Read-Aloud Revival

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Sarah Mackenzie will help your kids fall in love with books, and will help *you* fall in love with homeschooling.

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RAR#209: What Worked? What Didn't? Looking Back on Homeschooling with my 20-Year-Old Daughter
Early on, pretty much everyone in my world told me we were making a huge mistake in homeschooling. It was weird, it was unknown to them, and of course, we are afraid of things that are weird and unknown. I actually didn’t know anyone in my personal life who was homeschooling. I read some blogs and books (of course!), but I just had a very strong hunch that we should do this home education thing. So we did, and I’m so glad. I loved it – not every minute of it (ha!) – but now that my oldest kids are adults, I’m so grateful for the time I got with them during all of those growing up years. Today, I have a treat for you. My oldest daughter, Audrey – 20 years old at the time we’re recording this, just finished her sophomore year at Franciscan University of Steubenville as an English major, and she is joining me on the show. (Audrey’s in the blue tank on the left – she’s 13 in this photo) Audrey was homeschooled her entire education. And there were some rocky years! When Audrey was 12 – so you know, 6th grade-ish, I also had a 10-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 1 year-old, and twin newborns. Yes. Three babies age 1 and under. It was… a lot. We’re going to talk about that, plus: * what was most helpful for Audrey’s future* did she feel “prepared,” for going away to college and becoming an adult? (you’re going to love her answer, I think!)* what she really remembers about that time with babies (? ?) Mama’s with newborns – you just need to hear this. ?* We’re also answering YOUR questions! This is a podcast episode. Click the play button below, or scroll down to keep reading. And because much of Audrey’s homeschool education was formed by being the oldest of six, you’ll see some photos here taking you back to those experiences. ‘A few unexpected turns’ Audrey graduated from high school in 2020, which was, of course, in itself, quite the adventure. In her own words: “There was so much unknown about whether or not universities would even be in-person, and then throughout freshman year the constant conversation of whether or not we would be allowed to stay open was something that we all had to face. It was certainly not how I imagined the first year on my own to be, but thankfully, all was well and I was able to have an in-person experience that first year. I attended a private Christian university in our hometown and it was, while a bit uncertain due to the state of the world at times, a wonderful first step into adulthood, but at the close of the year I was offered the opportunity to go to Austria with Franciscan University, and through prayer and discernment, really felt like that was where I was being called.  The following Fall semester I transferred to Franciscan and spent my first semester with them at their remote campus in Gaming, Austria, where I traveled to eight countries, had the honor of meeting His Holiness Pope Francis in Rome and grew so much as both an individual as well as in community with such wonderful fellow Catholic students. a href="
RAR #208: Which Direction Should You Go? Determining Your Summer Compass
Summer is almost here. And probably, you have things you’d like to do this season. Maybe lots of things! (Perhaps … too many things? ?) Not to fear! In this episode, the RAR Leadership Team is back to share an easy tool for determining your direction this summer. In this episode, you’ll hear: * how setting a compass will help us this summer* why (in homeschooling) a compass is more helpful than a map* questions to ask yourself as you choose your own direction Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. Feeling Lost Have you ever been lost? I have … more than once.  The time that comes to mind for me today, though, is when my husband and I were on an anniversary trip to Port Townsend in Washington. The grandparents had the kids and we were just the two of us for 3 days – a rare treat.  Now, if you give Andrew and I a couple of days to ourselves, and I can nearly guarantee you that we will do the following no matter where we are: * sleep in late* visit a local bookstore* enjoy a nice dinner or two* hike Oh, the hikes! We love hiking, and on this particular trip, we were hiking in Fort Worden State Park. We parked the car and made a beeline for the water, because Fort Worden is on on the northeastern side of the Olympic Peninsula, right on Puget Sound. Our plan was to hike around the peninsula — 3.6 miles, for the record, then head back to our hotel, shower and get dressed up to go to a fancy dinner out. Except. We did indeed hike along the peninsula. And then we kept going… We ended up hiking hours further than we meant to, and by the time we realized we were not at all on the course we had set out on, we were well outside the state park. Did I mention it was getting dark? Yes. That too. In the end, we hiked 8 miles, and given we had not packed for such a hike, we were tired, thirsty, and our feet were killing us. We had zero interest in going out to a fancy restaurant. All we wanted to do was fall into bed with exhaustion. Why We Need a Compass A map would have been helpful, to be sure. But do you know what else would have been helpful? A compass. We generally think of a map as a set of directions. A compass doesn’t give us a set of directions. It does, however, point us in the right direction. And that can be just as good … maybe even better. When it comes to homeschool planning, a compass is more useful than a set of directions. After all, a set of directions gives you ONE WAY to get to where you want to go, but… …what happens when a road is closed, when a large object is blocking your path, or when you just get off track and need to find your way back to your true course?  What happens when your child has a learning struggl...
RAR #207: How to Fall Back in Love with Reading
When I was a kid, I read voraciously. I could lose myself for hours in stacks and stacks of books. The reading wasn’t that high quality, mind you. I could usually be found reading The Babysitter’s Club or a Christian historical romance, though I also loved Roald Dahl and Lois Lowry (anyone else remember the Anastasia Krupnik series?) and nonfiction, too.  Then I became a mom, and reading felt decadent. I read books to nurture my marriage, how-to books on parenting (some far better than others, ahem). But overall, reading just got… harder. It was something I did to improve myself. Not something I got swept away in. Reading for pleasure felt like a splurge, and often it was a splurge I couldn’t figure out how to justify.  But here’s the thing — reading for fun is part of the job. My life is richer when I’m reading for pleasure, and so is my kids’! In fact, I’ve found that their reading lives feed off the energy in mine.  So how am I going to nurture my own reading life this summer? And what might get in the way? It’s a question worth asking for all of us, and joining me to ask it today on the podcast are RAR Community Director, Kortney Garrison and Managing Editor, Kara Anderson. In this episode, you’ll hear: * Why reading is a priority in our lives (hint: it’s not too decadent!)* Ways to nurture your reading life this summer * How to know what to read Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. Choose Your Own Adventure Summer is a great time to fall back in love with reading because you’re able to slowly build these habits before jumping into a new school year. Over the summer (and throughout the year), we host Mama Book Clubs in RAR Premium where we we always offer a “choose your own adventure” assortment of ways to engage in the Mama Book Club. Depending on your season in life, your energy level—a lot of variables—you might need to read for: * Consistency: to develop a daily reading habit* Inspiration: to apply what you’re reading to your life as a mother or homeschooler* Reflection: to let your reading inspire your journaling practice* Wisdom: to help you make a big decision in your life And of course there are many other reasons to read, as well. How to Find the Time Kortney, Kara and I all have different ways of threading books throughout our days. We’ve found a few different strategies helpful: * Setting a time to read for 10 minutes before doing absolutely anything else (don’t even pick up that sock laying on the ground)* Carry around your book/Kindle instead of your phone (or put the Kindle app on your phone, if that’s your jam)* Use a phone wallpaper to remind yourself that you would, in fact, rather be reading
RAR#206: A Simple, Low-Pressure Approach to Teaching Shakespeare
Do you want to teach your kids Shakespeare? Do you want to them to carry a love for The Bard in their hearts, and remember passages from the most famous plays ever written? Maybe your answer is YES! BUT … Shakespeare seems overwhelming. And adding it feels stressful. So today, RAR Community Director Kortney Garrison and I are breaking down how to teach Shakespeare in a simple, low-pressure way that your kids will actually enjoy and look back on fondly. In this episode, you’ll hear: * a million ways to teach Shakespeare (and maybe only one you want to avoid)* how to start with your goals when creating a Shakespeare teaching plan* what Kortney and I actually do Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. A Million Ways to Teach Shakespeare Kortney is currently teaching The Tempest in her homeschool co-op. Even though they have a deep devotion to Shakespeare at her house, this is actually the first time that she’s teaching it formally. She feels like she’s learning things that could only be learned right in the thick of teaching, which brings up our first point: There are a million ways to teach Shakespeare. There’s not a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. Well … There might be ONE wrong way to do it (ahem) – I’ll talk about that soon. But what we want to do today is help you think about your goals here so you can figure out the best way to move forward. Determine Your Goals What’s your goal in teaching Shakespeare to your kids? Kortney’s goal is that this reading of The Tempest will not be the last Shakespeare play they they read. (Isn’t that a good one!?) She wants them to find Shakespeare approachable, and maybe learn a few tools for making the next play easier. “Most of all I want them to fall in love with Shakespeare,” she says. “Once I knew what my goal was, I could tailor our work to support our goals.” Why does your goal matter? There is a big reason why our goal really matters here: It’s easy to fall into the trap of “covering” Shakespeare – doing it so that you’ve done it. Doing it with a goal of getting through lots of plays or “covering” Shakespeare. Oof. I have issues with the word “covering” as it relates to learning, but we’ll circle back to talk about that in the future. Charlotte Mason said: “At the end of our education the question isn’t how much we know, but how much we care.”
RAR #205: Q&A - Help! My Child Doesn't Like Reading
When Mandy called in to ask about her daughter, who likes to be read to, but doesn’t really enjoy reading herself, I was all ears. If you can relate, consider: when your child was 2, 3, 4 … did he/she like being read to? Most small children LOVE being read to. They climb right into your lap and relish every minute. It’s about the story, yes, but it’s also about the connection.  We really, really want our kids to love reading. So naturally, we worry when they don’t. I wonder if that same connection is what our non-reading kids are actually seeking. We’re often tempted to think our kids are lazy, or aren’t true readers, but laziness is rarely at play here (especially in the case of a dyslexic child). So why don’t some of our kids love reading? And what on earth can we do about it? That’s what I’m addressing today on the podcast from a mama who suspects her child may be dyslexic, and worries that she doesn’t enjoy reading. In this episode, you’ll hear: * Why kids may prefer being read to (hint: it’s not because they’re lazy!)* Whether it’s OK to do a lot of reading aloud to older kids (short answer: heck yes)* How different modalities make reading accessible at a different level Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. Your Child is Right Where They Need to Be! (and so are you) First, I want you to know that a child not wanting to read on his/her own is pretty common. There’s nothing particularly alarming about it. There are things we can do, of course, and I’ll toss out some ideas for you here in just a moment. I just want to make sure to point out that your child is exactly they are in their reading life, which is exactly where God can meet them… … and it’s also right where you can meet them, and help them take the next step. Your child is right where they need to be. And so are you.  Here’s a question that might be popping up for you: Can she really do most of her reading with me? The answer is a resounding and hearty YES. I promise you won’t regret any time you spend here. Twenty years from now, you aren’t going to wish you had read less with her. I promise that won’t make her less of a reader. It will only benefit her, you, and your relationship. Audio Books FTW However, that’s not always possible – you are a mother… which means you have a lot on your plate. That’s where audio books can help quite a bit. One idea you might like to try is having a daily Quiet Reading Time – a 30 minute block (you can pick any amount of time you’d like here – there’s no magic formula), where your child can hang out in their room or sit at the table and craft, or play with Legos, or do a puzzle, draw, or whatever they like to do with their hands – and listen to an audio book. This will go really far in helping your child fall in love with books and stories, drive their desire to get more books and stories,
RAR #204: How Do You Organize Books in Your Home Library?
We get many questions about how I organize books in my home library, and today we’re talking all about it. I’m going to break down my system and hopefully help spark ideas for how to best organize books at your house. Here’s the thing: Your home library should serve your family’s reading life. And that might mean organizing it in a different way than you think. It also means the organization isn’t the goal. (Keep reading to see what I mean.) I’ll give you a peek at a few of my own bookshelves throughout this post, which are definitely not gorgeous or Instagram-worthy. ? But they are useable. And they’re used… a lot! In this episode: * how to focus on your home library’s goal (which may be different than you think!)* how to cut down on time searching for books* ideas for organizing your family’s books without making it a full-time job Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. What’s Your Goal? When it comes to organizing your home library, remember that it should serve your family’s reading goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, because all of our families are different, our kids are different, we have different personalities, and different propensities for order or disorder.  My goal is for my own kids to read widely and to always be in the middle of a book. Keeping that goal top of mind helps me remember that the organization of my family’s books is just a tool to help me toward THAT goal. Our home library is organized enough to help my kids read widely and often, but not so organized that I worry much when other things clutter up the shelves. Artwork often makes it onto our shelves, as you can see. And random holy cards, as well! The goal is not an organized bookshelf. The goal is a vibrant reading life.  Starting with what would make your family’s reading life easier and more enjoyable can help you organize your own space. Also note: there’s no right or wrong way to do this. You’re not a library or a bookstore – you’re a family.Let your home library serve your family in all the shapes and forms it takes as your kids grow. Remember – start with your goal, and make your library serve your own particular family. There’s no right or wrong way about it. The bard gets his own shelf at our house. How I Organize Our Books First things first, there are books in every room of our house. I never have enough bookshelves to suit me (sorry, honey!), and I’m always begging for more. I love being able to see and read and reach for books no matter where I am in my house. We have more kids’ books than any other kind of book. So let’s start there. I divide them into two main categories: Fiction and Non-fiction. Fiction
RAR #203: What Do Your Kids Read for Fun in High School?
Do your kids read for fun in high school? According to Dr. Daniel Willingham in Raising Kids Who Read, the average high schooler reads 6 minutes per day for pleasure. What that really means, he explains, is that a few kids read for pleasure quite a lot… and most don’t read for pleasure at all. Karen recently called in to ask me what my own kids read for fun in high school… and I’ve got lots of suggestions in this post! In this episode, you’ll hear: * deciding what goal you have for your high schooler’s reading life* whether high school reading should be “hard”* tons of recommendations from my teens and adult children (weird, I now have 2 of those!) Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. What’s Your Goal? Whenever we think about our high schoolers, it’s useful to start by considering our goals for them. What is your goal for your child’s reading life in high school? A good way to get clear on this is to fill in the blanks in this sentence: After my child graduates, my son can ____, he still knows ____ and he values ____.  Go ahead! Do it right now. I can wait! :) The reason this is helpful is because many of us fall into the habit of thinking that our kids should be reading mostly hard books in high school. But … Why? You are the expert on your own homeschool. No one else can tell you what your kids should read in high school, since no one else knows your kids as well as you do (or is responsible for raising them, like you are). That’s good news! It means once you can fill in those blanks, you’ll have an idea for what the point of reading is in your high schooler’s life to begin with. After my child graduates, my son can ____, he still knows ____ and he values ____.  So many cascading decisions are clarified for us when we start with our goal.  For example, when I fill in those sentences, I realize that I don’t really need to challenge my kids’ reading ability in high school.  My goals revolve around my kids loving to read, doing it a lot for pleasure, and being able to discuss the ideas they encounter there with ease. All of those skills can be developed without necessarily “challenging” their reading level. Don’t Worry Too Much About ‘Reading Level’ It’s interesting to note that most of what adults read lies between the 8th-10th grade reading level. The newspaper, magazines, adult novels – they usually fall somewhere in this range. And yet we don’t worry that we aren’t reading at a high enough level if we’re reading, say, Time Magazine, the newspaper, or the latest Pulitzer Prize winning book, right? I asked my 18-year-old to share what she’s read for fun in high school, and she said, “Almost everything I read in high school is for fun!”
RAR #202: For Kids Who Don't Like Sad Stories
If you have a child who struggles with sad stories…a child who gets really uncomfortable when bad things happen and wants you to stop reading (or wants to stop reading themselves)… then this episode is for you. And actually, it’s for them, too! In fact, it’s an episode you might like to listen to with your kids. In this episode, you’ll hear: * What to do if your kids get upset while reading sad stories* Why you can predict what terrible thing might be coming (and when in the story it’ll happen)* What the author is doing and why* How to help your kids hang on to the story, and get all the way through to the hope Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. The Tent Poles Holding Up the Story Have you ever been camping? Maybe you’ve slept in a tent?  There are many different shapes of tents: A-frame tents, domes, tunnels, cabins. They are different shapes, different sizes, and different colors.   Even though they are all different, those tents have a few things in common. They all: * Provide shelter* Consist of some kind of fabric that makes up the walls, ceiling, and floor* Need poles or some kind of structure to hold them aloft Tents are held up by poles. And stories are held up by a structure too. Today I want to show you the poles that are holding up many stories and how they can help us understand what authors are doing doing in sad and scary stories. We can think of stories kind of like tents. Stories, too, come in all shapes and sizes and are all different from one another. But they all have a few things in common, too. They all have characters, for example. And those characters all encounter problems. Knowing the structure of a story (or knowing what those poles are that are holding up the tent), can be really helpful. It can help us understand why an author might have made something really sad happen.  The tent poles I’m talking about here aren’t there in every single story – but you’ll see some form of these tent poles in most of the stories you read. Knowing Yourself, Knowing Your Kids First, let’s be clear: there is nothing wrong with you if you get scared or upset when reading sad or scary stories. God gave you all of your emotions–the happy, cheerful ones, and the sad and scared ones. When we read, we feel strongly. That’s the way God made us. He designed us to respond to stories. So I’m not here to convince you that you shouldn’t get sad, or that your worry or discomfort is something you need to fix.  We read to live other lives, to visit new places, to travel through time, and yes, to feel deeply. But it’s wise, I think, to know your own limits. And it’s wise for parents to know this about their kids. When you feel really strongly as you’re reading a story, you can be grateful that you are fully alive and fully able to be the kind of compassionate,
RAR #201: The Surprising Value of Reading Fewer Books
Are you or your kids feeling overwhelmed by a long book list? Today I’m sharing how reading fewer books (yup!) can help our kids love books more. Yep. We’re going to talk about reading fewer books. What could it mean for your kids’ reading lives (and yours too!), to focus on reading fewer books and making the time spent reading them more enjoyable and richer? Maybe even to have a reading life that is rich, relaxed, and leisurely? If you or your kids are overwhelmed by a long book list, this sounds pretty great, right? Tune in or read on to hear: * The difference between reading a book and completing a book* Why my own kids don’t track the number of books read* How to make time for (quite possibly) the best kind of reading Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. How Many Books Should My Child Read? I get a variation of this question a lot: * How many books should my child be expected to read in a school year? It’s often posed because someone is overwhelmed by a long book list. Today, I wanted to suggest that we ask a different question altogether. Quantity Isn’t the Goal Asking how many books our kids should read in a year means that reading a certain number of books is the goal of our kids reading lives. But I don’t think that’s actually the case for most of us. Reading more books doesn’t make us (or our kids) a more well-read person. You’re not more well-read than someone who read three books carefully and well if you speed-read ten in the same amount of time. You’re not getting more out of your books simply because you’ve read a taller stack of them. The number of books that our kids read and that we read matters a lot less than the quality of our reading. And I don’t just mean quality of books, like the best classics or the most important books with the biggest ideas. I mean the quality of the reading experience itself: * How much did you enjoy it? * How much did you get from it? * How much richer is your life now that you encountered the ideas in that book? All Books Are Not Equal… Not every book that we read is equally formative or equally deserving of our time and attention. Some books are great for deep-diving, but others are primed for skimming, or speed-reading, or staying up till 2 in the morning because you’re dying to know what happens next. Sir Francis Bacon said: “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.” Some few to be chewed and digested. Some few. Developing Readers Need Quantity I want to emphasize that when our kids are learning to read and they’...
How to Name What Matters
We’re just a little excited here at RAR this week. First, it’s our 200th episode! ? And second, it’s March, which here in the northern hemisphere meets *melting*. It also means a new season, and it’s a great time to name what matters, and set some intentions for how we want to finish out this homeschool year. This week, the whole team will walk you through a simple process we’ve been using here at RAR in RAR Premium in order to name what matters – and how to get there. In this episode, you’ll hear: * How to name what matters most this spring * Your FREE cheat sheet to making a plan for your own homeschool that’s doable* And … what we’re reading this spring! ?? Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. How to Name What Matters Naming what matters is familiar vocabulary in RAR Premium because this is something we did recently in one of our Circle with Sarah events. It’s based on the idea that none of us has an infinite amount of time or energy to do all the things we want to do in our homeschools. This is not a problem. It’s just a reality. Instead of lamenting that reality, we honor the fact that we know we have all the time we need to do what we’re called to do, each and every day, each and every season. We’ve just got to be intentional about what we’re going to focus on. The idea to naming what matters is fleshed out in Kendra Adachi’s book, The Lazy Genius Way. And it’s something worth revisiting every season because our homeschools aren’t stagnant. They’re always shifting. We’re always growing. Our kids are always getting older. And so we shift and change to honor that. Name What Matters Most to YOU We’re not here to tell you what matters most in your homeschool. This episode is an invitation for you to name what matters most yourself.Here’s how we suggest you start: Take just a second and imagine that it’s the end of the school year. You’re trying to wrap up loose ends and you’ve gone out to coffee with a friend and she asks you, “What are you most glad you did this school year?” Your gut reaction to that question, whatever just popped into your mind. . . . . . that’s what matters in your homeschool this spring. You’re not going to be able to get to everything you want to, but just knowing that you got to this thing – you’ll know you’ve done something really important because it’s the first thing that came to mind for you when you were reflecting back on your year. And you’ll have ended your school year with a win.
RAR #199: The Books that Won and a Few That Should Have (2022 Youth Media Awards)
Every year, our Read-Aloud Revival Team watches the American Library Association Youth Media Awards together. These are the official awards of ALA. Some you’ll recognize, like the Caldecott, the Newbery and the Coretta Scott King Awards. But others are not quite as well known … The ALA Youth Media Awards honor books that have been published in the previous year, so this year’s awards ceremony in January 2022 was honoring books that had been published in the year 2021 only. For this episode the RAR team gathered together to talk about the announcements that made us cheer, the familiar faces that we loved seeing win, and … …just a few books that we think should have gotten some ALA love. ? Tune in to hear: * about our favorite book winners and people who took home honors* other books published in 2021 that the RAR team loves* tons of book recommendations! (Don’t worry – they’re all linked below!) Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading. Grace Lin wins the Children’s Literature Legacy Award The Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial, lasting contribution to literature for children.  Previous winners include Tomie dePaola, Eric Carle, Jerry Pinkney, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak, Beverly Cleary and Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Fun fact – Laura Ingalls Wilder won the very first medal and it used to be called the Wilder Medal because of it! ) This year, the award was given to Grace Lin! That was a fun moment when the team all cheered because Grace Lin is a favorite here at RAR. She came to RAR Premium to talk about her middle grade novel called Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Although lately, RAR Community Director Kortney Garrison has been loving her new board book series called Storytelling Math, especially The Last Marshmallow, which she says almost requires a mug of cocoa! Jane Yolen, Miriam and Owl Moon … Another author we love at RAR who was honored at the awards this year is Jane Yolen. She was the Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Winner, an award which recognizes an author who has made a substantial contribution over time to the genre of Jewish children’s literature.  A winner last year and a book the the team has enjoyed is Miriam at the River, a picture book telling the story of baby Moses being put in his basket, told by his older sister. The illustrations by Khoa Le are just gorgeous.  Jane has also been to RAR Premium — she came to talk about Owl Moon and brought along her adult daughter, Heidi Stemple, who is actually the girl who goes owling in Owl Moon! Lifetime Achievement Winner Nikki Grimes
RAR #198: Which Curriculum Should I Use?
“Which curriculum should I use?” It’s the question I get asked most often. I suspect there’s another layer just underneath the surface of that question. A layer that sounds a bit like, “I’m tired. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t want to screw this up. Can you just tell me which curriculum is the best, so I don’t mess this really important thing up?” At least, that’s the kind of thing that went through my mind back in my early homeschooling days, when I asked that question myself. I’m answering this very question on today’s podcast episode. Click the play button below, or scroll down to keep reading. A Little Clarity I’ve been at this homeschooling gig for a while now. Our oldest is 20, our second is graduating this year—and while we’re at the end-of-the-homeschooling-line with those two, we’re still homeschooling four kids; the youngest are eight. There are miles to go before we sleep.  But something happens with time and experience. We get a little perspective, a little clarity. We realize the questions we’ve been asking aren’t the most important questions, after all.  And so, when asked which curriculum someone should use, I respond: ““The best curriculum is the one you like using. The one that makes your job easier, lighter, and more enjoyable in this season of life.” That “season of life” thing matters, by the way. The curriculum you like using (and that you can manage to get to most days) while you’re sleep-deprived with babies and teething toddlers is different than the curriculum you’ll like using when your kids are older, and you’ve gotten a full night’s rest.  Trust me on this. It All Works, More or Less Here’s the thing about homeschooling today: there is an abundance of curriculum resources at your fingertips. Most of it is pretty good. Most of it will get the job done.  If our goal is to enliven the hearts, minds, and souls of our kids (and that is our goal, right?), then most any curriculum can help us do that. It turns out that the curriculum itself matters much less than we might have thought.  The disposition of the teacher, though? That matters far more. Any history or science curriculum in the hands of a parent who is cheerful, relaxed, and eager to enliven the heart, mind, and soul of her student can do the trick.  Homeschoolers have been graduating kids through various teaching styles, using a wide variety of curriculum, for decades upon decades. Charlotte Mason, unit studies, classical, unschooling, literature-based, textbook-based, eclectic … There are as many styles of homeschooling as there are homeschooling families, and the good news is: they all work.  Homeschooling works.  Homeschooling works because real education is about connecting. Connecting with each other, connecting to ideas, connecting what we know to what we’re about to find out.  So the question, “which curriculum is best?” doesn’t matter nearly as much as we think it does. a href="

Podcast Reviews

Read Read-Aloud Revival podcast reviews

4.9 out of 5
2726 reviews
Calboist 2022/06/24
Hope for the tired Homeschool Mom
Let me start by saying I don’t really like podcasts. I find them more noisy for my brain than I’d prefer on a weekly/daily basis. BUT I always come ba...
Logandinco66 2022/05/02
I can’t live without this podcast
Sarah is amazing and brings you into her home with this podcast. She helps show us the importance of reading aloud and brings the most amazing guests ...
Houkwebb 2022/04/28
Thank you so much; I have been listening to your podcast for years. I was so honored to have you answer my question today. I cannot wait to share it...
mrswstson 2022/02/09
Encouragement Guaranteed
Guaranteed? Yes! Every time I listen to Sarah’s podcast I come away feeling like I can do this! I’m not alone. Sarah does a great job of helping us ho...
StephersB88 2022/02/03
A must-listen for every homeschooling mom
So helpful and encouraging! I love this podcast and the wisdom Sarah shares. Press play!
Storey_Time 2022/01/18
Ultimate reading coach!
This podcast has SUCH great tips for reading with kids and how to choose great books for your family. I homeschooled my three kids for one year and we...
FD8717 2021/11/14
Always Encouraging
We are a homeschool family, and I just get so jazzed up and refilled by listening to this podcast! It’s like my “mom time” when I can’t actually get a...
Trisha the Pod 2021/10/11
Trusted Resource
Finding quality literature for our children can be a daunting task. Finding appropriate titles to fit your child’s reading ability and interest is an ...
WPen77 2021/10/06
Love this podcast!
I’m grateful to Sarah Mackenzie for starting this movement for today’s parents who are searching for an antidote to the typically “crazy busy” family ...
Jord923 2021/09/02
So inspiring!
This is one of my top five favorite podcasts! Every time I listen I’m encouraged, and inspired. I love all the book recommendations by Sarah and by th...


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