Yay! We finally got our book!
I had such fun giving away about a half dozen of these and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as we do. ☺️
If you entered the giveaway, check your inbox to see about receiving a copy!
Today's PSA πŸ€—
And not just for parents... Any caregiver!
I was homeschooled by a single parent - he was highly educated; I'm a single parent who dropped out of college. Homeschooling isn't reserved for anyone in particular - it can be a struggle, but we all have to prioritize our lives and decide what we can and can't live without. You don't have to be able to teach your child from K-12 on your own, either. Build a community, find the curriculum, mentors, or other resources you both need to succeed. Homeschooling doesn't need to fit a certain mold or look a certain way - create whatever version works for YOU!
It is snake season! 🐍

Since my son was little I have tried to be sure he can identify our local snakes to know which are venomous and which are harmless. We were fortunate enough to befriend the people who ran a local serpentarium for extra information and up-close experience, but 2020 took them out of business and we have felt the loss.

Yesterday playing at the river we saw several northern water snakes, which are often misidentified as copperheads.
Today I pulled up images, including the one in this article, to test his knowledge and he definitely benefited from the refresher, so I wanted to pass it along.

I have always been near-phobic about snakes and seem unable to master my emotions there, but I am also 100% a believer in live and let live. I have at least channeled my fear into knowledge and being very competent at identifying our native species and working to understand how to best share our corner of the world respectfully.

For anyone in the southeastern US, I highly recommend the book "Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia" (link in comments).

Stay smart, stay safe!

The launch of the second book in this series is just days away! To celebrate that, how about a free copy?...

Join Nye, a homeschooled boy who spends his days exploring and learning about his environment with the help of his animal friends. Each book has an accompanying PDF download full of activities, resources, and projects for the entire family.

Be entered to win a free PDF copy of either "Nye In February: Wood Frogs" OR "Nye In March: Carpenter Bees" when you like, share, and comment about an animal you love where you live!

Winners (yes, that's plural πŸ˜‰) will be chosen on Friday, May 6th.
Loved our morning read, and the question it poses:

How can you help today?

Being a part of our world is a theme here with us. It runs through books like the Eclectic Kids 180-Day Planner & Activity Book and the Little Green Hill series, as well as in packets like Let's Get Environmental!, the Take It Outside page, and many of the Learning Ideas links.

Find these and more at https://extraschooling.com/
Looking for a deal on a planner? The Year-Rounded Guided Planner & Journal is nearly half price right now, as is the Nature Journal. Others have discounts going as well! Search Extraschooling on Amazon to find them all 😁
Today's illustration, start to finish... It looks better in person, but it was cool watching him come to life. Meet Humphrey, from Nye In March 🐝 The book is slowly but surely coming together. Check the series out in the Bookstore on the website!
How was your Earth Day?
We spent ours at home, hanging out in the yard on this gorgeous spring day, and I worked on some illustrations for the next book in the Little Green Hill series. Watching the birds, the butterflies, the bees, the skinks, the blooming bushes, the garden sprouts, and the emerging tree leaves, I found myself yet again so very thankful for our little piece of this amazing planet and all the diversity we share it with.
Learn about the Little Green Hill series at https://extraschooling.wordpress.com/portfolio/little-green-hill/
Our planet needs all the love and support it can get! Earth Day is a perfect opportunity for seasoned activists, environmentally conscious citizens, nature lovers, and community organizations to join together and find ways to lessen our impact on this home we share and discover paths to a more sustainable future. Find some ideas to get you started at https://extraschooling.wordpress.com/take-it-outside/
Which of these is NOT true?

🐝 Male bees never sting
🐝 A carpenter bee's main diet is wood
🐝 Honeybees aren't native to North America

Creative supplemental learning resources for eclectic home education from a homeschooled homeschooler

Operating as usual

Christmas Cookies Around the World 06/11/2022

Christmas Cookies Around the World

If your family checks out M.E. Furman's book "A World of Cookies for Santa" this Christmas season, make sure to grab this amazing accompanying resource created by a homeschool mom for her kids.
(Or use it as a standalone unit study - it's packed with info, ideas, and resources!)




Christmas Cookies Around the World Last year I used this book in our home school to teach my kids about different Christmas traditions around the world. I wanted to make a fun unit that would help other families enjoy this book as much as we did. With over 30 countries, this is a book and a fun unit that you can pull out every year f...

Photos from Extraschooling's post 06/11/2022

We started getting our Christmas on today!
After a little decorating and music, I got inspired and created a download I've had in mind for a while. Grab your copy at Extraschooling.com/portfolio/printables


We've really enjoyed some recent outings, like taking our school stuff off to fresh locations, and we've decided to brainstorm some adventures we'd like to have this month. So - I decided to whip up a fun graphic tonight for us to use, which means it's up as a new free printable if anyone else would like to use it too!
Find the Destination: Curiosity download and others at Extraschooling.com/portfolio/printables


What's in your nature today?
Go exploring and find out!


In My Nature: a Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on the Wilder Side


Find it on Amazon or at Extraschooling.com/Bookstore


I am someone who likes a pinch of structure with a dollop of leeway, and I also like to mix things up regularly, so today I made us what my son's calling 'school strips.' There are 7 broad categories broken down into 4 narrower elements, then a wildcard thrown in with each for even more flexibility. Each is written on its own color strip and tossed into an 'idea jar.' He gets to pick 3 (of different colors) and we'll wing it from there.

For tomorrow while I'm working, he's got reading (a book on taekwondo plus whatever else he wants), some math practice in a workbook we'll pick out, and history - either a new book about a horse in the Korean War, or perhaps a PBS documentary in the evening.

How do you like to mix it up?

(The page I'm making my messy notes on is from Extraschooling's Year-Round Guided Planner & Journal: an In-Depth Look at How to Find Your Homeschooling Rhythm All 365 Days of the Year. Find it on Amazon, keyword Extraschooling, or at Extraschooling.com/Bookstore.)

In My Nature: A Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on the Wilder Side 03/10/2022

In My Nature: A Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on the Wilder Side

The first copies are on their way to their new homes! 😍
Grab yours and get exploring 🌿

In My Nature: A Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on the Wilder Side In My Nature: A Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on the Wilder Side


There's a new printable available!

We've been really enjoying it - learning scavenger hunts are great for both interest-led and scheduled activities.

For some extra fun, I've used color, added silly messages, folded them into planes and other shapes, and hid them around the house. He asked me to make more tonight and even printed off copies for me πŸ€—

Print your own at:



Bears’ appetites are biologically programmed to go into hyperdrive in the fall because they need to put on a thick layer of life-sustaining fat before they turn in for the winter. This annual power-eating marathon is called hyperphagia.

Hyperphagia is in full swing now because many fruits and berries (soft mast) are still available, calorie-dense acorns and nuts (hard mast) are ripening, and bears’ body clocks are ticking louder and louder. During hyperphagia, bears are like Olympic athletes in training. They must consume ten times as many calories as they need during the spring and summer if they’re going to den up in tip-top shape. That means finding 20,000 calories a day or more. That’s a lot of nuts and berries.

You can help prevent problems for the hard-working bears in your area. Here's how:

- Review the BearWise Basics for Home and Outdoors. (free on the BearWise.org website)
- Make sure anything that might attract a bear is safely out of sight, smell and reach.
- Be extra alert when driving or walking at night.
- Check the yard before letting out your pets.
- Know what to do if you encounter a bear.
- Share what you know with neighbors and others in your community.

Thanks for doing your part to live responsibly with black bears. Read more here: bearwise.org/fall-is-power-eating-time-for-bears

Your Inner Darwin 26/09/2022

Your Inner Darwin

Read the latest blog post!

Your Inner Darwin We love science around here. One of my favorite things about it is that, while science seeks to answer a myriad of deep and important questions, it is infinitely approachable.

Photos from Extraschooling's post 25/09/2022

🌿 Go Explore 🌿

Nature explorations can be done anywhere - right now, just a little patch of goldenrod can be a treasure trove of activity. We walked 5 minutes down our road today to spy on some and found two amazing species we've never run across before - the first is a locust borer, and the second explained what happened to the bee...

Get outside and see what your family discovers with "In My Nature: A Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on the Wilder Side," available now at Extraschooling.com/Bookstore


What's in your nature today?
πŸ’š https://amzn.to/3xNuXOx πŸ’š

Files from a Bookworm 17/09/2022

Files from a Bookworm

What're you reading (& loving) these days?


Files from a Bookworm What are you reading? Here’s some books and authors I’ve enjoyed recently.

Timeline photos 10/09/2022

Timeline photos

Migration Alert! It's going to be massive this weekend, with an estimated 316 million to 400+ million migrating birds on the wing each night, according to BirdCast. Warmer colors on the map show where migration will be most intense. This should make for great birdwatchingβ€”and it's also a good time to turn off nonessential indoor and outdoor lights to avoid disorienting birds. Sadly, light pollution and unsafe windows contribute to the hundreds of millions of birds estimated to die in building collisions in the U.S. every year. Learn more about our Lights Out project and other ways to help keep birds safe here: http://bit.ly/LightsOutForBirds


Happy Wildlife Day!
🐻🦊🦝🐒🐊πŸ¦₯πŸ¦˜πŸ¦…πŸ¦©πŸ πŸ¦ˆπŸ¦‹πŸž

This wildlife study printable from the upcoming book 'In My Nature' is available to members of the Extraschooling Community Support Facebook group now to help celebrate 😁

Come join - open to anyone involved in home education with their kids (or grandkids!). It's a place to share laughs, encouragement, and inspiration as we navigate our learning journeys.

Photos from Extraschooling's post 03/09/2022

If you're looking, you never know what you'll find 🌿

Our nature discoveries of the last 24 hours - from a toad who wandered into the house, to a robberfly my son found on a walk this morning, feathers & fungus I spotted on my way out to see his find, then a katydid who flew down and said hello at the playground.

This is what we love, and why the upcoming book, 'In My Nature,' is set up to encourage open explorations and discoveries, to foster and feed an enthusiasm for the great outdoors πŸ₯°

Keep an eye out this month for the book's release at Extraschooling.com!

Photos from Extraschooling's post 31/08/2022

Ooh, I'm starting to get excited!
My miniature naturalist has been telling me for too long to make a book to explore outside with.
I may be slow, but it's getting there! Hoping to have it ready before fall begins, as that is the start of our serious outdoor time around here.
Here's a couple sneak peeks 🀩
Members of the Extraschooling Community Support Group can get an early download of all 4 of the Sensory Bingo cards!

Photos from Extraschooling's post 24/08/2022

Back when I created my very first book, The 90-Day Jumpstart Guided Planner & Journal, I confided in it that health & fitness are topics I often overlook. Having not found resources I liked, and knowing a wonderful person in the field, it has happily worked out that we've teamed up to start making what we want to use ourselves - and here's the first title!
Expect to see more from Wellness Trails as we continue to build and shape our vision, but for now you can get your own wellness journey rolling by checking this one out at https://amzn.to/3R0AFnm or on Extraschooling.com/Bookstore


Food for thought...
Richard Bach, "Illusions"

Extraschooling 11/08/2022


Which way are you kicking off this school season?

πŸŒΎπŸπŸ‚πŸŽ With family activities and ideas to explore: https://amzn.to/3vX9P7K

πŸ“•βœ‚οΈβœοΈπŸ“Ž By focusing on your homeschool experience: https://amzn.to/3AdNUM0

Find these books and more to enrich your homeschool adventure at extraschooling.com/bookstore

Extraschooling Take learning beyond schooling - Join in the journey of your child's education

Photos from Extraschooling's post 11/08/2022

Little one's fun nature find of the day... A dark fishing spider with her egg sac. Apparently there can be up to 1400 babies in there!! 🀯
What have your kids discovered this summer?


It's quickly becoming the end of an era...

We used to cart home mammoth stacks of picture books and sometimes read 40 in a day. Yesterday we realized we only had 35 books checked out, and we were returning most of them. The bare shelf was a little shocking to us bibliophiles.

Reading is still a thriving pastime around here, but it's fast becoming a more independent endeavor.

These are some of the new books we found or had recommended to us by the librarian yesterday, and he gobbled up Iggy Peck this morning and is already onto another.

What are your blossoming readers enjoying this summer?

Photos from Extraschooling's post 05/08/2022

The final challenge day! Find the complete printable download now on the Learning Ideas page at Extraschooling.com


This Eclectic Life 05/08/2022

This Eclectic Life

How do you homeschool? I'm a little of this and a pinch of that, but mostly sort-of-yet-not-quite-ish, which leads to... https://extraschooling.wordpress.com/2022/08/04/this-eclectic-life/

This Eclectic Life What homeschool styles do you blend? Let’s build an open, friendly, safe space to share in each other’s journey.


While I would love to make my living off of my Extraschooling books, I don't - I clean houses. I am a fan of hard, physical labor and jobs you can leave behind when you go home and not worry about them. Cleaning toilets may not be everyone's cup of tea, but the key is to look up, not down... And today there is a beautiful view to be had from work!


Hooray for finding resources! Sometimes they're where you never thought to look.

In exploring 4-H recently we discovered they have individual projects across a wide range of topics - free to members, but available for purchase to anyone. We have done our first three activities this week and are loving them!!

We're both total science nerds, but somehow have never found materials we can really get into, as I struggle with planned projects and prefer organic explorations.

This has been a total hit for us, plus today paired perfectly with the habitats page in Extraschooling's My First Book of Explorations (which is meant to be open-ended enough to pair with anything you're enjoying, making it just the ticket for fun early education).

What resources have been a success for your family this summer?

Skybrary 26/07/2022


We stumbled on LeVar Burton Kids and Skybrary today while including a Reading Rainbow episode in our morning learning. Skybrary has books (to read on your own or listen to) and short videos across a multitude of subjects. There is a one-month free trial too! https://skybrary.org/

Skybrary http://www.skybrary.org

Almost Home 25/07/2022

Almost Home

At long last... a new blog post!
A little tidying up and a lot of reflection on what makes a home.


Almost Home My house and I have come a long way in learning how to live together on this green hill of ours.

Play With Me Mommy - YouTube Music 12/07/2022

Play With Me Mommy - YouTube Music

We enjoyed watching Donna Washington perform recently. After the show we picked up one of her CDs and I think the first track is so sweet and so true. I have discovered and rediscovered so much as a parent ❀️

Play With Me Mommy - YouTube Music Provided to YouTube by CDBaby Play With Me Mommy Β· Donna L. Washington Angels' Laughter β„— 2006 Donna Washington Released on: 2006-01-01 Auto-generated b...

Photos from Extraschooling's post 12/07/2022

Do you see what I see?...

We picked up some clearance plants yesterday as this year's seeds didn't make it. I had just finished planting them all, adding more seed, and was clearing away a bit of leaves & debris from the stone circle with my hand trowel, when, surprise!

Not sure how we both got lucky enough that I hadn't stepped on/knelt on/leaned on or somehow run into him before this. He's a chunky little fellow! I imagine all our recent sogginess has kept him well-fed on slugs & such... Though he better not be eating my worms!!!

The Green Planet | Official Preview 12/07/2022

The Green Planet | Official Preview

We finally got around to watching the first episode of The Green Planet tonight - the cinematography is AMAZING! Plus it's always so good to see David Attenborough, who is vibrant as ever in his mid-90's. What an incredible life he's had following his passions around the world!

Episode 2 airs Wednesday evening.

Read more about the series here:

Watch the preview and find Episode 1 here:


The Green Planet | Official Preview Sir David Attenborough travels the globe to reveal the secret, incredible world of plants.

Photos from Extraschooling's post 08/07/2022

Almost there!!

Photos from Extraschooling's post 07/07/2022

Took a little holiday break, but here's day 5! Two things that pair really well with this are the book I mentioned yesterday ("Orca Rescue!" by Donna Sandstrom) and "The Serengeti Rules" episode of Nature on PBS.


What is your family reading at the moment?

Books play a major role in our learning, whether it's from the English/language arts aspect, the subject matter itself, or the inspiration to look into a topic deeper.

Be it picture books or chapter books, independent reading or read aloud, print or audio, we're game!

How much do you read? Is it for pleasure, for learning, or both? What was the last really good book you read? (We really enjoyed "Orca Rescue," which we just finished yesterday while waiting for fireworks.)

Photos from Extraschooling's post 29/06/2022

It's day 4 already!

After all 7 have posted, the entire challenge series will be available as a free download on Extraschooling.com 😊

Photos from Extraschooling's post 28/06/2022

Day 3 of the 7-day challenge 😊

Photos from Extraschooling's post 27/06/2022

Welcome to day 2!

Photos from Extraschooling's post 26/06/2022

I asked my son the other day what he would choose if he could design his own school and study a different thing every day. He replied: old newspapers, food experiments, art, superheroes, animals, money, and books & puzzles... Thus the 7-Day Mini Challenge was born!

Each day has an introductory thought and questions to reflect on. It's then paired with ways to dive deeper with the 4 C's at your leisure.

Here's Day 1! Stay tuned for the others 😊

Join in the Journey

Children are amazing. They are bursting at the seams with curiosity and energy. The world is an endless source of amusement and amazement - if we give it a chance. Lives can be so hectic these days, with everyone going full-speed just to keep up. It’s important to remember to slow down whenever possible and enjoy the simple wonder of our universe: a caterpillar crawling across the sidewalk, the smell of fresh rain, the crisp crunch of an icy puddle, and the enthusiasm we see gleaming in the eyes of our kids.

There is nothing more enjoyable or rewarding for me than a chance to learn alongside my son. I teach him, sure, but he has taught me at least as much. I was once very type-A and organized and all that good stuff; then I became a mom and often joked that β€œbaby time” is like β€œisland time.” You have to learn to slooooooow it down. So I did.

I used to very neatly condense my errands into a day. After baby, I never planned more than one errand a trip for years, and we made them adventures. We took long walks or explored a square foot for hours. We spent whole days laying in the yard reading stories. And over time his inquisitiveness became insatiable; he asked questions I’d never thought of, but I sure wanted to find the answer once he asked. His interests and love of reading took us so many unexpected places, and his endless urge to be outdoors created boundless opportunities for more questions, more exploring, more learning - and more time together.

We all learn at home, even if we are officially taught elsewhere. Learning about something that excites you is always best, and being able to share that is better yet; sharing it with your own child... amazing. It is my passion in life, and I hope to be able to share in the journey of others, help inspire, and create a community of folks who revel in the time they spend expanding their own world while expanding that of their child’s.

Videos (show all)

What's in your nature today?Go exploring and find out!πŸπŸƒπŸ‚In My Nature: a Field Notebook for Kids Who Like to Explore on ...
What's in your nature today?πŸ’š https://amzn.to/3xNuXOx πŸ’š#inmynature #extraschooling #naturebooks #natureschool #naturesch...
Moss rehydrating 😊 The ways we find our happy place! What was the last thing that made you say "Wow!"?