Book Reports

One way we incorporate reading for fun, yet some additional learning into our homeschool, is to write book reports.  I let my student pick the book she would like to read, which is currently an American Girl book (this is the one she is reading now: ) (If you purchase from our link, a small portion of your purchase will go back to our site.  Thank you for your support.)

I usually give her a set time to read a book- around two weeks- then she has two days to write the report.  Not only does this help teach time management, but lets her choose what she wants to read.

This is something that works well for us.  I encourage you to do what works for you.  (A side note, book reports are in addition to her Abeka reading curriculum.)



Making Extra Curricular Activities a Part of Your Homeschool

Even though I work outside the home and we homeschool,  I still want my child to be in extra curricular activities.  One way we do that is to include them into our homeschool curriculum.

For instance, I believe music education is important- and while I can read music- well, that’s about it.  So each week my child takes piano lessons and practices daily.  We have a fine art covered and I often answer e-mails or return calls while she is in her lesson.

Another way I incorporate activities into our homeschool is through 4-H.  Both my husband and I are 4-H alumni and believe this is a great program for youth.  I try to help my child pick out projects I know will be studying through the course of the year.  We then incorporate those projects into a particular unit of study.  So she has some hands on fun and a 4-H project completed all in one.  For us, this is another way we try and manage time.

We have other activities outside the home as well- including one for physical education.  These are just ways that we try to incorporate activities into our homeschooling.  Again, find the activities and schedule that work best for you.









Slow Cooker Chicken

Time management is key to my being employed outside the home and homeschool.  As I mentioned before, one way I manage time is by using my slow cooker for dinner often.  Here’s one of my family’s favorite meals:

Slower Cooker Chicken

Purchase a whole chicken.  Place in slow cooker.  Add any seasonings you like.  (We often use seasoned salt, pepper, turmeric and a little parsley.)  Cook on low 10-12 hours.  It will be so tender it will fall off the bone.  You can also add a little water or chicken broth to the slower cooker if you like.

I usually finish the meal by preparing a quick veggie as a side.

Lesson Planning

There are lots of ways to lesson plan- no one way is right or wrong.  You have to find what works for you and your family.  So here are what the coming week’s lesson plans look like at my house…



Yes, I use a notebook.  I have a letter for each subject (for example, “M” is math).  I write down the lesson number for the day.  At the bottom, I make myself a reminder to work on spelling, writing and Classical Conversations memory work  (which includes our history and science studies) daily.

When we first started homeschooling, I tried fancy planners. I tried folders for each subject (which may work well in the very early years), but I find this works best for me.  It’s simple and a notebook is pretty inexpensive.

One thing I will note is I prefer to write in pencil.  Then if we need to change plans, I am able to easily do so.

One thing you will not see in the photo, but I try to do each week, is write any activities we have each day (such as piano lessons) and then I’ll often make a note about what to fix for dinner that evening.  I’ll also include any early or late work meetings I may have as well.

Let me encourage you to find a lesson planning schedule that works for your family.  You do not have to use my method to be successful..



Use your library…

Reading is certainly an important part, if not the foundation, of education.  Especially when it comes to history and science, we often use our local library to check out books on the subject of study.  It’s also a great way to save a little money while homeschooling.

I try to plan out our Classical Conversations schedule so I know about a week ahead if I need to ask our library to order a book from another one so we have it in time.  When you work and homeschool, planning is often key in this situation.

If you haven’t tried it already- use your local library.

Valentine’s Day Love Bugs

The students in our homeschool community are able to bring treats to share for Valentine’s Day.  My daughter and I looked on Pinterest, found something similar, and then came up with our own Love Bugs….



These were fairy quick to make.  I found some jumbo heart confetti and glued it to a Hunt’s Snack Pack cup.   Then we added the eyes and a bead for the nose.  Finally, we cut white pipe cleaner in half and formed a “v” shape and added beads at each end.

I’m sure you can make these with applesauce or pudding too.

Have you made a cute treat for your student’s Valentine’s Day?  I’d love to hear about it!



So you work and homeschool- what do you eat?

This is another question I’m often asked.  You work outside the home, you homeschool, you often have evening commitments- what do you cook?  (Confession time, cooking is not my favorite activity.)

Sometimes, it’s carry out.  Truth be told, it’s often from the slow cooker at dinner.  I usually am up by 5 am each day, so that’s a great time to start the slow cooker with a soup or whole chicken.  Sometimes, I prepare something that I can start in the slow cooker when I get home in the afternoon so it does not over cook- things like meatballs and baked potatoes.  (I own four slow cookers, it not uncommon for me to have two on at the same time.

Today it’s Taco Soup.  I’ll fix up a quick salad to serve with it and that’s dinner.