Back to Homeschool With Sandbox to Socrates: News and a Giveaway!

Have you made your curriculum choices, shopped for school supplies, planned your extra-curriculars, and stocked up on chocolate for Mom? For those of us following a traditional school year calendar, it’s Back to Homeschool Time!

Here at StS, we’re kicking off the school year with some new features and a giveaway!

Firstly, we hope you like our new LOOK! Our logo was created by our Photo Editor, Apryl Herrell. We are all so pleased, and so thankful that Apryl shared her talent and created the perfect design for StS.

Secondly, we have a new FORUM! Sometimes it’s hard to chat on a blog, but we do want to hear from our readers and get to know you, so we created a new home here at StS for those conversations. We envision a friendly, intimate community where we can all help each other in StS’s sleeves-rolled-up style, sharing experiences and discussing everything from preschool nursery rhymes and naptimes to college admissions processes for homeschooled teens. All are invited to this inclusive gathering of parents who have one thing in common: We are classically educating our children at home.

Thirdly, we have a new STORE! Do you need a tote bag or a travel mug? Would your children like t-shirts about homeschooling like this one

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or would they enjoy announcing to the world that they will be able to outrun zombies if it ever comes to that?

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If you’d like to support StS, please have a look at our CafePress store. Our art department frequently adds new designs so check back often, and of course anything can be ordered with StS’s original new logo.

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Finally, we have a GIVEAWAY! One lucky winner will receive this travel mug from our store, because homeschooling parents spend a lot of time driving, and because most homeschools are fueled by coffee. You need this travel mug.  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

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Thank you for reading here at Sandbox to Socrates. We have great plans for the future as we try to encourage you as you homeschool your children! Please join us on our forums, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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June 2014 Newsletter

How is everyone’s schooling doing? Some of you are fully into your new year, some are winding down or finished, and some of us just keep at it all year long. I’m in the keep at it all year group, which is why I am always reading something about education so that I can keep my interest levels up and stay engaged.

This week I was reading about monks and the Rule of St. Benedict. I was amazed at how a  Benedictine’s vows of stability, conversion, and obedience are so in tune with homeschooling. Stability is the idea that we find contentment where we are. It speaks to order. Conversion is the cultivation of virtues, and I was reading Quintilian in The Great Tradition today, “Can a bad and unjust man speak on such themes as the dignity as the subject demands?” and later, “For I do not merely assert that the ideal orator should be a good man, but affirm that no man can be an orator unless he is a good man.” To the ancients, virtue was the aim of education, and how we attain this is by constant conversion to virtue. Obedience speaks to attending to the words of our parents first, so that we can self rule, be virtuous, and become truly free people.

For the moms with littles, I came across an amazing article from Maria Montessori.com titled, I am Here to Help, which is about how we can teach self control to those smaller people in our lives, and the writer’s lesson through the example is proof she is a master teacher. Sometimes we need concrete examples as to how to build virtues and this is one!

Our very own Lynne wrote an amazing article for those parents who are just starting out or thinking about homeschooling, Parents as Teachers: Qualifications.

Homeschooling is not one definable “thing.”It’s as varied as the families who homeschool.   Homeschooling works for so many families because the parents are invested in finding out which methods, which curricula, and which approaches work best for their individual children.

And our newest contributor Brit also wrote a wonderful article for our Parents as Teachers series From Classroom to Homeschool.

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“There are two sentiments I have heard many times over when people learn we homeschool our children. Either they say, ‘Well, you can homeschool because you are a teacher,’ if they know I used to teach, or they will exclaim, “My children would never listen to me to learn anything.” Both statements make me groan internally while trying to smile sweetly on the outside, explaining that no, my credential really doesn’t help me educate my children, and yes, your children can learn from you.”

You might have figured out by now that at Sandbox we love a good series, and we have another good one coming up on handwriting. Interestingly, this article  What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades came across my feed the other day and gives a strong argument on why we might want to keep handwriting a part of our homeschool. Not only is it beautiful, but it helps kids learn and read earlier. Ms. Spalding was right after all.

To round out this virtue training and skill building, another thing we can do with our kids is sing with them. We may not sound hauntingly beautiful like this 800 year old Icelandic funeral hymn, but music appreciation always starts with simple sing-alongs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

For your older kids, you can watch art and math collide in beauty and nature study! My kids were enthralled watching  Nature By Numbers, a video on the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio.

As always, please frequent our sponsor, Classical Academic Press! We have some wonderful things planned with them, and we’re very thankful for their support of us.

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Primary/Intermediate Language Lessons Giveaway!!

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In conjunction with our review of Primary and Intermediate Language Lessons, we are so excited to bring you this giveaway! We are giving away one workbook from the series in e-book format. The winner will get to choose which level they would like from the five programs available.

Terms and conditions: The giveaway ends on Friday, May 16th at 10pm MST. The winner will need to respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Sandbox to Socrates will not sell or use your information except to verify entries and notify the winner.

Follow the link below to enter!

Sandbox to Socrates Newsletter 5-1-2014

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. ~ Aristotle

With that quote in mind, I’d like to share with you our most-read post in the past few weeks. A Love Story by Genevieve is a profound story of how one mother came to the decision to homeschool and what that journey meant to her and her family.

Our second most-read post is the story of how one family chose to homeschool when public school was not meeting the emotional need of their family and how that’s worked for them. When Life Takes an Unexpected Turn by Kiki Lynn will hopefully give parents the courage to realize that they too can homeschool their children.

Those two posts were a part of our Classical Foundations series on Why Homeschool?

All over the internet and in real life, the contributors to Sandbox to Socrates are seeing parents asking these important questions about their children’s education, more than we’ve ever seen before. We want to help empower parents to make these decisions on behalf of their children and to give them a tried-and-true path to walk on: the ancient road of classical homeschooling. A Classical Education has stood the test of time and has been proven year after year. Our article by Lisa, Peace of Mind Pedagogy, sums it up well! If you know a family that is struggling with the idea of homeschooling, share this series with them, please!

~Found Around the Internet~

Protect Your Child’s Playtime is an article that I recently read on the internet that I know Ms Charlotte Mason would approve of, and I think you’ll find it validating if you’re a mother of young children.

This Book Was A Tree is a wonderful activity book for the whole family that would fall under a few homeschooling philosophies, especially classical!

Anthony Esolen has written another wonderful article on education that is a shot in the arm for a classical homeschooler and also answers some questions on what’s wrong with Common Core. Read Literature and Learn to Love Truth.  To quote, “The trick is to raise people sagacious enough to distinguish between a falsehood even if propped up by sophistication, and a truth even if naively or poorly expressed.”

If your kids love Frozen as much as mine have, you may want to read them Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Ask them if they can spot any similarities!

~Please Support Our Sponsors~

Classical Academic Press  not only has wonderful classical homeschooling products, but they also have Schole Academy! Check out the forums of  Classical Educator, sponsored by The Society of Classical Learning and make sure you grab a cup of something while you watch The Liturgical Classroom and Virtue Formation, a lecture by teacher Jenny Rallens.

Warmest Wishes,


Briana Elizabeth

Giveaway: Write From History

In conjunction with our review of Write from History, we are so excited to bring you this giveaway! We are giving away one program from Write From History in e-book format. The winner will get to choose their time period, level, and model from the many programs available.

Terms and conditions: The giveaway ends on Friday, March 21 at 10pm MST. The winner will need to respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. Sandbox to Socrates will not sell or use your information except to verify entries and notify the winner.

Follow the link below to enter!