Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies – Giveaway


It’s the 32nd Weekly Giveaway from Homeschool Survival! We love bringing you these giveaways each and every week here on Homeschool Survival. If you have Freebies you’d like to share, be sure to link up and we will be Pinning and Sharing through the week. We’d like to encourage you to like us and interact with us on Facebook. Visit us there to find and share more fantastic posts. We are a community where you can ask questions, get mom to mom answers and be encouraged. In fact, if you happen to have any questions about homeschooling, feel free to leave us a comment here…and we’ll be happy to post them on the page, or even write a blog post about it. We are here to help you in your journey and can’t wait to hear more from you! Be sure to read all the way to the end, where the fabulous giveaways will be posted.

Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies



This week: Wildlife Adventures

Wildlife Adventures by Adventures In ChildRearing is composed of weekly unit studies covering bible, handwriting (cursive & print), spelling, science, history, geography and more.  They are designed for multiple ages so the whole family can enjoy learning together.

Manatee Unit Study

Each creation based unit focuses on a different animal and incorporates games, puzzles, and/or videos along with reading material and additional options for further study – including book lists.

Wildlife Adventures unit study

Inspire your children to learn by exploring the world around them and investigating the wildlife God created. Ignite an interest in reading, improve research skills, and use your child’s natural curiosity to encourage them to ask questions as they take a closer look at nature.

Create your own Wildlife Adventures Binder with beautiful cover pages and additional notebooking pages to store the lessons and showcase your studies.


Receive a Manatee Wildlife Adventure Unit Study as well as free notebooking and binder pages!

FREE Wildlife Binder Pages


 Go HERE to download 


Giveaway- 4 Complete Unit Studies & $50 Gift Certificate

Enter to win a month of FREE Wildlife Adventures Unit Studies – including everything you need but math for the family to learn and study together!

Learn about The Magnificent Frigate Bird, Seashells, Frogs, and Dolphin.

Value $52 for the set & $50 Gift Certificate = $102 Giveaway

Enter with one link or enter with them all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
By entering this giveaway, you will automatically be added to the author’s email list. 

Other Giveaways & Freebies: Let’s Link Up!

It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)

Celebrating Cruelty

Blackberry Cell phone

My son is 14. If he had remained in public school, he would be entering 9th grade in the fall. That means, for all intents and purposes, he’s a high-schooler. Even though he’s 5′ 3″ and barely 100 lbs. He started kindergarten a year early, and it shows.

Recently, our tiny hicktown in the Northernest portion of New York State made national news because high school and middle school students were beating the tar out of each other, recording the beatings on their cell phones, and posting the videos on YouTube. It all came out when a victim brought a jack knife to school and was brought up on weapons charges. He was 13.

It’s no surprise to anyone who was a teenager that teens are capable of intense cruelty. This is not to say they are all cruel, not at all. I am well acquainted with a number of teenagers whom I am proud to count as my friends. But I also was the victim of bullying in public school, and peer cruelty lead my son to attempt suicide at the age of ten.

Why are some children so cruel? I suspect it is, in part, human nature. We are born selfish creatures. But we have the capacity for awesome goodness. What makes the difference?

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

I believe the main contributor to a child’s tendency towards good or evil is the parent. A child who is raised tightly, with a parent or parents who are involved in his or her life, with consequences enforced for actions, is much less likely to record themselves assaulting a fellow student and posting it proudly on the internet than one for whom consequences are rare or variable, or who has no one to turn to when in need.

This is especially true in our current “viral video”, 30-seconds-of-fame culture. Those videos were posted to make the perpetrators appear “cool”…and it was successful. They were considered “famous”, for a short time, in the school. Famous, for beating up a classmate. Cool, for hurting an innocent person.

Just as we drank up our Madonna-esque 1980s culture of MTV and Air Jordans, our kids are drinking up the new culture. But this culture is malleable and made up of the users. The users who create the material are the same people who choose what is “viral”. When that media is accessible all hours of the day or night, from the phone in your pocket or the iPad in your pack, the horror of beating a classmate recedes through familiarity. It is no longer a bad thing…it’s desirable. It will get your video shared.

True worth – as opposed to the false fame of a “viral video” – does not come from outside. It comes from within, from the knowledge of who you are a God’s child. To keep that in the front of one’s mind can be difficult with so much pressure to conform. “The World” wants to suck us in, use us up, and spit us out.

To help your teens understand the fleeting gratification of “The World”‘s approval, teach them their true worth. Demonstrate it in your behavior towards them. If they feel they are valued in your eyes, in the eyes of your extended family and your church family, and in the eyes of the Lord, the desire to be valued in the eyes of strangers on the internet will be lessened. You can also reduce the pull of those internet strangers by monitoring and limiting your children’s access to social media. That is not a society that should have a strong pull on children.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:2)


Kathy LaPan is a homeschooling mom of two in Northern NY. She has an MBA in finance and teaches through SchoolHouseTeachers.com. Check out her blog at Simply Homeschool Living.

Build Your Own Bundle Ebook Sale!!


Whether you are just beginning your homeschooling journey, or helping your teens get through high school, or have children at every grade level, you are most likely on the look out for helpful resources that really make a difference in your children’s education and your family’s lives. Well, look no further! The very first Build Your Own Bundle Sale is going on NOW! And there is something for every one little ones and older guys, mom and the whole family, plus there are some terrific bonuses like freebies and coupons and discounts you’ll receive with every purchase. These materials are written by homeschooling parents like you and me, some are from well-known publishers. Why not pop on over and have a look – we have pre-packaged bundles for every age group, or pick and choose (within a category) to create your own unique bundle.


The first ever “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition sale is here!

For one week only (July 21-28) save up to 92% on bestselling
homeschooling products, including MANY on Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 list!

The bundles are AMAZING, including products such as Learning Language
Arts Through Literature
, A Child’s Geography, Character Concepts,
Picture Smart Bible, Math Mammoth, and more! There are SO
many incredible products to choose from, all bundled up in grades/themes
OR you can “Build Your Own!”

Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!

Our “Build Your Own” bundles offer you the opportunity to select
a certain number of products with a retail price of $19.99 or less for up
to 80% off! We have MANY items to choose from, including Cathy Duffy Top
100 Picks! When you purchase a combination of any 2 “Build Your Own”
bundles, you will get the 3rd one at 50% off!
Build Your Bundle - Homeschool Edition Sale: July 21-28 Save up to 92% on Popular Homeschooling Curriculum, Many from Cathy Duffy's Top 100 Picks!
Buy more & save more! Purchase 2 “build your
own” bundles and get the 3rd one 50% off! See
site for details.

You will also find the following pre-assembled bundles with saving up
to 92% off retail:
Tot/Pre-K Bundle, K-3 Bundle, 4-6 Elementary Bundle,
Middle School Bundle, High School Bundle, Charlotte Mason Bundle, & the
Homeschooling/Homemaking Mom Bundle!
Charlotte Mason Style Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $377.35 - On Sale for ONLY $49.00 - One Week Only! Elementary Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $220.35 - On Sale for ONLY $39.00 - One Week Only! Middle School Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $361.77 - On Sale for ONLY $59.00 - One Week Only!
High School Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $381.68 - On Sale for ONLY $69.00 - One Week Only! K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $187.13 - On Sale for ONLY $39.00 - One Week Only! K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $171.37 - On Sale for ONLY $29.00 - One Week Only!
K-3 Homeschooling Curriculum - Normally $118.19 - On Sale for ONLY $10.00 - One Week Only!  Homeschooling Curriculum - You Choose What to Buy - Save up to 80% - One Week Only!  Homeschooling Resources, Curriculum & More - Save up to 60% - One Week Only!


Don’t miss out on this terrific deal! (this offer disappears at the end of the day July 28)


Bible Handwriting and Cursive Sheets: FREE for Homeschool

FREE Bible Handwriting Sheets

Do you use Bible handwriting in your family homeschool?

I find that starting our day with Bible verses is the best way to survive and thrive through our homeschool day. Often, while I read our family devotion and verses, our 3 boys will sit and work on their handwriting with sheets like the ones below. It serves a dual purpose with memory work and teaches both print and cursive.


Bible handwriting


Romans 5:8 is one of my favorite verses. Along with the handwriting and cursive sheets, you’ll find a break-down of the Greek words and definitions as we take a deeper look at the words the bible uses in the scriptures. Commended, His love, and For Us are looked at closely in this passage and are used to show that God not only paid for our sins, but that it was indeed He (in the flesh) who died for us.

This verse is one of many which shows that Jesus was not only the Son of God, and not just a prophet, but was Himself – God – come to fulfill the Word, manifest as a man, demonstrating His love to its fullest extent. For us.

Get additional FREE bible verse handwriting and cursive sheets from John 8:12 HERE. 

I hope they will bless your family and that you consider starting your day off with Jesus – and FREE handwriting sheets!

Do you include Bible handwriting and memory work  in your homeschool?

DIY Fort Kit in a Bag


DIY Fort Kit in a Bag by www.sproutingtadpoles.com

My boys love building forts! They will go outside and spend hours putting forts together. They have to find just the right spot, spend hours putting it together only to then take it down, move to another spot in the yard and start all over. whew! Once they are finally established they act like secret spy agents and try to get to each other’s forts. It is really a lot of fun watching their imaginations take off! Even though ALL of my sheets and heavy containers seem to disappear, and no one knows where they went.  Hmmm….  Okay. Who am I to discourage creative thinking and logistics?

Our DIY Fort Kit

In an effort to save my household products, I decided to make them their very own Fort Kits in a special, personalized bag. Each one of them have their own bag with their initials on it complete with all the things a kid needs to build his very own, personal fort and even watch out for intruders. I found some old bed sheets that we don’t use anymore and also picked up 1 or 2 from Goodwill. I then went to the Dollar Tree and purchased flash lights, bungee cords to strap down the sheets, some spy kits they had at the time (you can’t complete a secret mission without cool gadgets) and magnifying glasses. I also added in some binoculars and walkie-talkies I found at the toy store. For these items, I did spend a little more money just so they would (hopefully) last longer. My boys are pretty rough on things and I wanted them to have items that actually worked! Toys R Us was having a sale on their science stuff around Christmas so I was able to get some night-time goggles and some pretty cool binoculars that have flash lights on them, for a great price. And of course, the final touch was adding a foam sword or plastic gun.

Once I had all of my stuff purchased, I went looking for some sturdy material that would hold all of this and could take a beating. I found some thick fleece scraps that were in my sewing scrap box and luckily, I had just enough to make 4 bags! I had two colors so I rotated the colors between the bag and the initials. I went to my mom and she helped me put these together (she did most of the work, while I watched!)

Here are some step-by-step photos:



After we finished the bags, I gathered the materials for each one and stuffed them. I gave them to the boys for Christmas and they loved them! Mission accomplished :). I no longer have household items go missing, yeah for me! I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you choose to make your own fort kit, send me some pictures and I will post them up here! Thanks for reading!

For more summer time activities, I have a post here – 32 Ideas for Summer Activities and Water Play

A great place to buy a fort kit is Fort Magic. (not an affiliate link) They have some really cool stuff!



www.sproutingtadpoles.comI’m Janeen, a Christian homeschooling mom to 5 blessings from God. I am passionate about history and I love to plan and organize! We have been homeschooling for 6 years and started a new journey this year using Heart of Dakota. You can read more about our busy lives at Sprouting Tadpoles where I write about homeschooling, Heart of Dakota, history, toddlers and much more. You can also connect with me on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

Virtual Field Trip to Washington DC


Virtual Field Trip


*affiliate links may be present

We are about to embark on the best field trip ever.  We are taking a field trip to Washington DC for the Teach Them Diligently National Homeschool Convention where I’ll be speaking! If you are attended – you may have seen me at the  A+ Interactive Math booth. I encourage homeschool families that they need not fear math any longer & that you really can teach your child in math. When God calls, He provides – Amen?

In my preparation for this exciting journey, I have gathered resources and information for anyone who would like to visit DC and for those who will not be able to make the field trip in person . . .  interactive links for you to come along – virtually! 

As you work your way through the download doc – you will find pictures and links that will direct you to some of the most famous icons around the Capital. Instead of printing the document – you can use it as an interactive adventure by clicking on the various links.

Our journey begins at the National Archives where you can peruse through documents which have shaped our country over the years.  You’ll find free worksheets where your students can document what they are learning – whether they visit in person on online – with the FREE Artifact Worksheets.

National Archive docs and tour

Find original documents, photographs & information from the US Patents office: Child Labor Laws, articles, proposals and official documents that have shaped our Constitution.  Learn more about due process, and the rights of the accused to be represented by an attorney. Read a hand written notarized letter dated 1962 about due process and the lack of such. Learn about how certain civil rights issues became officially amended in the Constitution and read real letters by the people who made it happen.  Digging through the old documents is another way to make history come alive and helps you understand the people who have shaped our country.

Washington DC landmarks

You can then move on to explore the famous landmarks around Washington DC and the National Mall! You will find links to some 15 different Smithsonian Museums, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and more.

As you read through the document and explore the links, you’ll find videos, pictures, and information you can read together. Take notes, print pictures, and create a special lapbook, or file folder full of information from your virtual journey!

Download Virtual Field Trip HERE


Extracurricular Activities Available to Homeschoolers

Extracurricular Activities Available to Homeschoolers


We are all about fun in this family. We fit in fun whenever we can.   This most often happens with extracurricular activities.  When my son was in public school, we limited him to a maximum of two activities at a time .  Since he is a kid that needs his sleep, sometimes had to say no, depending on the time or day of the week. No more limits, as long as our wallet can afford it, now that we homeschool.


My son has been in Boy Scouts for the past 8 years, which has offered him opportunities for numerous adventures, volunteer work, and socialization. Adventures have included camping, climbing, white water rafting, zip lining, traveling, and hiking, to name a few.  My son’s troop has an honor guard and they serve the community at Memorial re-dedications and Veterans events. We have volunteered giving out water at race events, Christmas meal deliveries to shut-ins, and improvements to cemeteries and parks in the community.  As a member of the Boy Scouts honor society, The Order of the Arrow, my son was able to finally join the Native American inspired dance team last year. The team has performed all over Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as, at a recent Pow Wow in New Jersey.  Because of the relationships he has established with scouts from other Troops, he was invited on another Troop’s upcoming trip to West Point in May.  This trip would have normally interfered with a public school schedule, but not any more.  Yay!

Honor Guard

Native American

As a family, we love to ski and snowboard in the winter. Homeschooling allows us a flexible schedule, so if the weather is perfect mid-day, we can get in some treks at the nearby mountain anytime 8am to 10pm during the season.

My son recently began swing dancing. He loves the big band jive and all the fancy moves. The crowd is mostly an older mix and he’d like some ladies his own age to mix with, but he has a blast with his best friend all the same. Swing dances are held locally Sunday nights 7 pm to 11 pm, so we could say yes to this opportunity with the flexibility of homeschooling.

The track coach at the area public high school would love for my son to join the team. The great thing with homeschooling is that students where we live can participate in all extracurricular activities and sports at the public high school, too.  Although my son loves to run for recreation, he is not into competition at all.  He is still undecided, but it is awesome to see the opportunities that are available.


Another activity my son enjoys with his friends and my husband is air soft.  I know guns are a touchy subject for many, as well as, hunting people or war. My point here is about activities, opportunities, and finding what your kid enjoys. My son plans to join the military and rather than just attacking zombies in a video game, my son gets to role play, team build, and strategize in a safe environment.

Keep your kids engaged, find out what the enjoy, and live life to the fullest!

What extracurricular activities have you found for your homeschooled kids?


Melissa ReadMelissa is in her first year of homeschooling her teenaged son, while working part-time.  She enjoys the simple life, but her husband is a super techie.  It’s an interesting balance as Melissa strives to learn more homesteading skills, while her husband is playing the latest Xbox game.  Find Melissa’s Facebook page:  Minor in Homeschool.

Tips for Homeschooling All Boys

Why I Love Homeschooling My Boys by Sprouting Tadpoles

We have 5 kids total and 4 of them are boys, ages 13, 11, 5 and 3. My daughter is 17 and this will be her last year of homeschooling. She does her work independently and is pretty much gone all the time, so it’s mostly just me and the boys at home.

Homeschooling my boys means that I must have it together every day. They are very active, curious about how things work and always ready to try something new. If I don’t have a plan of action and things to keep them busy, they will wander off, usually to the video games or outside and then it takes me at least an hour to get them focused again.

I have 2 boys that are extremely active and need to be moving constantly and 2 boys that are quiet and calm. It seems that God hard wired boys to be on the go, moving and thinking, preparing themselves to take on the role of leading their own families someday. As their mother, I feel led to train them to conserve that energy for things that are productive and motivate their natural curiosity.

So, I am going to share with you some tips I have picked up over the years on how to keep a house full of boys interested and focused on things other than video games!.

First and foremost, I teach them to love God – This instills compassion and morals in them that they will hopefully carry into adulthood. We read the Bible together each morning before starting school work, we attend church and are active in our community. My husband also reads the Bible with them at night.

Group Time – We have morning group time every day and I use this time to read the Bible, review our memory work, work on our character studies and just have good, quality fellowship time together.

Group Studies – I try to group many of our subjects and activities together. Doing group studies allows the boys more time together and obviously, makes it easier for me to teach them. We also do some fun, competitive games and I have the older boys read to the little ones occasionally.

Activities – I keep activities and projects ready to grab and go. I have Science Boxes, Activity Boxes, Busy Bags, lots of game boards and file folder games, and of course, we have the Legos, K’nex, blocks, race cars and battle zones, all those things boys love. I use a lot of these activities for down time during the school day.

Projects – To keep my boys entertained during school time, we do a lot of hands on projects. We try to do a history project, science project and some sort of art/nature/music activity each week. I try to make their learning as interactive as possible.  Otherwise, I will lose them several times a day.

The Little Ones – For my little guys, I keep 2 bins of Busy Bags available for them to play with. I also have lots of coloring pages and art supplies for them, along with wooden puzzles, magnetic pieces and printables that I made. I keep these easily accessible so that they can grab something and play quietly while I work with the older kids.

Quiet Time – We have quiet time at 3pm every day. We started this about 3  years ago and it has worked really well for our family. The little guys take naps around 2-3pm so we have our quiet time then. My rules for this are simple. They must stay in their bed the entire hour and they are allowed to read, play quietly, listen to audios or music with headphones or catch up on school work, as long as it is done in their bed. The older boys have come to love this down time. It helps them to unwind after a long day of school work, arguing, baby crying, fighting for my attention…………….etc, etc.

Food – One thing my boys do a lot of is EAT! Especially my 13yo! He eats constantly and it’s not snack foods.  He wants full meals 5 -6 times a day! It amazes me and scares me, because I have 3 more that will go through this stage! So I have found some ways to keep myself from cooking constantly and that is by making meals ahead and freezing them. I make things for breakfast that the boys can grab and go, like breakfast burritos, sausage, egg & cheese English muffinspop tarts, waffles, pancakes and muffins. I also make a lunch bar with tacos, burritos, sandwiches, fried chicken, fruit and veggies. And in addition to this, I keep lots of snacks on hand. Most of my dinners are made ahead and frozen or I make Crockpot meals.

I do love raising my boys. They definitely keep me on my toes! I spend a lot of prayer time asking God to guide me in raising them, to show me the right way to train them up, and to be patient enough to instill compassion and kindness for others. Homeschooling gives me the chance to be a better mother and for me and their father to have a stronger influence in their lives. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I just really want to give up and crawl in a hole somewhere. But it passes and after praying, I realize that I wouldn’t trade this life for anything!


www.sproutingtadpoles.comI’m Janeen, a Christian homeschooling mom to 5 blessings from God. I am passionate about history and I love to plan and organize! We have been homeschooling for 6 years and started a new journey this year using Heart of Dakota. You can read more about our busy lives at Sprouting Tadpoles where I write about homeschooling, Heart of Dakota, history, toddlers and much more. You can also connect with me on FacebookPinterest and Twitter.


Character Badges Giveaway + Freebies & Giveaways Link Up

Homeschool Freebies & Giveaways Link Up - Every Monday

Homeschool Moms Giveaways & Freebies Linky Party – Week 15

Welcome to Week 15 of the Giveaways & Freebies Linky party!  We’ve been having so much fun these last few weeks with some amazing giveaways!  Thank you to all of the sponsors so far! and Thank YOU for showing up and participating in the giveaways and freebies!

This Week’s Giveaway is sponsored by The Modest Mom 

Caroline, from The Modest Mom has offered to give away 3 Character Badges Bundles.  That means 3 different people will win!  In the bundle, you’ll get:

Character Badges recommended for children ages 5-12
Little Character Badges recommended for children ages 3-5

The value of this bundle is $12.99.

What is “Character Badges”?

Character Badges Little Character Badges

Character Badges is a system consisting of three charts (the Obedience Chart, the Disobedience Chart, and the Consequence Chart), a series of specially designed badges, and a set of flash cards which work together to make character training fun and rewarding for both you and your child.

The chart system presents a visual representation of your child’s behavior for a specified period of time and can show you any areas that need attention. You may also assign consequences to specific acts of disobedience (and keep it all organized) in the hopes of helping your child better understand why what they did was wrong.

Character Badges is not intended to be the magic solution for instant obedience in your child. It’s simply a fun and creative way for you to reward them for good behavior and to teach the habits of good character with more consistency. If you feel your child training could benefit from both of these things, Character Badges can produce amazing results in your child.

Buy It

You can buy Character Badges and Little Character Badges for $12.99 at The Modest Mom.

Win It

Would you like to win one of 3 different Character Badge bundles that Caroline at The Modest Mom is giving away?  Enter in the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Other Giveaways & Freebies:  Lets Link Up!

It’s time to link up!  If you’re a blogger linking up, I only ask that you link back to me, if possible.  I can’t wait to see your giveaways and freebies! (If you’re reading this in an email, be sure to click to the site to see more giveaways. More could be added all week!)

Embracing the Teen Years


First steps, first words, first birthday . . .

We celebrate these milestones and look forward to them from the day our children are born. The teen years seem so far away, but they arrive before we know it.

Many homeschool parents look upon the teen years with dread. They worry about how they’ll teach more difficult subjects, how hard it will be to keep track of grades, and [gulp] Driver’s Ed. Unfortunately, some parents believe that they cannot even continue to homeschool the teen years: What if my teen is weird and unsocialized for life?

I’d like to reassure you that:

1. You can teach more difficult subjects. When my oldest was in kindergarten, I began having the inklings of doubt for his high school years. Algebra and upper level science scared me to death. A funny thing happened, though. As my son grew older, he also grew to become more independent. I don’t have to do the algebra and science; HE does. I am here to help him, and I coach him and facilitate lessons, but the real work is up to him. And, thankfully, there are plenty of wonderful homeschool materials out there that make these subjects not only doable, but interesting and even fun.

Some math curriculum is computer based, with a virtual teacher to lead the student through the lessons (DIVE CDs for Saxon and Teaching Textbooks). Dr. Wile’s Apologia science texts are written to the student, so I really only have to help by gathering materials for experiments and discussing the study guide questions with my son. The reading is up to him.

Spanish is pretty much self-taught using a computer based program as well. And, supplementary CDs are benefitting the entire family as we listen to them in the car and all learn new vocabulary. (Rosetta Stone and Spanish in 10 Minutes a Day).

History is similarly written to the student, so he does the reading, and I follow the prompts in the teacher’s guide for discussions (Sonlight, TruthQuest, Beautiful Feet). We’ve learned that there are tons of “helps” out there if we need them, such as supplementary notebooking materials, study aids, and tutors. (Donna Young’s free science printables, Harmony Arts free notebooking pages, and Khan Academy’s free tutorials).

However, even though my son is working more independently, I am finding that I am actually enjoying learning many things alongside him. I didn’t enjoy some subjects very much when I was in school, but I am discovering that homeschooling is producing a love for learning in me as well as in my kids. Don’t forget to sit down with your teen and learn alongside him! It will benefit you both.

2. You can keep track of grades. The only thing I do differently for middle and high school grading is to switch over to a system for letter grades instead of the Satisfactory/Needs Improvement/Unsatisfactory elementary grading system. There are many free resources to help you figure out how to do this, but don’t over think it too much. Establish a grading scale in the beginning (see your state’s department of education website for requirements in your state), and use the numerical grade on the progress report and report card. Include the letter grade alongside it if you’d like, but the numerical grade is what you will use to calculate GPA and class rankings.

3. Driver’s Ed is scary, but inevitable, so you might as well face your fears. When your teen is ready to drive, start out slow – baby steps! It isn’t easy to sit in the passenger seat, and I am still learning to trust my teen. I asked our insurance company to send us free materials for teen drivers. They sent us a booklet with mini-lessons based on driving scenarios and a DVD with tips and safety measures, along with warnings about driver distractions. There is also a pledge my son signed before getting behind the wheel the first time, promising never to text and drive, etc. (Some driving schools even offer discounts to homeschool families.)

4. Teens are weird anyway. They are goofy and gangly and want to stay up all night and sleep all day. Their rooms are disaster zones, and they eat everything in sight. They can be moody, stubborn, and too silent at times.

But, they are also delightful.

You will discover how fun it is to listen to their opinions on things, to get to know them as emerging adults, and to just hang out with them. Their independence gives you more room to trust them with greater responsibilities, which is an enormous help with household tasks, caring for younger siblings, and running errands.

Just remember that they are still children, and they still need your guidance, your time, and your love and affection. They never get to old for these!


Anne CampbellAnne Campbell is the mother to three boys (in every sense of the word!) and a homeschooler for the past eleven years. She is the Managing Editor of Blog at Home Educating Family Association, columnist for Home Educating Family Magazine, and member of the Home Educating Family review team. As a former classroom teacher, she loves to share resources and ideas and encourage other moms and homeschoolers. When they started on their homeschooling  journey, her oldest son was in kindergarten. They decided to take it one day at a time, one year at a time, and now she has a high school student, middle school student, and elementary student, and all still at home. They fly by the seats of their pants most days, spending as much time as possible exploring nature, and seizing learning opportunities whenever they appear. You can visit her at her blog Learning Table. You can also find Anne on Bloglovin’FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.