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    Published on 09-01-2015 08:00 AM

    Listed in Cathy Duffy’s Top 102 Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, the award-winning All About Reading and All About Spelling programs are easy to learn, easy to teach, and loved by parents and children everywhere.

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    by Published on 08-31-2015 02:33 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. General Homeschooling,
    4. Curriculum
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    To interact with Becky on the original forum post, click here.

    I'm Becky, mom of 5 kiddos through adoption, foster, and birth. Because we have such a mixture of cultures in our house (China, Ethiopia, Mexico, US) I began to look for ways to celebrate our heritages and learn about world celebrations, cuisine, etc. I founded KidWorldCitizen.org initially to share ideas with other multicultural and adoptive families. It grew and grew, and now I am happy to share ideas with families and teachers to help kids learn about all world cultures and geography.

    The most common question I get is "How can my kids learn about the world when we don't have the opportunity to travel?"....or "when we live in a homogenous community?"

    Between libraries and the internet there are hundreds of ways we can connect to the world!

    Here are 10 ways you can incorporate culture TODAY into your children's lives- but this is not an exhaustive list! Please add your comments and share ways you learn about the world in your family.

    1) Snuggle up with a book. As parents, we read to our kids all the time. By carefully choosing the books, we can:

    * explore culture in books that feature kids real lives (such as these books about kids in Ethiopia)

    * read books that defy stereotypes by showing more than one side of the story. When studying "Africa," for example, choose a specific country instead of an entire continent. Pick stories from rural and urban settings, in the past and the present, folktales and nonfiction. Often times Africa as a continent is portrayed as vast rural stretches of land with abundant wildlife (which does exist, but is not the whole story). There is a danger to a single perspective or stereotype, and kids should not be surprised to learn about bustling cities, where families live, work, and go to school. These stories show some of the kids who live in South Africa’s different areas and lifestyles..

    * join the Global Read Aloud. This world-wide book club uses Twitter, Skype, Edmodo, their wiki, email, regular mail, Kidblog, Tackk, and any other tools you can think of to make connections and discuss the book. There are several books to choose from, and kids in kindergarten through college can participate!

    2) Feast.
    Searching out restaurants and supermarkets from different cultures has double the benefits: not only will you be exposing her to diverse ingredients and flavors, you also will meet people who the culture. Cook cuisine from around the world with your kids. Aside from dinner, try to find breads, typical snacks or breakfast foods- or desserts!

    3) Become part of the community. Community centers are gathering places in the local community for many ethnic groups and immigrants. We have been welcomed into our local Ethiopian church, who recently invited adoptive families to their Easter feast. The outdoor buffet was brimming with injera and different kinds of wot, and crowds of kids were running around playing basketball, soccer, and visiting the face-painting clown. Our Children's Museum frequently hosts cultural groups and we have made Turkish marbled paper with the Turkish community, and Norwegian hearts at Christmastime. For Chinese New Year, the Chinese Consulate opens their doors for the celebration: dancers, music, games (how many grains of rice can you pick up with chopsticks?) copious amounts of food, and a gallery of photos from China. I have heard parents express their discomfort at being in the minority at such events: step out of your comfort zones and surround yourself with the new culture.

    4) Celebrate! Learn about traditions and customs for festivals, celebrations, holidays, birthdays and select some favorites to celebrate. Start small: research the holidays and find out where the closest celebration is. If possible, attend the event, parade, or party as a family. If there is nothing close-by, re-create it in your home: watch clips on youtube, talk to friends of the same culture to gather details, research it on-line to learn more. Don't stop at home- bring the celebrations to your co-op-- who doesn't love a reason to party? Here's an example lesson plan that I created for preK- elementary school for Chinese New Year.

    5) Learn some new words. Language is such an important part of any culture. If you cannot enroll your child ...
    Published on 08-23-2015 09:04 PM
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    Our featured member blog highlighted this week is: BoldHeartMama

    Here is how BoldHeartMama describes herself:

    We are a project-based homeschooling family and nature is our outdoor classroom. Our homeschool is an extension of my mothering and has been an education for me as much as for the boys. It’s a lesson in our relationships, how to pursue meaningful work, how to take life as it comes, and how to live as we go while giving ourselves space to make mistakes and to keep trying and to answer our own questions and to follow wherever our hearts lead us. When the days grow long, when I need to refuel, I seek out nature to reconnect with my boys and with myself. We like to spend part of every day out of doors.

    Jacqueline is a BoldHeartMama of two and writes on topics of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, mothering, homeschool, and work life self integration. Inspired by a city she loves, Jacqueline and her husband are raising their wild sons in the heart of Virginia, and pursuing together a life of inquiry, creativity, and adventure.

    And here is an excerpt from her latest post: Growing in Love and Life

    The seasons are changing in the obvious sense that Summertime is winding down—the morning mist-enveloped riverbanks and cool afternoon breezes say it is so—and my mental energy has shifted, too, to the tasks of Fall, and readying ourselves for our second year of homeschool and other plans we have reserved for the slower, colder, months.

    I was motivated last week to tackle my quarterly inventory of the boys' dresser drawers. Carefully checking the size tags on their ever-smaller tees and shorts, gathering the items that Roscoe has outgrown—checking for signs of too much wear and passing the good stuff down to Merritt—to make room for a few fresh tops and pairs of pants. The emptying and the filling, it is a chore that I enjoy and one that highlights in real time that the boys just keep growing and getting bigger and outgrowing and moving forward. ...
    by Published on 08-23-2015 10:43 PM
    Article Preview

    Yep, that time of year again. Homeschoolers are starting up their new school year and our house is no exception!!!

    I know many of you have already been at it for a few weeks or so. Yay for you!

    Ours starts up right after Labor Day.
    Is this Mama ready? NO!!!!
    Will I be ready in time? YEPPERS!

    Only 1 kid this year to homeschool. *sigh. And he will be a 12th grader. double *sigh and a sniffle.
    He is already signed up for Time4Learning High School(our family favorite) and I finally-FINALLY found an Oceanography unit(his request). I think. It is online. Looks ok. Will have my son double check when he gets home from the Grandparents next weekend to make sure it is what he wants! Cross your fingers because only other choice(s) is either an online college course OR a way younger book OR I find something and come up with a whole curriculum myself based on that.

    Signed myself up for the HP monthly ink program! 1st month, I am doing the $10 charge aka allowed to print out 300 pages. This will cover the activity planner for my son, a bunch of preschool pages for the daycare kids and then I will drop down to the lower print limit after that. Should save a TON on ink this year with this. Hoping it works as well as it claims.
    Think my printer might be smoking by the end of the week!LOL

    Got the binder, got the tabs, got pencils.....
    We will be ready..... WE WILL BE READY.... this is my new mantra to myself to make sure I don't slack and have us behind before we start.

    Are you ready for being back to school?
    Click here to tell us! ...

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