Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Carnival of Homeschooling - Change

A wise man said "That one of the few constants in life is change."  Homeschoolers know this.  From the moment they decide to homeschool they are faced with lots of changes.  They have new schedules.  They may end up with different friends.  They will learn new skills.

Some change is good.  You might get a promotion or get married.  Some change may not be as welcomed, like when a loved one dies.  And some changes are just changes.

My wife and I faced some changes when we kicked off the first Carnival of Homeschooling nine years ago.  We meet many new homeschoolers and made some new friends.

As I'm sure you have guessed by now, the theme for this 9th anniversary edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is: CHANGE.



Carnival of Homeschooling

In Is This Homeschooling Journey of Ours Really Over? Kathy, at Homeschoolbuzz.com, shares some of her thoughts as she faces the change of her sons moving on with their lives.  She starts the carnival with:  "When we began homeschooling in 1999 I didn’t start with the end in mind. I couldn’t see past the cluttered dining room table, the quest for curriculum, and the days that lasted forever despite the years passing swiftly."

In Mid-Year Homeschool Checkup Sabrina, from 7 Sisters Homeschool, has suggestions on how to handle the change of going from Christmas back into homeschooling.  She starts her post with:  "The Christmas holiday season is almost over; the beginning of a new calendar year is looming on the horizon. The mid-year point in a traditional academic year is a good time to take stock and evaluate."

With Assessing Our Path - Gearing Up for the Next 12 Weeks!, posted at Solagratiamom, we are reminded that a healthy way to deal with change is to anticipate and reflect before and after change.  The post starts with: "It's almost time to start back in our Community and begin hitting the school routine in full swing again.  So for me, that means it's time to assess things.  Am I still on the path or did I end up taking a left turn somewhere?  These are the things I think about over my break.  It's part of my gearing up for the next twelve weeks, so I can hit the ground running that first full week of January.  Here are some of the things I do to help me assess:"

Some of the best changes come because we initiate them.  The Best Way to Get to Know People in Your Community by Christy, the Eclectic Momma, has a great idea.  The post starts with:  "We've been the new kids on the block plenty of times in our married life.  We came to our present area in 2007 with no friends, no contacts, nothing.  Boy, were we lonely!  I was thinking today about all the people we've ended up meeting in the small town we call home.  Our family has been able to meet such a wide variety of people all through the same way---volunteering to serve."

As homeschoolers we are often changing what we study.  Ann writes in Pigeons - Outdoor Hour Challenge, posted at Harvest Moon by Hand, about what her and her daughters learned about pigeons.  The post starts with:  "Since we live in a rural area, the only time we see pigeons is if we are in a city. It seems like they tend to congregate in more populated areas in Minnesota. Even though they aren't a bird we regularly see, it still is worth learning about them when we do see them."

This is a change my son would love:  Rose writes about their year long RV trip in 7 Things I learned by traveling with my children, posted at Learning Across America.  She starts the post with:  "For the better part of a year, I have lived in a 38-foot RV with my husband and 7 children. In that time, we’ve experienced over 10,000 miles of on-the-road togetherness. Spending all that time in close proximity, we’ve learned a few things about each other and about ourselves. If you have ever wondered if you could pack up and follow a dream, maybe you will find a bit of inspiration here to make your dream a reality.  Looking back, here are the top 7 things I learned from crossing the country in an RV with the family:"

Part of the need for change comes because each child is different.  Teaching Phonics to an Already-Reader, posted at Trivium Pursuit, addresses this.  The post revolves around this query:  "How do you suggest I teach phonics to a reader? I am trying to give rules when asked for a spelling. My fear is that he will file the rule with that specific word and not see it broadly. I do not want to go ‘down’ and bore him, nor do I want to continue and lose him. He is in the 2nd grade English of Christian Light."

Sometimes the biggest changes are in who we are.  Cristina writes about this in Shifting Identities, posted at Home Spun Juggling.  She introduces the theme with:  "Life as a part-time unschooler has been wearing on me lately. I love my job and I love being mom to creative homeschooled kids, but at the same time I'm frustrated. My focus has shifted. I'm not the one home with my youngest and last homeschooler. I don't bring her to as many activities as I used to bring her siblings to. I can't even convince her to come to work with me regularly, which I considered an advantage of working in the library. I miss being around my kids."

One of the biggest changes in my life was when I became a fluent reader and disappeared into the world of books.  Carol has suggestions on Authors for Teens - Part 1, posted at journey-and-destination.  She starts the post with:  "The books by authors I've listed here are those our children enjoyed reading in their spare time when they were in their teens. An asterisk means some of my children read it before their teens or that it's suitable for a younger age level. Just be aware that this is only my opinion & even in our own family, what might have been right for one child at age 12 or 14 years didn't necessarily mean it was suitable for another at the same age."

We may change how we teach our children.  Sharon has suggestions in New Year, New Beginnings, posted at Reading-Writing-Learning.  She starts with:  "Welcome to 2015! Another year has come to greet us and we can take the opportunity to stop and think about our children’s beginnings. How do we best prepare them for the many years ahead of them?"

In 2015 Mathematics Game, from Let's Play Math, Denise gives us a fun way to practice arithmetic skills in the new year.  She starts with: "Did you know that playing games is one of the Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Brain Fitness? So slip into your workout clothes and pump up those mental muscles with the Annual Mathematics Year Game Extravaganza!"

Susan writes in Building a Foundation of Words, posted at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, a Virtual Curriculum Fair.  She starts with:  "Welcome to week 1 of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair (VCF)!  Chareen at Every Bed of Roses is joining me from the other side of the world to co-host Playing with Words:  the Language Arts.  The VCF is a month-long blog carnival and we have a great crew of homeschool bloggers joining us---you will find links to their word play at the bottom of this post.  If you’d like to join us, share a post in the linky."

Often we have suggestions on how others can change.  Barbara has a few ideas in Thoughts for a Bitter Homeschool Mom, posted at Barbara Frank Online.  Barbara finishes her post with this advice: "Now that you’re free to spend your day as you see fit, you may become overwhelmed by all the choices you have. And that’s OK. It’s even OK to be bitter, for a little while. But don’t let it become a permanent emotion. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start figuring out who you are at this stage of your life.  Because you were wrong when you said, “It’s over for her.” It is not “over” for any retired homeschooling mom. Personally, I’m just getting (re)started!"

Mama Squirrel has suggestions on how we can change.  How to be a homeschool-parent-mensch, posted at Dewey's Treehouse, is about how we as human beings should act.  She writes: "So what does that have to do with homeschooling parents? The attributes listed in the above poster, which are summarized from Martinuzzi's book on leadership, can be taken as characteristics of good teachers, and also of good parents. I won't paste the explanations as given on Life Without Pants, but here are my own (homeschooling) takes on the list."



If you have enjoyed this carnival, please spread the word. Please mention the carnival on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other appropriate places. You can also help promote the carnival by adding the carnival images. Learn how by going here.

Go here for the archives of previous carnivals.

If you are interested in submitting a post for a future carnival, click here for information.

We thank everyone who has helped out. Thank you to all the participants in this carnival. And thanks to all those who help promote the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Reminder for the first carnival of 2015

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at our blog, Why Homeschool.  

This will be the 9th anniversary edition of the carnival!


This will be the 468th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Saturday, December 27, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - The Christmas Week Edition

Sarah is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Smallworld.

She starts the carnival with:

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Welcome to the Carnival of Homeschooling! It's a quiet week around here. Our Carnival is small but really, really packed with great articles and plenty of good reading material. Marie-Claire's post alone, the first one below, has links to 31 other articles!

I hope you have plenty of down time in the next week to read a few articles in between baking batches of sugar cookies and wrapping gifts.
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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you the very best in the new year.

Keep on homeschooling!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Reminder for the last carnival of 2014

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at SmallWlorld.  This will be the last carnival in 2014.  We'll take a one week break and then start up again in January.


This will be the 467th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, December 19, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Encouragement and Inspiration

Sarah is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Embracing Destiny.

She starts the carnival with:

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Right now I’m watching the snow fall, sitting by a warm fire, and listening to my daughters play and learn together. We have been making Christmas ornaments and listening to Christmas music. This is our favorite time of year. Though our schedule doesn’t look like the “usual” routine of homeschooling, we are still learning all the time. I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world, which is another reason I love homeschooling.

This week’s Carnival of Homeschooling features some great encouraging and informative articles from families in all stages of homeschooling. Grab your favorite hot beverage and enjoy!
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Enjoy!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, December 15, 2014

A little bragging

Sometimes as a homeschooler I’ve worried a bit that maybe our children aren’t learning enough. Maybe they won’t measure up to their peers. Not often, but once in a while.

This week I’ve been reassured a bit.

Our second daughter went off to a university this fall. She has been doing well with the quizzes and midterms. This week is finals weeks. She is completely done with two of her five classes and so far she has been getting A’s. She thinks she has a very good chance at getting straight A’s, though one class might end up being an A-.

As parents we want our children to do well. We want them to be happy and successful.

It is nice to see that as our children leave home that they are off to a good start.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Embracing Destiny.


This will be the 466th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, December 12, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - This Christmas Edition

Lisa is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Golden Grasses.

She starts the carnival with:

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My sincere apologies for being a day late with the Carnival of Homeschooling- it's been one of those weeks that has tried my patience, tested my tenacity and caused me to cry, pray and laugh (albiet, at times, hysterically!). Oh, the joys of multi-tasking, working from home, technology and homeschooling. Christmas on line - Christmas baubles

At the end of the day, though, despite the frustrations and the many, never ending tasks, I hope you can say, even if your day or week has gone like mine, that homeschooling is worth it. I hope that you are finding joy and fulfillment in these years of investing in a person. 
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Enjoy!

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, December 08, 2014

Advice to a new homeschooler

I started a new job this year.  I now ride the train about 40 minutes each way, every day.  So I now have a little more time for reflection.  My wife and I are in our 15th year of homeschooling.  Recently I got to thinking about what advice would I give to a new homeschooler.  Below are some of the general suggestions:


Think about your long term goal(s)

Our primary motivation for homeschooling wasn’t a better SAT score.  We wanted to raise competent adults who were caring and hard working.  We wanted to nurture in them a love for learning.  We wanted them to stay close to each other.

As you homeschool, step back and take the long view.  Think about what do you really want for your children, and don’t worry so much about little details which don’t work out exactly as you would like.


Educate yourself

Reach out to others and learn from them.  Find your local park day and co-ops.  Attend.  Ask questions.  Find some good books.  Read them.  Go to conferences.  Ask lots of questions.  And trust yourself.


Relax and enjoy the process

You are going to make mistakes.  It is OK.  Teachers in public schools make mistakes all the time.  One of the nice things about homeschooling is you can change, as soon as the next second.

Enjoy the time with your children.  Enjoy who they are.  There is a famous line about “No one ever died saying I wish I spent more time at the office.”  The few years you have now are more precious than gold.  Build bonds of love within the family.  Build memories.

Look for the blessings.  It is easy to get so focused that small and large blessings can slip right by.  Pause frequently and ponder how your children are doing.  I think you’ll be surprised.


Be flexible and open

What works for one child one day may never work again for that child, or any other child.  Try lots of different approaches.  And when a child gets engaged, go with the flow.  In one hour a excited child passionate about a particular topic will often learn more than ten hours.


We've found homeschooling to be wonderful in so many ways.  It really is a blessing.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Golden Grasses.


This will be the 465th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, November 28, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Let Them Be Themselves!

Karen is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at My Own Mind.

She starts the carnival with:

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Welcome to this, the 464th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

I have hosted the Carnival of Homeschooling here on my blog several times and it is always such a pleasure to read blog posts that homeschooling parents are willing to share with the homeschool community.

I hope you enjoy this edition particularly for the theme: Let Them Be Themselves! Most of these blog posts in this carnival have a basic message about celebrating the children than we have in our homes, just for who they are.
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Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Interesting thought

From Dan Galvin's Thought For The Day mailing list:

Men weary as much of not doing the
things they want to do as of
doing the things they do not want to do.
                            -Eric Hoffer

Monday, November 24, 2014

The daughter's side of "Taking my daughter to work"

Last week I wrote Another cool benefit of homeschooling - Take your daughter to work day.

Today my youngest daughter shares her thoughts about the trip:

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On Wednesday of last week I went to work with my dad. His career of a software engineer doing quality assurance has been interesting to me for a while. It was nice to be able to just take a day to go with him, something I wouldn’t be able to do if I went to school.

My dad takes the train to work, so it was fun to do that with him. It was a relatively short walk to the train station. It was nice to chat with him. The train had a lot of commuters. Looking out the window for the ride was really interesting. It was about 45 minutes to get to his stop.

When we arrived at the train station we got a quick doughnut and headed over to his work, which was about two blocks away from the train station.

When we got to his work he introduced me to a lot of his colleagues. Then he started working and I did some school work. I spent some time watching him work, and I was able to use his computer to do MyMathlab when he went to a meeting.

After his meeting we went to a nearby burger joint and grabbed lunch. Then he worked some more. At around 2 o’clock I went to a near by used book store and read for a while. There was a great selection, so it was fun to browse.

We rode the train home later in the evening. It was nice spending a day with my dad. My favorite thing about it was seeing his work place and watching him work. I’m glad I’m available to do field trips like this.
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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at My Own Mind.


This will be the 464th edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, November 21, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Looking Forward, Looking Back

Janice is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Janice Campbell - Making time for things that matter.

She starts the carnival with:

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It seems just yesterday that all the trees were glowing with reds, oranges, and yellows, but now “all the leaves are brown, and the skies are gray,” a line that I now cannot get out of my head (click and listen at your own risk). We’ve had an extended autumn it seems, with many beautiful days, and now we’re tucked in until spring. Well, except for the holidays, of course.

This 463rd Carnival of Homeschooling offers a smorgasbord of creative ideas, inspiration, and practical tips. As you read each post, I hope you’ll find kindred spirits among the bloggers, and lots of good things to read as you sit by the fire and sip tea.
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Enjoy!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Another cool benefit of homeschooling - Take your daughter to work day

I've worked most of my career as a software engineer.  I recently joined Snowflake Computing.  The last seven months have been a lot of work, but I'm excited by the potential of the company.

For the last couple weeks my youngest daughter has been asking if she could come with me to work sometime.  I think she is motivated by the adventure, spending time with dad and a really cool used book store.

So come Wednesday we'll take the train together and ride to work.  She'll bring her school work along.  I'm sure we'll chat on the way up and we'll go out to lunch.  She'll spend some time in a conference room and the company break room.

I think it will be a great exposure to the real world.  She'll have a better understanding of what it is her father does.  It will be more real to her.  And it may even become a more interesting option for her to consider.  (Though right now she is very interested in neuroscience.)

This is another cool benefit of homeschooling.  We didn't have to ask permission from some school official.  We didn't have to fill out any forms.  We have the freedom to make our own schedule without having to worry if someone else would let us.

I love homeschooling!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Janice Campbell - Making time for things that matter


This will be the 463rd edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, November 14, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

Monique is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Living Life and Learning.

She starts the carnival with:

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I love hosting the carnival of homeschooling because I get to read these awesome posts and learn about new blogs as well. We are getting into the cold weather here so I’m not looking forward to our super cold winters full of snow just yet. We’re spending a lot of time outdoors, cleaning up leaves and enjoying the cool fall weather.

However, this morning we woke up to snow which makes me so sad but the kids loved it and couldn’t wait go get out there. This time of the year I’m really looking forward to Christmas and the holidays but it’s also a great time to evaluate how things are going in our homeschool.

How well are we progressing and how well is our homeschool curriculum working for us are things that I start to think over and see where I can improve or streamline.

I’m definitely looking forward to taking some time off of our regularly scheduled curriculum to do some fun lapbooks and notebooking as well. We read a lot of Christmas books and take more time to play board games and do the fun arts and crafts as well.
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Enjoy!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, November 10, 2014

Unexpected fruits of homeschooling, or another reason why I love homeschooling

Awhile back someone gave my wife some gift cards for Barnes & Noble.  For a family outing we recently took our youngest two children to Barnes & Noble and told them they could use some of the gift cards.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my fourteen-year-old daughter decided to buy two books on neuroscience.  Currently she is fascinated by the human brain.  She had already been doing a little reading on the brain, but she is now planning to work through both books.

Homeschooling is wonderful for helping children to be open to possibilities sooner.  Rather than waiting until the "normal" time to learn about the human brain, my daughter is studying now, because she is interested now.  If she was in a public school, it would be much harder for her to find the time to study on her own.

This is just another reason why I love homeschooling.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at Living Life and Learning


This will be the 462nd edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Thursday, November 06, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up - Living and Learning

Mary Nix is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at The Informed Parent.

She starts the carnival with:

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Is he well educated?”
“Yes, I think so, as far as he’s gone,” I answered. “Of course he will go on being educated every day of his life, same as father. He says it is all rot about ‘finishing’ your education. You never do. You learn more important things each day…”  – Gene – Stratton Porter –
We never really do stop learning do we?   Every day the sun rises and sets and within those waking hours, we are busy living and most often learning as well.
I hope you will join me and visit all the submissions for this week and share the link here on your own site or within your social media accounts.
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Enjoy!


Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, November 03, 2014

An important lesson to teach our children

Sometimes as homeschooling parents we can get caught up in the mindset that academic topics are the most important things to teach our children.  And while I agree that it is important for our children to know how to read, write and do arithmetic, academics are not the most important things we teach our children.  I love history, see great value in science and even understand how the arts help round out a person, but I would be sad if my children got perfect SAT scores and straight A's through college, and turn out to be lazy and/or rotten people.

Some of the areas Janine and I focus on are: having a relationship with God, knowing how to work and being kind to others.

Recently I've thought of another area that I'll work with my children.

For more than a year part of my planning process is to consider the following questions:

Why am I doing what I am doing?
Is there something more important that I should be working on?
If so, why am I not working on it?

Part of this goes back to a post I wrote: Why do you do what you do?

I try to use these three questions to stay in Quadrant II activities and not get distracted with busy work.  Reflecting on these questions helps.

It occurred to me this last week that I haven't encouraged my children to ponder on these questions.  They are developing into competent people who love God, can work hard and are kind to others.

I'll now try to encourage them to make sure that when they get busy, they are busy with important tasks and not just busy work.


The job of a parent never ends.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Please remember to send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling.  The next carnival will be held at The Informed Parent


This will be the 461st edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me. 

Carnival of Homeschooling

Friday, October 31, 2014

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

Jennifer is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Homegrown Mommy.

She starts the carnival short and sweet with:

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Sit back, relax and enjoy another fabulous episode of Carnival of Homeschooling!
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And then jumps into all the posts.

Enjoy.

Carnival of Homeschooling