A Lie and the Truth–A Bridge Unit


It’s been awhile. But I’m still here, and I feel compelled to share a potential lie and the truth behind it. In doing so, I want to dispel the myth that all homeschooling activities go well and that all homeschooling children are happy.

Here we go . . .

This week, I decided to try something very different for our homeschool adventure–a unit study. I know, I know, you’d think at this point (9 1/2 years), I would have done this before. Believe me, I’ve tried.

But my children complained, whined, and cried. “I don’t like this.” “This isn’t fun.” “I’m bored.”

They can be hard to please. So I gave up. The years have passed–the complaining ones are older.

Since my early attempts, I’ve done considerable research about my kids’ learning styles. I’ve learned more about what makes learning easy and hard for my kids. I learned, in particular, that I have several kids who are afraid to try ANYTHING new that they don’t have direct experience with.

I decided to try again. I chose to do a unit on “bridges.” Six weeks–two days a week. Lots of hands on activities. A variety of subjects incorporated into a package. My goal was NOT to teach particular information (that will come later), my goal was to simply see IF we could do a unit study together . . . and survive.

Now for the lie– Continue reading


Filed under Examples and Stories

Homeschool Schedule–How Do You Do It?

A while ago, Lauri, one of my readers, emailed me the following question:

I wonder if you could share some thing about scheduling. I have a 16 month old, a 6 year old, a 12 year old and 2 scholar age High School. I want to have MOM time where I share/teach/inspire and I want them to have EXPLORE time too. I also need time to clean/cook/plan/organize/play with the baby–chase the baby. He is very very active type. I want to have Mentor Meetings and Family Reading. But we have to plan so much when the baby is asleep. I need some help. Thank you

I don’t know that I feel qualified to answer this question–particularly because I don’t have kids spread between so many ages. But as I thought about it, here are some general questions that came to mind that might help. Continue reading


Filed under Examples and Stories

Inspiring Green Smoothies?

Last time I posted about Keeping It Real, Michelle asked:

I have been making green drinks for a while but haven’t found anything to make kale taste good. What is your smoothly recipe?


While I will NEVER aspire to run a food blog (I know my limitations!), here’s the recipe that I’ve worked out for my family. Continue reading


Filed under Resources and Reviews

Keeping It Real

You may have not even noticed that it’s been awhile since I put fingers to keyboard, but it has been awhile. The desire to share my ideas sits in the back of my brain, and sometimes I give myself a hard time that I’m not writing more.

Then I look around and I realize WHY I’m not writing more right now.

So . . . because I HATE it when people come across as perfect . . . because I absolutely want to keep your perception of my life as real as possible, here is a real-time glimpse into the Perkey house. Continue reading


Filed under Examples and Stories

Alphabet Monster

Alphabet Monster GraphicYou may not know this, but my home is over run by monsters.

I don’t know why so many games I make up seems to have monsters in them, but the kids love them, so why quit? (See Garbage Monster for an example.)

Alphabet Monster is one of our favorite monster games. It’s been around since Pepper (11) was just two years old, and I started playing around with teaching her to read. That means that Alphabet Monster is older than my decision to homeschool–wow! Now I’m playing it with my youngest, Bok Choy (5), and it’s still as fun as ever . . . although it has gone through a few variations through the years.

It’s a great game when you’re just teaching the sounds that go with each letter. I’ve played it with just one kid or with all four kids at the same time. And it’s fabulous for the kid who just can’t seem to sit still.

Here’s how you play: Continue reading


Filed under Games, Learning Activities

Going Fishing

We’ve been catching a lot of fish at my house over the last few days . . . and they taste a lot like chocolate!

Bok Choy (5) has been asking to play our fishing math game every day for the last week. It’s easy to pull together, quick to play, and easy to clean up–so it’s also one of MY favorite games to play.

Here’s how you can fish in your house: Continue reading

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Filed under Games, Learning Activities

How to Teach Handwriting in 8 Easy Steps

Despite what you might think, teaching handwriting to your seven year old isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Just follow these eight easy steps . . .

Step 1: Decide that your seven year old needs to learn how to correctly form her letters, despite her hesitancy to try anything new and hard. Determine that her resistance to handwriting is actually a product of fear–and not because she is incapable or unready. Determine that this is something you feel ready to require her to do.

Step 2: Spend an afternoon looking through your boxes and shelves of curriculum for the handwriting workbooks you were given years ago. After a fruitless search, determine that you must have given away that curriculum at some point because you decided you didn’t believe in workbooks any more. Continue reading


Filed under Examples and Stories, Learning Activities, Resources and Reviews