Working and Homeschooling – An iHN Google+ Hangout


Work and homeschool hangoutThis Thursday I’ll be participating in a Google+ Hangout entitled How Do You Work and Homeschool? The panel will be made up of five moms who all homeschool and work in various ways both outside the home and at home. It includes big families and little families and different kinds of homeschool approaches so it should be an interesting panel discussion!

The panel members include:

If you aren’t familiar with my professional background, I’m a former teacher who decided to leave teaching to write. When my graphic designer husband was downsized out of his job in 2001, we struck out on our own full-time. Our business is Arts & Letters, Inc. We’ve been business owners since then and now also balance homeschooling with it.  It makes for fun times!

I’m really looking forward to participating in this panel and hope you will stop by to watch and participate in the discussion room!

Posted in Home Education/Homeschooling, Working from Home | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling a Right-Brained Child

The Ultimate Guiide to Homeschooling a Right Brained Child

Congratulations! You have a right-brained child! You have one of those wonderfully creative children who learns differently and looks at the world differently. If you are a right-brained person, then you already have some idea of what life is like for your child. If you are left-brained, you may feel completely bewildered about what to do with this little person who doesn’t want to do anything the way you think it should be done!

My own Caroline is right-brained. After making it through the high-need baby stage and realizing she is a spirited child when she was a toddler, the right-brained discovery was rather anti-climatic. We’ve become accustomed to having to think outside the box with her. Homeschooling a right-brained child is just the next step!

I’ve compiled below what I hope you will find to be The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling a Right-brained Child. I’ve spent hours doing research to put all of this information in one place. I hope you will find it helpful and you will find many resources that will assist you in your homeschooling and parenting journey. If you know of any good resources I’ve missed, please feel free to let me know about them in the comments!

Please note that the inclusion of a link below is not an endorsement of all of its content or the content of the site on which it is located.

Right-Brain Books


Right-Brain Characteristics

Your Child Might Be Right-Brained If …  from The Right Side of Normal

Is Your Child Right-Brain Oriented? from The Homeschool Mom

An Introduction to the Creative, Right-Brained Learner from Apple Stars

Honestly… what do we really mean when we say a product or person is right-brained? from Child 1st

Is My Child a Visual-Spacial Learner? from Child 1st

Why We Need to Value Students’ Spatial Creativity from KQED

The Gender Factor from The Right Side of Normal


General Teaching and Curriculum for the Right-Brained Child

Teaching Your Right Brain Child from Child Diagnostics

Right-Brain Learners from The Homeschool Mom

Left Brain vs Right Brain in the Classroom from Scholastic

Your Puzzling Gifted Child from Child Diagnostics

Right Brain Learning from Funderstanding

Tips for Teaching the Right-Brained Child from Child 1st


Reading, Writing and Spelling for the Right-Brained Child

Right Brain Writing from Child Diagnostics

Typical Right-Brained Reading Traits from Apple Stars

Reading for Right-Brained Learners from Home EDucators Resource Directory

Right-Brained Reading from The Homeschool Mom

Teaching Your Right Brained Child by Dianne Craft at HSLDA


Math for the Right-Brained Child

Right Brain Math from Child Diagnostics

Right Brain Math Strategies from Child Diagnostics

The Making of a Wizard and the Crafty Side of Math from Blog, She Wrote

Right-Brained Math from The Homeschool Mom

More Right-Brained Math Ideas from The Homeschool Mom


My Posts Related to How I Homeschool My Right-Brained Daughter

Must Have Items for Homeschooling a Creative Girl

Should elementary students formally study mathematics?

Our Homeschool Learning Room 2013-2014

Homeschool curriculum for a right-brained, spirited child – 2013-2014

Why I homeschool in the afternoon and not the morning

Teaching Our Spirited, Active Child to Read

Why I Don’t Plan Crafts for My Child

A Dozen and a Half Learning and Educational Websites for Children

Are You Choosing the Wrong Learning Materials for Your Child? 

How We Ended Up Relaxed Homeschoolers and What It Looks Like

Stocking Art Supplies and Craft Items in the Homeschool Art Cabinet

Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years – A How To Series

How I Teach History – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Science – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Math – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years

How I Teach Language Arts – Relaxed Homeschooling in the Early Elementary Years Series

Our First Year of Homeschooling – A Look Back at the Ups and Downs of Kindergarten

A Sample Kindergarten Homeschool Schedule for a Creative, Dreamer Child


Other Bloggers with Right-Brained Children

Marianne at Abundant Life

Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom

Heather at Blog, She Wrote

Michelle at The Holistic Homeschooler

Tricia at Hodgepodge

Chellie at The Planted Trees


This post is part of the Ultimate Guides event hosted by iHomeschool Network. Check out many other wonderful Ultimate Guides!


Posted in Caroline, Home Education/Homeschooling, Learning and Homeschooling, Right Brained Learners | 1 Comment

FREE Spring Sentence Scramble Activity – Differentiated Literacy Center for Multiple Grade Levels

Spring Sentence Scramble Literacy Activity

Early elementary students usually enjoy doing sentence scrambles. It’s kind of like a puzzle and a writing exercise in one!

The students will sort the set of six cards to make a sentence and then record the sentence on their sheet. The recording sheet is provided in both color and black/white.

There are four different sentences provided two different ways.

The first set has the capital letters and punctuation provided.

The second set has no capital letters or punctuation so the student must make that correction when writing the sentence.

If you enjoy this, please check out my Spring Literacy Pack, Spring Math Pack and Spring Literacy and Math Pack!

You may:
• Use these for your own classroom or homeschool use.

You may not:
• Sell or redistribute these products in any manner.
• Give away this product.
• Post this product on any website or sharing board.
• Email this product to a friend or provide it in some other electronic means.

Contact Me
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the terms of use or desire to use the product for something beyond these terms. I will be happy to discuss it with you!


Posted in Early Elementary, First Grade, Free, Language Arts and Literacy, My Educational Products, Printables, Reading, Second Grade, Spring, Store-All, Store-Freebies, Store-Literacy Centers and Activities, Store-Spring | Leave a comment

Why I Don’t Plan Crafts For My Child

Why I Don't Plan Crafts For My Child

On a recent visit to my parents’ home, my mom asked me to go through some of my childhood things she still had. Among them were crafts from elementary school. I wish I had thought to take pictures of them, but I’ll have to do that when they bring them here the next time they visit.

We’re talking humble crafts. In the age of Pinterest, these are rinky dink.

Pink wax with pink glitter poured into a school milk carton to make a square candle.

A dipped beeswax candle and a candle holder made of clay and then glazed.

And so on.

And yet I remember making every single one of them. Crafts weren’t something we did that often in school. The only other place I did crafts was Girl Scouts if it was related to a badge we were working on.

Like the mom in I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical, my parents didn’t plan craft projects for us. We had construction paper, crayons and glue around the house. Tape was rationed. I remember some paper doilies. We had coloring books. (I liked to color.) That was about it. In the early 70′s, parents were not obsessed with maximizing their child’s every moment. I read a lot of books and my brother spent most of his time running around the neighborhood with his friends (unsupervised, as was the norm).

Which gets me to my point.

I don’t do crafts with Caroline. I don’t plan them. I don’t scour the internet for fascinating, intricate crafts to do with her. I just don’t see the point.

I do supply Caroline with oodles of craft materials. We have a cabinet full of art and craft supplies and she’s free to use them whenever she wants. Like most right-brained children, she LOVES creating with her hands. She will sit for hours creating things out of cardboard, patterned duck tape, regular tape, construction paper, foam, etc. But I don’t plan any of it. I don’t look for things for her to make. (My gift to her is that I’ve learned to cope with the neverending mess and projects that end up

I think this is one area where homeschool moms put unnecessary pressure on themselves which can, in turn, lead to burnout. Do you know how much time it takes to look for amazing crafts, track down (and pay for) all the special supplies, and then do the actual craft? In my opinion, the return on investment isn’t worth it. I would rather take Caroline to Hobby Lobby or Michaels once or twice a year and give her fifty dollars to spend on craft supplies that interest her. We go armed with coupons and a budget. Not only does she get what she wants, she also learns about tradeoffs because she has to stay within her budget. If I’m constantly supplying her with fancy craft projects, then she doesn’t really learn to appreciate what it takes both in terms of time and money to do them.

So if you are feeling depressed by all of the amazing things moms are posting on Pinterest… Don’t be.  You aren’t the only homeschooling mom out there who isn’t doing spectacular crafts each week. In my opinion, if you provide a variety of interesting materials for your child to use, you are doing a good job.

And sometimes good is enough. :-)

Do you struggle with craft guilt? How do you provide crafty opportunities for your child?


Posted in Art, Crafts and Creative, Caroline, Home Education/Homeschooling, Learning and Homeschooling | 11 Comments

The worries every homeschool mom has (and why you can stop worrying)

The Worries Every homeschool mom has and why you can stop worrying

There are some worries that seem to be common to most (if not all) homeschooling moms. We probably worry about them to varying degrees, but I think there are concerns that cross all of our minds whether it is once a semester or once a week. (Or, during THOSE days, once an hour!)

I am tempted to worry about the fact that Caroline is an only child. I am tempted to worry about the fact that while she’s miles ahead in some subjects, she struggles in others. I am tempted to worry that without an environment of competition, she’ll never learn to push herself to achieve. I am tempted to worry that she’s too content to be home with us and that she’ll never leave when she grows up!  I am tempted to worry that she’s so creative and dreamy that she’ll never be able to find a way to make a living in the real world. LOL!

Karen Edmisten has put together her thoughts regarding Nine Worries About Unschoolish Ways I Shouldn’t Have Worried About. I always appreciate posts like this written by moms who are further down the path than I am. It reminds me that even though Caroline’s education look so completely different from my own or that of her peers who attend a traditional school, that she is doing fine thankyouverymuch.

Relaxed homeschooling is WONDERFUL. I believe so strongly in it (especially in the early years) and I’m so thankful to have this opportunity to share it with my daughter. Is it bliss every day? Of course not!  Nothing is bliss every day. But it’s so much fun to see her flourish and learn and grow according to her own needs and passions and abilities. :D

So I choose to remind myself regularly that God put this child in our home at this time after many years of prayer. I don’t need to worry. He’s been looking out for her from the very beginning and He will continue to do so in the days ahead. I can take my concerns to Him and trust that He will work through her imperfect parents to get her right where she needs to be. :-)

Do you have any specific homeschool or parenting worries that seem to crop up regularly? What do you find encouraging from Karen’s list?

Posted in Caroline, Home Education/Homeschooling, Learning and Homeschooling | 5 Comments

Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards – Unit Extension Activity, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time


Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards are a quick, flexible, colorful and fun way to expand your unit! Start building interest in your topic each morning with these 30 fascinating fact cards that go beyond the basics.

One teacher shared:
“My kids are addicted to reading these facts cards every morning. If I forget to read one, they are sooo quick to remind me. And the parents are learning too! During conferences, I had many parents tell me how much they had learned from their children when we read the apple and pumpkin cards. Thanks!”

These cards are used multiple ways by teachers in many grades. I love reading about all the different ways teachers use them in their classroom!

Quick Fun Fact – Read the fact card each day and store them in a small basket where the students can look at them again and again. Or keep the set on a ring.

Fact of the Day Bulletin Board – Read a fact each day and display the cards on a special bulletin board or foam board.

Hallway Display – One teacher displayed them on the hallway chalkboard outside her door so many students and adults could read them.

Calendar Pocket Chart – Put a fact behind each number on the calendar and have a different student take it out each day. You can then display on bulletin board.

Geography Extension – Put the cards on a wall map with a string that points to where it ties in.

Go Fish – Create two sets and use for a game of Go Fish.

Memory Game – Create two sets and use for a Memory Game.

Scavenger Hunt – Use the cards to create a Scavenger Hunt.

School Bulletin Board – One kindergarten class had two students take the fact of the day down to the office each morning, “teach” the fact to the office staff, and then display the cards on the office bulletin board for everyone in the school to see.

The cards are 3×3 and there are 6 on a page. I made them small so they easily slide behind your date cards on the calendar pocket chart. They are also a good size for small hands if using them for a game. I also made them smaller to find the balance between making them colorful, but not taking too much ink when you print them.

The cards are unnumbered so they can be used in any month and in any sequence. You can use all the cards in the set or only a portion. This provides maximum flexibility for the teacher’s schedule. Use one set all month or use parts of two sets depending on your needs.

Also included is a hyperlinked list of the relevant websites where the facts were located.

These are just one in a series of fact cards that you can use all year long! Click to see all of the topics currently available with more being added regularly!

Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards
Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards
Flowers and Plants Fun Fact Cards - Unit Extension, Bulletin Board, Games, Circle Time
Price: $3.00

Posted in Early Elementary, First Grade, Fun Fact Cards, Kindergarten, My Educational Products, Preschoolers, Science and Nature Study, Second Grade, Spring, Store-All, Store-Fun Fact Cards, Store-Spring, Third Grade | Leave a comment

Five Vendors I’d Like to Meet in Person at a Homeschool Convention

Five Vendors I'd Like to Meet in Person at a Homeschool ConventionHomeschool convention season is upon us. I’ve already mentioned I won’t be able to attend one of the Great Homeschool Conventions due to distance limitations. I also shared my thoughts on 5 ways an introvert like me can survive a homeschooling convention.  But if I did attend a homeschool convention, here are five vendors I would really like to meet.  The reason I would like to meet them? They are all people David and I have worked with from a distance and have not had the pleasure of meeting in person. Here they are in ABC order…

Dianna Wiebe at GrapeVine Studies – David has been doing design work for Dianna for a number of years now. I’ve become acquainted with Dianna since starting to use their Bible materials with Caroline. I’ve written about how much we love them and we continue to love them.  (Watch for a giveaway coming up!) It would be great to meet the woman behind the lessons.

Dianne Craft at Child Diagnostics – We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Dianne and her husband, Ron, on a number of projects. And as the mother of a right-brained child, I find the information on her website and in her materials fascinating.  The information on blocked learning gates is amazing! I would so enjoy talking with her and sitting in on some of her sessions. :-)

Kim Kautzer at WriteShop – We’ve been working with Kim for years on her awesome writing curriculum. I do editing for her and David does the layout of the materials. Kim is just a fun person to work with! After spending so much time working with her, I would love to meet her in person.

Maggie, Bob and Tyler Hogan at Bright Ideas Press – David has been working with BIP for a number of years and they are delightful people with great products. Judging from my interactions with Tyler on Facebook, I think he’s be a lot of fun to meet in person.

The Gang at The Old Schoolhouse – Technically we’ve already met some of them. We had the pleasure of meeting Paul and Gena Suarez a few years ago when they were coming through Michigan. But there are so many other people we interact with on a daily basis because David does the magazine layout each month. It would be fun to spend some time in their booth and put real faces with names.

If you are fortunate enough to live near a Great Homeschool Conventions location, then head over to their website and check out who will be there! They have some great speakers lined up and lots of terrific vendors to interact with in the vendor hall. There is also a blogger meet-up in the works so make sure you are following GHC on Facebook and Twitter so you can get the up-to-date information on where to connect with bloggers you would like to meet in person!

Image credit

Posted in Home Education/Homeschooling, Homeschool Conventions, Learning and Homeschooling, Working from Home | 2 Comments