Curriculum Guides

Learn to use Layers of Learning and Writer's Workshop, build your home into a family school, start homeschooling for the first time, plus get all your other questions answered.  Use these guides below!  Or scroll down to see all the Layers of Learning tutorials.

Layers of Learning Curriculum Guide

Writer's Workshop Curriculum Guide

Building a Layers of Learning Homeschool

Brand New Home Schooler Guide

F.A.Q.s and Support for Layers of Learning

All the Layers of Learning Tutorials

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Layers of Learning Philosophy

Every curriculum has an underlying set of principles that emerge from the author’s worldview. Before you start using a curriculum it is important to understand that worldview. So what is the Layers of Learning philosophy? Enlightenment is the Goal The reason people study history, geography, science, and art (the Layers of Learning subjects) is to …

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What To Do When You Can’t Find Great Books – Correlation Charts, Videos, & Booklists to Supplement Layers of Learning

If you have trouble finding perfect library books to go with Layers of Learning, take advantage of the spine books with correlation charts, YouTube playlists, and other resources you’ll find right here.

Printable notebook covers for Layers of Learning

Layers of Learning Notebook Covers

We have a variety of free printable notebook covers for your Layers of Learning homeschool. Covers by Year If you’ve purchased the PDF version of Layers of Learning and intend to print it, here are some free printable notebook covers. They also include matching spines.  You’ll find all 4 printable covers as well as a …

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How to help kids use Layers of Learning More Independently

How to Help Kids Use Layers of Learning More Independently

Layers of Learning is a family curriculum and we think group learning is one of its best strengths.  But the truth is your circumstances may not be ideal for gathering everyone around in the living room and learning together.  You might need your kids to be more independent.  We’ll show you how to help kids …

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how to use layers of learning as a grab and go curriculum

How to Use Layers of Learning as a Grab and Go Curriculum

Layers of Learning is best if you do some planning, but we all have days or periods in our lives when planning in any degree is just not going to happen.  So I’m going to walk you through how to use Layers of Learning as a grab and go curriculum, a method where you can …

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Games To Introduce A Unit

We love games in our homeschool!  We play lots of review games to help us remember what we’ve learned, but we also play some games to introduce a unit.  Layers of Learning units last us two or three weeks, so at the beginning of each you can just choose one simple game to get your kids geared …

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Writing Narrations

Writing narrations is a perfect way to dovetail writing in your homeschool with history, geography, science, and art. Family school is easier when you can combine some of the subjects and learn together!

Homeschool Requirements, Charter Schools, & Layers of Learning

How does Layers of Learning fit in with the homeschool requirements of my state, country, or charter school? Homeschool requirements vary from country to country and state to state.  You might be worried about meeting your specific requirements.  Many of you work with charter schools that have their own specific requirements as well.  Charter funds …

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Review Games for Homeschoolers

We believe learning should be fun, so we play a lot more games than we give tests.  Games are one of my favorite ways to assess my kids’ knowledge in our homeschool.  They are like a test that kids don’t even realize they’re taking!  These are all review games we play to help us see …

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Garrett taking a test

How to Evaluate Layers of Learning Assignments and Courses

You’ve been using Layers of Learning for awhile now and you realize you need to assign grades.  How do you go about evaluating work in an experienced based curriculum that includes no tests and is for multiple ages? Evaluations include tests, writing assignments, and projects.  You can give grades for these things, or not.  It’s …

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Routines for a Happy Homeschool

Part of having an effective homeschool is having an efficient home, and great routines make the difference between chaos and efficiency. Help!  We Need A Morning Routine A good morning routine will get your kids ready for learning more quickly and gently than the constant repetitious mom-directions we tend to engage in.  How often do …

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Mom working with girls painting

Make the Leap From Teaching to Learning Together

Maybe because I knew so little when I started my homeschooling my kids, I have never taught in the traditional school teacher way, standing up front and lecturing, being an expert.  I’ve always approached learning as an activity that I do with my kids.  So that’s the way Layers of Learning curriculum is structured.  It …

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Adapting Layers of Learning For High School

Homeschooling in high school feels like a whole new ball park.  Do you want to have the hands-on family-style homeschool that Layers of Learning provides, but you aren’t sure it’s rigorous enough for your high schooler?  Adapt it!  Every homeschool kid deserves a tailored education plan. As my kids have begun high school, I’ve noticed …

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How to Use a Tablet to Read, Plan, and Print Layers of Learning Units

How to Use a Tablet With Layers of Learning Units

Layers of Learning sells digital pdfs. Here is how to use a tablet with Layers of Learning to make it (nearly) paper-free. I, Michelle, use Layers of Learning directly from my tablet.  I make notes, view the unit, click on links, and print worksheets all from my iPad without ever using a physical book or …

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How to Plan a Layers of Learning Unit and Year

How to Plan A Layers of Learning Unit and Year

Layers of Learning is a little different from a typical curriculum because we give you the freedom to choose books and activities within the curriculum.  You have to think of it more like a huge guided activity book.  But it can be difficult to get your head around how to plan a Layers of Learning …

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Finding Joy in Your Homeschool

In life, what we all really want is joy.  We want to feel happy and fulfilled and enjoy our lives.  Since homeschool is a huge part of who we are, we need to find joy in our homeschool if we want joyful lives.  Here are a few things that have worked for me. Be Consistent …

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Homeschooling in High School

Homeschooling in High School

Homeschooling in high school is a whole new ball park. Even seasoned homeschool moms question whether or not it’s a good idea. Not only are the subjects and material more advanced, but the stakes are higher and more long term. What kids do in high school can be a slingshot for future college paths, careers, …

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How To Make A Homeschool Portfolio

Making a homeschool portfolio is one of the easiest ways to track and record kids’ progress in school.  Before we get into it much further though, I want to encourage you to find out the laws and requirements in your state or country.  You also need to be aware of requirements for any charter school …

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How To Begin Homeschooling

In short, you begin homeschooling at the beginning.  Your beginning may be a different place than mine.  I began when my oldest was starting kindergarten, which will look very different from the homeschooler that is beginning in the middle of 2nd grade when a reading disability is discovered, or during 5th grade when a difficult …

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Homeschooling an Extrovert

Public school is tailored quite well for extroverts, but homeschool can provide a unique challenge for an extroverted kid.  Extroverts get energy from people, so being home and quietly tending to the tasks of schoolwork can feel draining for an extrovert.  While your introverted child will sit quietly with a book, doing research, and writing …

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homeschooling the introverted child

Homeschooling An Introvert

I am the parent of six introverts.  I am strongly introverted so it’s no surprise that my kids are too.   Homeschooling an introvert is, in general, easier than homeschooling extroverts.  This is because two of the hallmarks of introverts are quietness and a desire to be at home.  Your extroverted children may clamor to go …

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Planning Your Homeschool Year

Hopefully by now you’ve thought about your overall homeschool vision, decided what your homeschooling style is, and purchased your curriculum.  {Did you feel as excited as I do when I open the boxes of shiny books?}  Now it’s time to get right down to the business of planning out THIS YEAR in your homeschool. Before …

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How to organize a year's worth of homeschool printables.

Organizing Your Homeschool Once and For All

Organizing your homeschool seems hard, but it pays off in huge dividends.  Let’s run through some simple ways to organize that will transform the way your homeschool runs.  If you’re a busy person, you have more than one kid to teach, or you tend to misplace things, you’ll love these ideas all the more.  Off …

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How to give your school schedule a rhythm and flow that makes the school day easier on everyone.

Building a Rhythm Into Your School Day Schedule

Effective schools operate on a time schedule, but over the years I’ve come to know that effective homeschools operate on a rhythm, not a schedule. A rhythm doesn’t hold us to the clock.  It doesn’t require all of my kids to finish everything at exactly the same moment.  It doesn’t involve an identical list of …

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Ten Habits of Happy Homeschoolers

I’ve been around the homeschooling block.  I often think back to my first few years and the things that I worried over incessantly.  The nights that I stayed up lesson planning and scrutinizing my every decision.  I still worry a bit I suppose, but after many years we are into a rhythm that works for …

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Monthly Lesson Planner

Every now and then I think I need to get elaborate or fancy in my homeschool planning, but it never sticks for long . . . like less than a week.  I always go back to simple.  Because it works.  I plan one month at a time and use a single sheet of paper for …

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How To Track Grades and Transcripts for High School Homeschool

You can keep track of younger kids’ grades if you want to (or if your state requires you to), but in high school you must track your student’s grades.  The high school grades are necessary for college admissions, military admission, and sometimes for jobs, even years after graduation.  Here we’ll explain how to track grades …

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A Week With Layers of Learning

Have you wondered what a week with Layers of Learning looks like?  Join us for a springtime week in our homeschool.  And if you aren’t familiar with the Layers of Learning curriculum, you might want to take a quick peek at our of Layers of Learning Curriculum Guide to learn more about the program. Layers of …

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Disciplining Teenagers – How To Deal With a Teenage Tantrum

Disciplining teenagers is no cake walk.  How do you respond when your teen sasses back, lies, breaks curfew, fails his math class, torments her younger siblings, or gets into a fight?  If you respond to these relatively minor behavioral problems correctly, then it’s much less likely that the bigger problems like drugs, teenage sex, violence, …

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Combining Homeschooling and Housekeeping – 10 Tips

Homeschooling and housekeeping . . . a seemingly never-ending battle. I’m quite picky about my house staying clean, but with each additional kid that comes along the level of cleanliness seems to drift further and further from my ideal.  I hate that crazy feeling when I start the day with a clean house, but all …

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