Posted on

How Many Students Will Be Forced to Repeat Courses and Grades Next Year?

An EdWeek Market Brief survey of district and school officials finds many predicting that the number of students being forced to repeat courses after this year will jump.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.

Posted on

Inside Khan Academy’s Expansion Into School Districts, and Online Tutoring

interview with Sal Khan

Khan Academy educational videos have long been a staple of student learning away from school, but it is now ramping up its efforts to work directly with school systems.

Schedule a Tour

Join us to get access to the rest of this premium article.

Already a member? Log in.

Posted on

Creative Grids Ruler Review

Happy Thursday friends! I always get so many questions on my favorite quilting rulers, that today I wanted to do a review for my all time favorite quilting rulers, the Creative Grids Rulers.

I’ve gone through several different brands and these have quickly become my favorites due to their ease of use, and crisp clear lines.

Check out my full video review on the Creative Grids Acrylic Rulers here:

Here are my top picks for quilting rulers:

Of course I’ve also collected creative grids square rulers in 2.5″, 3.5″, 4.5″, 5.5″, 7.5″, 8.5″ and 15.5″. I love all of the square rulers because they make squaring up your quilt blocks a breeze!

What are your favorite quilting rulers? Leave a comment below letting me know which rulers you prefer and why!

Posted on

The Mother Lode of Father’s Day Ideas

Ask a random stranger in early May about plans for Mother’s Day, and he or she can likely give you a full itinerary for the day, including church with Mom, lunch with Mom, flowers for Mom, and gifts for Mom.

Ask the same random stranger in mid-June about plans for Father’s Day, and you’ll probably get something like this:

Awkward silence.  A contrived cough.  Crickets chirping.

Because, let’s face it: Father’s Day just doesn’t get the same kind of respect.

Now some will immediately chalk that up to a cultural assault on fatherhood, which I won’t dispute exists, though I don’t necessarily think the less-than-stellar celebration of Father’s Day is the best evidence of it.  Mom and home are always closely connected, and so I wonder sometimes if celebration of mom is also celebration of all things nostalgic.  Plus moms make gift-giving easy for their children!  Sappy tears and a bright, emotional response to kisses and hugs and simple gifts make celebrating mom pretty effortless in many ways.

Men, on the other hand, can be more of a challenge, only because they’re different from us in all the incredible ways God intended.  Though most of them don’t necessarily pine after fresh flowers or weep uncontrollably at the sight of a crayon-scribbled card, (not to say it could never happen!) they deserve all the love and appreciation we can shower on them on their special day.

So whether you’re in search of some information about Father’s Day or looking for simple gifts or easy crafts to commemorate the day, you’ve come to the right place!  Call this Father’s Day Central:

The Mother Lode of Father’s Day Ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas 

So you’re thinking a tie, right?  Maybe a coffee cup.  Argyle socks.  I’m not knocking those choices (I’ve pulled out a couple of them myself a few times), but you can probably come up with some more original ideas.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dads at Church, Co-Op, Etc.

If you’re buying Father’s Day gifts en masse, for all the fathers in your church, for example, or those in your homeschool co-op, you’ll need different gift suggestions than if you’re buying only for your own father. Here are some suggestions for “group” gifts that are fun and inexpensive. (Some are more expensive than others. Of course, you’ll need to choose based on how many dads you’re buying for and how much you have to spend.)

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Your Own Dad or Your Children’s Dad

Edible Tackle Box

But when you’re looking for a gift for your children’s father, (or maybe even your own,) here are a few gift ideas I count among my personal favorites is this Edible Tackle Box Isn’t this the cutest thing ever? And it’s easy to assemble and tasty too! Below is a link to the box and to some candies that are perfect for filling it!

Father's Day Ideas

Dad’s Stache Jar

And I mustache you a question.  (And, yes, that’s a bad joke. An old, bad joke even. Forgive me.)  But have you ever seen a cuter idea for Father’s Day than this Dad’s Stache jar? I also like using these wire clamp jars too.

Father's Day Ideas. Father's Day Gift Jar: Dad's Stache

Mini Toolboxes

And I adore these Mini Toolboxes made from old mint tins using mini tin boxes


Father's Day Ideas. Mini toolboxes

I always have such a hard time throwing away mint tins.  I mean, they’re reusable!  Well, this is a great way to put them to use.  Just follow the step-by-step instructions, then fill with nuts and bolts, screws or nails, or any other useful things Dad might need to keep on hand.

But there are literally hundreds more ideas where these came from!

More Gift Ideas

Free Printables

If you’re looking for simple printables for Father’s day, you may like some of these:

History of Father’s Day

Maybe you were hoping you and the kids could learn a little something about Father’s Day.  Did you know Father’s Day actually began in Spokane, Washington?  Believe me, the Spokanians (if that’s a word) have not forgotten!  Check out the Father’s Day Birthplace website for a history of the founding of Father’s Day.  Find even more information here, including poems and quotes about Father’s Day as well as info about how fathers are celebrated around the world.

Unit Studies and Book Lists

  • Interested in doing a unit study related to Father’s Day?  Try out Whales Passing, a literature-based unit study dealing with the relationship of fathers and sons.
  • This Father’s Day reading list offers even more great book options.


There’s no excuse for neglecting Dad this Father’s Day!  With a little time and forethought, we can come up with just what we need to make the dads in our lives feel as loved and appreciated as they are. Now.  It’s time for this mom to get busy on gifts for a couple of very important dads…

How will you celebrate Father’s Day this year?  What do you do to make the fathers in your life feel special?

You May Also Like

toolbox card for Dad for Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day Tool Box Card for Dad

super hero dad

10 Clues You Might Be a Homeschool Dad

mom and dad holding hands

Dear Homeschool Mom: How to Love Your Husband While Homeschooling

Posted on

Walton Foundation Executive Leaves to Launch New K-12 Investment Fund

The Walton Family Foundation’s K-12 education program director is resigning from his role to start an independent K-12-focused investment fund.

With the assistance of a $200 million contribution from the Walton family, Marc Sternberg today is launching A-Street Ventures, an investment fund that will seed and scale innovative K-12 student learning and achievement solutions for students, families, and schools, according to a letter Sternberg wrote announcing his departure and the initiation of the fund.

“As the future of work shifts toward artificial intelligence, automation, and outsourcing to foreign countries, the financial security of, and accessibility to, America’s middle class has never been more in doubt,” the letter says. “In this new world, opportunity and stability will belong to young people who can adapt, think critically, continue learning new skills, thrive in collaborative environments, and lead teams.”

Marc Sternberg

The announcement comes as the education space has seen a recent surge of venture capital investment. Investors put more than $16 billion into ed tech in 2020, roughly double the amount that VCs put forward in 2018, according to a report by HolonIQ.

A-Street, which will be based in Bentonville, Ark., plans to invest in a mix of early-, growth- and late-stage ventures. At the outset, it will focus on digital-first instructional materials and “new paradigms” for student assessment, the letter says.

In terms of assessment platforms, the firm will direct its attention toward curriculum-embedded products that can be used for both summative and formative purposes, to shape instruction and support students and their families, Sternberg told EdWeek Market Brief in an interview.

In addition to its focus on assessments, A-Street will attempt to distinguish itself from other investment funds by focusing on uplifting the teaching profession and supporting high-quality, digital-forward content, he said.

In contrast with most education investment funds, which have a seven- or 10-year outlook, A-Street will look to bolster target companies for at least 15 years before exiting, he said.

The fund plans to primarily focus on companies operating in the U.S. K-12 market, but may also invest outside the K-12 sphere when potential breakthroughs could benefit primary or secondary schools, Sternberg’s letter says.

A-Street will redirect profits toward charitable causes or future investment, though the firm intends to operate with “all the rigor and ambition of a traditional closed-end investment fund,” according to Sternberg.

The fund will be financed solely by the Walton family, he said during the interview. Instead of going back to the investors, funds will be recycled into the current fund and for future accounts. The new firm has not yet communicated with any education companies about investment possibilities, he said.

Sternberg previously worked as the senior deputy chancellor at the New York City Department of Education, after serving as a principal and teacher. He will continue as a senior adviser for the Walton Family Foundation, he said in his letter.

“To the entrepreneurs and the idea-makers: we look forward to supporting your vision,” Sternberg wrote. “Now is the moment for your big thinking, new approaches, and finding common ground that advances progress.”

See also:

Posted on

What This Homeschool Graduate Wants You To Know


In this very special episode of The Raising Lifelong Learners Podcast, Colleen is joined by her son and recent homeschool graduate, Trevor Kessler. It is a candid look back at more than a decade of learning together, including how Trevor really feels about being homeschooled. If you are a homeschool parent, this is an episode you do not want to miss!

homeschool graduate

A Homeschool Graduate Looks Back On More Than A Decade Of Learning At Home

What becomes clear in speaking to this homeschool graduate, is just how much homeschooling has allowed him to pursue his own interests and strengths. As a creative person, Trevor describes himself as “less academically driven.”

However, his creatively and giftedness were able to take center stage in his learning as a direct result of homeschooling. 

“Academically driven” is not the only way giftedness presents in children, and he is a classic example.

homeschool high school graduate

The Importance Of Mastery And Gifted Children

A perfect example of how homeschooling supports giftedness, is how Trevor describes the desire to “get really good at something and then move onto something else.”

For gifted and twice exceptional children, this is an important element of how learning and development unfolds.

There is a need to master the topic while, for creatively gifted kiddos in particular, there is also a need to keep things novel. This ebb and flow fuels learning, although it proceeds in a less linear and at times, chaotic fashion.

The result however, for Trevor, is a passion for film, photography, special effects. Already, his mastery of these topics have led to job opportunities and professional growth. 

Related: RLL Episode #40 Self-Directed Homeschooling High School with Trevor Kessler

homeschool graduate

RLL Episode 122: A Special Conversation With Homeschool Graduate, Trevor Kessler

I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the insights in this episode. This conversation is truly something special. Colleen and Trevor both reflect on their years learning together, and the result is a wonderful encouragement for homeschooling parents! 


Links and Resources from Today’s Show:

The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their LivesRaising Resilient Sons: A Boy Mom's Guide to Building a Strong, Confident, and Emotionally Intelligent FamilyThe Unschooling Journey: A Field GuideWhat is Unschooling?: Living and Learning without SchoolLong Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don't Even Exist YetUnschooling To University: Relationships matter most in a world crammed with contentHomeschool High School Made Easy: Find Your Why . . . Then Find Your Way (Easy Homeschool)Just for Teen Guys - Do-It-Yourself High School: Homeschooling Handbook Library Based Curriculum Journal and Study Guide For Eclectic StudentsCreating Transcripts for Your Unique Child: Help Your Homeschool Graduate Stand Out from the Crowd (Coffee Break Books)


Leave a Rating or Review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really does help — and it’s easy!

    • Click THIS link to go to the podcast main page.
    • Click on View in iTunes under the podcast cover artwork.
    • Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! Thanks so much.

Want to record your own question, comment, or have your kids tell us what they LOVE to learn about? Click below and start recording!


Posted on

2021-2022 Homeschool Lesson Planner

Hi everyone! It’s time for the my new 2021-2022 Homeschool Lesson Planner. We just started summer break, but I’m already planning for next year, and my HOMESCHOOL LESSON PLANNERS are a key ingredient to a successful year!

This planner is specifically designed for homeschool or classroom lesson planning. You can use this for your own teacher lesson planning, or for your students to help keep track of daily assignmentsgradesreading, and any appointments or activities that you might need!

NOTE: This planner is a download and print type planner, it is not editable via computer at this time, sorry!

What’s included?

This planner includes colorful weekly planner pages for the July 2021 – July 2022 school year. This planner is 8×10 portrait format for easier printing and binding. It includes 164 pages total.

  • Planner runs from July 2021 – July 2022 and is pre-dated
  • 2021-2022 year-at-a-glance pages 
  • Monthly overview pages 
  • Weekly planning pages 
  • Notes pages 
  • A reading log for each month 
  • Annual grade tracking pages 
  • Running grade tracking pages 
  • Attendance tracking 

Extra Homeschooling Forms:

This planner also comes with a variety of forms to help you with your planning and record keeping. If there’s a form I forgot, feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to add one in! Most of these forms were created to go along with my Homeschooling 101: A Guide to Getting Started Book. Hopefully they’re fairly self explanatory but you can use them however best suits your needs.

The Homeschooling forms include:

  • Grade Book Record Keeping 
  • Homeschooling Vision Statement 
  • Notice of Intent to Homeschool 
  • Household Rules Chart (There are a couple versions of this, one partially filled in and one blank.) 
  • Behavior & Discipline Chart 
  • Our Family Schedule 
  • Our Commitment Worksheet 
  • Our Curriculum 
  • Curriculum Plan Overview 
  • Weekly Subject overview 
  • Weekly Schedule Overview 
  • Our Book List 
  • My Reading Log 
  • Planned Field Trips 
  • Extra-curricular Activities 
  • Craft Supply List 
  • Homeschool Supply Shopping List 
  • Photocopies Needed List 
  • Unit Study Planner 
  • Preschool Assessment Form 
  • kindergarten Assessment Form 
  • Sight Word Assessment Form (Covers Primer – 3rd Grade) 
  • Homeschool Attendance Records 
  • Homeschool Long Term Grade Records 
  • Super Mom vs. Abiding Mom Printable 
  • Blank Planner Pages to customize 

Printing Tips:

I suggest printing the planner double sided. Then I take mine to a local office supply store and had it spiral bound. It cost approximately $5.00 for the spiral, plastic cover, and backing. I also suggest printing it on a light weight cardstock or higher quality copy paper for durability and to prevent ink bleeding through the pages.

If your printer doesn’t have double sided printing, you can simply print all of the odd pages, then flip and print the even pages on the back side. Just make sure you’re pages are set up in the right order to print the correct pages on the backsides.

You can even print an extra one for your students if they prefer to work off of their own planner.

I use colorful Frixion erasable pens to start planning! The dates are already dated along the top of each page, all you have to do is fill in the subjects down the left hand column. Next add in your lessons!

I like to use different colored pens for each of my children. As you proceed through your lessons, highlight the completed items so you know that they are finished.

This super fun planner is available right now! And you are more than welcome to print extra copies for yourself or your children, so you do not need to purchase one planner per person. Yay for sharing!

Get the 2021-2022 Lesson Planner here!

PLEASE NOTE: This item is currently only available as a PDF download. It is a printable planner and is not editable online at this time.

Posted on

Richard Robinson, CEO of Children’s Publishing Giant Scholastic, Dies at Age of 84

Scholastic Chairman and CEO Richard Robinson, who oversaw the company’s emergence as a major force in educational and children’s publishing over nearly five decades, died unexpectedly over the weekend.

Robinson, who was 84, had been in good health before he passed away, the firm said in an announcement.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dick Robinson,” Scholastic’s board said in a statement. “Dick was a true visionary in the world of children’s books and an unrelenting advocate for children’s literacy and education with a remarkable passion his entire life. The company’s directors and employees, as well as the many educators, parents and students whose lives he touched, mourn his loss.”

Scholastic was created 100 years ago, and is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, as well as a provider of literacy curriculum, professional services, classroom magazines, and other children’s media.

Scholastic’s Class A shareholders and board of directors will meet independently to select an interim operating head and chart the company’s direction, the announcement says.

In the meantime, a group of four executives will work to ensure that “day-to-day operations continue without interruption,” Scholastic said.  They are James Barge, Scholastic’s lead independent director; Iole Lucchese, executive vice president and chief strategy officer; Andrew Hedden, executive vice president, general counsel, and secretary; and Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Cleary.

Follow EdWeek Market Brief on Twitter @EdMarketBrief or connect with us on LinkedIn.

See also: