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I have a dream… or better… a vision for the future of education

What if all kids didn’t go to schools?


I know… it’s outrageous…

What if they went to office buildings? What if they were taught algebra by professional engineers and biology from biologists? What if they walked through the glass doors of an office building and had to interact with adults in suits in the hallways?

In the current design we build infrastructure to house children, then we build places to house adults. Separately. In the 80’s and 90’s it was popular to de-silo industry. We took a product and found the purchasing agents, distribution folks, engineers, and managers related to that product and arranged them in offices by product and not job function. Things sped up. Efficiency happened. What if we dismantled the silos that keep our students out of the marketplace? I know it sounds pretty radical, I mean, kids and businesses? Won’t that slow down corporate America?

Why do most girls want to be teachers? I have a theory that they see themselves in their mothers that primarily stay home, are teachers, or are nurses. Some women DO work in industry though. Some. It’s around 23% of all STEM workers are women. Women comprise 20% of engineering graduates, but only 11% of practicing engineers. What if our girls had direct access to those working STEM women?

I helped to create that statistic by getting an engineering degree, working for five years, then coming home to raise my kids. But I’m making it my come-back job to change this story for my girls’ generation. I’m going to share this vision every day from now on.

The ATM didn’t catch on right away either. How crazy, right? Money spits out of a machine and automatically deducts from my bank account? Crazy.

There has to be some tax benefits for companies partnering with non-profits like Log Cabin Schoolhouse is about to become. I imagine since my husband can write off his office space in our home as a telecommuter with Microsoft, there has to be a way to allow the business to write off the conference room that was donated to a group of students one day a week. I also know that companies like Microsoft pay non-profits when my husband volunteers his time. He worked for my girls’ cheer gym last year, which is a non-profit. They receive $25 an hour for his time. Kohl’s has a policy like this one. What if we partnered up with STEM companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Google that have office buildings in most states to have STEM professionals teach science, higher math, and programming to our students?

I know. Crazy. But what if…

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Hunting for board members!

If you’ve ever wanted to be in on the ground floor of a non-profit, this is your chance!

MISSION: To serve as many homeschoolers free, quality STEM classes as possible.

Log Cabin Schoolhouse is searching for six primary board members at this time: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Grant Writer, and Marketing.

These will be the founding board members helping to set up a non-profit that will aid in finding and delivering free, high quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes to homeschoolers in the United States. See the job responsibilities below and consider whether these jobs sound like you. We need highly motivated board members looking to truly create an avenue for homeschoolers to affordably obtain skills that will enable them to join the STEM job market place upon either high school or college graduation.

If this excites you, as it does me, be sure to reach out to us at Log Cabin Schoolhouse!

Role of the Board of Directors:

  • Playing a top leadership role for our organization, the Board of Directors provides strategic, generative, and fiduciary oversight. This includes:
    • determining the mission and purposes of the organization
    • selecting and evaluating the performance of the CEO
    • strategic and organizational planning
    • ensuring strong fiduciary oversight and financial management
    • fundraising and resource development
    • approving and monitoring the organization’s programs and services
    • enhancing the organization’s public image
    • assessing the organization’s performance as its governing body


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Merry Christmas and FREE  HOMESCHOOL PLANNERS from Log Cabin Schoolhouse!

We hope you have a wonderful, family-filled holiday. From our house to yours, we’d like to share our Planners and Mercy’s Science Memory Cards for FREE between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day!

Discount Code: FREE

Many Blessings,

Jen and Crew at Log Cabin Schoolhouse

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Homeschool Planner

Currently I’m working hard on the new 2017 – 2018 school year PLANNER! Below you’ll find my first version of my planner. The new one is going to be vastly redone.  Be ready… it’s going to be nothing short of AMAZING!!!


(Click here to open the PDF version of the Log Cabin Schoolhouse Planner!)

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I thoroughly enjoy planning, making spreadsheets, thinking big thoughts, anything similar to New Year’s Resolution setting!  All. Of. It.  So when I started homeschooling in 2012 I was in planning heaven.  My planning has changed over the past few years while I grew into my homeschool mom strides.  This is the first year that I feel like I’m on top of my game… I think I heard there is a three year period where we all “get used to” the homeschool lifestyle and all the knowledge that must go with it.  That statistic has proven true for me!  I’d like to share my planner with the homeschool community for FREE this year.  I know a number of moms personally who are just now starting out similarly to the way I did… jumping in cold and hoping to land on your feet!  So, enjoy this bundle of planning documents.  I have one request if you download them:  please send me feedback on what you would like to see different, more of, less of, whatnot.

I’ll also include directions to how I set up my binder.  I will probably print my students’ planners and have them bound, but I like to put my mom planner in a white 1″ binder so I can add ALL the calendars we moms get all year round (cheerleading, dance, co-ops, Art classes, YMCA schedules, etc.).  I’ll probably also add any syllabi that we use during the year so when we’re planning our weekly work I can see the entire year at a glance.   Some of those documents will show up later in the year, so minimally keep a folder with your planner so it can all be easy to find when you’re making your weekly plans.

Homeschool Planner for MOM and STUDENT: use some or all of these sheets…

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Cover Page:  Print this out, tape a picture to it and laminate.  (Or use it as inspiration to design a personalized cover page.)  I made a box down in the bottom for each child (one or many) to sign in their best handwriting each year.  Over the years you can see their handwriting progress through this window!

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Annual School Calendar: (See above.)  There is a key at the top so you can create your own school calendar including holidays, field trips, and whatever else is important.

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Homeschool Planning:  This is specifically for MOM.  I include first and last days of school, legal due dates for homeschooling, standardized testing, due dates for joining HSLDA and other homeschool groups, dates of curriculum sales that happen regularly, field trip planning, planner/syllabus planning, evaluations.

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Field Trip / Activity Planner:  Here is where you write anything month-specific such as field trips.  I include NANO (November is National Novel Writing Month), First and Last Day of School,  Standardized Testing, Volunteer Work if it’s month-specific, Productions.

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Reading Log:  (Not pictured) I put one of these in my kids binders AND mine!

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Monthly Calendar:  To these I add sticky tabs so I can flip right to the month I am currently planning.

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Lists:  Here I maintain a monthly list of things I need to do, shop for, prepare for school, or do as a chore.  Every month I begin a new one so I can reassess what to add or subtract from the list. I can also see at a glance at the end of the year which months are more/less efficient and how.

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Resolution Chart (mostly for mom, but can be used by students):  This is what makes this planner special.  I firmly believe that if I don’t know what I’m trying to learn or achieve from the beginning, there is no way to measure if I were successful at the end of the school year.  In this resolution chart you write down 5-7 things that are meaningful to you, and that would put a big smile on your face if you completed them.  Then as the months progress, you shade them red, yellow, or green on how successful you were.  I included a copy of mine here as an example.  Mine is quite complex, but a simple booklist of books you really have been wanting to complete could be a perfect resolution as well.  Keep it simple or make it multiple categories like I do.  Just be sure you’re happy!  Growing mentally and physically results in happiness.

Weekly Planner:  I fill these out every Sunday night.  I’ve included three versions of this and will probably create more in time.  This coming school year I plan to do it with my kids while we relax in the evening.  I found last year that my DD who did her own planner never saw our family calendar when doing her plans so she would plan large loads of schoolwork on a field trip day.  That never went over well as she is a very diligent child!  Also new next year I’ll be teaching my younger DD to do her planning for the first time.  So again, sitting all together will be a blessing!  (You’ll notice at the top there’s a blank for “Book”… that’s where  you write the ONE book you’d like to read some or all of this week… Aren’t we all hoping for a few moments to sit and read, but never quite find the time?  So if it’s on your planner… just maybe a few pages will be read…)

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Attendance Log:  Some states require attendance to be kept.  When we lived in VA we didn’t have to do this, but in PA we do.  I enjoy keeping track of it now and don’t think I’ll stop even if we move into another state.

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Curriculum Plan:  Around May I start thinking about what each of my kids will do the following year for curriculum.  BUT, if I had this form handy all year I might jot down thoughts as we go along the entire year.  SO, here it is… and I’ll keep it in a section towards the back of my planner for the next year.  I may even keep one set of the current year’s curriculum in the front of my planner.

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Syllabus:  Some years, I needed more of this form than other years.  I find that I make up curriculum sometimes, and this comes in handy for helping me to see the big picture of what we are hoping to learn.  When purchased curriculum comes with a syllabi, it should be photo copied and placed inside the planner.  It saves tons of time when doing weekly plans to have those to glance at.

Enjoy this FREE 50 page planner!  And please remember to comment and send feedback! ?


The Log Cabin Schoolhouse?

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It’s the little things…

Top Ten Ideas for Keeping your Homeschool Simple…

  1. Grab a notebook and pencil… instead of running around the school room in pursuit of the “perfect” supplies… There are days when we school out of the house and I struggle to pack all the necessary books… but wouldn’t it just be easier to grab paper and pencils once in a while? I’m not saying forgo curriculum, but in order to decrease some unnecessary stress, we all have days when simplicity of materials would be a complete blessing!
  2. Don’t create “school at home”… If we wanted to send our kids to school, we would have. Homeschooling is a lifestyle if done properly. Time spent on creating rows of desks in front of a chalk board is wasted time. There are days when we educate in our pajamas on the sofa and the quality of learning is never jeopardized by doing so. When kids are comfortable and happy they are poised to soak up even more!
  3. Have a place for everything… When everything has a home it’s easy to call out clean up requests while cooking dinner. If the kids don’t know where the pencils live and I ask them to put them away there is usually a melt down, but if they have a special box all their own, generally the kids love to help out with clean up.
  4. Technology used smartly is a life saver… While it shouldn’t be the main event, tech devices can be wonderful learning tools. I keep a set of learning DVD’s on hand for days when I get busy. I like to do science and history this way. There are even days when I ask the 1st grader to go sit and try to read a Minecraft chapter book. He can’t read it word for word, but doesn’t mind doing a treasure hunt for words he does know.
  5.… This one website is probably the most useful learning tool from grades 3 through college! The best thing about it is that if you’re using popular curriculum it’s very likely that the set of information you’re looking for has already been entered many times by other homeschool moms! Work done for you! Basically, this is a study tool for vocabulary or any set of information you’re trying to memorize. It also works on most mobile phones so it’s portable!
  6. READ together… Books cover so many subjects if read aloud. I remember certain moments from my childhood simply because a book was read aloud to me. This one event can cover history, science, math, reading, writing, spelling, and more! Plus, there is no better quality time spent between parent and child!
  7. Library Card… Reading together leads me to this next one… I can get wrapped around the axle with all those alluring homeschool curriculum catalogs! But what we all really need to do is spend time browsing the brightly colored children’s picture books once a week. This can be for any age too! You could even have a high school aged child choose science themed picture books for the elementary siblings with the intent to read them aloud together! Sibling bonding time!
  8. Go for a walk in the woods and DRAW… There isn’t much more simple than that! Pick one very interesting thing like a flower you’ve never noticed before or a ladybug and draw it in detail by really inspecting it. Then when you get home either google or youtube it for more research! Write anything you learned.  You’ll find that the more often that you do this little activity, the more meaningful it becomes. By the end of a year you’ll have quite a notebook too!
  9. Create a simple filing system over the summer… All the materials you will need are one crate per child, hanging files, and a pen. Label files for each subject you plan to study this school year and hang them in the crate- one crate per child. As the year progresses, place paperwork where they go so the end of year shuffle is very easy. Then over the summer after the school year sort what papers will be saved as representation of the entire school year and make a new hanging file labeled “1st grade”. Use the same crate all the way through elementary school. You’ll have three crates per child by the time they graduate… no more, no less… easy peasy… 🙂
  10. Always have a Planner!!!