All Posts By

Kristina Garner

intriguing STEM biography series for your morning basket: flashes of genius
History and Geography, S.T.E.A.M.

An Intriguing STEM Biography Series for Your Morning Basket: Flashes of Genius

In our homeschool, our morning and evening baskets are a way to introduce a variety of content–in both fiction and non-fiction format–in a very relaxed and cozy setting. On any given day, both baskets are filled with everything from Roald Dahl and Beatrix Potter to Life of Fred and Robert Frost poems. Atlases, maps, and history encyclopedias wait eagerly beside ABC books, Eric Carle stories, and a book of famous women explorers. Harry Potter rests against a tiny chemistry book and the Burgess animals share space with a guide to Rocky Mountain insects.

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homeschool preschool curriculum
Blossom and Root Early Years, Homeschool

To the Mama Asking About Preschool Curriculum in the Facebook Group

To the mama asking about preschool curriculum in the Facebook group,

I can tell by your post that you’re feeling a little nervous as you take these first steps into the world of homeschooling, whether you intend to homeschool forever or “just for now.” And I know you’ve already spent a lot of time thinking about what you’re looking for, trying to find it, and second-guessing every cart you’ve filled. Before you begin to comb through the two hundred responses you’ve already received on that Facebook post, there are some things you should know. Continue Reading

quiver of arrows sarah plain and tall brave writer
Brave Writer Lifestyle, Reading and Writing

Using Brave Writer’s Quiver of Arrows: Sarah, Plain and Tall

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for more information.

It never fails to amaze me how effective simple things can be when it comes to homeschooling. Copywork–probably the most basic of concepts you could possible conceive of–can cover everything from spelling to handwriting to grammar to punctuation and composition. Dictation and French dictation–also very simple as in concept–reinforce all of these. Put them together, Continue Reading

what a week of brave writer looks like
Brave Writer Lifestyle

A Week in the Life of a Brave Writer Family

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement for more information.

I’m not really sure which aspect of the Brave Writer lifestyle I fell in love with first. Was it our first poetry teatimes, calling out Shel Silverstein poems over the roar of the jungle rain? Or the permission to devour audiobook after audiobook as we drive through forests and fields together, and call it school? Or was it the idea that the excited words of my tiny daughters as they told me stories were the very first seeds of their writing selves, and that I should catch them on a page like a teacup catching rain, so they could see the significance of their ideas? Continue Reading

homeschooling in an apartment

Less is More: 7 Tips for Homeschooling in a Small Space

The beginning of the new year must mean reorganizing and decorating, because there’s been a lot of talk about how to arrange small spaces for homeschooling in the Facebook groups. “How do you arrange a homeschool space when you don’t have an extra room?” “Does anyone homeschool in a small apartment?” “We are moving into a tiny house this year. Does anyone one else homeschool out of a really small home? What does it look like for you?” Continue Reading

Take it outside: ridiculously easy steam for nature play
Homeschool, Nature Study, S.T.E.A.M.

Take it Outside: Ridiculously Easy S.T.E.A.M. for Nature Play

Peanut butter and jelly. Peas and carrots. Peaches and cream. STEAM and nature study.

Yes, they belong together that much. This isn’t a new concept, it’s just that back in the olden days when we were kids, they didn’t call it “STEAM” (or “science, technology, engineering, art, and math.”) But we built forts, bridges, and hide-aways none the less. We forged ramps for our bikes, pulleys to get snacks to the top of the tree, and leaf crowns for our heads. We rigged up makeshift roller coasters, launched pinecones with homemade catapults, and sent crude little boats down drainage ditches. Most of us spent our childhood steeped in STEAM outside, from the time the sun came up until the street lights came on. Continue Reading

on homeschool curriculum: commit to the journey, not the map
Brave Writer Lifestyle, Homeschool, Parenting

On Homeschool Curriculum: Commit to the Journey, Not the Map

Let’s get one thing out in the open, right from the start:

Curriculum is there to work for you. You are NOT bound to work for it.

No, you do NOT have to follow it, verbatim, as-prescribed, day-by-day, task-by-task. No, you are not going to mess up your child’s entire education if you veer from it from time to time. No, you are not “ruining everything” if you ditch it after six weeks because it’s making you or your child miserable. Continue Reading