It’s been a busy year on the blog. You may have noticed I’ve been widening my niche, taking what once was primarily a homeschool review blog into a few new directions. There’s a very good reason for this move. Can you guess what that reason is?
Ben is growing up!
Now in his sophomore year of high school, Ben won’t be homeschooling much longer. And because I don’t really need a lot of curriculum anymore, I don’t really do a lot of homeschool reviews these days. So over the past couple of years, I’ve been slowly introducing my readers to other aspects of our family life. Afterall, if I want to continue blogging after Ben finishes homeschooling, I need something else to talk about right?
It appears that you don’t mind too much. The blog has experienced exponential growth in the past year, as have all of my social media platforms. I love that so many of you are enjoying articles these days about health & wellness, parenting, travel, as well as our homeschool foundation. But I know that you’re busy, too, so you may have missed some articles from the past year.
Since it’s the end of the year, I decided to take a few minutes and gather links to the articles that have received the most attention this year. This doesn’t necessarily mean they were written in 2016 (I actually have a couple of posts that have gained popularity this year that were written a few years ago), but instead are the top 20 articles viewed during 2016, 5 each in my 4 main categories. I hope you enjoy taking a took back with me.
Top 5 Homeschooling Articles
Notebooking Across the USA — Launched in August, this is the home base of a series of unit studies I’m writing for each of the U.S. states. We’re nearly halfway through the series, but it won’t be completed until July. If you’re interested in teaching your students grades 3-8 about the U.S. states in order of admission to the Union, you can go ahead and get started now.
80 Free Kindle Fire Apps for Homeschool Education — One thing I know about homeschool moms is that they love free and low-cost resources, as evidenced by this collection of apps I put together more than 2 years ago. If you homeschool and your kids have a Fire tablet, don’t miss this list!
Elections 2016 Homeschool Resources — As crazy as this election year was, it’s not surprising that homeschool moms went looking for help to teach their students about the elections process. Just because the Presidential election is over, don’t count out these resources for the coming years. Teaching our students about our government is more important than ever, and most of these resources are timeless.
5 Reasons to Homeschool Your Child with ADHD — I won’t lie. Homeschooling a child with ADHD is a challenging experience. There are days when I long for that big yellow bus to stop in front of my house and whisk Ben off to school so that I can have a break from teaching math. But there are very good reasons that homeschooling is better.
8 Ways to Celebrate the First Day of Homeschool — I enjoyed sharing some of our first day traditions in this article. Tuck it away for next summer. Your kids will love some of these, and you’ll love being able to look back at the memories you made.
Top 5 Parenting and Family Life Articles
How to Teach Your Teen to Start Saving Now to Buy a House at Age 30 — The popularity of this article shocked me this year (it’s been pinned on Pinterest nearly 60,000 times since I published in March). But I think saving money is an important life skill to teach our teens.
God Created Birth Control — I wrote this article when a friend was hurt over her family’s reaction to her 4th baby in 5 years, and made what I thought was an ugly and thoughtless comment. It has been viral on Facebook a few times this year, making it one of the top 5 articles on the blog for 2016.
10 Bible Verses for the Man You Are Raising — When I published this article in 2014, it was with the idea that an eBook would follow a few months later. That eBook is still on my to-do list, and judging by how many of you have clicked over to the article, I think I need to make writing it a priority in 2017.
Children Need to Learn How to Work Hard — Part of my heart parenting series, this article really struck a chord in 2016. I think more and more, parents are learning that giving children everything they want, without the expectation that they have to work for those things, is detrimental to their growth and development.
25 Conversation Starters to Help You Connect to Your Middle Schooler— Those early teen years are the time to really establish great communication with your kids. If you don’t, then they won’t be likely to talk to you about the difficulties that will inevitably arrise in the high school year. My favorite time to ask these types of questions are on long drives in the car (where they are your captive audience).
Top 5 Health & Wellness Articles
10 Simple Essential Oils Blends for Your Diffuser — The enormous popularity of essential oils means that a simple article sharing some of my personal diffuser blends has garnered nearly 200,000 pins on Pinterest. This is actually the #1 most visited post on the blog in 2016. Kind of crazy for a primarily homeschool blog, right? But I love essential oils, and I’m excited to get to share that passion with you. In 2017, I’ll be starting a new blog focusing on essential oils, as I finish up my studies to become a certified aromatherapist. So keep an eye out for that!
Using Essential Oils for ADHD — This is one of those articles that I wrote a couple of years ago that gained popularity in 2016. As a mom of a child with ADHD, I’m always on the look-out for help managing those challenges. Apparently, a lot of you are as well.
Natural Help for Cold and Flu Season: Thieves Oil Recipe — Thieves oil is a great blend, but what do you do if you’re not a fan of the MLM essential oil companies? Well . . . you find or create a recipe of your own. That’s what I did hear, and not only have many of you appreciated the recipe, so many of you appreciated my stand on MLM companies. This article shows the cost savings of making the blend yourself.
10 Best Essential Oils for Everyday Use — This article is actually a landing page for 10 other articles. In those 10, I share the 10 essential oils I use most and how I use them, replacing many chemicals previously found in our home. Included are lavender, peppermint, lemon, rosemary, frankincense, orange, grapefruit, tea tree, lime, and eucalyptus. For each oil, I also give you a recipe for things like acne treatment, hand sanitizer, shampoo, and coconut oil chews.
Essential Oils for Peaceful Child — Whether you’re dealing with ADHD, Autism, SPD, Tourette’s, or just a child that is a bit high strung, this essential oil blend can help.
Top 5 Travel Articles
9 Must-have Travel Accessories for an Easy Breezy Vacation — Our family travels . . . a lot. If you don’t, you’ll especially appreciate these tips, learned after much trial and error.
How to Plan a Road Trip with an Amtrak Rail Pass — We are still in the planning stages of this major travel adventure coming in 2017. However, these are the tips I’ve already learning while researching our trip.
10 Tips for Finding and Planning Homeschool Field Trips — Whether you are planning a little trip close to home, or adding homeschool field trips to your family vacation, these tips will be helpful for you!
How to Homeschool When Traveling — No one wants to pack all the school books when taking a vacation or traveling to visit family. But you can keep up on the homeschooling when traveling with these ideas. Included are ways to learn in the car, too!
Washington DC: A Comprehensive List of Resources to Visit or Study Our Nation’s Capital — Our family has visited Washington DC at least 20 times during Ben’s lifetime. We’ve learning a lot about what there is to see, and how to save money sightseeing. If you will be visiting soon, I think you’ll enjoy these resources.
I hope you enjoyed my walk down memory lane, and perhaps even found a helpful article or two that you missed this year!