TheHomeSchoolMom Encouragement, tips, and practical helps for homeschool moms Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:18:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Help! My Home Is Overflowing With School! Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:18:45 +0000 Whether you're just starting out or have been on the homeschooling journey for years, organizing your homeschooling routine can seem like an immense undertaking. The key to any successful organizational system is to keep it simple and make it part of your normal daily routine. The first year that I homeschooled my son Matt, I worked hard to make sure that homeschooling didn't throw our entire household into chaos. By the time his little brother Mason was ready for school, I had gotten a whole lot better at it.Here are some of the lessons I've learned about homeschool organization. Hopefully these simple suggestions can help you get organized, too.]]> 0 Good Reasons to Quit Homeschooling Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:54:36 +0000 There are some times when some homeschooling parents should decide to quit homeschooling.We're used to cheerleading for homeschooling and supporting homeschoolers through temporary hard times. We're accustomed to supporting people who have short-term or medium-term misgivings about homeschooling, but their kids are really doing fine, and they're really doing fine.But if we're really going to be "Homeschoolers Helping Homeschoolers," as I've been writing about in this series, then we also have to provide support for homeschoolers who are making the decision to quit.What are some good reasons to quit homeschooling?]]> 3 Homeschooling One Child Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:05:28 +0000 A common mental picture of a homeschooling family includes Mom, Dad, and multiple kids -- if not a whole bunch of kids. That picture may not be accurate for lots of reasons, but today I'll just take a look at the kids in the picture.There are a lot of us who aren't homeschooling multiple kids, much less a bunch. Some of us are homeschooling just one child.How does "homeschooling for one" come about? And what's it like?]]> 1 From School to Co-op Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:55:08 +0000 Many children come to homeschooling directly from attending school, or the kids have been homeschooled their whole lives, but their parents' only existing model for group learning is the school classroom from their own childhoods.When parents hear about homeschool co-ops, they are excited about the possibilities that this kind of learning community might offer to their family.]]> 0 Joining a Co-op Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:52:49 +0000 How can I join a co-op?If you're looking for a homeschool co-op, keep in mind that co-ops have different approaches to new families. Some co-ops are "closed," meaning they already have all the families they can accommodate, and they are not accepting new members. Others take new members every year or every couple of years, as children age out, families move away, or needs change.Some co-ops actually hold an open house or allow families to visit during the spring of one year in order for parents and co-op participants to consider whether prospective members and the co-op are a good fit for one another.]]> 0 #1 Tip for Organizing Homeschool Activities Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:30:27 +0000 You float an idea on a homeschool email list or a Facebook group:"I'm planning a field trip to Smith Historical Farm on the morning of April 10. I can get a group rate if we have 20 kids, and they'll do special hands-on projects with the children."You give the details, and people say "count us in," giving a headcount of 32 children for the field trip.The day before the field trip, emails start flying with all the reasons people can't be there. You go anyway, embarrassed to find that only 11 kids are there, and two of them are technically too young to participate. The Smith Historical Farm people are nice, but point out that you no longer qualify for the group rate, meaning that each family is now going to pay double what they expected.]]> 0 New Homeschoolers Need Old Homeschoolers Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:01:36 +0000 What do new homeschoolers need from "old" homeschoolers?In a previous post in my "Homeschoolers Helping Homeschoolers" series, I suggested that providing new homeschoolers with information is better than giving directive advice -- but what else is helpful?If you are an established homeschooler reaching back to assist new homeschoolers, in addition to offering basic information about homeschooling -- offer Support, Resources, and Inspiration.What are the best way to provide support? ]]> 3 Homegrown Riches: The Economic Challenges of Homeschooling Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:25 +0000 Homeschooling is an economic challenge for many families, including mine. Sometimes it takes extra creativity to make it work. I've had to adjust my habits and expectations along the way. The two most important things for me have been crafting a realistic budget and being clear about our family's priorities. Making homeschooling work is non-negotiable in our family, so we make adjustments in other areas. I've learned that courage and creativity can enable a sense of richness and abundance while keeping things economically balanced. Here are some of the things that I've learned. ]]> 0 Homegrown Riches: The Economic Challenges of Homeschooling {Part 2} Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:00:15 +0000 Holiday celebrations are important. Over the years we've focused mainly on simple, handmade, joy-filled ways of celebrating. Our crowd's favorite kind of birthday party typically includes a special birthday snack, a gaggle of kids, and a fun place to run around. I encourage my children–and their friends–to give gifts of the heart: treasures from nature, homemade goodies, special handmade items, lovingly selected hand-me-downs, thoughtfully chosen items. We've stepped away from commercially prescribed traditions and created our own. We have consciously shaped many heartfelt traditions that we can replicate year after year even when the budget is meager. ]]> 0 How to Host an International Student Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:44:26 +0000 In an earlier post, I described how hosting an international exchange student can be a benefit to a homeschooling family. Today I'd like to tell you a little more about the nuts and bolts of hosting a student in the United States. These details can help you to know what to expect when hosting an exchange student and can ease the transition for the whole family.]]> 0