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With the holidays behind us and springtime upon us, it's easy to feel a little down. The weather can be unpredictable, and the time change may have upset everyone's sleep schedule. Summer is quickly approaching, and there is a sense of urgency to finish the school year. It's no wonder everyone in the house seems a bit grumpy lately! But don't worry; you can do plenty of things to shake off the winter blues and make the most of the last few weeks of the school year. With a little effort and a positive attitude, you can spring into ending the school year feeling refreshed and ready to take on summer.
 
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Now that we've entered the spring semester, it's time for me to start thinking about whether or not I will do any standardized testing with my children this spring. Since I live in Texas and my state does not require formal testing, this decision is based on my family's preference. Other states require yearly standardized testing, so it's best to verify what your state requires you to do each year.
 
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It's Monday morning, and for the first time in several weeks, I found that I have some extra time. So, I found my now-cold coffee from earlier in the morning and decided that I was going to finish it while updating my state-required attendance sheet. I sat down at my cluttered kitchen table, added up the days we had completed, and discovered that we'd completed 122 days. "It's over the magical Day 100," I heard myself saying aloud, with relief. I took a sip of my already-cold cup of coffee and decided I needed to count the number of days left in the school year. Taking a deep breath and ignoring the fact that my toddler was grasping my legs, I started counting, "…48-49-50!"
 
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The Gadallan Trilogy is complete! Dawn L. Watkins has gifted us with more than just high adventure and entertainment. These three books have the potential to shape the heart and character of your child.
 
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I don't know about you, but I like neat and tidy things. I am not just talking about my home, either. I am talking about my life, my kids' lives, our circumstances … all the things. However, that is rarely a reality. So how do I cope with the dissonance between my desire for perfection and the messy truth of life? Let's have a chat about that.
 
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Maine has a diverse landscape that boasts rugged mountains and rocky coastlines. It has a reputation for being a tourist magnet, but Maine also has a rich homeschool history. Homeschool pioneer families in Maine began their fight for religious and educational liberty in the late 1970s. Those of us who have reaped from their faithful pursuit are grateful for their persistence. In 2003, a homeschooling bill was passed that eased the harsh requirements for homeschooling families and made homeschooling in Maine very attainable.
 
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Did you know Helen Keller was homeschooled in Alabama? Due to an early childhood illness, she lost her sight and hearing. Helen was homeschooled by a private tutor, Ann Sullivan. Because of Helen Keller's home education, she was the first woman to earn a bachelor's degree who was also blind and deaf. From the time of Helen Keller's homeschooling in the early 1900s to 2014, when the state passed an updated legislature to be more accommodating to homeschooling families, to today, the resources and opportunities in Alabama for homeschooling families have grown.

 
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Rich in agriculture and known for its friendly residents, Kansas is a great place to educate your children. One thing is certain; whether you are outside enjoying the green grass with a group of other homeschooling families or spending time with your children learning in your living room, you will benefit from the greatest blessings of homeschooling: growth and togetherness.
 
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Homeschooling. You wrap up your school year. Sometimes you already have next year's curriculum ready to go. Sometimes you wait to order until you have the previous year's curriculum sorted and removed. You can have a summer break, but you might not take much of one. You pick a start date, but then things change.
 
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Do you ever wonder what goes into making the BJU Press Homeschool curriculum? Recently my family and I met some of the many people who work behind the scenes to create the curriculum and learn about their jobs. I now have a better appreciation of the books that I handle and the video courses my children watch.
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