Starting homeschooling during the high school years can seem intimidating or liberating — or both. There is both good news and bad news about starting out homeschooling in high school, but for many people the good outweighs the bad. Continue reading »
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Whether you’re home because school has been cancelled (Hi! Welcome!) or you’re an experienced homeschooler who is actually staying home now, you probably suddenly have hours upon hours on your hands. For those extra hours, check out these free educational resources to use online while you are practicing social distancing. Continue reading »
Every homeschool family is walking their own path. The beauty of homeschooling is that it allows us to look at all aspects of our lives in new and different ways. We have to get creative. We have to push boundaries, or perhaps, enforce them. Here are 5 ways to set yourself up for better balance. Continue reading »
If your homeschooling clan is content to be with each other 24 hours a day with no breaks from each other, then feel free to skip to another blog post. I have nothing but love and high-fives for you because I think it’s amazing when families can do what works for them. If you’re feeling like maybe your homeschooling kids might need some built-in breaks from each other (and you), then read on while I share what’s working for us right now with three adolescents. Continue reading »
Choosing curriculum is important to new and prospective homeschooling parents, as well as those who want to improve homeschooling or adjust to a new phase, such as kids starting high school. Many parents start with the question, “What’s the best homeschool curriculum?” A more productive question is, “What homeschool curriculum is the best fit?” Continue reading »
I am seriously looking into whether homeschooling would be an appropriate option for my high school student who is failing in the public school system. She’s extremely bright, and excels in honors and higher courses, but is failing everything else. I believe homeschooling might be helpful, but I also know it could backfire too. We desperately need some expert advice! ~ Concerned in Colorado Continue reading »
Christmas, Ask Jeanne, Homeschooling Efficiency, and More… Continue reading »
Great Backyard Bird Count, High School, Narration, What Comes Next, and More Continue reading »
Homeschool co-ops work well as part of the educational landscape of some families. However, you may not be able to find an existing co-op that is near enough your home to be practical, or it may not meet the academic, creative, or social goals you have for a co-op. The other problem may be that there is a flourishing co-op nearby, but the co-op is full and has a waiting list.
You can organize a new homeschool co-op yourself, and these 8 questions will help you decide the best way to do so. Continue reading »
Jonathan Hollingsworth’s mother remembers him coming to her and his father shortly after starting his first semester of college to tell them he would commit to two years of filling up his mind if he could then spend a year emptying his heart. Amy Hollingsworth had homeschooled her son and daughter their whole lives, and Jonathan’s sensitivity was evident from the start. Now, as a freshman at the local community college, Jonathan was idealistic and burdened with a heart for the lost. He had already spent a week in Honduras, but instead of abating his ingrained drive to help the poverty-stricken, the trip only highlighted for him how very difficult it is to meet the need found in isolated cultures — cultures where the whims of nature can threaten the very existence of the inhabitants. Continue reading »
I’m a fan of natural consequences, but sometimes the lessons are too big – with consequences that last a lifetime – for the maturity level of the child. One such example is when a child wants to take on significant debt in the form of college loans. Most 17 year old high school students do not have the life experience to be able to understand the impact that taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt will have on their lives.
While I encourage young adults to have freedom in making their own decisions, wise and carefully presented parental input is imperative in this issue. Most people would never consider advising a 17-18 year old to purchase a $80K house with payments deferred for 4 years (and a home loan has collateral — if you go into default, they foreclose and the debt is gone), yet are comfortable with student loans that have even more of a financial impact. Continue reading »
One of my favorite “instead of curriculum” titles is the book Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists by Joel Best.
This book is a great book for your high schooler to read. While it can be paired with a traditional study of statistics, it also works well on its own for kids who need to understand statistics from either a consumer point of view or for fact-checking research or stories in the media. Continue reading »
As homeschoolers, we can get our kids involved in music, provide them with art lessons, and give them the freedom to come up with ideas on their own and implement them — all of which are great ways to encourage creativity. Certainly having a home atmosphere in which children are encouraged to try out new things, express differing opinions, make mistakes and fail without retribution, and use lots of resources in ways they come up with on their own is critical to children developing their creative sides, and learning to express themselves in new and interesting ways.
But there is something else. Yep, a little secret I have found, that is the key to encouraging creativity. Continue reading »
Ahoy, mateys! Get to know the pirates of old in this unit for ages 8-13. You will gather information on the history of pirates, where they sailed, what their lifestyles were like, what jobs they did, how they dressed, how they divided their spoils, and more. Continue reading »
I am going to be a math curriculum expert before this whole homeschooling thing is over.
Yep, we are now on our third math program in four years.
This isn’t how I planned it, but then, does anything in homeschooling go according to plan? I would have liked to have begun a math program in Kindergarten and stuck with it, at least through the sixth grade. That would have helped me be able to avoid repetition, progress more efficiently, and be able to keep a more accurate assessment of exactly what she was mastering. Continue reading »
Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom: I think every successful homeschool mom has a secret…her secret to managing it all.
Because the truth is that homeschooling itself is overwhelming; it’s just difficult to get it all done. When you add in the responsibilities of keeping the household going along with it, sometimes we feel like we’re on some roller-coaster that we can’t ever get off. Academics to teach, social skills to impart, character to instill, cleaning to complete, food to make, activities to attend, transportation to provide, jobs to fulfill…it’s just so much. Too much, sometimes. Enough that it usually takes some sort of plan, some sort of secret — to actually get it all managed well. Continue reading »
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of questions raised about how innovations in technology will change education as we know it – Can machines replace teachers? Do internet resources provide everything needed to develop professional skills? What happens if you replace school with online learning? I’ve spent my life trying to find out, and the answers I have are both promising and a little horrifying. Continue reading »
It’s March, and by this point in the winter most homeschoolers have the winter blahs. You know, that “sick of being inside” “tired of the daily homeschool grind” sentiment that leads you and the kids to wish you could be doing anything other than school. Often by this point in the season, the art supplies have been well used, the indoor games have been played, and everyone is in need of a little excitement. Sometimes a dose of creativity and fun can help bridge the gap until Spring breathes a breath of fresh air into homeschooling life. Never fear, there are plenty of great ways to make the waning days of winter worthwhile and educational. Continue reading »
I was feeling pretty good. Our curricula seemed to be working well for each child, our routine was consistent but flexible, and most of the time we’d been enjoying the homeschooling process. The kids were learning, we were making progress, and I was congratulating myself on how I actually seemed to have this whole homeschooling thing down. And then I got pregnant. Continue reading »
Writing a composition doesn’t necessarily mean starting from scratch. As your children practice writing different kinds of paragraphs, stories, articles, and short reports, you can help them expand their skills by tweaking a piece of writing they completed in the past. What a great way to get more mileage out of a writing assignment! Let me share six tips for taking a former piece of writing to a whole new level. Continue reading »