Your Parenting

Old Schooling: The Four R’s Approach

by Ivory Soap Simplify

Our house runs like an old one-room schoolhouse, except for the rampant technology that makes my life SO much easier. Our day starts with the kids reading a little Bible story on their own and saying hello to Jesus in their heart.  If they’re too young to even read an Early Readers Bible, I read […]

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Teaching Kids to Read the OLD School Way

by Ivory Soap Simplify

I like old stuff. A few months back I read this DREADFULLY sad book about the first American born nun, Lydia Longley, but it gave a great example of how an old school horn book lesson went. I started using it on my younger son and WOW, it is helpful. First, what is a horn […]

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Picky Eaters: How I Reversed My Cooking Strategy and Brought Peace to the Dinner Table

by Ivory Soap Simplify

I have friends who have trained their kids to eat what’s in front of them. This is not my life. There are a few things that they don’t HATE and I can pull the whole “you sit there until you eat it,” but there are many foods that even if I force them to eat […]

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4 Lazy Ways to Simplify Summer Days

by Ivory Soap Simplify

I have been dreading it for a month already.  SUMMER. It’s not that the kids are home.  They’re home all the time.  It’s that the STRUCTURE of the school year is gone.  Whether you home-school or away-school, the day revolves around school time.  And for a few blessed hours, no one is wandering around making […]

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5 Family Rule Routines for Specific Situations

by Ivory Soap Simplify

Aside from the general house rules, sometimes the older kids need to follow specialized rules for a situation. Many times, those situations are when there is loose supervision.  (And my big kids are 8, 7, and 5.  The older two keep the younger in line.  He can’t do it alone.) We rehearse the kids on […]

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5 Family Rules for Sanity

by Ivory Soap Simplify

To run peacefully, every house needs rules.  The following five rules cover all the bases for our four kids. The Rules Tell the truth. Use your manners. Respect each other. Obey immediately. Tidy after every activity. These are posted on the fridge.  The explanations, however, are not.  We repeat these explanations so often that we […]

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Handy Reading Level Lists

by Ivory Soap Simplify

I don’t know how many states use the Accelerated Reader program for their schools, but I have generated some lists of AR books in order of reading difficulty. Even though I homeschool, I like using these lists to know what order to hand new books to my kids. For example, the first Amelia Bedelia is […]

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Kids Doing Chores

by Ivory Soap Simplify

  My kids do chores.  Lots.  And they get paid nothing!  No stickers, charts, incentives.  Nada!  They do it cause “Mama said so.”  I didn’t know that was cool until I was informally interviewed at a workshop I was giving on Green Cleaning.  A local parenting columnist wanted to know all about my kids’ chore […]

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Making Picky Kids Eat

by Ivory Soap Simplify

Dear Wii, I know you probably get letters like this all of the time, but I am your greatest fan. I. Love. You. Since you came into our lives, our family has grown closer.  We not only eat more meals together.  We eat the same meal together.  No more ‘real food’ for mom and dad […]

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Must-Own Children’s Booklist

by Ivory Soap Simplify

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really enjoy reading lame-o literature to my children.  I LOVE reading the GOOD stuff, though.  In the whirlpool of the “At least they’re reading!” market, it’s now getting really hard to remember what quality children’s literature looks like. So this is my list. It’s not a list […]

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Homeschool: An Insult to Public Ed?

by Ivory Soap Simplify

“There are children every year, that you think, If I could take that kid home with me for a year, he’d be an amazing student.” –Mr. Ivory My husband is a public school teacher.  He has a noble profession and I admire it and him.  Actually, especially him as he is one of the top […]

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Isn’t Homeschooling for Crazy People?

by Ivory Soap Simplify

I’ve been asked over and over.  Don’t you homeschool?  You’re so EARTHY and all! No! Do I look like a crazy person? As I’ve aged, I’ve learned one thing for sure. Anything that I say I will NEVER do…I end up doing five minutes later. And this is just one more on the list. I […]

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No Time-Outs for Christmas

by Daisy Simplify

I’m wrapping today, but my kids already opened presents this morning. FAKE ONES. Miss 5yr’s b-day was SUCH a disaster on the manners that we spent time this morning to PRACTICE opening presents before the big day(s) with the relatives. People go to the trouble to think about them, choose something for them, wrap it, […]

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