The many benefits of homeschooling mean more kids and teens than ever are learning at home. Families want the advantages of homeschooling, with the flexibility, academic benefits, efficiency, and opportunities homeschooling can offer. They seek an education and even a lifestyle that’s not based on minimum standards and a one-size-fits-all approach. Continue reading »
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In Facebook homeschooling groups and in real life homeschool group meetings, I frequently see new homeschoolers asking “Am I doing enough?” You ask this about all ages, from preschool through high school, though it tends to center around the earliest years of homeschooling. The “Am I doing enough?” question often comes from a point of surprise. Continue reading »
The reputation of homeschooling has progressed to the point that in addition to the occasional vitriol, I frequently get compliments for homeschooling my kids. The compliments often come from other moms who say, “I could never do that.”
There are many reasons they say they couldn’t do it, but maybe the most frequent one is, “I’d kill my kids.”
What they mean, of course, is that they would not get along well enough with their kids to be able to get through it. The conflict and distress would be too much; parent and child would be at each other all the time. Continue reading »
The freedom to pursue one’s passions is a benefit of the flexibility of homeschooling. Making sure that a young person pursues interests for his or her own reasons, not the parent’s, keeps motivation alive and passion genuine. Snake wrangler, computer geek, vintage auto restorer. These are a few of the identities one of my sons tries on as he masters areas of interest to him. Continue reading »
I recently wrote about how homeschooling parents can use a dialogue-based approach to education, which I see as a big potential benefit to home education. While many public schools have been forced into test-prep mania that defines success very narrowly, homeschoolers can use this educational approach to develop critical thinking and evaluate learning.
Scientific American has a recent story that reflects my thoughts on the unfortunate increased emphasis on standardized testing in public education. 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 »
Much has been made of the academic benefits of homeschooling, but often without getting specific about how those benefits actually work. One of the most important benefits of homeschooling I’ve witnessed over the years has been the way homeschooling allows kids to build knowledge during times that some of their specific academic skills might be seen as “behind” (by school standards). Continue reading »
You may have never thought you would consider homeschooling, or maybe you were thinking about starting in the fall, but circumstances are forcing you to consider bringing your child home mid-year. Perhaps it is bullying, a negative school environment, an illness, school anxiety, a stressful family situation, or some other unexpected circumstance causing you to consider pulling your child out before the end of the school year. Regardless of the motivation, your first question is likely, “Can I start homeschooling mid-year?” Continue reading »
Maybe you’re frazzled. Maybe it’s been a long morning, long month or a long year. Maybe you feel like you just need a biscuit. So, you honor that feeling. You grab the ingredients for your favorite biscuits. You carefully measure the ingredients and add them to the last clean mixing bowl. You stir slowly and simply focus on the art of making biscuits. Maybe you smile to yourself because instead of thinking that making biscuits on Monday in the middle of the day is a bad idea, you made them because YOU want them. And that is enough. Because maybe you’re in the middle of a really hard season of life right now. 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 »
Dear Jeanne – I am stuck in a terrible situation and need some advice. I quit my job to follow my husband to another country. I put my daughter in a public school as my husband wanted, but then I started homeschooling because of poor school quality. While I feel comfortable teaching my daughter, and she has made some progress, I have ill health, and my daughter is still behind in school due to a vision problem. We have financial problems, so I’m teaching to earn money, and my husband is not supportive of homeschooling. It’s all affecting my mental health . . . I feel so lost as of now. What started as a joyous process is turning out to be ugly and unhappy. Continue reading »
When it comes to education, one size does not fit all. One of the benefits of homeschooling is parents’ ability to shape education to fit each, not all. Kids come with a wide range of abilities—academically, developmentally, socially, temperamentally, artistically, physically, and emotionally. Expectations in schools are based on a “standard” student when there is no standard student. Kids mature at different rates, have unique interests, have their own home environments, and have their own genetic traits. Here’s how homeschooling can make the most of that. Continue reading »
Has your family recently made a decision to switch gears and begin homeschooling or use a new curriculum? Either way, embarking on a different educational path takes courage and faith, and it may take time to find your rhythm. Here are ten suggestions to ease the way. Continue reading »
Does the holiday season bring a sense of excitement? Or does it make your head spin with all the amazing possibilities for homeschooling piled on top of all the holiday festivities, food, and fun? The holidays can be a double-edge sword for homeschoolers. We have the freedom to schedule our days how we please or not please. We can sip hot cocoa and read, decorate the house, and take time for special family celebrations. Continue reading »
Just attending school doesn’t, by itself, help kids overcome abnormal anxiety because they are “sticking it out.” Just homeschooling doesn’t prevent, treat, or cure abnormal anxiety. These tips can help you move past just homeschooling to helping your anxious child cope with their anxiety. Ways to get help: Combine homeschooling with professional treatment for abnormal anxiety. Consider cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for your child, which helps many people manage abnormal anxiety. Seek a counselor or therapist who is knowledgeable and unbiased about homeschooling. Know that homeschooling brings with it the “Power of Now” – you can do what’s right for your child now, even if that means you prioritize mental health over academics. Continue reading »
My three kids are very different from me. They are their own people. They have a mix of me and their dad and HUGE dollops of their own uniqueness. However, what happens when one of your kiddos is basically the South to your North? The Oil to your Water? The Day to your Night? As the kids got older, I noticed that I was struggling a bit more with one of my children. They would basically do the exact opposite of whatever I had planned for the day. Or question everything. This was really hard for a rules-following, go-by-the-book, authority respecting, uber-feeler to understand. Continue reading »
The yellow legal pad had a line down the middle: the pros and cons of homeschooling were written on opposite sides of the blue-inked vertical line. Not content with that, I flipped to the next page and drew another line down the middle: pros of public school to the left and cons of school to the right. Continue reading »
What if you asked, “What does my child need right now?” and immediately began working on it, with little to no red tape? Welcome to Homeschooling’s Power of Now. Homeschooling allows the choice to prioritize what your child needs today, whether that’s refuge from bullies, time to make art, help for a learning difference, treatment for mental or physical illness, advanced learning opportunities, or more time to play outside. Continue reading »
Our reader Sue asked a question about homeschooling and social anxiety in response to our piece, “What About Socialization?” We thought it was such an important question, we decided to feature it as part of our Ask Jeanne column. Continue reading »
Sometimes things change, and your child will go from homeschooling to attending public school. What should you expect when you start the process? Here are a few first thoughts… Continue reading »