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How Do I Keep My Cool?

How do I keep my cool? By lowering my expectations. Now I'm not normally for setting low expectations for myself or others. I have a MFA, was a college professor by the age of 25, I get dressed like I'm going to an office everyday (even though I'm just walking down the hall to help with math and spelling and read some literature to my kids). BUT.... having high expectations for everything kept stealing my peace. You know what I'm talking about - the pile on the bar that your husband will not take care of drives you crazy, and when your child cannot remember the science term you worked on all week (and did "fun" activities with on top of that) makes you want to pop. I read somewhere a long ti

Should I Prep My Child for Testing?

For homeschoolers in North Carolina annual testing can be stressful time. Moms feel like they are being tested just as much as their kids are. No one see the results, but still, it is the knowing that makes all the difference. So, the temptation to prep them so that they score the highest they can is great. But my recommendation is to do no prepping at all for annual tests. One of the advantages homeschoolers have is that we do not have to "teach to the test." So don't! The beauty of testing in North Carolina is that no one sees the scores except mom and dad (unless mom and dad are braggingly showing them around to their neighbors and in-laws.) Because of this we should think of annual testi

Which Math Curriculum is the Best?

Every homeschooler wants to make the best choices for their children, and one of the questions I am asked the most is, "What is the best math curriculum?" Actually the answer is, "All of them." Every student learns differently, so every single math curriculum (or spelling curricula, or english curricula, or science, etc.) is the best for someone. The best question to ask is actually, "What is the best curriculum for my child?" This is a harder question to answer, but once the work is done to define all the criteria, the result will be the best possible solution for your child. Step one, in figuring this out, is to understand the different types of math curriculum. Traditional/Sequential: The

Is the Woodcock-Johnson Test right for my child?

There are many nationally standardized tests available for homeschoolers, but the Woodcock-Johnson has many features which set it apart. Most standardized tests are grade specific "bubble" tests-- timed, multiple choice tests where your child chooses the right answer and fills in the bubble. The Woodcock-Johnson is different in every way. First it is not graded. A professional test administrator starts your child at a level which will be easy for them and lets them work their way up till they can no longer do the work. They can go as high as they are capable with no regard to their grade. This is great for kids who excel in at least one of their subject areas. Most of the Woodcock-Johnson