculum can’t do it all for a kiddo, eclectic homeschoolers enjoy the journey of finding exactly the right materials for each varied subject.

  50. Learning through a variety of materials and methods means that the days never get boring. 

  51. Eclectic homeschooling doesn’t mean being random, it means being thoughtfully deliberate about what you want for your child then preparing a variety of materials to meet those needs.

  52. Eclectic homeschoolers have the freedom to choose co-ops and outside classes based on their kids’ interests instead of a specific curricular bent. 

  53. Eclectic homeschooling can be a lot more frugal than other methods. The library is a family’s best friend.

  54. When you’re an eclectic homeschooler it’s easy to tap into your kiddos’ unique learning styles and match their curriculums up with how they learn best.

  55. Interest led homeschooling with an eclectic bent means you can take time to listen to your kids and find out what’s already sparking their interests — and running with it. 

  56. It’s super easy to target specific areas needed. For example, we don’t teach language arts once our kids learn to read, but when my oldest needed help with grammar, we were able to pull in a workbook program that targeted the skills he needed to work on

  57. It’s easy to incorporate audio books from resources like Audible to let your child listen to learn.

  58. You can cover only the topics you feel are most important for your child to learn.

  59. Eclectic homeschoolers have an easier time accelerating as they’re not tied to a single curriculum.

  60. Acceleration in this way means it’s easy to look at dual enrollment options for high school, along with early college entrance opportunities.

  61. Field trips can be a big part of an eclectic homeschool.

  62. Eclectic homeschoolers drive their own schedule — perfect for non-morning people like us

  63. It’s easy to adopt the daily schedule that works best for your family when you’re eclectic.

  64. Got an eager preschooler or a gifted toddler? Incorporate learning into their day in a way that fits your family — without worrying about what others think.

  65. Play-based learning is perfect for young children — gifted or otherwise — and is easy to incorporate when you’re an eclectic homeschooler.

  66. Kids learn to read when they’re developmentally ready — you can be flexible and relaxed in your approach. 

  67. The eclectic method may be best for you if you feel learning happens organically when you’re relaxed.

  68. Eclectic homeschoolers know that learning can’t be forced, and they’re partners with their children in their own education.

  69. Learning happens organically all the time, and eclectic homeschoolers are able to embrace teachable moments.

  70. Eclectic homeschooling can bring peace to your home.

  71. The flexibility of eclectic homeschooling means that there’s more time for discovering outside passions.

  72. Celebrating creativity is an integral part of the eclectic homeschool.

  73. If your kiddo is a passionate artist, you can give them time, resources, and classes to explore their talents.

  74. For musical kiddos (like mine), it’s easy to take advantage of the off times at music studios to arrange private lessons.

  75. Morning Time (check out the NEW book by my friend Pam Barnhill) works perfectly with an eclectic approach.

  76. Flexibility and an eclectic approach builds your kiddos’ confidence as they learn to take charge of their own educations.

  77. Eclectic homeschooling allows you to use textbooks as a spine and jumping off point. 

  78. Incorporate documentaries into different subject areas to excite and engage your visual learners. 

  79. Embracing an eclectic, child-led style of homeschooling builds a family culture around learning, oftentimes eliminating sibling competition.

  80. Gifted kiddos tend to march to the beat of their own drum, so embracing an eclectic approach makes it easier for their quirks to shine.

  81. With an eclectic approach to learning, parents can adapt to things that cause their gifted/2e kiddos anxiety — like perfectionism — and structure the way they assess differently.

  82. With an eclectic approach, gifted kiddos can tackle several years worth of materials in a single year if they want to.

  83. Embracing a child-led, eclectic approach shows kids that learning is all around them.

  84. Eclectic learners can be self-guided… I give my older kids the teacher materials and let them run with them.

  85. Exploring a variety of topics lets kids find the things they love — and then run with them.

  86. Got unschool-y leanings, but aren’t completely comfortable letting it all go? Eclectic homeschooling is a great bridge to help you relax more and more.

  87. Being eclectic means you’re embracing the fact that homeschooling is a lifestyle of learning, and not necessarily a methodology.

  88. Gifted kiddos thrive on novelty, and the eclectic approach is a great way to incorporate new things into learning. 

  89. Eclectic homeschooling is a mosaic where you take the best resources, information, and opportunities and break them up into small pieces, creating something entirely unique to you.

  90. Being eclectic means that there’s no one path and that you can try new things throughout your homeschooling career.

  91. Being eclectic allows us to take advantage of some pretty cool resources like Around the World Stories.

  92. We love using kits from Groovy Lab in a Box when we need a break from the regular lessons.

  93. The kids have had the opportunity to dive into Minecraft coding with programs from Connected Camps.

  94.  Little Passports helped the kids get an introduction to geography when they were young.

  95. My ten-year-old and I are learning to knit and crochet through inexpensive online classes at Craftsy.

  96. It’s super fun to find ways to surprise the kids in an eclectic homeschool, and one of our newest loves is the subscription from Brick Loot.

  97. There is no such thing as a perfect curriculum — for you OR your kiddos — so letting go of the search for the one thing that does it all frees you up to pick the best part of each different curriculum you come across.

  98. Because we follow the kids’ interests, we can snag several workbooks around a theme when Dover Publications (a fave from way back in my teaching days) has a good deal.

  99. Eclectic homeschooling is great prep for thinking outside of the box and using unorthodox methods to help kids learn — kind of like our Alexaschooling.

  100. With an eclectic approach to homeschooling, parents can totally tailor things to be exactly what each child needs to be most successful in life.

  101. Eclectic, relaxed, child-led homeschooling creates the perfect environment for a gifted kid — and family — to thrive in peace.

Are you convinced that it’s okay to slow down, relax, and let your child (and your heart) lead your homeschool? What other reasons or benefits do you find in an eclectic approach to homeschooling? Share in the comments or tag me on social media.

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Books for Animal Lovers

books for animal lovers

Whether we’re strewing or following an interest-led unit study, I love having stacks of books around on topics my kiddos are excited about. We’ve gone through some pretty interesting obsessions, spent years following rabbit trails, and immersed ourselves in a pretty varied number of topics. One of the most enduring interests, however, has been animals.

Whether it was oohing and ahhing as toddlers or memorizing interesting facts to spout off at the dentist’s office, animals have always been an easy interest to embrace. There seems to be no limit to species, habitats, diets, and more to learn about, so animals are a solid choice for unit studies, science subjects, gifts, art projects, or just entertainment! I’ve pulled together lists of books that range from educational to entertaining, something for the toddler and the teenager, books that are breathtaking to look at and interesting to read. Go wild! 

 books for animal lovers

Books for Animal Lovers to Learn More

Not all animal books are created equal, as any animal lover will attest to. Often they’re full of colorful photos and short paragraphs, but nothing new to feed the interests of a creature nut. The Horse Encyclopedia is a beautiful volume covering everything from the history of horses to their care and breed standards. A fun and quirky book, The Truth About Animals is packed full of interesting – and sometimes hilarious – stories about how animals behave outside of cute viral clips. Vanishing is a stunning book featuring vulnerable and endangered species that will surely be appreciated by the most avid of animal lovers. A gorgeous gift, An Anthology of Intriguing Animals is full of great information, where on the other end of the spectrum is Ugly Animals, a hilariously fun and interesting book packed with less attractive members of the animal kingdom and wildly interesting facts about them. Another interesting angle is The Wildlife Detectives, which details the science of overpopulation and how ecosystems can be affected by just one species.


Books Featuring Animals as the Main Character

There is something so comforting and timeless about snuggling up to enjoy a tale told by a character with a tail. Many beloved stories of my own youth featured animals as the main characters, and I’ve loved sharing them with my family and finding new classics! Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH begins a trilogy of lovable and gifted rats that are downright human. More recent favorites, The One and Only Ivan and The One and Only Bob are moving and engaging stories of animals experiencing emotions we can all relate to. As a bonus, The One and Only Ivan was recently adapted into a movie! The Redwall series is packed full of action, historical fantasy, and lovable rodents, with so many books that your animal lover will be engrossed for months. A fun and lovable classic, The Cricket in Times Square is a must read, and Call of the Wild graphic novel is a unique way to enjoy another standby animal story. One of my own favorites as a child, Black Beauty has sequals, numerous movie adaptations, and a beautiful story. Something new and fun, The Finn Chronicles: Year One is a quirky collection of stories told from the perspective of a therapy dog. My own animal-loving kiddos loved Pax and the enormous collection of Guardians of Ga’Hoole books, another series that will enthrall for months on end. 


Books for Young Animal Lovers

It’s a simple fact – kids love animals. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kids of all ages are entertained and excited by furry, flying, scaly creatures. The Fascinating Animal Book for Kids offers tons of interesting photos and facts, and Jake the Growling Dog uses a pup to discuss emotions and the control we have over them. Perfect for the youngest of animal fans, First 100 Animals and the  Alpha Tales box set are colorful and educational, promising plenty of repeat readings. After Dark is full of poems about nocturnal creatures, and the DK readers like All About Bats are great resources for emerging readers who love animals.


If you’ve got an animal lover in your life, you’ll want to snap up several of these titles! Whether you use them to entertain or educate, your whole family will be certain to enjoy them. Use them in a strewing stack, a morning basket, as an animal unit spine, or just the fun of reading a good book together. Enjoy learning about so many interesting creatures, and be sure to let me know in the comments what books for animal lovers you’ve enjoyed!

books for animal lovers

More resources are now available for your child, and for you!

The Learner's Lab

The Learner’s Lab is the community created just for your quirky family.  It’s full of creative lessons, problem solving activities, critical and divergent thinking games, and the social-emotional support differently-wired children and teens need most.

All from the comfort of your own home. 

This community was created to support children with intensities and help you as you help your child learn and grow. We provide resources just like this all year long, in a way that is educational and fun for children. They learn skills to help them copy and you learn how to help them along the way. 

We invite you to join us. Get all the details HERE.

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A Million Things You Haven’t Found | Gifts for Hamilton Fans

a million things you havent found gifts for hamilton fans

If you’re a fan of musicals, history, or know someone with a Disney+ subscription, you’ve probably found yourself a little swept up in Hamilton-mania. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – we’ve been singing King George’s hilarious lines and triumphantly fist-bumping along with the Schuyler sisters for years, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Thanks to it’s arrival on Disney’s streaming service, Hamilton has enjoyed a recent surge and added to the already massive fan base, leaving just about everyone with a Lafayette-loving revolutionary on their shopping list. Fortunately, I’m not throwing away my shot! Instead, I’ve gathered a fantastic list of gifts for Hamilton fans, full of unique and lovable items that even Aaron Burr wouldn’t be afraid to declare his excitement over! 

 gifts for hamilton fans

Fun Gifts for Hamilton Fans

Whether you’re looking for something subtle or a way to proudly display your love for all things Hamilton, these gift ideas have got just what you need. This historical figure hoodie is a spot-on sweatshirt that will keep you warm at Chesapeake Bay or lounging in the living room. When you’ve got to smuggle in British secrets or take some snacks along, a Hamilton backpack is a great choice to carry your goods. This Schuyler sisters shirt has already been debuted in our home and is such a favorite that I have to plead with my daughter to wash it before wearing it again. A Hamilton throw blanket is a solid gift for any fan, as is this King George mug that will have you humming before breakfast is over. A Hamilton 365-day calendar is a wonderful way to celebrate your excitement in a more subtle way, as is this colorful Schuyler sisters phone case or even this Hamilton pencil case. Whether you need to be inspired to rise and shine or fight a revolution, this Rise Up wall art is a great way to add the spirit of Hamilton to your home decor.


Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Hamilton Fans

If you’re looking for a smaller gift, a stocking stuffer, or a just-because, day-brightening gift, check out these smaller items that still make a big impact. A set of Hamiltones colored pencils – with Hamilton-themed punny names – is fun for just about anyone! A Hamilton lanyard is a great choice for the fan who needs to wear an ID, such a s nurse or teacher. Another universal gift, a Hamilton sticker set is a wonderful way for fans of all ages to decide how to display their enthusiasm. An Alexander Hamilton nametag pin or this Work! pin are other options for displaying your support of the $10 founding father, as is this Hamilton keychain. I’m planning on getting a song lyric necklace for my own obsessed daughter, along with this bracelet hair band holder as subtle ways for her to celebrate her favorite musical without dressing up as Peggy everywhere she goes. And this wooden Hamilton bookmark makes for the perfect companion to any of the gifts for Hamilton fans below! 


Gifts for Hamilton Fans That Go Beyond the Show

You may be able to spout every lyric to “Guns and Ships”, but do you know the historical context of the raps and rhymes? Load up on these excellent resources that will deepen your knowledge of Alexander Hamilton and strengthen your appreciation of just how masterfully history was put to verse. George vs. George is a fun book that explains the American Revolution from the sides of both Georges – King George III and George Washington. For superfans of the show, Hamilton: The Revolution contains backstage photos, cast stories, and much, much more insider information from the actors themselves. This Eliza Hamilton: Founding Mother reader is a perfect choice for emerging readers looking to learn more about their favorite beatboxing Schuyler sister. The book that started it all, Ron Chernow’s biography Alexander Hamilton is a must-have for any Hamilton or history fan. For even more context, The American Revolution: A Visual History is a beautiful book filled with facts and information from the war that turned the world upside down. The Hamilton Papers go into more depth over A. Ham’s infamous confessionals, and a favorite among lovers of historical fiction, a copy of I Survived The American Revolution will surely be gobbled up by your kiddos. Useful for a gift or your homeschool, this  Who Was…. founding fathers set would pair perfectly with a unit study from Waldock Way. And of course we can’t wait for Thomas Jefferson to include women in the sequel!  Women Heroes of the American Revolution shares intriguing and exciting stories of female spies, soldiers, nurses, and more!


Whoever the Hamilton fan in your life is, there’s surely something to delight them on this list. Educational, entertaining, and somehow original, Hamilton has brought history to the spotlight and inspired a new generation of learning in brand-new ways. The songs are catchy, the lyrics are brilliant, the characters are compelling, and the show is one that can be enjoyed on repeat for months (ask me how I know!). It’s not hard to fall in love with Hamilton, and now it won’t be difficult to find gifts for Hamilton fans… even if they’re for yourself!

gifts for hamilton fans

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Magnificent Middle Ages Resources

magnificent middle ages resources

We love unit studies in our homeschool, and one of the most enjoyable and in-depth studies we’ve ever done has been a full-on dive into the middle ages. From the intricacies of the feudal system to the innovation and art, the middle ages have plenty to throw yourself into and learn about. I’m sharing some of our favorite books and topics from the days of yore to help you feel like you’re walking the streets of medieval Europe, no heavy chain mail required!

 middle ages resources

Non-Fiction Books

There are stacks and stacks of fantastic books to devour when learning more about the middle ages, so it’s hard to narrow down some of our favorites. Outrageous Women of the Middle Ages is one of a great series of books telling the stories of often-overlooked historical figures, from all regions of the world. Another favorite series of ours are the Horrible Histories books, and the Measly Middle Ages entry gave us the good, bad, and ugly history that we’ve come to expect. While exploring what life was like during the medieval time period, books like How to Read Medieval Art and Children and Games in the Middle Ages give unique and interesting information. No history book list would be complete without the You Wouldn’t Want to Be… series, and You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Medieval Knight is a wonderful addition to your collection. For older learners, The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England gives incredibly realistic and engrossing descriptions of life during the middle ages.


Middle Age Fiction

Historical fiction is one of the most enjoyable aspects of a history unit. We love gathering up for a read aloud and immersing ourselves in the world and lives of iconic characters. For something fun and different, The Three Musketeers graphic novel is engaging and entertaining. Catherine, Called Birdy is a classic, along with The Adventures of Robin Hood, Adam of the Road, The Door in the Wall, and, of course, King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table.


Medieval Rabbit Trails

We love rabbit trails around here, especially with my love for self-directed learning. The middle ages offers a near-endless list of topics to explore, such as ink-making (which we read more about in the gorgeously-illustrated The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane), the beautiful work of scribes and monks (seen and explained in Calligraphy of the Middle Ages and How to Do It), and the beauty of illuminated texts, such as those shown in Toward a Global Middle Ages, which offers perspective from around the world. The Medieval Warrior was a big hit here, full of medieval weaponry and battle tactics to pore over, and The Story and Language of Heraldry is a surprisingly interesting tenet of the caste system and knighthood. And while I’ve already shared one from the series, You Wouldn’t Want to Work on a Medieval Cathedral has too much fantastic information on cathedrals and their construction to leave out!


The middle ages was a time of beauty, invention, learning, and a whole lot more. Don’t be afraid to devote an entire school year to reading, projects, more reading, and more projects as you dive down the medieval rabbit trail!

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Great Geography Games to Czech Out

great geography games to czech out

Geography, quite frankly, is where it’s at. *pause for laughter*  In all seriousness, geography is a cornerstone of learning about the world around us, but isn’t always something fun to study. Simply memorizing where places are and an interesting geological feature about each place just really isn’t that engaging. Gameschooling is a long-time family favorite it our homeschool, and it’s a perfect fit for studying geography! Check out some of these great geography games that help make learning a little more fun, and the world a little smaller. 

 geography games

US Geography Games

A classic game (and the much-loved book) The Scrambled States of America Game is as educational as it is fun! 10 Days in the USA challenges players to plan trips from state to state, and United States Geography Bingo is pretty self-explanatory but plenty of fun. You could take the United States Memory Matching Card Game on the road with you, or take a pretend road trip with Race Across the USA. To get the whole family in on the fun, plan a few nights with the American Trivia Family Edition!


World Geography Games 

The whole world opens up when we learn about the world around us, and games like The World Game are perfect for those competitive learners who can’t quite travel the globe. Mapominoes Africa is part of a great series of dominoes that teach the geography of all the continents, just as Ticket to Ride: Asia is part of an enormously fun and beloved game series that explores the countries through various games and expansion packs. Explore the World, Continent Race, and Globe Runner are all wonderful games that add the element of competitiveness and excitement as players learn about the world in a race to win the game. 


Games for Young Learners

Geography isn’t just for big kids! With games like Little Passports Where To? and Wild Kratts Race Around the World Game, planning trips around the world is more fun than overwhelming. Tools like the United States magnetic puzzle, an Our World jumbo puzzle, or this Seek and Find Around the World book are perfect for younger siblings or little learners to begin familiarizing themselves with the great wide world. And as part of the great Ticket to Ride series, there’s a fantastic version for younger players, Ticket to Ride: First Journey.


Geography can be a lot of fun to study, especially when including games. Try adding in international snacks, history, music, and all the culture you can gather to really help build deeper connections to the places you learn about in your homeschool. There are so many ways to learn, why not have a little fun while you’re at it?

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Perfect Poetry Picks for Your Homeschool

perfect poetry picks for your homeschool

Poetry may be the food of love, but it’s not always a tempting snack to kids. Poetry is a beautiful and useful tool for teaching various parts of language, and some of the most beautiful, haunting, and enduring phrases of our time are found between sweet refrains and stunning stanzas. But with such a traditional history, incorporating poems into your homeschool can sometimes fall flat. Never fear! I’m rounding up some unique poetry resources that replace some of the flourishes with fun and promise to make poetry studies a favorite in your homeschool. 


Fun Poetry Collections

One of the best ways to get your kiddos engaged in poetry is to start with fun poems. Silly, absurd, even a little immature! Once your kiddos see what language can do when describing an armpit, they’ll be hooked. For Laughing Out Loud, or anything written or edited by Jack Prelutsky, really, is a classic that covers tons of topics, full of silly rhymes to elicit laughs, just like The Armpit of Doom.  While still quite humorous, I’m Just No Good at Rhyming adds another level of cleverness to the poems. For something different and engaging, Hip Hop Speaks to Children is an absolute gem that your family will enjoy over and over. When working mindfulness into your day, the works in Breathe and Be are a perfect and relaxing contribution. The NatGeo Book of Animal Poetry is a fantastic addition to a morning time basket or a gateway for younger kiddos to enjoy poetry with captivating photos!


Classic Poetry Collections

Don’t get me wrong, we love the silly stanzas and the giggles that erupt when we share ridiculous words together, but there’s something so idyllic about classic poetry. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children is the perfect first collection, positively filled with classics and beloved ballads. Poetry for Young People – Maya Angelou is an entry your kiddos will thank you for (and the whole Poetry For Young People series, at that). Sure, it’s got some silly standbys, but Shel Silverstein has to be considered a classic poet at this point, and Where the Sidewalk Ends is the best way to introduce his work to your kids. Emily Dickinson is another classic poet in her own right, and her collection in Hope is the Thing With Feathers is filled with gorgeous language sure to awaken those butterflies in your tummy that flutter when moved by beauty. An industry standard,  A Child’s Garden of Verses is classic, beautiful, and everything you envision about introducing children to poetry. And while they may not be for everyone, The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allen Poe are too iconic to leave out!


Novels in Verse

One of the most creative ways poetry has become more mainstream and exciting has been the introduction of spoken word performance and novels written in verse – literally book-length poems that tell stories with some incredible weaving of language. Emmy in the Key of Code and The Crossover manage to tell intriguing stories for tweens, drawing the reader so deeply into the story that kiddos often forget they’re reading poetry. Words With Wings and  Love That Dog are two of the most popular novels in verse and are just so enjoyable to read. Rhyme Schemer is a powerful story that emphasizes the importance and beauty of language, and The People Shall Continue is a moving account of the strength of first nations people and their proud history.


Poetry really can be a blast. There are so many different and unique ways to enjoy and study it now that the subject doesn’t have to be retired to the vaults full of old-fashioned homeschool studies. Using humor, hip hop, moving stories, haunting tales, and the most incredible feats of language sculpture, poetry awakens something new within the reader and earns its place on the schedule. It may even stir something new within an unrealized poet.

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