Monday, March 31, 2014

Win a Family Registration to the NCHE Conference!

In just a few short months, I'll be attending the North Carolinians for Home Education (NCHE) Annual Conference and Book Fair!  This will be the third year we've lived in North Carolina and the third year I've attended the conference.  I cannot wait to go!

Over the coming weeks, I'm going to tell you about some of the incredible features of the NCHE Conference in greater detail.  In the meantime, I want to hit the highlights.

Did you know...

If you are a homeschooling family, you will find so many amazing facets of this conference!  It's absolutely worth the trip to Winston-Salem!  Whether you make the trip solo as a homeschooling parent, with homeschooling friends, or as a family, you will find there is no lack of activities.  

Family Registration Giveaway

This year, I'll be attending the NCHE Conference as an Official Conference Blogger.  (So exciting!!)  I'll be taking in as many events as possible so I can tell you how much more I love being in Winston-Salem over Memorial Day weekend each year!  This week, I'm giving away a family registration to the conference!  Enter below for your chance to win registration for the weekend for your family, an $85 value!  Don't delay, the giveaway ends on April 6th.  Winner will be notified via email. .

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 28, 2014

Why We Love Spelling City!

We've been using a technology- based curriculum in our homeschool for almost three years.  Finding Time4Learning after trying out so many different curricula available was a sweet treat for our homeschool.  Finding Spelling City shortly thereafter really just became the icing on the cake.

This year, juggling two different grade levels has been more of a challenge than it was last year.  My oldest son is in fifth grade while my middle son is in first.  I try to combine as much of their learning as I can but that's not always possible.  We have two computers set up side by side in our school room.  During school time, they each get a computer and I stand between the two of them.  While I alternate which son I'm actively teaching, the other completes review work, worksheets, or heads over to +VocabularySpellingCity.

And we all love Spelling City.

Recently, Spelling City added some new features and games that have made learning more fun for the boys and teaching more fun for me.

New Features

Review Lists
I like to set-up three weeks of spelling word lists and one week of reviewing.  This is especially important for my middle son who is a beginning reader.  With the new Review List feature, I can assign Zander the more difficult words on his previous lists for another review.

Personal Student Lists
Adisson received the Harry Potter book series for Christmas.  He LOVES to read each new book and we are all rewarded by getting to watch the movie after he finishes the book.  Last week, he took advantage of the personal student list feature to create Harry Potter spelling/vocabulary lists to practice new words he's learned.  Now, when he's reading and comes across words like chortled and enthusiastically, he doesn't stumble over them, but reads them with ease.  He's learning (and not complaining) so I'm very happy!

New Games

Oh my goodness, Zander loves Word-O-Pillar.  Sometimes, he can get a little overwhelmed by some of the games, but this one he really likes.  In Word-O-Pillar, a friendly caterpillar encourages him to arrange letters to spell each word on his list.  The game is fun for him because only the letters of each word are included so he doesn't get confused as to what word he's trying to spell.  At the end, the caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly.

Ok, so in a house full of boys, a game that has bugs is pretty much always a hit.  In Splat-N-Spell, you have to save the city from an invasion by squishing cockroaches.  The disgusting bugs are carrying letters on their backs to spell out a vocabulary word.  The splat part makes a gross sound and ick oozes out of the bug when they get smooshed.  Seriously, the boys love it.

Both of my spellers love this game because it's so similar to another computer game they enjoy.  Lettered balls move around in a swirling spiral while they they take aim and shoot balls to complete the spelling word.  It can get fast and fun and they get very excited about it!  They try to get a better score each time they play. Aim 2 Spell is definitely one of their favorites! 

Spelling City Premium Membership

If you are interested in checking out Spelling City, I encourage you to try it! There are great features and games on the free side of Spelling City, but the premium membership is definitely worth the money. Click on the links above to try a demo of each game! 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Read About our Scout Family!

Something I talk about frequently on my blog is our involvement with Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  I'll catch you up to speed on how we are involved in Scouts.

Meet Mr. Adam and Ms. Nicole

First of all, there's my husband.  He's a pretty awesome guy anyway, but in addition to his regularly scheduled awesomeness of working and providing for our family and showing our sons how to be an incredible Dad and husband, he also volunteers as the Cubmaster for the Pack.

He really enjoys being the Cubmaster and the kids LOVE him!!  Moving on to the other half of the dynamic duo pictured above is yours truly, Ms. Nicole.  :)  I am currently the Tiger Den Leader (because I have a cute little Tiger Cub!) and also the Advancements Coordinator.  As Advancements Coordinator, each month (though likely a little more frequently) I visit the Scout shop in our area to buy awards for all of the boys in the Pack.  Then, prior to the monthly Pack meeting, I sort the awards into individual bags to be handed out the meeting.

Our Boy Scout, Our Cub Scout, and Our Scout-To-Be

And now for the three most important reasons we volunteer:

In this photo you see Adisson as an Arrow of Light Webelos.  He has since crossed over into Boy Scouts.  I should get a good picture of him in his uniform tonight.  Then, you see my sweet little Tiger Cub.  He's wearing face paint for earning his Bobcat badge, but he's even recently earned his Tiger badge!  And there with his cute little face in the picture is my youngest fellow, Jaxon.  He's not in Scouts, yet, but he loves it just the same!  Besides, with all of these boys, I'll be a Scout Mom for a long time!

Why go over all of this with you?  Because over the weekend we talked about starting a family Scouting blog.  With each of us being involved in Scouts in a different way, we want to share what we bring to Scouting and more importantly, what Scouting brings to each of us.

Stay tuned!  Any new blog announcements will be made right here!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Weekly Recap--With an Awesome Photo of a Plane

Wowza!  It's been a pretty good week around here, thanks in part to some amazing weather.  It's so nice to let the kids run a lot of those wiggles out while canvassing the woods and playing in the dirt.  And, truth be told, it gives Mom a tiny bit of peace in the afternoon.

I want to tell you about our school work this week, but first I have to share a picture of my kiddo.  He recently crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and his first backpacking trip is this weekend.  This isn't the family camping trip he's accustomed to, but a trek where all of his belongings have to fit into his backpack.  And he has to hike to their campsite--wearing said backpack.  And tomorrow they are hiking for 10 miles!  Fortunately, only a third of that will be with a heavy, full backpack; the rest will be with a much lighter day pack.

My pirate Boy Scout?  I don't know what's with the eye.
He's so excited and a teensy bit nervous.  And I'm so nervous and a teensy bit excited!  He's really going to have a great time and I can't wait to hear all about it on Sunday!

Ok, back to school topics....

This was a pretty good week!  We got a good bit of school work completed, lots of fresh air, a trip to a super awesome playground (across the street from an air field!!), and we worked really hard to get Adisson geared up for his big camping trip.

Seriously, it's so much closer than this when your vehicle is underneath!

You saw my post earlier this week on our very fun St. Patrick's Day science project.  This week, we tried to get back in the swing of spelling words.  It was easy to leave that out of our day for a few weeks, but it's important (or something like that) so we're back to weekly lists.  That also makes handwriting assignments a lot easier for me...they can write spelling words and sentences of spelling words.

Among the everyday-ness in our everyday, we also found a few fun parts of school.  Zander found that several of his lessons this week were actually pretty fun first grade games.  Seriously, if I could make everything a game, he could learn anything.  Adisson learned about the short, silent film The Great Train Robbery.  After reading about it, of course we had to look it up.  It was incredibly interesting to see the difference in movies over a 100 years ago and movies now.  It was also pretty amusing to learn that people in the theater actually jumped and shrieked at the end of the movie when a guy faced the camera, pointed a gun, and fired a few shots.

Anyway, this weekend, is going to be a pretty low-key and mellow weekend.  The little boys and I are going to make some cupcakes and finally get around to seeing the movie Frozen.  Anything fun planned for you this weekend?  (Also...I'm trying very, very hard to stay off of Pinterest this weekend....)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Check Out My Homeschool Leadercast Interview!

Have you ever heard of +The Homeschool Leadercast?  It's pretty awesome so I'm going to tell you about it right now.  So here's the skinny:
What is the Homeschool Leadercast?

The Homeschool Leadercast is a free Christian talk show, aired 3 times weekly, focusing on home education. The Homeschool Leadercast features inspiring and resourceful interviews with sought-after home education speakers and leaders who love Christ and want to share their knowledge and passion with the homeschool community worldwide.

Why Do I Think The Homeschool Leadercast is Incredible?

So, imagine you need some encouragement, some helpful ideas, or you'd love to ask someone a  few questions about homeschooling.  There are now 56 total episodes on The Homeschool Leadercast site.  Topics vary widely and cover a very broad range of subjects.  Here are a few of the podcasts you will find:

Really, there are so many episodes available that you are certain to find an abundance of great advice, tips, tricks, and just all around good conversation.  And the point of this post today is that there's another podcast that was just released week.  It features me (!!!!) talking about homeschooling as a military family!

And truthfully, I'm so excited about it!  There are two things that really define me as a wife (an Army wife) and a mother (a homeschooling mom).  In this podcast, I had the opportunity to discuss both of those aspects of my life.  I hope you'll take a minute to stop by The Homeschool Leadercast, check out the list of episodes offered, and if you are interested....maybe download mine.  :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

10 Reasons You Know You're a Military Homeschooler

#1.  Vacations are 
planned to nearby installations.

Onslow Beach, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

#2.  Military museums are 
always first on the list of field trips. 

Airborne & Special Operations Museum, Fayetteville, North Carolina

#3.  Even the kids get a "four-day."

If you don't know, you don't know. 

#4.  Homecoming has an 
entirely different meaning.

Welcome home!

#5.  Your kids can name the 
different types of military vehicles.

That's a Chinook.  

#6.  Acronyms are more 
common than text-speak.

PCS, TDY, ACU, etc.  The kids know a lot of them.

#7.  They know rank and 
fight over who is going to be the 
Senior NCO when playing army guys.

#8.  Even the kids have ACU's.

And it seems nearly everyday is dress-up day.

#9.  Your son's imaginary 
friend is named Sgt. Major.

And Sgt. Major always comes over to play with Zander when I've got a list of chores for him.

#10.  You remember travels/previous 
homes based on the size of the PX. 

So, I know these may not be accurate for everyone and aren't limited to military homeschoolers, but there's a good chance that these are some reasons that military homeschoolers may be different from civilian homeschoolers.  Can you add any more to the list?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It's Clean-Up Time Again??

Chores are a hot button issue around my house.  I feel like it's a never ending battle with my sons to make them keepers of our home.  I hope that each of them grow up, find someone they love, if they so choose, and live happily ever after.  When that happens, however, I want them to know how to care for themselves.

How does a microwave work?

How do I wash my clothes?

What do I eat?

I do not want to pick up the phone and hear those questions on the other end of the line.  I'm expecting things like, "I blew up the burrito," and "I shrunk my sweater," because sometimes they half listen to what I'm saying.  Regardless, I want them to know how to take care of their homes.

I am also one person and have no desire to clean  up after five people.  Thankfully, I was blessed with a husband who picks up after himself regularly.  I rarely find his shoes in the living room or his man-purse (he's not going to like that I called it that!!) by the chair.  He reigns in his gear to select parts of the house and I am very happy with that.  Sadly, the messy of the two of us is me.  :(  Housekeeping is something I will NEVER perfect. my pursuit of home tidiness, I am bringing my fellas along with me.  It helps that my Boy Scout has been saying "A Scout is clean" for the past several months as he learns the Scout Law.  We've been working on chore charts and areas of responsibility.

Here are some resources I've found recently:

Chores for Kids

From the above list, I made each of my sons their own chore chart.  I laminated it so we could mark on it with dry erase markers, wipe it off, and start over.  And also because I have a slight infatuation with my laminator, I have also laminated the next resource I've found.

Blitz Cleaning Cards

Click above find these great cleanup cards!

Motivated Moms

I've also been trying to stick with the Motivated Moms cleaning schedule.  You can get it as an ebook download or an app.  Because I'm nearly attached to my cell phone, it's definitely easier for me to use the app.  I like that everything is broken up into pieces for a few reasons--#1. I LOVE crossing stuff off a list.  It's a great thrill of mine!  #2. It keeps each chore manageable and easy to accomplish.  

Click above to head over to Motivated Moms.  

What do you use to stay on top of cleaning your home?  Is there something specific you do to keep the kids involved?

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day: Rainbow in a Jar

Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends!!  

We are blessed to have Adam home with us today so the boys are having an awesome day!  I had planned on visiting a museum this afternoon so when I found out they were closed on Monday, I was pretty disappointed.  I only had a few plans for St. Patrick's Day and now that we are going to be home most of the day, I'm definitely wishing I had more fun activities in store.

Our liquids--
 Honey, light corn syrup, rubbing alcohol, dish soap, and olive oil.
We also used water (not pictured).
One thing I had found last week that I wanted to do with the fellas is making a rainbow in a jar.  We've discussed density before and a year ago even made these really awesome "lava lamps"  at a homeschool meet-up.  It was great that they remembered some of what we've talked about in the past.  Like the blog I found detailing the experiment, we discussed how everything is made up of molecules and some liquids have more molecules than others which makes those liquids heavier.  I had two identical jars, a few marbles in one, several in the other (representing molecules), and we each held the jars to determine which one was heavier.  

"This one is HEAVY, Mom!!"

We mixed some food coloring into a few of the liquids to differentiate each one.  Everyone got to add a few drops of food coloring or take a turn stirring the liquid.  Notice my guys are already in their green gear so no pinching today!

Adisson gets quite a bit of supervision. 
After coloring and pouring several different liquids into our jar, you can see the rainbow!  The bottom is honey, the purple (hard to see) is dyed corn syrup, the blue is dish soap, the green is water, the yellow is olive oil, and the red is rubbing alcohol.  And it was a jar full of fun!

Do you see all of the colors?

Since we aren't going to the museum, we have some errands to run today.  My Boy Scout has a backpacking trip coming up, his first, and we still need some supplies.  We also have company coming over tonight so I don't think we'll get much else done today for St. Patrick's Day.  This was a fun activity, though, and I'm so glad I found it last week instead of tomorrow.  That's typically how things work out for me.  :)  Did you do anything fun for St. Patrick's Day?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Another Fun Week of Homeschooling

Yay for a pretty awesome week of school!  And some amazing weather!  The boys spent most of their afternoons running around in the woods.  We also spent time reading and doing school work on a blanket in the front yard.  When we're talking about math while staring at the clouds or discussing a science lesson while looking for lizards, I think of how fortunate we are to homeschool our sons.  I don't have to miss those moments of fun or the excitement of learning.

The other day I posted about how Adisson was learning about Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine.  I enjoy spending my spare time learning how to make things for our home with my sewing machine.  I often find Adisson watching the machine stitch something together or listening to that low whirring noise of the machine humming.  After our sewing machine lessons, Adisson was more than ready to make something of his own.

As you likely know, he has recently transitioned to Boy Scouts from Cub Scouts.  I'm working on assembling the awards he earned into a nice display case.  One thing he no longer needs is his Pack activity shirt.  I was pretty excited I wouldn't see him wearing it again as it's stretched out, stained, and full of holes (.....boys.....).  I found a great tutorial on how to make an envelope pillow cover.  We worked together to cut out the pieces and pin them together.  Finally, it was time to put the pedal to the medal.  :)  You can see the end result below.  He's so proud of it and I'm proud of him!

The orange pillow is our new one!

We also finally got our SpellingCity membership updated so we've spent some time checking out their new games and features (review coming up next week!).  Zander still gets very excited to play games and practice his words.  He likes some of the newer games but his favorite is still online hangman.  He loves trying to guess the word before it's too late!  He's a funny guy.

We had a good week and I'm excited about this weekend.  We have another round of visiting company and the boys always enjoy that!  It's a short visit so we have some other things planned as well.  Adisson needs quite a bit of gear for Boy Scout camping (ohmy!!) and I've got a few fun things planned for St. Patrick's Day.  I hope to have some pictures to share next week!

Because I didn't share enough pictures, here's one from a few days ago.
All of my fellas are playing Sorry!  As you can see, it wasn't going as well for Adisson.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We Got Stuck on a Rabbit Trail!

I saw this photo popping up on the internet yesterday and it really spoke to me.  I try pretty hard to stay on top of lesson plans and to stay focused to what needs to get done.  Sometimes, though, that doesn't work out as well as I had hoped.  The kids get burnt out quickly or someone doesn't feel well (and that someone is probably me) and then all of my plans have to shift.  

It took me a long time to be ok with that.  

Sometimes, though, we have to deal with "rabbit trails."  You know what I'm talking about?  You are learning about Elias Howe, the pioneer of sewing machines and suddenly they want to bust out Mom's machine and start sewing.  Then, they remember that they wanted to turn their old Cub Scout t-shirt into a pillow.  Then, Mom is asked to help gather up supplies, the machine, find the shirt, dig out that pillow form that no one is using, set everything up at the table and turn the afternoon into an impromptu lesson on sewing.

Does this story come to mind for anyone else?

You know that means the rest of the lessons are probably not getting done today.  

But something else pretty awesome taught your boys how to turn an old t-shirt into a pillow.  And now they want to know what else they can sew.  :)  We'll get back to those lesson plans tomorrow.  Today, however, we're sewing stuff.

(Picture of finished pillow to come!!)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Am I Really Being Overprotective?

I've been accused of being overprotective.  I've been told that I'm sheltering the kids.  When I hear those phrases flung at me like accusations of bad parenting, I want to say thank you in response.  I am overprotective and I do shelter the kids.  That's my job.

No, I don't have the boys wrapped in bubble wrap.  But they do wear helmets anytime they are on wheels (bike, scooter, skateboard, etc.).  They play outside in our subdivision, but they aren't allowed in anyone else's home.  They participate in activities outside our homeschool, but aren't dropped off anywhere and left.  
You can call it being overprotective.  I call it being a Mom.

Honestly, my question to you is---why aren't you overprotective?  

I don't want to judge your parenting skills in public because if I'm being brutally honest, I'm likely already doing so in my head.  I shouldn't judge, I shouldn't compare or complain, but it's a shortcoming I have.  I don't ask why you work instead of stay home or why you send your kids to school instead of keeping them at home, because those are personal choices.  Why is it ok for you to judge me for protecting my children?

I read the news plastered all over the internet.  Don't say bad stuff can't or won't happen where I live because it does.  Every single day.  I can't control other people's actions or choices anymore than I can make the sun shine on a rainy day.  What I can do is to try to keep my children out of situations where they could be a target of someone's bad decisions.  

Do I worry about them being sick, hurt, or injured?  Yes, I do...on a daily basis.  Worry is another one of my character flaws.  I hate the thought of one of my sons being in physical pain or being sick.  I read about families online who had a healthy, active child one day and the next day they were doing research on childhood cancer.  I'm not disillusioned to think that we are immune to bad news.  

As Adisson embarks on his journey of Boy Scouts, I have to learn to let him go and let him grow.  I will do that, in my time.  I will be present in his Troop meetings when possible so I can be informed.  I will get to know his Scoutmasters as I will be entrusting one of my greatest gifts in this life to their care as he learns to obtain his Scouting goals.  I will ensure that we are all comfortable with new situations, allowing to be pushed out of our comfort zone just a little at a time.  

I was blessed far beyond measure to have three sons.  They are undoubtedly the greatest miracles in my life. I limit the stories they hear on the news, the articles they read online, and the lyrics they hear on the radio.  I keep them in our neighborhood.  I teach them to think about the consequences of their actions and how to interact with other people.

I'm a far cry from a perfect parent and I know my way of parenting is vastly different from yours.  But when you call me overprotective, know that is just what I intended.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Week Past and The Week in Store

As a military family living away from all of our extended family, it is such a treat for us when someone visits!  Last week, we were so excited to have my aunt visit us on her way home from a business trip.  The boys had counted down the days for several weeks.  Aunt Ree is very beloved among her nieces and nephews, especially the second wave of them she has in her great-nieces and nephews.   On that note, they spent several days playing board games and building LEGO creations.

Hmmmm, can you guess what else we did over the weekend?

Truthfully, it was far too short of time to spend with her.  The boys were sad to see her leave and have already asked repeatedly when she can visit again.  It's in those times that I find being so far away from family rather difficult.  How fortunate children are when afforded the opportunity to live near extended family members.

In school last week, the boys were busy working on their lessons.  It wasn't a heavy workload, due to our visitor, but they are moving along well as this year begins to wind down.  Adisson is continuing on with his lessons on inventors in social studies and organisms in science.  Zander is finishing up a math unit on operations as he's rather excited to get started on his money unit.  He has also begun using Draw Write Now for handwriting practice and drawing lessons.  He gets a little frustrated at his drawing skills, but practice makes one better--or so I remind him everyday.

We had taken some time off from our spelling lessons but we are starting back up this week (ok, really, I had accidentally let our premium membership to Spelling City lapse and I finally got around to renewing--the boys didn't mind the month off!).  Additionally, I'm currently working on a review of Vocabulary Spelling City.  There are some new features I want to check out a little more, like review lists and personal student lists.  I suppose we could all spend some time reviewing our spelling glossary, as well. ;)  Check back for my review later this week!

This week, we have a lot in store.  To make up for a lighter workload last week, we'll be doing some extra lessons.  More school work means I have to manage the rest of my time in a better way.  Fortunately, I was also given a very wonderful gift at Cub Scouts, the gift of an Assistant Den Leader.  Oh, my goodness am I thrilled!  The timing is splendid as I need to attend Adisson's first Troop meeting on Tuesday night since they will be discussing necessary Boy Scout equipment.  That leads me to my wonderful news...

Adisson beginning his trek across the bridge.
A Cub Scout at the beginning, a Boy Scout at the end.  

My oldest son became a Boy Scout over the weekend in a special outdoor ceremony called Crossover.  As I watched the boys leave Cub Scouts and join the ranks of some incredible boys in the Troop, I felt so proud of my son.  It's hard sometimes to come to terms with the fact that he's growing older each day and becoming more and more independent, but it makes me such a proud mom.  He's not into Boy Scouts just to pass the time or because we, as his parents, are making him be there.  That child LOVES everything about Boy Scouts---and he's only been one for a day.

A beautiful wall-hanging given to Adam and I by a family in the Arrow of Light Den.
 "When a boy finds someone who takes an interest in him, he responds and follows." ~Baden-Powell

Thursday, March 6, 2014

15 Tips for Attending a Homeschool Convention

Do you attend homeschool conferences?  Have you thought about it but never actually been?

I LOVE homeschool conventions.  I mean LOVE them!  I have the opportunity to hear great speakers, be encouraged, and get up close and personal with books and curricula.  I'll be attending the NCHE Conference this May (can't wait!) and I'm very excited to have to opportunity to participate as part of the NCHE Conference Blogging Team.  Here's a link to the information if you are interested in that conference:

Also, here are some incredible tips for attending any homeschool convention.  I've been to several and these are all great ideas that I utilize favorite being the tip about address labels!  Check out the slides and see how to make this year's convention the best one!

15 Tips for Attending Homeschool Conventions from Dee Trope

Do you have any tips you could share?  What is your favorite homeschool convention?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3 Ways to Get Dad Involved in Homeschooling

I'm guessing there's a good chance that Mom does most, or maybe all, of the homeschool teaching.  Sometimes, it's out of necessity and sometimes, it might be that Dad isn't sure how to get involved.  As a military family, I do a very large majority of the instructing because Adam has a schedule that doesn't always mean he'll be home every night.

There are times, however, when he is here that he takes over teaching a subject or helping one of the boys work on a project.  It's very exciting for the kids when Dad takes on the role of teacher and it's very helpful to me for a few reasons.  In some areas, he's more knowledgeable on the subject at hand.  I also find that in our homeschool, and in our life together, his mind works in very different ways than mine.  He explains things differently, he approaches subject from an alternate angle, and he can speak "boy" where sometimes I lack the ability.

If Mom is the primary home educator, how can Dad get more involved in teaching?

#1. Ask Him!
I've found the quickest way to get my husband involved is to ask him.  How simple was that?  :)  Here's the thing, maybe he doesn't know that I could use his help.  He might not realize I'm struggling to teach a math concept that our son is having a difficult time grasping because he's not here during the day.  He won't know the areas I fall a little short or in what subjects our sons need extra attention if he's not here and I don't say something to him.  So, I've got to speak up!

#2.  Ask Dad Teach the Stuff He Knows
It helps if the subject he's teaching is one in which he excels or enjoys.  Adam "gets" science in ways I don't think I ever will.  I've always struggled to understand certain aspects of the subject.  I think one of the biggest reasons I started a Science Series on my blog was to also help me understand what we were talking about in school!  He's also got a brain for math.  I get math better than I do science, but my approach is often different than how Adam approaches a math problem.  More often than not, if the boys are coming to him in need of math help, he can assist them in ways I hadn't thought of suggesting.

#3.  Make it Fun!
Everyone's more apt to get involved in the learning and the teaching if the subject is fun.  Some parts of school may not always be a fun party of learning.  Verbs, punctuation, main ideas...those may not be the most exciting topics to cover.  Personally, I'm a Language Arts gal so I can talk about sentence fragments all day.  The boys, though, would find that boring.  Inevitably, Adam would find some way to make it fun, by turning into a game, a song, or something silly.  I get a little bogged down in the day to day details of homeschooling, whereas he's got fresh eyes and ideas when I get stuck in a rut.  I will say that it is a lot more fun for him to teach them, if it's a subject he already enjoys.

Does Dad help out in your homeschool?  In what ways does Dad being involved make your homeschool even better?