Carnival of Homeschooling – Back to school

Here at the Davis home, we are busy planning our school year after a nice summer break from routine. We know you are all busy too but a few homeschoolers took the time to send us a post for the carnival.

Technology In Homeschool Education is Here to Stay

Technology, how homeschoolers are using it, how parents need to keep up, and what to do to keep up and keep safe.

Technology in Homeschool Education is Here to Stay

Rise of the Machines: We live in a technological age. According to the Pew Research Center at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, 93% of teens surveyed have, or have access to, a computer at home. Additionally, 95% of teens are online according to the same report.

Free Pioneer Activities!

Taz says: The fifth book in the Our America history series is out!  Finn & Ginny’s parents are lost back in time, and the two young twins have decided to take a fifth trip back to early America to search for them. The author has prepared some free activities to go with the book, but these activities can be used with any unit on the Pioneers.  Here is a link to the pdf of free pioneer Activities.

Summer “School” for the Whole Year

Why do we work so hard to get kids back into “school” mode? I did my best learning in summer.

10 Must-Have Items for Homeschooling

After 16+ years of homeschooling, these are the top “must-have” things that we use consistently, year after year.

When Homeschool Speakers Forget Jesus

What Kendra forgot when the room was empty, and what you, too, need to remember every day.

It’s Back To Home-School Time!

What Keri and family will be using in their home-school this year.

What do you value?

Janine shares how what she values lead her to homeschooling.

Mind your manners.

Kathy shares some good advice about teaching manners and introduces us to a “Presidential” resource on manners.

That’s all for this week’s Carnival of homeschooling. There’s a new carnival every week so if you want to participate, it’s easy to do. To submit your blog post, send the following info to carnivalofhomeschooling at

Title of post:
URL of post:
Name of blog:
URL of blog:
Brief summary of the post:

Submissions are due by 6:00 PM (PST) on the Monday evening of each week. It will be greatly appreciated if the submissions come in earlier. You can do this every week, so participate often.



Mind Your P’s and Q’s: Top Manners You Should Model

children's national guild of courtesyAs a teacher, there are some behaviors I am more apt to tolerate than others. Fidgety? I understand, I’m the same way. Forgetful? That’s expected: we all have lots of things to remember. Unfinished assignments? As long as it isn’t an everyday ongoing occurrence, I can deal with. But bad manners? Impropriety of behavior is one thing I will not tolerate in my students. It’s a good thing I have only had three in my homeschool because ingraining proper manners and instilling sincere politeness in my boys has required consistent effort.

Because the most effective form of teaching manners is role modeling, teaching manners has required me to be on my best behavior,  especially when my boys were young. Little ones are always watching and they imitate what they see. Tutorials, books with colorful illustrations, acting, singing. it is good to combine all types of teaching techniques, but if you really want your children to be good mannered, be their example.

manners2 Manners1Manners don’t come naturally, so with a gentle and tender heart, teach them and show them.  Have your kids take a look at George Washington’s list of 110 virtues. remember my boys copying them by hand when they first learned to write,
emperorNumber 7 is a good one: Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.

Number 55 not so much: Eat not in the Streets, nor in the House, out of Season.

No matter how full your school days are, don’t skimp on Manners 101. You can be sure the good manners you  instill in your children will serve them well throughout life.

Carnival of Homeschooling: Homeschool Lives, Homeschool Places

Hosted this week by/at Janice Campbell

Like a medieval blacksmith, a good software developer can fix many things.Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile may be startled to  see a completely new look. I’ve been wanting to do a little housekeeping for awhile– the previous theme has been up since 2007 or so, and was getting a bit long in the tooth. I was finally pushed into the update by suddenly having the blog lock up and refuse to let me log in for a week or two.

Read more… insults homeschoolers had some insulting “Example sentences” on their apps and website until shortly after twitter user  called them out.

UPDATE: has replied to us through their twitter account that they removed the offensive examples. Strangely, when Kathy visited the site (late Monday) they were still there, but have since vanished.

Didn’t meet your editorial standards? You need to look up the word “apology.” You can see the original sentences in the screen snap above.

Carnival of Homeschooling: The Finding Solutions Edition

Susan has posted the Carnival of Homeschooling for this week. Check it out:

Carnival of Homeschooling: The Finding Solutions Edition July 15, 2014 Welcome to the Finding Solutions Edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling!  Homeschoolers face many different challenges and deal with a variety of doubts about our chosen educational path. Even after homeschooling for 20+ years, I still have questions and concerns, and reading about how other homeschoolers deal with their anxiety helps me remember that I am not alone, and that solutions can be found for any obstacle we may encounter.

Read more…

Homeschooling: Would I do it all over again?

IMG_2203Now that two of my three boys have graduated high school, I’ve wondered if I would do it all over again. If I could travel ahead in time when we began this homeschool thing and could see the end, would I still do it? Yikes, did I realize just how hard homeschooling was? I don’t think I did.

No, I’m sure of it.

I had no clue how hard homeschooling would be.

Homeschool three boys for nearly twenty years.

Teach them to read, to do math, to write.

Ugh.  Writing!  Why was that so bittersweet? One loved it, one liked it, one would rather stare off into space.

Science, history, manners.

Gym, aka go run around outside and swing for a half hour.

Language, geography, cooking, chores, public speaking.

Clubs,  Awana, bible quizzing, honor society, art, music, laundry (my future daughter-in- laws are supposed to thank me for that one).

Library skills? Right.

Fire safety, bike safety, highway safety, STD’s (that was weird), anti-smoking.

Drivers education.  Ok that one nearly killed me.  I recommend you hire a professional for that subject.

I’ve written 128 quarterly reports, 31 Individual Home Instruction Plans, and lots of Annual Assessments and Letters of Intent. Thank you NYS for being so greedy for paperwork.


All this while trying to keep the meals coming, the house in order, and a marriage happy.

I’m not trying to scare those of you who are thinking of homeschooling, and I’m not trying to prove I’m some super star homeschooling mama (though I really am and so are all of you homeschooling mamas).


Now that I’m at the end and if I had a time travel machine to go back, would I do it all again? Would I homeschool my three boys for nearly twenty years? Knowing how hard it was physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? Let’s not forget…

homeschool tagul


Would I do it all again?

Hell Yeah!

Every single minute of it.

Garrison, Ben, Will.  You are the best, it has been a privilege to be your teacher, and I am am blown away God chose me to be your mama.

Would I do it again?  What a silly question.


Carnival of Homeschooling: Graduate Edition

Homeschooling has it’s seasons. We all knew when we started this journey that the goal was to someday graduate. We just graduated our second son here at the Davis home. One more to go. Certainly we have mixed feelings as we see our sons become more independent but there’s joy in knowing we were there and part of their lives every step of the way. Our own Kathy tells the story as we Graduate Number Two at ChristineMM of The Thinking Mother shares what she thinks is the main thing that all parents (not just homeschooling parents) should teach their kids : What a Parent Should Teach Deputy Headmistress tells of Life with mostly littles via The Common Room: “One day I had three children, ages 9, 7 (almost 8), and 2, and then the next day I had five, ages 9, 7, 5, 3, and 2.  All three of the youngest were in diapers.  How did I ‘do it all?’  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA”

alice in pool of tearsSo what was I was doing when my oldest was 9? I was trying to cope. I just functioned, one foot in front of another, one day at a time. I’ve told part of this story before.  I was treading water.

Bon says: “The 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching” is Not So Good via Have you seen the list of 12 Touchstones of Good Teaching? Looks like there’re some problems with it!

Sharon presents Honoring Aunt Tucker posted at “The voice I heard when I woke from a dream this morning was my Aunt Tucker’s. Not actually her voice, but definitely her. I could not go back to sleep so instead I begin celebrating Aunt Tucker’s life. On this day when her body will be placed in a grave, her soul is dancing with the moon and her sister stars. She has already sent us small but distinct signs that she is loving us from her new home, from the place where she is light and ageless.”

Susan asks: College Prep Homeschooling: To Go or Not To Go via At Home and School. Should your child go to college? Maybe not. Here are three questions that may help make this decision.
Henry shares another perspective on homeschooling: My brother’s perspective on homeschooling at Why Homeschool
Cindy shares: A Nature Study Photography Project for Any Age at Our Journey Westward. This nature study project is motivating for kids who love nature study and kids who don’t!
Julie has some Electric Conductive Paint Projects via Homeschooling Ideas. 
Conductive ink is a cool new type of paint that makes for some fun electronics projects in your homeschooling.
Judy writes: Dear Mom and Dad: I’m Not Going To College posted at Consent Of The Governed. I wrote this article back in 2007 – and it is still relevant today. Many kids are delaying college because it is just too expensive and/or they need time to decide what it is they really want to do… and that’s ok!
Denise shares More Than One Way To Find the Center of a Circle posted at Let’s Play Math!. An old geometry puzzler for high school students: Pick one side of the debate, and try to find at least three different ways to prove your point.
Taylor tells us Why I Walked Out on God at HomeschoolingIRL What happens when a home schooled teen is told she isn’t trying hard enough at church? And what happens when she walks away from the God she thought she knew? Hope and encouragement for parents with struggling teens and young adults from homeschool grad, Taylor Nieman.
Annie offers Election Report Guidelines via Tea Time with Annie Kate.
Dave and Carol tell us about Money Myths Homeschool Moms Believe via HomeschoolCPA 
Do any of you, like me, have curriculum sitting on your shelf, that if you are honest with yourself, you will probably never use? I want to share some experiences I’ve learned about money and homeschooling in a podcast with guest Susan Raber.
An finally Kathy writes A Letter to my Husband: Where Our Dog Herds a Fawn and I Meet a Fräulein at This is a hilarious story of our dog’s spurious hunting efforts in our suburban neighborhood.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of homeschooling using our carnival submission form or follow the email instructions here. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. Graduates Number Two


This past weekend we graduated our second son from homeschool.  If we can do it, you can do it.  Davis Homeschool started in 1999 with one in kindergarten, one in pre-k, and one in utero receiving instruction in ABC’s via daddy talking to my round belly.

We homeschooled our two graduates for 13 years, and have four years left with our youngest. It has been one wild, adventurous, unpredictable, all consuming, and undeniably spectacularly wonderful ride! Congratulations to our 2014 graduate Benny for surviving and thriving in homeschool.  He has grown from a sweet, always smiling, loved to read, little boy to a charming, dry-humored, always smiling, loves to play video games, but loves Jesus more young man.  We are beaming with joy. We know God has plans for our sons, and are happy to sit back and watch it all unfold.  I wish we could take credit for the way they turned out, but we were just the instruments.  God gets the glory.

  • If you are in the early years of homeschooling: enjoy it and don’t give up, it only gets better.
  • If you are in the middle years, don’t panic: high school is easier than you think.
  • If you are in the home stretch: hang on tight cause its a whirlwind.
  • If you graduated your child: Congratulations.  

they are worth it




Carnival of Homeschooling – The Building Character Edition

Sara is hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling at The Homeschool Post.

The Homeschool Post is happy to host this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling.  We’re continuing our month-long focus on building character in our children. Homeschooling is about more than just academics – it is a lifestyle of learning with an emphasis on strong character.  How do you encourage your children to make good choices and to think critically?  In a culture sadly lacking in good role models, how do we point out positive examples of good character?
Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling: The Thousand Flowers Edition

Dewey’s Treehouse is hosting this week’s Carnival of Homeschooling: The Thousand Flowers Edition

Carnival of Homeschooling: The Thousand Flowers Edition This week’s Carnival of Homeschooling is inspired by Spunky Homeschool’s post Common Core Curriculum is coming. “Time is short. School districts are scrambling. Tests are coming. The situation is ‘near-impossible,’” Spunky warns. She also refers to a study in Education Week where curriculum researchers state, “Letting a thousand flowers bloom isn’t consistent with ensuring that all teachers are using high-quality and well-aligned materials.” Apparently I’ve been living under a bit of a rock, because I had never heard that quotation about the thousand flowers and had to look it up. It is a misquotation of a policy of Chairman Mao Zedong: “Let a hundred flowers blossom.”  At that time (1957), the Chinese government was actually encouraging constructive criticism from various respected thinkers, and that was the official (and very springlike) way of saying it.

Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling – The Homeschooling & Farms Edition

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is at: Petticoat Government

With spring finally here–although I fully expect some more snow before the month is out because that's just how weather is in Colorado–for this Carnival of Homeschooling, I thought I'd look at intersections of homeschooling and farming.
 Many parents, homeschooling or not, have a strong desire to teach their children about nature in-depth. My father liked to take us hiking, and my parents had us children grow a garden and raise chickens. One year we even raised a steer in our backyard for a while. He was rather bad-tempered (I wonder if he understood our nickname for him, "Dinner") and got out sometimes, wandering up and down our residential street, which taught us the importance of locking up gates securely.
 While this is by no means solely a homeschooler phenomenon, I've seen many of my friends and relatives who lean towards homeschooling raise chickens and/or other livestock, grow big gardens, and dream of the little farm they're going to have someday out in a rural setting. Here are several blogs I found of homeschoolers living (or at least pursuing part of) that dream
Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling – The April Fool’s Edition

Jamie is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at momSCHOOL with an April Fool's theme. There are some great ideas for next year! 

April the first stands mark’d by custom’s rules,

A day for being, and for making fools: —

But, pray, what custom, or what rule supplies

A day for making, or for being — wise?

(Rev. Samuel Bishop, 1796)

This is one of the earliest known mentions of April Fool’s Day. Though the exact origin is a bit cloudy, most historians trace a general air of tomfoolery back to antiquity.The Romans celebrated a festive holiday during the end of March known as Hilaria. The Jewish festival of Purim is also celebrated during this time and incorporates costumes, carnivals, and pranks.While I’ve heard that an ancient Dutch poem mentions April Fool’s and was written in 1561. So, in any case we can see that playing pranks and making all sorts of general merriment is the custom for this time of the year!

Read more… 

The 429th Carnival of Homeschooling – The Still Winter Edition

This week’s Carnival of Homeschooling at Golden Grasses.

It’s been a long winter ’round here. And it’s still happening- today was a day full of blowing snow, school closures and other winter nonsense. So, yeah, we are all about a change of season, and soon Till then, we are getting lots of school done, including tons of reading, read-alouds, CD-listening, DVD watching, and texts gone through.
Read more…

Carnival of Homeschooling – The Post Olympic edition

Susan is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Corn and Oil.

The Sochi Winter Olympics ended a couple of days ago.  Many of us watched various winter sports such as ice skating, hockey games, snowboarding, skiing (sometimes with a gun), along with the curious art of curling.  Fitting every day lives into those 17 days of competitions, many non-Olympian homeschoolers also found a gainful way to educate too.  Looking back at the Putin-powered Olympics, we.ll celebrate some Olympians who educate at home to keep up with their athletic passions and schedules. The real life homeschooling experiences shared by our Carnival participants also display the distinctiveness of a home educated family life.  We.ll keep doing what we do every day, whether it.s surrounded by snow and elite physical training or those of us just taking a nature walk through a park.  Enjoy!
Read more…

Networks Never Covered German Home-School Family’s Plight

via NewsBusters

Illegal immigration might be a hot topic for the media, but the networks remained mum when the government denied asylum to a German family seeking the freedom to educate their own children. 
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike along with their children came to the United States in 2008, seeking political asylum because home-schooling is illegal in Germany. The family wants to homeschool due to its Christian beliefs. Obama’s U.S. Justice Department refused asylum status, and chose to defend its decision in litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by the Romeikes on March 3 which initially signaled a deportation for the family. Despite the win for the Obama Justice Department, ABC, CBS, and NBC have not mentioned the story. 

Read more… 

Carnival of Homeschooling – The Just Keep Blogging edition

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Notes from a homeschooling Mom.

It is now March 2014, I officially became a veteran homeschooler back in May 2013, when I graduated my second, and last child, from homeschooling. I am still processing all of my thoughts and feelings about the last 10 years, because homeschooling is serious business, and just as you need to be mentally prepared to start and to make it through homeschooling, you need to put the same effort (at least in my case) into coming out the other side, and finding a new you, when you have been released from your homeschooling duties.
Just as I found blogging to be a great way to prepare myself and to keep motivated during the homeschool process, I am finding blogging to be a great way to process myself into my next phase in life-post homeschooling.  As much as inward blogging has helped me, I still need to spend just as much time reading the blogs of others, for sanity reasons, to let me know that I am OK… as in Not Crazy, as in other people are having the same feelings and experiences that I have either had, or am having right now. For this I am thankful, so with that I say, Just keep blogging through and even after homeschooling.  I will keep you sane, and it will also help those who come after you.