To Grade or Not to Grade

That is the big question isn’t it? Some say in order for kids to truly know how they are doing in their school, kids need grades. Others say that when a child is graded, they pay more attention to the grade itself than what they need to improve on.

So who is right? What should we do?

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Science Lab Kit: What is it and do We really need it

Science is an intriquing and yet intimdating subject. Our kids, for the most part, are excited when it comes to science.

They want to dig the fossil out of the dirt.

Looking at skin under a micrscope is gross but fun.

They love to learn about the animals of our world and their ecosystems.

But what are lab kits? With everything else you purchase for your kiddos school, do you really need to buy a lab kit as well?

Are your kids literally going to blow up your house with one?

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The Case of the Troubling History

What is your experience with history?

Did you enjoy it in school?

Did it evade your understanding?

Do you understand history as a sequence of events?

I have a confession. I honestly didn’t think I could teach history because I

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Reading log vs Reading list

My daughter loves to read. If I let her she would read from sun up to sun down and then keep reading when she should be asleep. She is like me in this. We love books, well written books that catch our imagination and take us on adventures. My older boy is finally a reader, but a selective one. He will re-read books six or seven times. He too will stay past bed time reading if he could. My youngest is not like either of the other two. He does not want to read but go, run, jump, and go on his own little adventures outside.

With three different reading styles, three different kids, how do I assign reading?

There are two ways that parents tend to address

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A Look at Math: Fractions

Am I the only one who cringes when I see math problems that include fractions? Even in recipes, I can sometimes stumble when I am trying to increase the recipe by 1/3 and the recipe calls for 3/4ths a cup of something. It seems simple but I am terrified when faced by fractions.

Why? I was not taught how to properly handle fractions.


When I was in school, we were taught to find the decimal

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My Go-Tos for Summer Time

Typically our summers are full of fun, travel, and time spent with others. We thoroughly enjoy driving to historical locations and exploring all the old landmarks there. We spend a lot of time traveling to see family in various states, often spending a long weekend with them seeing the local sights. We also really enjoy hosting cookouts for our friends and family as well, sharing food and laughter. This summer seems to be shaping up into a very different kind of summer though.


We are still under social restrictions.

We still are being told to stay six feet apart from others.

We are told to keep gatherings to a minimum and to a

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What I hear A Lot: Wouldn’t it Just be Easier…

How many of you have heard a sentence started this way, “wouldn’t it just be easier if…..”

It can be referring to cleaning your house

It can be in conversation about your health

It can be a lead into a discussion on your future plans in life

What I am going to talk about today though is when people say this about homeschooling your kiddo. To me, this comment is right up there with the “what about socialization” question. It is maddening. There are times when I seriously wonder if people think things through anymore before they speak.

Besides, when has “easier” every been better?


If we really think about it, a good job change is not easier, you have to work through new tasks, learn how best to shift your time around, and manage more people

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Reviewing Safety: Important at Any Age

While quarantine, for the most part, has us in our homes for the majority of the day, there are more families going for walks and bike rides together. The number of families in my neighborhood I see walking every day now has more than tripled since quarantine started and while this is fabulous, there have been a few issues.

Kids are so bored they are forgetting safety rules


Now when I say kids, I do not mean those who are 8 years old

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What I hear a lot: I can’t get them off electronics!

This has to be the most common problem I hear parents talk about. No matter their intention, no matter what they try and do, their kids end up on electronics and do not want to get off of them. This is a giant concern as many studies have shown that extended periods of time on electronics have numerous negative side effects. One of the most easily seen side effects, and the one that causes the most problems, is the emotional instability that comes with too much screen time.

How do we get them off electronics and keep them off?

Screen time kelly-sikkema-RZamNjYMjU0-unsplash

Do you remember when your kids were around 18 months or two years old and while exploring you had to tell them “no” a lot because of dangers? The hot oven. The electric

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A Look at Language Arts: Book Reports

There are some subjects we just love. Anything and everything about it excites us.

There are some subjects we cannot stand so we find simple ways to teach it.

But sometimes there are subjects we don’t mind, we might even like, but there are a few concepts that we are really not confident or comfortable teaching our kids.

In the Focus On articles, I would like to spend some time, maybe every other week or so to write on these daunting concepts. These will be in no specific order and will jump from subject to subject.


In Language Arts, there are many concepts

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