New homeschool content from top homeschool bloggers streaming straight to your earbuds every Friday. Includes blog posts from Pam Barnhill, Sarah Mackenzie, Brandy Vencel, Mystie Winckler and more.
Here's the Latest Episode from The Homeschool Solutions Show with Wendy Speake:
Lead your children through Lent with creative activities and Bible readings! Today’s episode is the most gracious conversation about inviting our children to spend time with us in the word during the lenten season. Asheritah Ciuciu, author of Uncovering the Love of Jesus: a lent devotional, tells us both the history and the purpose of Lent, and gives us resources to make this more than just another “unit study.”
On today’s show, we talk with Kate Batistelli about raising our children to do amazing things for the glory of God. During the conversation, however, we turn our attention back to the moms… and challenge ourselves to live life with a “Here I am, send me” availability to whatever God calls us to as well.
Everyone has challenges! But we all have a choice to make regarding how we respond to our challenges and the challenges of those we love (and teach.) Do we let them challenge us to the point that we can’t deal with the issues lovingly? Or do we deal with the challenges in a Christlike way? This has to do with our challenges and our children’s challenges. Today we’re talking about turning our kids’ challenges into “challenges” that help them pinpoint and then grow in those areas. Getting angry and allowing their struggles to become a matter of contention in our homes isn’t helping anyone. So let’s get creative and find some practical solutions together!
Judy Sarden encourages moms not to feel like their homeschooled kids are "missing out" if they are not attending public school. She gives reasons as to why moms should feel confident and be encouraged that your child is receiving an education that schools could never begin to give your child.
Connect with Judy:
Judy is a 2020 GHC Featured Speaker @ OH and CA Homeschool Conventions.
Judy's Podcast: The How to Homeschool Podcast.
Sometimes the stress in our marriage affects our parenting, which can directly affect our homeschooling days. Unresolved conflict with our spouse can create more conflict with our kids. In this episode of The Homeschool Solutions Podcast, Amber Lia joins us for a conversation about some of the Marriage Triggers that tend to create Homeschool Triggers! After co-authoring the parenting book Triggers in 2016, Amber Lia and Wendy Speake received hundreds of emails asking for a follow-up book applying these same Biblical principles to marriage. In response, Amber and her husband Guy Lia wrote Marriage Triggers. The book leads husbands and wives through 31 of the most common, everyday stumbling blocks in most marriages.
Sonlight Curriculum - Complete homeschool curriculum, you’re guaranteed to love.
Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses - Purchase Wendy's book HERE.
Medi-Share - An affordable and Biblical healthcare alternative. For more information, CLICK HERE.
40 Day Sugar Fast - For information and an opportunity to sign up, click this link.
40 Day Sugar Fast Companion Book by Wendy Speake, CLICK HERE.
All good things must come to an end and this is one of those cases. I have decided to turn my focus to Morning Baskets in 2020 and beyond and therefore am stepping down as host of the Homeschool Solutions show.
But never fear, I am leaving you in great hands. Enter Wendy Speake, homeschool mom and blogger extraordinaire. She is taking the helm of the show and carrying it into the next decade.
Join us today to get to know Wendy and hear her vision for the show.
P.S. If you want more podcasts from me in the future, you can find me on Your Morning Basket.
The show notes for this episode are at pambarnhill.com/hs192
A Little behind
My sweet mother-in-love used to have this little ceramic doll that sat on a shelf in her living room. I remember seeing it long before I ever made the decision to homeschool. If memory serves, it was a gift given to her back in her homeschooling days...back when The Hubs sat at her dining room table poring over books about World War II and sloughing through algebra worksheets.
The doll stood bent over with its fanny pointed to the sky and on its bloomer bottoms were etched the words, "A little behind in school."
Listen or read more at https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2015/03/why-im-no-longer-behind-in-homeschool.html
It’s no secret that comparison is a thief of joy. That’s true in all of areas of life, including homeschooling. We all know that nothing good comes from comparing our homeschools, yet too often we spend our days drowning in homeschool comparison and looking for that next surefire thing that will magically bring us up to some self-imposed standard.
I’m not a “fun” homeschool mom. You’d come to that realization pretty quickly after scrolling through my Instagram feed. Sure, you’ll see lots of books, art, and scenes from our time outside, but you won’t find a lot of jazzy activities and “magical” experiences in our day-to-day homeschool life. I’m not that mom and that’s not our homeschool.
Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-comparison/
Tell me I’m not the only one…
You spend hours crafting the Ultimate Book List…
You incorporate hands-on-projects…
You basically make learning awesome and fun…
And a few years (or maybe even months or – worse – weeks) later, your children don’t seem to remember any of it.
It’s tempting to get a little grumpy about the perceived waste of time and effort.
Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.com/why-bother/
Each day as we wrap up school I take a moment to return our table from desk back to gathering place. I stack books, collect papers and brush up the eraser dust from the day’s lessons.
Eraser dust. Everywhere.
From the small eraser at the end of the pencils that fail to be enough, to the eraser caps we buy by the dozens, to the ‘big guys’ that can handle the jobs the others can’t, erasers are always made available… but are often forgotten.
Listen or read more at https://rinellafamilyoutdoors.com/2019/02/01/the-eraser/
I never like to admit when I’m barely treading water, but it happens almost every year as Thanksgiving approaches. The moment the leftover turkey is put in the fridge, it seems that December and its giant to-do list overwhelm me.
Besides the regular crazy that we call our day-to-day around here, December kicks it up more than a notch or two.
Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/take-the-stress-out-of-december/
Today on the podcast I am joined by my good friends Sarah Mackenzie and Colleen Kessler to chat about our new adventure next year -- the Real Mom Tour with Great Homeschool Conventions. We are so excited to share this new event with homeschool moms all over the country. Join the conversation as we talk about our favorite things about going to the convention, our insider convention stories, and how to get the most from your convention trip. We can't wait to see you there.
Why do we homeschool? Our story to coming to terms with what is really best for our family – and getting over-explaining it to everyone on the street.
“You’re homeschooling? How lovely. WHY would you want to do that?”
Going against the mainstream opens the door to big questions about big life choices to random strangers at the post office.
Listen or read more at https://thehomeschoolresourceroom.com/2017/12/14/pros-and-cons-of-homeschool/
I don't know about your kids, but mine love to bake. There is something about getting in the kitchen and making a mess while making something yummy that appeals.
This summer I had the pleasure of meeting Tiffany Dahle who has a brand new baking book out for kids. My favorite thing about it (other than the gorgeous photos)? It makes things easy. It is written in clear, kid-friendly language. I could totally hand this over to my kids and they will actually learn to bake all the things.
On this episode of the podcast Tiffany and I chat about the book, but also many of the benefits of baking with kids. You also get to hear Tiffany's story of how she came unexpectedly to homeschooling and what it is meaning to her family.
For links and more info: https://pambarnhill.com/cooking-with-kids/
How many times have you heard the phrase that kids just can’t stick to an instrument long enough? Or that kids like to explore music but don’t like to commit to anyone instrument?
As a music teacher, I hear this complaint all the time. I hear it from parents and I hear it from other music teachers. They just say things like “Oh well, the child quit again! They have a short attention span, that’s just how it is”. But I’m here to tell you “No – that’s not how it is”! It shouldn’t be that way. It’s a fallacy that kids can’t persevere with music or that they can’t stick to an instrument long enough.
Absolutely not true.
Listen or read more at https://www.gentleguitar.com/parent-role-in-music-education/
Andrew Stanley was homeschooled through eighth grade and gets it. He knows homeschooling makes the fodder for some funny jokes.
Join me and Andrew on this episode of the podcast as we chat about how a finance major ended up as a standup comedian, if his years as a homeschooler somehow uniquely prepared him for his current profession, and other things he might not want his mother to know (as if she doesn't already).
So you’ve been doing Morning Time in your home and that now your kids are getting a little bit older, you’re wondering should I still be doing Morning Time? Can I still be do Morning Time and how is that going to work?
Maybe you’ve been doing Morning Time for quite a while and now some of your kids are starting to get a little bit older. They might even become a little reluctant to keep participating in Morning Time.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/morning-basket-with-older-kids/
Morning baskets are something that have been taking the homeschool world by storm. Everywhere you look there they are. So you might be wondering what is this morning basket thing and do I want to do one?
Morning basket is just another name for a practice that has been going on in homeschool circles for over 30 years now. Simply, it’s a time in the day when everyone in the family can come together and learn together about specific subjects and morning basket is just one of the names for it.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-morning-basket/
Today on the podcast I am joined by Amy Sloan from humilityanddoxology.com and mom of five kids ages 4 to 14. For about the past five years Amy has made memory work a central part of her homeschool day.
In this episode Amy and I discuss how to be consistent with memory work, how you find great pieces to memorize, and practical ways you can make this happen in your home.
We also chat about the debate between memorizing facts versus spending your time memorizing other worthy passages, how to make it work for multiple ages, and even how to deal with attitudes if they arise.
It's a fun episode! Check out the show notes at pambarnhill.com/hs179
Congratulations on making the decision to homeschool! Homeschooling has many benefits, and it is a decision that you will not regret. When it comes to how to homeschool, one thing you may be nervous about is how to tell others you’re homeschooling.
Telling friends and family may leave you concerned about possible negative feedback. Sharing the news with others also cements your decision; it makes it more real, and the thought of that may be scary.
Listen or read more at https://www.findingjoyinthejourney.net/tell-others-youre-homeschooling/
Steve Demme has believed in homeschooling since before he had kids of his own. This former math teacher and pastor joined the fight of the homeschooling movement early, helping to lobby and shape legislation that gives us the homeschool freedoms we have today. Along the way, he and his wife homeschooled their own kids, he write a math curriculum, and became the funny, favorite math teacher of a generation of homeschool kids.
He is on the podcast today to tell the story of the early days of the homeschooling movement, the fight to become legal, and the journey so far.
Deciding to homeschool was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make as a parent. I remember being so torn with emotions, worrying we were doing the right thing. I know now it was the best choice for my son. It's what worked for our family then and we just kept going. It's hard to believe, but we just graduated our oldest and he's off to college! My youngest is heading into 7th grade this year, and we're busy putting off the start of school as long as we can. All summer I've been cleaning out old notebooks, curriculum, and all sorts of homeschool clutter that reminds me of our first years on this journey.
Listen or read more at https://www.adriennebolton.com/blog/2017/08/survive-first-year-homeschooling.html
The final interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods is with a super-special friend of mine, Brandy Vencel. I am not (currently) a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, but sitting at the feet of Brandy keeps inching me more and more in that direction I think. I just love chatting with her about Charlotte Mason.
Find the show notes for this episode at: https://pambarnhill.com/charlottemason
Jennifer is a joy, because she makes me think about life, education, and being a more virtuous person every single time we talk. In this episode we talk about the day-in-the-life of a classical homeschool and about a version of classical homeschooling that is outside the norm of what most people assume about classical homeschooling.
Different than neo-classicism and tons of memory work, the classical homeschool Jennifer describes focuses on virture.
The shownotes for this episode can be found here: https://pambarnhill.com/are-you-a-classical-homeschooler-the-ultimate-guide-to-homeschooling-methods
The third interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods series was a delight to record. I loved chatting with a friend, Margaret in Minnesota. blogs about her beautiful life with seven kids at her blog -- Minnesota Mom where she focuses on family, faith, and lots of love.
Margaret uses a school-at-home method of homeschooling. In this interview, we talk about what a typical day looks like in her home, why she chose a box of books for her homeschool, and how she adapts that to meet the needs of her family.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/school-at-home/
Heather homeschooled her children using the unit study method for ten years. Sometimes she usel purchased unit studies, while at other times she (or her children!) wrote their own studies.
She mentors other homeschool moms with her participation in the Five in a Row forums and through her blog, where she is a helpful voice with resources and techniques for homeschooling high school.
I think you are going to enjoy Heather’s interview, so relax and have a listen.
For the show notes visit https://pambarnhill.com/hs172
This episode from the archives is from our Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods and it was a delight to record three years ago. I loved chatting with my old friend, Sue Elvis who blogs at https://www.storiesofanunschoolingfamily.com/ and has a new book out called Curious Unschoolers.
Sue unschools her large family where they focus on doing their own projects, relationships, and trusting the child.
For more information and the show notes visit https://pambarnhill.com/unschooling.
There is nothing more fun than a road trip full of adventure and learning. And no group knows how to make the most of a learning adventure better than homeschoolers. Today I am joined by Trish Corlew of Homeschool Road Trips and Hip Homeschool Moms to chat about Trish's best tips for learning on the go as well as more information about the Homeschool Road Trips opportunities. We chat about how travel can be an important part of your curriculum, the biggest benefits of traveling with family, and some of Trish's favorite tales from the trips her family has taken. Enjoy!
Homeschooling through high school can feel intimidating. I am a teacher by trade, and I am constantly second guessing myself and checking to be sure that I have not left my children with a gaping hole in their education.
We tell our kids that they can do anything they want, but am I stealing part of that future from them if I don’t aptly prepare them to meet it?
Listen or read more at https://thesparrowshome.com/homeschooling-high-school-2-things-you-might-be-missing/
What happens to your morning time as your kids get older? Does it change or do we stop requiring them to attend? Can your teen outgrow Morning Time?
These are the questions that Cindy West from Our Journey Westward joins me to answer today.
In this episode of the podcast we talk about how the tone of Morning Time changes as your kids get older, how to get their buy in with what you are doing, and what a Morning Time with older kids can look like. Enjoy!
Find out more at pambarnhill.com/hs168
The giddiness of families making educational choices for next year has begun! It is exciting to head to the NC Thrive! Conference and see all the bright shiny new choices. It’s like Christmas to flip through a catalog or browse an online market full of books and perfect curriculum choices.
But with so many good options out there, how do we know what is best for our family? Do you ever get stymied by indecision? Do you come in like Franck in Father of the Bride and say, “Let’s change everything”? Do you blow your budget buying all the things that only sit collecting dust on your shelf the following year?
Here are four questions I suggest you ask yourself before you begin buying all the books at the conference center!
There is nothing that can more joyfully throw a homeschool year off balance than pregnancy and a new baby. Moms have so much to do already and now throw morning sickness, extreme fatigue, and a new born into the mix and homeschooling gets even harder.
Joining me today is mom of many Amy Roberts who knows a thing or two about homeschooling while pregnant and with a newborn. Amy gives us her best tips for planning a year that you know will be challenged by all these big changes. She is pulling out her best big family tips. Enjoy!
Let’s start with a misconception about year-round homeschooling.
It is typically NOT homeschooling all the time. Just because we are year-round homeschoolers that doesn’t mean we are doing more school than your average students.
Traditional American school schedules begin in late August, take a couple of weeks off in December, and continue through the end of May with about twelve weeks off in the summer.
Homeschoolers who school year round simply shorten that summer break; often cutting it in half or making it shorter so we can take more frequent breaks during the school year.
This is all about flexibility y’all.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/year-round-homeschooling/
Planning for one or two homeschool kids is challenging enough, but planning for school with six or more? Now that is a Herculean feat. But never fear, we have some mamas on the show today who have been doing that for a number of years.
Lynna Sutherland (mom of 8) and Heather Tully (mom of 10) join me today to discuss the ins and outs of big family homeschool planning -- what's different than regular planning, where to combine, and how to meet the needs of all.the.kids. Enjoy!
It's happened so many times you can replay the scenario in your head. One of your children runs in from another room screaming. He's got a complaint against a sibling and he wants justice.
How do you respond? What do you say when faced with the accusations of one sibling against another?
Eventually, you'll need to get them both involved in the conversation, but here are three things you can do before you add another person to the conversation.
Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/face-sibling-complaints/
Have you ever wondered how your personality type might impact your approach to homeschool planning?
On today's episode of the podcast we have a fascinating glimpse at how your Meyers-Briggs functions can have an affect on how you plan, what you plan, and how you work a plan. Homeschool personality guru, homeschool grad, and homeschool mom Mystie Winckler joins me for this very revealing conversation.
"And what grade are you in, honey?" the little old lady asked my daughter in an impromptu conversation by the produce section. She found my then eight-year-old girl sorting through apples looking for just the right one and thought it odd that a child her age would be at the grocery store in the middle of a Thursday.
It was, I suppose.
Listen or read more at https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2017/03/without-grade-levels.html
It is no secret that I am an introvert and introverts have a special place in my heart. There is nothing wrong with extroverts, but getting the world to understand the need for a little quiet and time alone and not take it personally is hard.
It doesn’t mean one is shy (I’m totally not.) or awkward (debatable). But it does fly in the face of our very social world at times — especially when you are a mother and even more so when you are a homeschooling mother. We have chosen to be with our kids all day because we thing that is what is best for them, but we do that knowing the toll it will take on us and knowing we will need to compensate for all that together time. It can totally lead to guilt.
That is why I was so excited when I found out about Jamie Martin’s new book The Introverted Mom. Now there is someone who understands and can offer help. And on today’s podcast, Jamie does just that.
There is something for every mom on this show — introverts and extroverts both. I hope you enjoy.
We live in a society where being busy is considered normal. If you aren’t running to piano practice, baseball games, school awards ceremonies and every other possible extra-curricular activity every week, you aren’t doing enough for your kids. Every mom feels the invisible pressure to preform and possible out-preform their neighbor.
Listen or read more at https://thezooicallhome.com/extra-curricular-activities/
We are so excited to announce the release of the brand new Plan Your Year with this special conversation about homeschool planning.
Dawn Garrett joins me today as we chat what's new about the book, what homeschool planning looks like for different people, common misconceptions about planning and being "boxed in" by a plan, and so much more. This conversation digs deep into how freeing (yes! I said that) planning can be. Don't miss it!
If you're reading this, you are probably in the midst of teaching one of your little ones to read OR you have that endeavor looming ahead of you in the near future... amiright? The singular biggest fear of every single homeschool mom I've ever spoken to is failing to teach her child to read well... and especially failing to teach them "on time".
Sonya Shafer is the encouraging voice and curriculum writer behind Simply Charlotte Mason. Along with her friend Karen and their families, Sonya has been teaching about Charlotte's methods for years, helping families to bring them into the 21st century. A popular speaker on CM topics, I was excited to get to sit down in this episode and talk to Sonya more about homeschooling in general -- how her family started this journey, Sonya's journey into homeschooling her special needs daughter, and even how they began a ministry and a business that would grow to help thousands of homeschoolers everywhere. I know you will love this one.
Can I tell you something that's hard to admit? I've spent a lot of time in the past year being a miserable homeschool mom. Countless hours of training have gone into perfecting my craft. I'm excellent at complaining about parenting struggles, whining through hard days, and generally being difficult to be around.
After our most challenging homeschooling year yet, I have it down. Here's how you can be a miserable homeschool mom too!
Listen or read more at https://www.adriennebolton.com/blog/2017/01/miserable-homeschool-mom.html
Cindy Rollins, mom of nine and "Mama of Morning Time" (so-named by me!), is back on the podcast this week to chat about Stratford Caldecott's Beauty in the Word -- specifically the portion on grammar, or what Caldecott calls "remembering." Join us as we chat about anamnesis, what it is and how it is alike and different what we already associate with memory. Listen for:
- The idea of anchoring or tethering our children to a cultural heritage.
- What are some Morning Time elements that help to convey this cultural heritage.
- How Cindy handles the aspects of our heritage that are not positive or admirable.
- The connection between language and memory and how language helps form relationships with ideas.
- How technology is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to our efforts to be people who practice Remembering.
Is your husband against homeschooling? I know what you’re going through. Wanting to homeschool, but not being able to. I’ve been where you are and can help.
I see you. Wanting to homeschool, but your spouse is against it.
I see you. Counting down the days until Christmas break. Yearning to have your kids home with you each day.
Listen or read more at https://www.findingjoyinthejourney.net/spouse-is-against-homeschooling/
Today we have another installment in our veteran's series on the Homeschool Solutions show. Ann Karako, mom of five, joins us to talk about her experiences homeschooling high school with five kids, graduating four of them, and living to teach others that they can do it too.
On today's show we chat:
- What Ann's kids have to say about their homeschool experience.
- The things Ann worried about when she first started homeschooling and what she would tell her younger self.
- Ann's biggest homeschooling mistake and how she would fix it.
- How Ann is transitioning to life after homeschool now that she is just about ready to graduate her youngest.
- Ann's best pro tips on homeschooling the high school years -- and she has a ton of them!
This is an episode you won't want to miss.
Your little one knows many letter sounds and it’s time for the magic of putting them together and reading their first words. Use these top 10 tips for teaching short vowel sounds to start your child’s reading adventure!
Listen or read more at https://pk1homeschoolfun.com/tips-for-teaching-the-short-vowel-sounds-to-beginning-readers/
On today's episode of the podcast we are joined by Jamie Erickson from The Unlikely Homeschool to talk about how she uses Morning Time as a forum to teach her kids manners.
In the show we get a glimpse into Jamie's Morning Time including:
- What makes Morning Time a good setting for teaching manners.
- What kinds of topics have she covers in her Morning Time manners lessons.
- What are some of Jamie's favorite resources for teaching manners in Morning Time.
- What fruit she has seen from her efforts to intentionally work on manners with her kids.
Join us as we explore this very practical way to use our Morning Time habit.
It’s the question that haunts many homeschooling parents – how do I know that I’m doing it right? I’m responsible for the education of my children and there’s no-one and nothing to tell me WHAT to do and WHEN to do it and HOW to do it and argh! It’s enough to cause a meltdown.
To extend the question, without strict curriculum, and standards, and lots of other children to compare to and rank with, how on earth do we homeschoolers know that we’re doing a good job? How do we know this is all going to work out OK in the end?
Listen or read more at https://fearlesshomeschool.com/homeschooling-doing-it-right/
Today I am joined by Homeschool Solutions Community Manager and fellow convention fan Dawn Garrett to talk all about the homeschool convention. Dawn and I are both long-time attendees of Great Homeschool Conventions and are looking forward to meeting many of you there this year. In this episode Dawn and I dish:
- Why go to a homeschool convention at all.
- Our favorite panel or talk from a convention and how to decide which speakers to see.
- How to avoid “overload” and work the vendor hall like a pro.
- The pros and cons of going with family or friends.
- How to stick to your budget and the one tool you should not forget to take to the convention.
- How going to conventions have helped us in our homeschooling and why we wouldn't miss going each year.
Have you seen the video where someone is trying to line up a litter of cute, cuddly kittens? If you haven’t, let me spoil it for you: it doesn’t work very well! As you can imagine, it’s a full thirty seconds of constant redirection, repositioning, and mayhem. To everyone watching, it’s hilarious, but to the poor person trying to herd those kittens, it was exhausting.
This image hits close to home for homeschool moms of multiples. Some days, homeschooling multiple children is very much like herding cats. As soon as you get one seated, another pops up and wanders off, and the day is similar to the old whack-a-mole game.
Can you relate? Listen or read more at https://www.sonlight.com/blog/multiple-children-homeschool.html
Today on the show I am joined by homeschool veteran and writing guru Julie Bogart. Part of our veteran's series, Julie has graduated five kids and now helps homeschool families the world over not only with writing skills through her Bravewriter program but also with how to homeschool bravely through her Homeschool Alliance and her new book The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life.
In this conversation we chat about Julie's fond memories of homeschooling, what she did well, her biggest homeschool regrets, and she shares tons of wisdom on how to be true to yourself in your homeschool.
I’ve noticed that my attitudes get passed along to my children with pretty much zero effort on my part. When I am happy, things mostly flow along happily. When I worry, their worry amps up. When I am frantic, so are they. When I am calm … well, there’s always an exception to prove the rule.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/how-to-homeschool-with-confidence/
Today we welcome Christopher and Christine Perrin to the podcast to chat about prayer in your homeschool, Morning Time, and personal time. It is a fascinating conversation. Join us as we discuss:
- How prayer can be both a personal discipline and a corporate practice
- What are the best ways to teach and model practice of prayer.
- Tips for modeling something when we are just learning it ourselves.D
- Different types of prayer and the value of each.
- Tips for praying the Scriptures.
- And recommendations of prayers and more to read for moms.
We've all been there. You're tired. The kids are bickering. Again. If only they would just stop fighting. If only they could just quit all the arguing. If you had a magic word, you'd say it, right?
(Hey, magic words might be better than the other kids of words you're tempted to say when the children are fighting!)
Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/children-stop-fighting/
Today we are joined on the podcast by Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote, mom of four young adults. Heather has been practicing Morning Time in her family for a number of years, and has seen a shift in the practice as she has graduated two kids and is now left home with two more teens to go. In this episode of the podcast we chat about:
- how Heather's Morning Time changed has changed over the years.
- why is Morning Time still a valuable practice in the teen years.
- what kind of adjustments and challenges a teen-only Morning Time brings.
- how Heather's role at Morning Time changed as the kids have gotten older.
- and how Heather has been able to use topics from Morning Time as coursework and credits for the purposes of high school transcripts
- plus so much more.
Welcome to the NEW Homeschool Solutions Show. In this episode of the podcast I chat about the changes to the show. Instead of just being an audio blog, the show will now alternate between audio blog and interview formats. I am super-excited about the changes and hope you are too.
You can find the webpage for the podcast at pambarnhill.com/solutions.
I wrote last week about how your quiet time could be sabotaging your homeschool morning. This is so true for moms in particular seasons of life — especially when you are still waking multiple times each night or you have small children still.
But what about the mom whose kids are pretty much school age. Why might moms of older kids still be struggling with getting mornings off to a good start? I have a few theories that might explain what is standing in your way.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/enemy-of-best-morning/
It was dark and rainy outside. I slowly peeled back the covers and eased away from the warm little body bedside me and into the cold. If I woke him, all bets were off.
I fumbled around in the dark for my glasses and slippers as I eased quietly from the room to make a cup of coffee. I was lucky. I had groggily slapped the alarm right as it began to beep and my early-morning visitor snoozed on unaware today.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/how-your-morning-quiet-time-is-sabotaging-your-day/
I saw a photo the other day of a worn out, exhausted mother collapsed onto a chair, hand to forehead. The caption under the picture read “I put my symptoms into Web MD and it turns out I just have kids.”
I couldn’t help but giggle.
I knew exactly how she felt.
Listen or read the rest here: https://rinellafamilyoutdoors.com/2017/07/17/symptoms-of-a-homeschool-mom/
Everyone wants a perfect holiday. The candlelit dinner with the gorgeous turkey and delicious pumpkin pie dessert; the immaculately wrapped presents with bows that were made by a bowdabra; the family memories of adorably dressed children with matching holiday outfits; they are all part of the Norman Rockwell painting version of Christmas you aspire to create each year.
Christmas is the holiday of holidays. Between the presents, the food, the crazy relatives – it can be super stressful to try to make Christmas perfect. How do you manage your visiting family and enjoy the most stressful holiday of the year?
Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/perfect-christmas-with-visiting-family/
I am often asked a lot of things when out and about with my family. Are all those kids yours? Do you know what causes that? You Homeschool, Aren’t you tired all the time? Not only are they all mine and yes we are very aware of how it happens, we like having a big family and I love being at home and educating them.
Choosing to homeschool for my husband and I, was one of the easiest decisions we have made for our children. Both of our parents started out with similar foundations and choose homeschooling in a time where it was not as common or idealistic as it is today.
Listen or read more at http://ourhalfdozenadventures.com/2018/05/12/my-reflections-as-a-homeschooled-daughter/
Have you looked into the tired eyes of a public school teacher lately? Have you crossed paths with an overwhelmed mom scrambling to cook dinner, do laundry, and help the kids with homework an hour before bedtime? This homeschool life is a gift to so many of us, yet we often take for granted the privilege of homeschooling.
If you haven’t recently spent time outside your homeschool walls, it’s possible that you’ve been missing one of the greatest gifts of the homeschool lifestyle. Sure, we’re all thankful for the gifts of homeschool, but have we somehow lost our appreciation for the privilege of homeschooling? Maybe so.
Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/privilege-of-homeschooling/
I’m not going to lie. Having multiple people in the room all at once is often the hardest part of homeschooling. Harder than choosing curriculum. Harder than keeping up with the laundry. Harder than teaching math. (I know, right?)
Not only are you dealing with personalities and relationships but also with multiple levels and multiple subjects. And it never fails that everyone seems to need you all the time and all at once.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/juggling-multiple-kids/
I asked a question in my It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool K-8 Facebook group recently: “Do you feel like a success as a homeschool mom? Why or why not?”
As you can imagine, there was a wide range of answers — but more “no’s” than I expected.
But as I think about it, it makes sense to me that we don’t feel confident that we’re doing a good job. I think we’ve got an idea stuck in our heads about what makes a “successful” homeschool — and it’s the WRONG idea.
Listen or read more at https://www.annieandeverything.com/homeschool-mom-failure/
John and I have a combined 30 years of homeschooling experience, and more like 40+ years if you count each of our children’s education separately! Some of that is our own experience as homeschooled students, and some comes from our perspective as homeschooling parents.
We are a team, but we definitely have our own perspectives on homeschooling, both the big picture and the day to day reality. What if you could ask us a series of questions about homeschooling to see the similarities and differences between Dad’s and Mom’s perspective? We’ve taken on that challenge in this post!
Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/dad-mom-perspectives-homeschooling/
If you’ve got struggling or reluctant readers, this one is for you. I hope this post inspires you take a break from your everyday reading instruction and read the world around you. Don’t worry! Learning will move forward. You just have to think outside the book.
Teaching a child to read is an amazing experience. I’ve been lucky enough to work with over 100 children learning to read in my career teaching first and second grade. Each child was different, and each one prepared me to teach my own son.
This is part four in my series on memory work. Find the other parts here:
Up to this point we have largely focused on the auditory elements of memory work. This is mainly because learning memory work is largely an auditory skill.
This is not to say, though, that there are not some helps to offer kids who have a visual learning preference. There are a few things you can do to add visuals to the memory work to help those kids along.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/visual-learners/
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
“I might as well be talking to a brick wall!”
“In one ear and out the other.”
Clearly, kids who don’t listen is a thing. We have tons of cultural idioms about not listening, and they’re often used to describe children. Some of this probably comes from a combination of immaturity and the fact that they are still developing habits like attention. But in my own family, I notice it’s something I do that actually teaches my children not to listen.
Listen or read more at https://mylittlerobins.com/2018/01/if-you-want-your-kids-to-listen-stop-repeating-yourself/
I do not think it necessary to expound on why we want to avoid overwhelm in our homeschools. Overwhelm equals stress, chaos, and uncertainty, none of which complement a healthy lifestyle. Overwhelm can be a rather quiet beast, creeping in gradually until one day you just CAN’T.
I find keeping overwhelm at bay starts with intention. We first need to believe it is important and recognize that it will take life-long effort. In our homeschools, our children are constantly growing and changing, and so we must adapt. Avoiding overwhelm on a practical level may look completely different from one year to the next. The important thing is that you have go-to tools to help you avoid it, and if it hits, pull life back into balance.
Listen or read more at https://www.jumpintogenius.com/avoiding-overwhelm-from-the-inside-out/
For some kids all it takes is to hear something set to song just a few times, and it becomes embedded in their memory. Olivia is a kid like that. I think she can learn just about anything if we set it to a tune. So using songs for memory work is something we do all the time.
Many times there are already songs written for a topic we want to memorize. We use songs from Classical Conversations even though we are not in a community. The skip counting songs, timeline song, and Latin chants are all available on their CDs and are superb.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/songs-for-memory-work/
Is sibling conflict a problem in your home? Maybe you think that question is just a joke. Maybe you think it's a nice way to begin a post by making everyone feel normal and right at home because DUH! of course sibling conflict is a problem. In everyone's home. Always.
But it may not be for the reason you're thinking.
Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/sibling-conflict-problem/
It must be kind of hard to be J.K. Rowling.
I had that thought the other night as I tucked into the first in her crime series, which she wrote under a pseudonym.
I think if I were her I would do everything under a pseudonym.*
I’d grocery shop under a pen name.
Because she has already kind of done The Most Amazing Thing …
Can you imagine that pressure?
It must be crushing sometimes.
Listen or read more at http://www.karasanderson.com/youre-not-homeschooling-for-likes/
Be proactive, not reactive. You know you are going to have good days and bad days.
We’ve been talking the past couple of weeks about how we might be the ones sabotaging our homeschools. We also discussed the importance of having our attitudes ordered rightly because someone might be watching.
But what does this look like in the day to day of our home? We have meals to cook, errands, appointments, and a house to clean. And then there are the unexpected problems that come up in our week.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/proactive-homeschooling/
You’ve met her. Maybe you’ve been her. Maybe you are her.
Some homeschool moms might scare you. Some homeschool moms scare their children. But I think we’ve all experienced another kind of scary homeschool mom: the one who scares herself.
Are you scary? Who do you scare?
Is it always wrong to be scary? If our fears are pointing us toward our weaknesses, and we then reinforce those areas, we can become scary in all the right ways: Scary not to our children or to ourselves, but to the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Listen or read more at https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/scary/
This is the second post in the series: Help Your Kids Memorize Anything. You can see part one here.
No doubt, the heart of any memory method is recitation. By saying the words over and over again, the language patterns, information and the very essence of words become ingrained into our being.
Often when we read, especially as better readers, we skip over words or read by phrase instead of word for word. It is this reason that simply reading something to memorize it is not enough. The better way is to say it out loud — or recite it.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/recite-recite-recite-help-kids-memorize-anything/
Guilt is a universal feeling though it rears its ugly head in different ways, using different strategies for each person. We must all learn to tackle this beast in our own way and find the strategies that work for us.
I have been working hard to be reasonable, rational, and really honest with myself as I attack the ridiculous guilt that creeps up on me.
Yes. Ridiculous. Some guilt is just plain ridiculous.
Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/06/21/mom-guilt-over-it/
It’s no good looking all calm and serene in the face of criticism if you then go home and collapse into a snivelling heap, all confidence destroyed, convinced you’re setting your children up for a lifetime of failure.
Here’s how to build your homeschooling confidence so criticism enters one ear and sails straight out the other, never thought of again.
Except for a giggle with your homeschooling friends about the ridiculous things people say to you, of course.
Listen or read more at https://fearlesshomeschool.com/confident-homeschooling-criticism/
Memory work is a big part of what we do around here. And while for some people, memory work would suggest feelings of drudgery and drill and kill, the reality couldn’t be farther from that. We love our memory work and have fun with it.
The kids get great satisfaction in learning a new poem or a series of math facts. These “hooks” become saved in their brain to be excitedly called forth during the liturgy at church, at a science museum or demonstration, or during story time at the library.
We memorize because of those feelings of satisfaction and to create those hooks of information.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/help-kids-memorize-anything/
I’ve found myself listening to opinions about home education, advocating it, and answering homeschool questions in some of the most unexpected places and times since we began homeschooling in 2009.
From family and friends to acquaintances to complete strangers, people have plenty of concerns and questions about homeschooling. Some of those questions come so frequently that it feels like deja vu and some come so frequently that I’ve developed canned answers. Shameful, I know!
Here are my 5 most-asked homeschool questions and how I answer them.
Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-questions/
Struggling to squeeze all of your children’s math lessons into your homeschool day? Here’s 6 ways to streamline your math teaching so that you can fit multiple grade levels into your schedule!
I recently received an email from Tiffany, who was debating whether to continue using Singapore Math. Along with some other issues, she wrote: “I’m finding it difficult to fit 3 separate Singapore math lessons in each day.”
Whether you use Singapore Math or not, and whether you have two, three, or five kids (or more!), I bet you’re nodding your head in agreement. Math eats up a lot of time in homeschool schedules.
Listen or read more at http://kateshomeschoolmath.com/how-to-teach-multiple-grade-levels-in-math/
Laura wanted to do this homeschool thing just right. She had struggled in the past, but this year was going to be different. Her homeschool planning was going to be perfect. So she started by buying a fresh, new homeschool planner.
You know the kind. It had months of lesson plan grids that started in August and went all the way through the following summer.
Laura began the year feeling compelled to write things in every box. Successful homeschoolers have a plan, and she wanted to be a successful homeschooler.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-planning-not-guessing/
The oldest just graduated from high school. For the last year, while preparing for him to leave the nest and live on his own, my husband and I began to realize we may have failed him when it came to essential life skills he needed to survive. We spent 17 years educating him, providing for him, making sure he was well-rounded and knew how to play most sports. But, we failed him on some of the simplest of tasks that we took for granted. Don’t fail your kids like we almost failed our son! Here are 10 life skills for teens who will soon have to navigate the world without their parents.
Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/life-skills-for-teens/
History has been one of my favorite subjects since childhood. Some of my best memories involve family read-alouds, historic road trips, and abundant field trips. One summer our vacation involved traveling for 2 weeks to various Civil War battlefields, stopping at every single historic marker along the way. When we got to one museum it had already closed for the night, so my mom knocked on the door until the caretaker came. Mom being Mom, she got us in for an after-hours tour.
Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/textbook-free-history/
When Matt and I were first married, one of our ongoing fights was about counter space. Matt took a practical approach. Anything you use on a regular basis should stay on the counter top.
In the bathroom, the toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving cream should be stored on the counter. In the kitchen, the cutting board and toaster stay up top all the time.
In my view, spaces should be clear and free of clutter, save the cute color-coordinated themed containers we registered for and received as wedding gifts!
It may have seemed that we were fighting about counter space. But we later came to realize, as many wiser people before us have put it, that "the issue is not the issue".
Listen or read more at https://www.hswotrainingwheels.com/issues-not-issue/
I got an email this morning that almost made me break out into hives.
It was from a popular homeschool planning company that was touting their ready-made homeschool plans. Now having done this homeschool mentor thing for a number of years I know that people really want plans that are already made — after all we sell ready-made Morning Time plans for just those folks (and I use them myself!!).
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/lists-for-homeschool/
Most days I feel like my brain is a sieve. Can anyone else relate? It is full, absolutely full to the brim, and I am hustling like crazy to plug all the little holes and keep everything from running out of it.
Remember to pay the bills.
Remember to make the dental appointment (I have a referral for my son to get a tooth pulled. It is dated 2-5-18 and that appointment is still not made.)
Remember to give the dogs their heartworm medication.
Switch the laundry before it sours. Stir the chili before it burns. Read to the kids before they grow up and leave forever. *sniff*
So when I say that I take the time to sit and plan my out my homeschool year (yes, the entire year) in the summer, I am not saying that to brag or show my superior organizing skills.
Yes, I admit to being a checklist mom, but honestly, I do this because it is the only thing that saves my sanity during the school year.
Without a plan, school would simply not get done. And that’s not a good thing when homeschooling is how you educate your children.
Read more or find links: https://pambarnhill.com/how-a-homeschool-mom-can-worry-less-and-do-more/
My kids piled out of the mini-van and chatted happily, heading in the door of the donut shop. It was hot — almost 100 degrees on this mid-July day. But it was the first day of school and that means donuts.
This was not some spontaneous decision made in the moment, but instead, a planned (and beloved) tradition that makes the first day of school something we anticipate instead of dread.
We always start school on a Wednesday. We always start with just a handful of subjects. We always start with a tidy school room. And we always get donuts. Why? Because we like it that way and also because mom is a checklist mom.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/checklist-homeschool-moms/
Last week I told you all about Laura and how her homeschool plan actually created more stress in her life than it did peace.
It happens. A lot.
This week I am back, as promised, to give you four important keys you can use to create a plan that doesn’t feel like a guess, but instead, a tool to help you homeschool strong for the entire year. This is how to get it done.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/four-keys-homeschool-plan/
Ah summer. Swimming pools, ice cream, and hours free to get bored do what you want. I loved summer because our days are more relaxed. I love a break from the structured school time and the feeling of needing to get a litany of school work accomplished each day.
But if I am not careful our summers turn into a marathon of cartoons, video games, and YouTube (Does anyone else’s kids like to look up their current passion on YouTube and watch all the videos?)
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/summer_organization/
Not all Fridays are great. Sometimes they bring out Friday Mom. You know the kind of Fridays I mean. They should be fun. But they turn into stress.
For example, on a recent Friday morning, we had one hour before we had to leave home for a field trip. Of course, you know what happened—chaos.
Listen or read more at https://www.sonlight.com/blog/four-day-homeschool-week.html
Laundry sits in piles upstairs. There are two loads waiting to be folded and two are sitting in the washer and dryer. Campfire scented top sheets are tossed haphazardly on the floor so I don’t forget to wash them next.
None of these piles include my own laundry which is overflowing in a basket down the hall. I have only tackled the towels and the boys’ clothing so far and I can’t seem to even finish that task.
Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/24/things-wont-work/
Isn’t it interesting that a homeschool parent’s qualifications or lack thereof can cause objections to homeschooling? For whatever reason, there’s this notion that only those with a background in education are truly capable of teaching and training children and teenagers.
Here’s the thing, I am that homeschool mom without an education degree. I am that parent in question and I want to shout it loud that it can be done and done well.
Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-without-degree/
I always feel pulled in two different directions in February.
One on hand, the Fun Mom in me wants to live large. She wants to shake up the daily routine, toss out the boring old schoolbooks, and spend February setting the kids’ enthusiasm afire with fascinating hands-on projects from Pinterest.
But on the other hand, the Responsible Mom in me would really like to get the math book done by the end of May. (And she’s not so sure she can pull off that watermelon clipper ship.)
Fortunately, you can be the Fun Mom and still make progress in the math book with these eight ways to shake up your math routine.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/8-ways-make-math-fun/
Ask any veteran homeschool mom whose kids have already graduated from high school, and she will reassure you:
- She had the same fears you have now.
- She realizes now how pointless most of those fears were.
What a difference 10-15 years of hindsight makes! But you don't have to wait that long. Let's look right now at ten of the biggest and most common homeschool fears so you can face—and more importantly, conquer—them.
Listen or read more at https://www.bookshark.com/blog/homeschool-fears/
I hear it all the time.
We’re having self-editing issues. For some reason, my children believe they are perfect writers! They can never find any spelling or grammar mistakes.
Surprise, surprise! Most children simply don’t get the whole editing thing. They like what they wrote and can’t understand why you want them to—gasp!—look for ways to improve it.
Listen or read more at https://writeshop.com/why-self-editing-is-hard-make-it-easier/
Do you ever have bad attitudes in your homeschool? I love homeschooling and my children usually do, too. But, sometimes the homeschooling attitudes in our house just stink.
Have you ever wanted to wring the necks of grumpy kids who whine about every single task set before them. Or dole out about a hundred chores every time you run up against obstinate behavior? Me, too.
Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/bad-attitudes-in-your-homeschool/
In my earliest days of homeschooling, I had ideas about what our homeschool would actually look like.
You know what I mean… right?
And then we actually started homeschooling. And it just never looked quite like that initial vision.
Listen or read more at https://readaloudrevival.com/jbwc/
About five years ago the days in our homeschool were simply learning math facts, phonics, and letter formation. Yawn.
Sure we read a picture book or two, but I had a two-year-old who sapped all the energy I used to have for putting together elaborate unit studies. In addition my kids had informed me in no uncertain terms that they wanted nothing to do with making another lapbook thank.you.very.much.
Listen or read more at https://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschool-morning-time-2/
I am not a morning person. My kids are not morning people. Unfortunately, my husband IS a morning person. This became very apparent when we all went on a week-long homeschool field trip. My husband would wake early, run to the gym, and return to the hotel very chipper — and talkative (ugg!).
Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/homeschool-morning-meeting/
Long before I was asked to speak at the Great Homeschool Conventions I was an attendee.
In fact, convention time each year made me rather giddy. I almost always went with friends. We would make a road trip and a weekend of it.
I would plot my speaker schedule like a general manages an attack, walk every single aisle of the vendor hall just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and I still have my rolling cart which held everything from water bottles to emergency snacks. And I just learned so much and felt renewed and refreshed every single year.
This year I imagine my experience at the convention will be much more, um, nerve-wracking to say the least, but I cannot wait to meet all of you there.
In order to make the most of your convention experience I have made a little Plan Your Year Convention Planning Pack that you can get here for FREE. It contains the forms you need to plan your best convention experience.
Read more and find the free handouts at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-convention-planning/
When my daughter was two years old she had the cutest habit of picking up her toy cell phone, holding it to her ear, and making a noise somewhere between a growl and disgusted sigh. “Look,” we would laugh. “Where did she learn that?”
Until one day I was driving down a stretch of rural highway we often traveled and my phone dropped a call yet again. The noise of disgust was barely out of my mouth when I realized exactly where Olivia picked up that little habit. Whoops.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-mistake/
“Everyone was up late and needs just a quiet day.”
“We’ve been working so hard, a day off is just what we need. “
“We missed lessons yesterday, I’m not motivated today."
Do any of these sound familiar to you? They used to be all-too-familiar to me. Not only that, some of them are still tempting from time to time.
But now I know a truth: schooling consistency breeds consistency.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/benefits-homeschool-consistency/
The morning light was thin, blue, and cold. It was cozy under my blanket though as I sipped my coffee. I had an edifying book in my lap — who am I kidding — I was scrolling Facebook on my phone.
One kid was asleep, two were upstairs watching “educational” cartoons, and frankly, I was in no hurry to start my school day.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/sabotage-your-homeschool/
I have been a somewhat lonely homeschooler for the past several years. It began when we chose to homeschool high school — and most of our homeschooling friends did not. True story: out of the 20-30 families we knew who homeschooled back when our children were in the early elementary grades, I can think of only a handful of them that continued homeschooling through the high school years.
I confess that this bothers me.
There’s a common adage that says if you lose your why, you lose your way. In other words, if you forget why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re not going to get very far. You’ll be easily sidetracked by distractions, discouragement, and disappointments. If you don’t have a firm grasp on your reason for following your chosen path, you can get derailed. This is part of why I believe in purposeful living, which includes purposeful homeschooling.
Listen or read more at https://embracingdestinyblog.com/2017/05/our-purposeful-homeschool.html
Being a mom is tough work. Being a homeschool mom is crazy tough work! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned homeschool mom, these 25 practical tips and words of encouragement will keep you trekking along in your homeschooling journey with your chin up!
Listen or read more at http://rulethisroost.com/25-ways-to-rule-your-homeschool/
Did you recently meet a homeschooler for the first time? Did a friend or family member just shock you by announcing they will be homeschooling their children? Are you concerned but don’t know just what to say?
Look, I get it. When we decided to homeschool I knew exactly one homeschool family. It’s different. It’s weird. You don’t quite understand it. I mean, why would anyone want to do this? It seems so… hard.
But what do you say?
I think my family has entered the golden age of Morning Time. My three kids range in age from 6 to 10. We have no toddlers to disrupt us (though don’t be fooled in thinking things are too quiet) and we have no teens who need to rush away to complete a list of requirements to earn credits.
It is just us, together, learning to love beauty.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/morning-time-all-ages/
Somehow over the years I have become the pie cook for our family holiday gatherings. I would like to think it is because I make the best pies. More likely it is because my mom thinks there are always other deserts around if I happen to ruin the pies. If I ruined the cornbread dressing? Well that's another story, isn't it? My secret to perfect pie crust? I buy it from the little doughboy in the freezer section -- two frozen 9" deep dish at a time. What I have come to learn from years of making pies is that scratch is not always better.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/when-making-it-from-scratch-isnt-good-enough
Repetitio mater memoriae.
This Latin motto, which apparently is used within the Latin classroom primarily and not embraced as a defining motto like the others so far, means Repetition is the mother of memory. This is supposed to spur you on to chant those declensions, but I think the truth contained therein should spur us on in much more than language acquisition.
Out of control. Disorganized. Fly by the seat of my pants. Does the start of the school year always feel this way?
I don’t think it does. I am pretty sure that our past school years have followed the plan a bit more closely. But I can’t be sure.
What I am sure of is that the kick-off for this 2016 school year was far from a touchdown. It feels more like life intercepted the ball and ran the other way with it and I am watching the ball leave my side of the field without a plan to get it back.
Read or listen to the rest at http://www.notbefore7.com/2016/10/19/love-year-youre-with/
As the holidays descend upon us, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the tasks that fill your to-do lists each day.
You might question whether it’s all worth it in the end, but rest assured that the extra work surrounding this time of year really does pay off, since these traditions have an extremely positive impact on a preschooler’s life.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/blessings-holiday-traditions-preschoolers/
Recently we had a great time by having friends over for our very first picture book Christmas cookie exchange. We had a few good friends over on a balmy December afternoon to share some of our favorite picture books and picture-book inspired cookies.
This party was so easy to plan and hold. All we did was invite a few friends over and ask them to bring their favorite Christmas picture book, plus a treat inspired by that book. That was it.
We didn’t need any other food, drink, and with it being Christmas the decorations took care of themselves.
Read or listen to the rest here: https://pambarnhill.com/christmas-picture-book-cookie-exchange/
If you’ve been around the Homeschooling With Dyslexia web site or Facebook page for long, you know how I love to learn about learning. Since I learn completely differently than 7 of the 8 kids that I homeschool, you could say it is a bit of a necessity. Good thing I have learned to enjoy it!
Listen or read more at https://homeschoolingwithdyslexia.com/motivate-kids-growth-mindset/
With each new school year that rolls around, I always seem find a renewed energy and vision for homeschooling. Rather than wait until Thanksgiving or when the blahs of winter kick in (when it seems to make sense to write a post about why I’m thankful for homeschooling), I thought I’d harness this joyful beginning-of-the-school-year energy to list all those reasons now.
Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/10-reasons-im-thankful-for-homeschooling/
Homeschooling preschool doesn't have to be complicated. It took me at least one child to figure that out, but once I did we enjoyed our preschool days so much more. Have a listen!
I will freely admit that our children have missed out on some things because we homeschool high school. There is no doubt that there are experiences that the public school provides that we just cannot replicate in our home. Some people even quit homeschooling at this level, because they don’t want their children to miss out on anything.
Listen or read more at https://www.annieandeverything.com/homeschool-high-school-missed-opportunities/
Let’s say you are convinced that reading aloud to your children is the best thing you can do for them. You line up your reading selections, you plan your morning time, you are prepared to overcome the obstacles of wiggly bodies and wandering minds. You say that this is exactly the boost your homeschool needs.
The first day comes, and you eagerly dive in. But then you find yourself stumbling over the words. You run into words you can’t even pronounce, let alone understand. After a short time, your voice becomes strained and tired. Hmm… this isn’t as much fun as you thought it would be. Maybe it just won’t work for you.
Read the rest or listen at https://pambarnhill.com/how-moms-benefit-from-read-alouds/
When my family started doing Morning Time my kids were little and it wasn’t quite the homeschool buzz word it is now. There was very little Morning Time pressure in those days — we just liked learning together.
Now, it seems that everywhere you turn people are talking about all the riches they are doing in Morning Time. Which is great — except when it starts to stress people out.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/successful-morning-time/
I’m about to tell you my dirty secret. I’ve kept swallowing this one back down for the past year. Sometimes (more often than not?) I don’t enjoy homeschooling.
There. It’s out.
Listen or read more at http://smarttereachday.com/find-homeschooling-joy/
As a teacher, I’ve noticed one factor that consistently holds students back in the classroom: fear of failure. When my students are afraid to fail, they typically respond to challenges in one of two ways.
Listen or read more at https://biglifejournal.com/blogs/blog/help-your-child-overcome-fear-of-failure
It almost seems incongruous. Morning Time, the bastion of great literature, beautiful music, truth, goodness, beauty… and high-tech gadgets?
But, oh mama, it is true. There are ways moving into the 21st century can enhance the Morning Time habit you are building in your family. Here are three ways some easy Amazon purchases can make your Morning Time better.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/technology-morning-time/
As homeschoolers, we all know the value of teaching our kids how to become independent learners. We work hard to pass the mantle of teacher from ourselves to our students. And we thrill as we see them picking up this mantle and running with it.
They are checking items off their lists, reading books, doing research, and filling their minds with lots of amazing information about science, history, geography, and more. Or are they?
What if your independent learners aren’t learning at all? What if they’re breezing through their work in order to get to free time? What if they’re skimming through the books? What if they’re killing time and not really learning what they say they are?
Listen or read the rest at https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/independent-learners-accountable/
Does the word schedule make you break out in hives? Do you picture yourself harried and deflated at the end of a day on a schedule? Maybe for you, like me, that’s a vivid memory, not a theoretical picture.
There’s a lot of visceral reaction against schedules in the homeschool world, and I totally get why. I mean, can I schedule diaper blowouts and my doorbell ringing and the toddler pulling an open bag of powdered sugar onto herself? Where does that go in the schedule?
Listen or read more at https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2017/sc034
When she was six, my daughter told me she didn’t want to learn to read because then I might stop reading to her. Nothing could be further from the truth, but then six-year-olds aren’t known for their logic, are they?
Lucky for her it wasn’t too long after that I stumbled upon Andrew Pudewa’s talk, Nurturing Competent Communicators.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/read-aloud-mistake/
Homeschooling parents love literature lists. love. love. love.
Quality literature is an important part of our homeschools. Historical fiction. Classics. Biographies. Non-fiction. The list goes on. and on. and on. Till we finally narrow down the titles we will attack for the school year.
Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2016/08/23/innovative-homeschooling-lets-talk-literature/
Homeschooling a middle school kid? We are and, I'll be honest, it's been a bit of a roller coaster. This letter I'm writing is really to myself - reminding me that these years are just as precious and probably even more important than our early homeschooling years.
Listen or read more at https://happyhomeschoolnest.com/blog/mom-with-the-middle-schooler
I am here today with some tough love.
Because I do love you, and I know this homeschooling your kids thing is important to you. And yet, you struggle with homeschooling consistently.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/homeschool-consistency/
There’s this false dichotomy that pops up in the homeschool world. “You shouldn’t have a schedule, you should have a routine.” It sounds all well and good, a wonderful idea for folks who have an established routine or are not easily distracted.
Not so for many of us. Not so for me.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/why-i-need-a-scheduled-routine/
* Contains Christian content “My child will never have a job where he needs to know algebra. We’re just teaching consumer math and being done with it.” “I know God isn’t preparing my child for college, so I don’t plan to worry too much about high school requirements.” “As long as my kids know the Lord, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.” “Neither my high school children or I are interested in history. I think we’re just going to do a quick lapbook (*written for elementary students) and count it as a credit.” “My kids give me so much grief about science that I’ve decided to stop teaching it for now. It’s just too hard to fight them.” “I know I need to get more serious about school, but ball practice two mornings a week, ball games at least one or two nights a week and co-op classes on Monday afternoons are really messing up my schedule. We’re trying to fit school in, but we’re so behind.” “God will fill in the gaps.” Above are actual comments I have heard within the last four months. They concern me. Read the rest here: https://ourjourneywestward.com/homeschooling-seriously/
I know there are some moms out there whose character voices during read-aloud time rival the work of Oscar-winning actors.
I am not one of those moms.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/better-read-aloud/
It seems like everyone you meet is obsessed with STEM or STEAM-focused activities nowadays. Should you worry about this with your preschooler?
There is certainly no need to jump right into formal schooling with a little one, but it never hurts to start incorporating mathematical learning into your everyday fun.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/everyday-preschool-math/
If you are like I was when we had our first struggling reader some 17 years ago, and know nothing about the phenomenon called dyslexia, you may be wondering, as I did, how to know if someone you know is dyslexic or not.
It is no great mystery. There are quite a few signs of dyslexia that are easy to observe.
Listen or read more at https://homeschoolingwithdyslexia.com/dyslexia-signs-dyslexia/
I have never been very flexible — physically or otherwise.
I have always envied those people able to do splits (never done one) or be laissez faire about missing deadlines (never missed one in my yearbook adviser days).
Then I became a homeschool mom.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/flexible-homeschool-plan/
Homeschooling is hard work. Juggling the daily homeschool schedule with managing the kids, the daily chores, the meal planning, and a few minutes for yourself (most likely hiding in the bathroom with a piece of chocolate) doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits. Part of the problem?
Your homeschool schedule.
Listen or read more at https://happyhomeschoolnest.com/blog/homeschool-schedule-mistakes
I recently heard from a mom who was concerned that if she homeschooled her son, she would be judged by other parents for it and that her son would likely be labeled as quirky. I hated to break it to her… but she was right. Even though homeschooling is on the rise across the country, it is still not the cultural norm. If we homeschool our sons they WILL be different than if we send them to school.
Listen or read more at https://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/different-if-we-homeschool/
Chaos is not my thing. Not that anyone really likes it, but some most folks roll with the punches better than I do.
The kids are yelling. The dog is tracking mud through the kitchen while he yips incessantly at said children. A pot is boiling over on the stove.
And in the midst of this I am supposed to be teaching reading, or math, or the kings and queens of England. I struggle.
Oh, I really do. You too?
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/homeschool-procedures/
“I don’t know how you do it. I know I never could.”
The common response when people ask where my kids go to school and I respond with “home.” To which I mutter something back about how it’s not as hard as you might think and we’ve never really known anything different…it’s just what we do.
But I get what they mean. When you’re peeking into somebody else’s life that is so very different than your own, our common response is, I have no idea how they do it.
Listen or read more at http://www.aliciahutchinson.com/2016/03/balance-homeschooling-how-we-try-to-do/
Often the question comes up. Do you school year round or do you take a summer break? It’s a legitimate question that has different answers and reasons depending on who you ask. We school year round, but we don’t keep a regular schedule during the summer. We have a more relaxed Year Round Homeschool Summer Schedule.
Listen or read more at http://hidethechocolate.com/year-round-homeschool-summer-schedule/
The other day, a friend asked me for help with a problem she’d been having in getting her toddler to sit still whenever she read to him.
She knows my daughter loves books as much as my husband and I do, and since I taught first and second graders to read during my years as an elementary school teacher, she figured I’d have a few helpful tips to pass along.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/reading-with-toddlers-and-preschoolers/
When I found out about homeschooling, I was shocked.
Then I watched and thought and was intrigued.
Then I decided that it was what I wanted to do.
Then I fell in love with and married a man who was all for homeschooling our future family.
Then we had a baby (and two more).
I started to study. I read all kinds of books on homeschooling and educational philosophy. I spent hours and hours reading and participating on the Well-Trained Mind Forums. I read lots of blogs - well that wasn't new.
Listen or read more at http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/2016/05/so-you-think-you-want-to-homeschool.html
Let’s talk about independence.
Some homeschoolers want more of it like it’s the Holy Grail of home education. Others counter with the criticism that homeschooling is not meant to be a solitary activity.
So, which is it?
Let’s explore some ideas in The Myth of Independence.
Listen or read more at http://blogshewrote.org/2015/10/08/the-myth-of-independence/
The perfect homeschool plan is not elusive. In fact it is easy to create the perfect plan for your family if you begin by considering the needs of your family, considering your limitations as a homeschool teacher, and avoiding common pitfalls.
Planning means following a series of prescribed steps that will ensure that you have a plan that is going to work.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/ten-steps-perfect-homeschool-plan/
When someone asks about my favorite homeschooling resources, I give the usual list - white board, dry erase markers, lots of notebooks, and a library card. I could share that list of resources today but I think I'd rather take a look at a few different things that you'll need for homeschooling that you can't buy at WalMart or Amazon. These are my homeschooling essentials.
Listen or read more at https://happyhomeschoolnest.com/blog/homeschooling-essentials
Do you have a perfectionist child? One that is unsatisfied with pretty much anything they accomplish? Sometimes even when they’ve done a good job? It’s sad to watch our kids missing out on the joy of creating art or music, playing sports or other competitive activities that could bring them such a sense of accomplishment.
Listen or read more at https://homeschoolingwithdyslexia.com/helping-the-perfectionist-child/
Sometimes I tend to over-complicate things. Why do one math curriculum when you can do two? The best curriculum is the one with the most pieces, right? Since I’m a homeschool teacher I need a fancy lesson plan book, don’t I?
Not so fast there homeschool supermom. Before you get mired down in the idea of a complicated homeschool lesson planner, consider the purpose of teacher lesson plans.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/homeschool-lesson-planner/
When you were in school, did you ever play around all semester before attempting to cram all the information into your head the night before a test? I did! To be honest, it never worked.
Listen or read more http://classicallyhomeschooling.com/diligence/
One topic I receive a lot of questions about is starting a book club for kids. And while a lot of information about my book clubs can be found on this blog and my YouTube channel, I thought I’d answer some of your most common questions.
Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2016/08/11/creating-a-book-club-for-kids/
We went through a long, dry spell where we did not go to the library at all. I had a two-year-old, four-year-old, and six-year-old and frankly it was just not enjoyable to do.
I couldn't look for books, the kids were distracted by everything shiny the library had to offer (everything that was NOT a book), they wanted to run down the stacks and NOT be quiet. It was a long, dry spell, and I suffered no small amount of guilt for it.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/library-trips-with-kids/
There was a stack of books sitting next to me on the driveway. We had just finished reading Aesop’s Fables and I told the girls to go play for ten minutes. I set the timer and got up to stretch as well.
This was the routine for most of our school days for the first three years of our homeschooling. We completed two lessons (a reading and an activity), then took a 10-minute break for them to run and play. Even when my oldest was in third grade, we reverted back to this schedule on days she found it difficult to focus or if we took our lessons to the park.
Listen or read more at https://www.triumphantlearning.com/movement-improve-focus/
Did you know March is National Reading Month? Because living books are so very good, every month is all about reading in our house! But in honor of this annual celebration of reading, I thought I’d take some time to share some of my best tips for raising readers.
Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/11-tips-for-raising-readers/
Three years ago my husband was deployed with the Alabama National Guard. Since we are a Guard family, we know that it can always happen, but this one took us a little by surprise. He was tagged to go with a unit that was not his own and therefore two years earlier than what we had expected.
It’s tough when you think you have two extra years to get your stuff together… and then suddenly you don’t. Can I get a hooah?
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/planning-pitfalls/
One of my kids’ favorite subjects over the years has been – hands down – geography. Although they are all avid readers, there’s something about the hands-on and multi-sensory approaches and applications to “real life” of this subject.
There are a myriad of ways to teach it, and an equal amount of fun, interesting and practical ways to apply it. I realize, however, that not all kids feel the same way. So if you have kiddos who may be asking “Why do we have to study geography?” or “How on earth (no pun intended!) will I be using geography when I grow up?”, here are some practical ways to teach the subject.
Actually, with some of these approaches, unless you tell them, they won’t even realize they are learning geography!
Read or listen to the rest at http://patandcandy.com/bring-geography-to-life/
Do you do what I do? Lament about your imperfect homeschool, while comparing yourself to others you know? Their homeschool looks perfect.
Listen or read more at http://www.raisinglifelonglearners.com/the-imperfect-homeschool/
Ahem. I know I can’t be the only mom who has ever said, “If you can’t learn this from mama, then you are just going to have to go to school to learn it.” Please tell me I am not. It’s possible I have even said it more than once. Homeschooling is tough. It’s not for wimps or sissies, but requires strong doses of prayer, faith, and Diet Coke. And February is the toughest month of all.
Listen or read more at https://edsnapshots.com/beat-yellow-bus-blues-combat/
Do you have a child who began reading well at three or four years old? A child who reads far above grade level? A child who soaks in more books in a year than you’ve read in your entire life? Do you wonder what to do with all that advanced ability?
Just how do you proceed with gifted early readers?? Here’s what I did.
Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/6-tips-teaching-early-readers/
I watched the other moms from the basketball team laugh about a joke I didn’t get. Something about the school counselor or someone who forgot to bring treats for the class party–again. It stings a little, being the outsider. We’re beings created to feel like we belong to a group of people.
I love homeschooling, I’m not saying I want to give that up just to get the joke, but it’s worth noting that there are things people don’t tell you when you start homeschooling–the hard stuff no one wants to mention.
Listen or read more at http://www.aliciahutchinson.com/2016/03/the-hardest-parts-of-homeschooling-that/
I had one of those stellar mommy moments a few weeks ago. You know the ones, right? Where you are just not at your best and your frustrations (with yourself and them) only escalates your behavior into something you would rather soon forget.
Please tell me I am not the only one.
Listen or read the rest at https://edsnapshots.com/dealing-with-the-homeschool-meltdown/
I am just so glad he didn’t sit on the line …
All those years ago — the pre-school teacher would hold me after class:
“Mrs. Anderson,” she’d say in a patient tone … (I was 29. I felt like I was the one in trouble.)
“He just doesn’t want to sit on the line during story time.”
During the drive home, my inner rebel would emerge.
What 3 year old does, really?
felt the questions bubble up.
Followed by the ideas.
And now I’m just so glad.
Listen or read more at http://www.karasanderson.com/im-just-so-glad-he-didnt-sit-on-the-line/
Innovator is my word for this homeschool year.
in·no·va·tor ˈinəˌvādər/ noun 1. a person who introduces new methods, ideas, or products. I am an educational innovator. I am on the cutting edge of bringing education into the 21st century. I am in the practice of creating new methods, ideas, and maybe even products.
And I am not the only one.
The power of educational innovation rests in the hands of every homeschool parent on this planet.
Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2016/08/05/unique-power-homeschool-mom-innovation/
It's the new year and if you are like most homeschool moms, then you are hashing out which New Year's resolutions you want to make.
And while we are deciding to lose another ten pounds and keep our bathroom cabinets organized, another area we might consider resolving about is our homeschools. Unfortunately, so many resolutions are often forgotten by mid-January, lost in an overwhelming sea of good intentions and high-expectations.
I know it has happened to me many times. I begin the year ready to start strong, with no fewer than fourteen new habits on Day 1, and then by January's end, I am exhausted and back where I started December 31.
In an effort to avoid resolution burn-out, here are some tips I am going to try this year to make those resolutions work for me.
Listen or read the rest at https://edsnapshots.com/how-to-make-homeschool-resolutions-you-can-keep/
It’s that time of year. Time to get ready for Christmas. Homeschool moms are making angel costumes, dusting off the Baby Jesus and setting up the nativity. We are hanging our stockings, stirring up some egg nog, and singing “Joy to the World.” And like everyone else, we are making our Christmas list too. I, myself, have been both a bit naughty and a bit nice this year — after
Homeschool moms are making angel costumes, dusting off the Baby Jesus and setting up the nativity. We are hanging our stockings, stirring up some egg nog, and singing “Joy to the World.” And like everyone else, we are making our Christmas list too. I, myself, have been both a bit naughty and a bit nice this year — after
We are hanging our stockings, stirring up some egg nog, and singing “Joy to the World.” And like everyone else, we are making our Christmas list too. I, myself, have been both a bit naughty and a bit nice this year — after
And like everyone else, we are making our Christmas list too. I, myself, have been both a bit naughty and a bit nice this year — after all I am a homeschool mom in need of grace. But I am making my list anyway with
But I am making my list anyway with hope that St. Nicholas will soon be here. Here are a few things that are on it. I’m thinking they might be on yours as well.
Listen or read the rest at: http://www.freehomeschooldeals.com/what-homeschool-moms-really-want-for-christmas/
Have you ever started off your day by watching a movie, turning on the television, mindlessly clicking around Facebook, or skimming your online news feed?
Does it affect your mood? We’re fooling ourselves if we say it doesn’t.
I know I am tempted – and often give in to the temptation – of checking my email and “catching up” online first thing in the morning. Even if I get up before the kids and take a walk and read my Bible, if I then open up the laptop and lose myself online while the kids are getting up and having their breakfast, it does not help my mindset.
It does not help me get the day rolling. How we begin our days sets the tone for the whole day. What we put first communicates most to our kids and to ourselves, even unconsciously.
Listen or read the rest at http://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/homeschooling-consistently
Homeschooling. With a toddler. Need I say more? As homeschool families everywhere start back to school, there seems to be an echo across the Internet. “We had a great first day back, but the toddler …” The echoes are reverberating in my soul, and I haven’t even started back to school yet.
Over the summer, we’ve kept a very loose routine because, as I am sure you know, when you’re a mom, there is no such thing as a day “off”. If you don’t provide some form of structure, you end up spending mom energy on household and relationship disasters instead. So we’ve kept our Bible time and some independent math and Latin practice. And even this amount of schedule has just about stretched my big kids + preschoolers + toddler mama-ringmaster capacity.
If you search the Internet, you can find tons of fantastic posts about strategies for keeping toddlers busy while you homeschool. I really liked this one. And if your toddler is the kind who would just eat the busy bag, try this one. I’m not going to spend time on strategies for the toddlers. I want to talk about strategies for you.
Listen or read more at http://www.hswotrainingwheels.com/psychology-homeschooling-toddler/
We have been doing poetry tea parties since the kids were really little.
I stumbled on the concept from Charlotte Mason home educators like Julie Bogart and Elizabeth Foss well before my own kids were school-aged and fell in love with the ideas of pulling out the nice linens, finding a book of poems to read, and sharing time together over a treat in the afternoon.
I know from your emails that tea parties are something people find intimidating, but really they don’t have to be. Here are a few of the tips we use to make them doable and easy.
Listen or read the rest at http://edsnapshots.com/how-to-do-poetry-tea-party/
This week has been rough. Last week was off-kilter, too. We are in a season of change. Our homeschool is changing, our therapy schedules changed, and the boys are changing. And there’s been a coup. At least it feels that way.
“Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Throw your teacher overboard . . . .”
Yep. That’ a pretty good summation of what our house/homeschool has felt like. Anyone else had that kind of day/week/season? Here are a few tips for homeschooling when your kids try to throw you overboard.
Read the rest or listen at http://www.laramolettiere.com/homeschool-kids-try-throw-overboard/
I have totally given up on the idea that learning must be made fun for the student. It was an idea that ruled the first two years of our homeschooling and quite frankly, I'm a little bitter about it now.
I feel like in many ways I have short-changed my children and their abilities, because I did not throw the idea over long ago. Fortunately, childhood is forgiving and our recovery is going well.
The reality is, much of learning, especially in skills subjects like reading, writing, and math is just plain hard work.
I am a firm believer in making sure the work we do is developmentally appropriate even if it is not on the same timeline as the schools around us. I am also a proponent of giving a child the time they need to master something.
Listen or read the rest at https://edsnapshots.com/fun-vs-joy/
Have you ever had one of these days… There are just some days you want to join the fussy crowd.
You wake up and are feeling confident about the day. Then you walk past your child’s room and say, “Good morning!” The response you receive is less than enthusiastic and you think, maybe she will cheer up before breakfast. She just needs to wake up. Then you sit down to eat. She’s not in a bad mood. She’s not even upset or angry. She’s just rather blah.
The other daughter wakes up in a good mood, snuggles with you for awhile, and is pleasant and cheerful through breakfast. But later in the morning when she is supposed to be practicing her piano lesson she begins by BANGING on the keys in frustration. Your first response is to feel despondent—“Great! Another one of THOSE days.”—and join the grumpy crowd.
Listen or read the rest at http://www.triumphantlearning.com/reacting-or-controlling-the-atmosphere-of-your-home/
Homeschooling is such a blessing for our family – I really believe it has created a family bond that we would not have had if we’d chosen another educational route for our daughter. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult!
One of the biggest issues I’ve found is learning just how hard it is to keep up with all the housekeeping chores while we’re homeschooling. Over the years, we’ve discovered a few tips and tricks that help us keep up with those daily housekeeping chores.
Read more or listen to the rest at http://thesunnypatch.ca/tips-balancing-homeschooling-housekeeping/
Is this your first week of homeschooling for the year? It is for me. I always start our new homeschool year the week of my youngest child’s birthday because I really enjoy adding that kind of stress to the first week of school.
Whether the stress in your homeschool week is normal life stuff, like birthdays or long to-do lists, or abnormal life stuff, like surprises and emergencies, the fact remains that homeschooling isn’t always easy. It just isn’t. This is because homeschooling is just like anything else: it’s work, and you have to actually Do It.
Read or listen to the rest at http://afterthoughtsblog.net/2015/08/homeschooling_do_the_work.html
There's a common misconception by many non-homeschoolers that what homeschoolers do all day is stay tucked inside their houses reading classical literature and practicing for the National Spelling Bee.
This misconception feeds into the whole socialization myth that continues to plague every homeschool mom who ever lived. Typically the reality is much, much different than the perception for most homeschoolers I know.
So we were in good company about late September when I realized that I had filled our schedule for the year with far more activities than I was comfortable squeezing into our week. And yet, I also found myself unable to give up some things due to commitment and totally unwilling to give up all the rest.
Faced with a year of busyness and stress, I started to consciously consider how I might fool myself into thinking I am less busy than I actually am. Or in other words, what is the zen of busy and how can I squeeze it into my life. ;-)
Listen or read the rest at https://edsnapshots.com/how-to-feel-less-busy-even-when-you
We recently had a pool party with a group of Emma’s homeschool co-op friends, and I’ve been told again that I’m a cool mom. I’m not a cool person. I’m kind of nerdy, actually.
So how do I get this label? It’s not merely that I do these things (although they help):
- make a monster pan of homemade mac-n-cheese and two giant chocolate chip cookies for a pool party
- let the kids make a crazy fort in the sunroom with every available blanket, bean bag, and pillow
- take Emma and a friend to an Ed Sheeran concert and crowd in with the rest of the fans
Being a cool mom is a much deeper issue than the money you spend, the time you sacrifice, and the quantities of chocolate and cheese that you buy. It’s a matter of the heart.
Read the rest or listen here: http://jimmiescollage.com/2015/05/cool-mom/
Don’t show up to a culture war without a culture. — Professor Carol Reynolds
The world is after the hearts of your children.
No, I am not saying that to leave you shaking in fear. Don’t be afraid, mama, because you’ve got chocolate and Jesus and a plan. There is no need to fear.
Instead I just want you to ponder that statement a while. Make no mistake that there is a culture war going on. The world has a myriad of distractions to pull our kids’ attention from the ideas that have shaped our culture.
If we are not giving our children an education in that culture, then they will be ill-equipped to fight the war. We live in a world that delights in the crass over the beautiful, that encourages the easy choice over the good one, and rewards relativism over truth.
But fighting a culture war is hard.
Read more or listen at https://edsnapshots.com/win-the-culture-war/
Quitting homeschool, that is. And I thought I should tell you that. So often, we homeschoolers make this journey sound like its all roses, all the time.
We have a tendency to talk up the benefits of homeschooling constantly. After all, there are many: improved academic opportunity, better socialization, increased family time, the ability to weave our values all throughout the curriculum…the list goes on (and on).
We talk up homeschooling because we like to talk about it, but we also do it because we are constantly defending our choice to educate at home.
At least I know I am.
Read the rest or listen at http://amongstlovelythings.com/sometimes-i-feel-like-quitting/
What does homeschooling REALLY require?
The current trend seems to be hybrid schools, box programs, online schools, or homeschool communities that claim to be the "answer" to a successful homeschool experience.
Granted, all of these things can be great HELPS in homeschooling. I have, however, seen some claim to be all you would need to homeschool your children. I disagree.
A successful homeschool lies within the homeschooling family. Never forget the HOME in homeschool.
In this four part blog series we will delve into COMMITMENT, LOVE, CONSISTENCY, and COURAGE it takes to homeschool our children and homeschool them WELL.
First and foremost, a successful homeschool requires COMMITMENT.
Read more or listen at: http://www.homegrownlearners.com/home/homeschool-requires-commitment
“Love is the beginning and end of education, because love is the way we become more human.” — Stratford Caldecott, Beauty in the Word
I’ve heard the advice, and I’m sure you have too. You should always start your day with math.
Kids need to tackle difficult subjects while their brain is fresh.
Kids need to get the hardest thing out of the way first.
Kids need to eat that frog so they don’t procrastinate.
I am all about personal productivity and doing hard things first to get them out of the way, but let me let you in on a little secret: homeschooling has very little to do with personal productivity.
Homeschooling is about relationships.
Listen or read the rest at: https://edsnapshots.com/shouldnt-start-homeschool-day-math/
Have I mentioned lately how blessed we are to be a homeschool family? Sure, homeschooling takes work and there are sacrifices to be made. Let’s not forget that our home constantly looks lived in, but the gifts we receive in return are priceless.
Today, we celebrate the gift of homeschool! Here are just a few reasons homeschooling is a gift to our family.
Listen or read more at http://tablelifeblog.com/2015/08/the-gift-of-homeschool.html
I used to dread kindergarten pick-up.
My little guy would board the bus at 7:50 am. He looked adorable climbing up those big steps with his oversized backpack and book in hand. The book was as oversized as his backpack.
In kindergarten, he read big books: Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Hobbit. He didn’t notice that people noticed. I noticed that they noticed, but I was just so thankful he was content at send-off.
Unfortunately, pick-up was another story. I’d get to the pick-up line at around 11:00. I’d spend the next fifteen minutes wondering how pick up would go.
Would the teacher hand me a white slip today?
Would she make a negative comment about his day?
Above all, would there be tears in those big brown eyes?
Listen or read the rest at: http://my-little-poppies.com/homeschool-regret/
Do you ever have one of those mornings? The kind where nobody wants to get moving (including you). Nobody has a good attitude. Nobody can bear the thought of one more day of long division.
It happens more than I care to admit around here. Which is why I have a secret weapon for starting school days.
No, it’s not coffee (ok, it is just a little bit). Instead it is Morning Time.
Morning Time is a time when everyone in the family can come together for a period of family learning. Most families include some form of the “3Rs” in Morning Time — reading, ritual, and recitation — but no matter what they choose to do, the most important “R” is relationship.
I’ve got ten reasons for you why Morning Time is the perfect addition to your homeschool.
Listen or read the rest here: http://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschool-morning-time/
Homeschooling has broken me, I think. I didn’t realize it until last week.
That it has broken my brain. That it’s broken the way I think about everything.
But I’ve never been more sure that I’m a homeschooler raising homeschoolers, and I’ve never felt stronger in my convictions.
Like with so many things, I have Dave Grohl to thank. But let me take a step back …
When my son was 6, he expressed an interest in learning piano. And like all parents, we immediately tried to figure out how to move a 1,000-lb piece of history into our living room as cheaply as possible.
I put a thing on Facebook. My friend Jes responded.
It took 4-grown men and a moving truck.
Read the rest or listen here: http://bit.ly/2b8Otw0
It’s been quite the school year, there’s no question about that. We moved across the country, we hung out for five months with family, did school in their basement, house shopped on the weekend, then moved again to another state.
There were many times this year that I questioned everything, but now, looking back, I realize that it’s all ok. Even in the craziest of school years, there’s been lessons learned. Kids will learn, no matter what. It’s like a train you can’t stop. We can’t stop–and we won’t stop.
That’s right, they learn no matter what.
When we moved to Minnesota at the beginning of April, school took an immediate halt. We didn’t do our regular school for a good three weeks. I started to worry about this, as I had only planned on taking a week off and I was feeling like we were slipping farther and farther behind. But some things happened that I didn’t see coming.
They didn’t learn new math concepts or finish memorizing the prepositions, but they did learn other things.
Read more at http://www.aliciahutchinson.com/2015/05/what-ive-learned-this-school-year/.
You know that awkward moment when your best friend asks you what you thought of her book? And you liked it, you really liked it, but the English teacher in you wants to ask, “Are you sure somebody didn’t help you with this?”
Because it’s just that good.
You talk to someone every single day — so much so that your husbands have their eye-rolling synchronized at your antics — and you just never really know what they are capable of do you?
That was me last summer when Sarah released the first edition of Teaching from Rest. My feelings were a combination of proud and awestruck, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised when Classical Academic Press contacted her to publish the print version (though I may have squealed like I was).
That print version is on the shelves, and I am supposed to be writing a review. But now I’ve totally blown my objectivity and can’t gush without you rolling your eyes, so instead I’m going to tell you a little-known secret about this book.
Read the rest at https://edsnapshots.com/bringyourbasket/
When I was a kid my two favorite things to make where, drawings of the Rice Krispie characters and to create paper balls. When I say paper balls, I don’t mean that I just crumbled a piece of paper into a ball, that would be kind of lame, and not worth writing about. I mean that I soaked strips of paper in water, and carefully laid each piece over the last, forming a 3D paper ball.
While I continued to enjoy art and creating, my confidence in my ability waned, as it does for most students starting at around 3rd grade. I began to believe that I couldn’t draw, and thus, I couldn’t draw. It’s funny how when we tell ourselves enough times that we can’t do something, eventually it becomes true.
While in college, during my sophomore review, the nerve wracking time when you stand in front of a group of professors with your artwork, and they tell you if you’re good enough to continue with your major. One of the professors commented that my drawings were a bit “grungy and messy.” But she didn’t stop there, she continued, why don’t you pay attention to your style, and your voice as an artist, work to bring more of that into your work.
That advice always stayed with me. Because in that moment I knew two things, one, I’d passed and didn’t have to change my major, and two I realized that I could have a voice as an artist, and I remembered that young girl that “invented” paper balls, and I went in search for her.
Read more at http://theunstandardizedstandard.com/2016/06/15/art-and-art-history-curriculum-done-for-you/
The role of recitation and memorization has taken on a deeply personal role for me as a homeschool mom over the last several years. I first began to consider recitation while studying various homeschool methods as a new homeschool mom.
I could see the value of memorization in education, but it didn’t feel like a good fit for my son. His memory was terrible. My daughter on the other hand remembered everything she heard or saw. I figured that memory was something you were either good at or you were not. I decided not to waste my son’s time with recitation since he wasn’t good at it.
Fast forward a few years down the road, and it wasn’t just memorization that seemed to trip up my son. When he couldn’t quite get a handle on reading we gave him time as many suggested. As time went on reading still wasn’t happening. We discovered that he is dyslexic.
Listen or read more at https://taravos.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/memorizations-role-in-our-home/
Anytime you write a book there are bound to be misconceptions. Write a book on homeschool planning and there are SURE to be misconceptions.
After all, the Internet is filled will homeschooling moms, each one an expert on their own home and their own children — as well they should be! These moms have their own ideas of what works and what doesn’t, and they are all exactly right for their families.
Which is why I wrote Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace with multiple disclaimers that my way is not the only way and there are thousands of way to plan. That is why I put in the samples folder, included the audio and all those links to blog articles, for the reader to see that others do it differently than I do and that is awesome.
Having said that, though, I am about to make a bold assertion and that is this: you need a prepared curriculum.
Listen to the rest or read it at http://edsnapshots.com/homeschool-planning-prepared-curriculum/
I love the Myers-Briggs personality typing. Myers-Briggs – the personality system that gives you four letters – offers a vocabulary for talking about the different ways that people relate to each other and the world around them. It’s been so helpful to me in learning how to understand and value other people’s responses to ideas and situations – including my children’s.
I’ve written before about how personality typing helps me understand my kids, and I’ve written a brief explanation of how the Myers-Briggs system works. Today I want to take this a step further and use the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Temperament Index) categories to help us understand our strengths and weaknesses as homeschool moms. I can’t help myself. I’m an INTJ and so I love systems like this.
When we realize that we’re trying to imitate a type totally opposite our own, we can realize why we feel defeated and beat up. Not only that, we can take a step back, value that other type’s abilities, yet shift our own energies toward what will work for us.
When we know our own type and what that means for us, we can automatically filter out curriculums and opportunities that won’t work for us. We don’t have to try it and crash and burn first. We can see that it’s not going to mesh. We also don’t have to feel bad about what doesn’t work for us, and we can better understand why something works for our friend when it doesn’t work for us.
When we know our personality type we can also see where we need to outsource, where we need to get help, where we’re going to have to budget recovery time and just what kind of recovery time we need. Recovery and refreshment plans for each personality type will be a post all it’s own. :)
Today, let’s look at how our personality types inform us of our homeschool style, strengths, and difficulties.
Listen or read the rest at http://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/homeschool-personality
I’m not feeling quite as fly-by-the-seat as I often do because I’ve got a new system for keeping track of school assignments, and it’s rocking my world. I love finding ways to simplify homeschooling, and this method really takes the cake.
I’ll tell you all about it, and then you have every right to say, “Of course, Sarah. Why haven’t you done this all along?” like I said to myself when my friend first showed me how it’s done. :)
Here’s what happened.
Listen or read the rest at http://amongstlovelythings.com/spiral-notebooks/
In this world there are two kinds of people. People who buy any old planner and just use it, and people who buy multiple planning products and never really use any of them.
There’s quite possibly a need for a twelve-step program for that last group. The people in the last group aren’t wishy-washy. Instead they are optimists. They are always sure that a better way has to be out there. So they keep searching.
I can fall into a similar trap in my homeschool planning. (Hello! Raise you hand if you’ve ever clicked “Buy” on a totally new math program on a cold, dark, tear-stained afternoon in mid-November. I can’t be the only one.)
I keep searching and searching for the better way, the path of least resistance, the greener patch of grass, the silver bullet — any number of cliched phrases that will allow me to rest my weary homeschool mom body and my frazzled brain.
Read the rest at http://edsnapshots.com/homeschool-plan-for-you/
One of many options is the running of our Academic Year. Traditionally in the US, school runs fall to spring with summers off. This is a wonderful option, one which many homeschoolers follow for their Academic Year. I would like to present another option, which is to align your Academic Year with the calendar. http://ladydusk.blogspot.com/2015/11/aligning-your-academic-year-with.html
Do you know what a curriculum slave is? I’m sure you’ve met one before — perhaps you’ve been one before. (Or perhaps you’re one now, in which case we’ll try to help set you free in the course of this post.) A curriculum slave thinks the curriculum is her master, and she has to follow whatever the curriculum says — to the letter. The curriculum slave doesn’t allow herself to think about what is best for her students — or even for herself as a teacher. Instead, she exists at the curriculum’s beck and call, and when she doesn’t fulfill its requirements, she beats herself up.
Listen to the rest...
The search results taunt me. “Creative homeschool: A lot of ideas” “Great homeschool/education ideas” “Using Pinterest as a free homeschool curriculum” (
I wish I could tell you that I have the formula for the perfect homeschool day, but sadly I do not. All I know for sure is that there are no two homeschool days that are exactly alike and whatever you plan, it will often not go exactly as planned.
Yes, having a plan in place is important. If we don’t, the overwhelming nature of the task before us will paralyze us. So here are my best tips for creating a daily schedule that inspires you to get things done.
Can I answer this question with a question? (No, not that question -- another one.) What do you want to accomplish with your homeschool schedule? Which scheduling method you use depends on what you are trying to accomplish in your homeschool, because both types of schedules lend themselves well to accomplishing very different goals. Block scheduling is used to organize your homeschool subjects in such a way that you are doing fewer of them at any given time. This allows you to focus deeper on fewer things throughout the day, have less anxiety because you are tracking less at any given time, and go more deeply by spending more time on a subject. Loop scheduling on the other hand is a way for you to reduce the stress in your homeschool that comes from skipping or missing subjects because they are assigned to specific days. Loop scheduling doesn't really allow you to do more or less in your day -- just not be upset by which thing you should do next. Let's take a look at a few examples of both to see how this plays out. Listen to hear the rest...
Recently I took part in an online conversation with homeschool moms about the value of cursive writing and whether it should be taught in a homeschool. It was a polite, but lively conversation and a number of people weighed in on the topic.
The most surprising things about it, was that instead of relying on their own family goals or the latest research on the subject, so many families were basing their decision to teach cursive or not on the whims of the public school.
"They don't learn it any more in the schools in our town" and "My friend who is a teacher says..." were common refrains That got me to pondering. If pressed, many homeschooling families can succinctly spell out why they homeschool.
Homeschooling is tough; it is likely someone won't be homeschooling long past the first few months of eight-year-old math angst, without that knowledge of purpose and conviction.
In addition, most homeschoolers can explain quite well why they follow a specific homeschooling philosophy. Whether they are Charlotte Mason because they believe in a broad, liberal arts education for even the youngest child, or are Unschoolers because they believe you can't learn anything by coercion, they have thought enough about the philosophy before taking it on to know why they wear the label.
Where I see a lack of forethought on the part of homeschoolers is in thinking about the whys of their day-to-day subjects and schedule. Much thought and deliberation goes into the purchase of curriculum, yet how much thought goes into the idea of why even buy curriculum to do a subject in the first place?
Listen for the rest...
I see it time and time again. Desperate pleas for help from new homeschool moms come across the feed of our local homeschool group.
"I am pulling my son out of second grade tomorrow, and I don't know where to start."
"We are thinking about homeschooling our kids in the fall, and I need to know what curriculum to buy for a fifth grader?"
"I've got to get my junior out of school -- she is miserable. How can I make sure she gets her Algebra credits?"
You are out there -- moms who have made a decision to homeschool -- and you are not alone. Some of you agonize over it for weeks and months, a few have to make a rush decision because of a bad situation at school.
You may be scared and unsure and wondering if you are going to ruin your kids by doing this. Yeah, let me tell you right now, you are not. But I know that is a hard thing to take at face value. So let me give you five things to keep in mind to help you on your journey...
In episode 000 I introduce myself and give you the down-low on what the Homeschool Solutions Show is all about. Each super-short episode is an audio blog of a piece of great homeschooling content previously published online. You can find an index of episodes as we add them each Friday on edsnapshots.com/solutions.