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Jeanne Faulconer

A popular speaker at homeschooling conferences, business groups, and parents’ groups, Jeanne Potts Faulconer has homeschooled her three sons in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia. She is a former college faculty member, former editor and book reviewer for Home Education Magazine, a long-time editor for VaHomeschoolers Voice, and a recent news correspondent for WCVE, an NPR-member station. Jeanne teaches writing and literature for her youngest son’s homeschool co-op, and she is a student of how learning works – at home, in the music room, in small groups, in the college classroom, on the soccer field, and in the car to and from practice. Holding her Master of Arts degree in Communication, Jeanne conducts portfolio evaluations for Virginia homeschoolers for evidence of progress. To read more of Jeanne’s writing, inquire about a homeschool evaluation, or ask her to speak to your group, see her blog, Engaged Homeschooling.

Short-term Homeschooling

by Jeanne Faulconer

Some people know they will homeschool before their children are born. Some begin homeschooling after their children spend some time in school, but then they decide to homeschool “forever” — or at least, for years. Others decide to take it “a year at a time,” but the implication is that if it works out, homeschooling will be ongoing. And then there are short-term homeschoolers… Continue reading »

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Instead of Curriculum: Boomerang Audio Magazine

by Jeanne Faulconer

Those of us who have been homeschooling a while know that sometimes the best resources aren’t the newest or flashiest. That’s the case with Boomerang Audio Magazine for kids. A big benefit of these audio resources is that kids can be busy doing other things with their hands or bodies while listening. For some kids, this actually enhances learning, because they’re not focused on having to keep still, which can take a lot of energy. Continue reading »

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Homeschool Mom Survival Gear

by Jeanne Faulconer

How do we do it? Schlep our kids to activities, keep up with the errands, haul around all those overdue library books, and homeschool, without losing our minds? Continue reading »

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Homeschooling the U.S. Presidency

by Jeanne Faulconer

Are you homeschooling the presidency? No matter our political views, there are issues brought up by the 2016 U.S. election and current presidency that our children can learn from. As homeschoolers, we can help them learn about government through most of their homeschooling years, even without an official course. Continue reading »

Homeschooling the Presidency: Using Current Events as an Ongoing Unit Study />

Mid-Year Homeschooling: Connection, Not Curriculum

by Jeanne Faulconer

Did you or someone you know just start homeschooling “after the holidays” – right in the middle of the school year? “What curriculum should I use?” Even among experienced homeschoolers, January ruminations run toward assessing the curriculum and whether it is working. I know you don’t want to hear this – but your homeschool priority should be connection, not curriculum. Continue reading »

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Homeschool Reset with the “Let’s” Effect

by Jeanne Faulconer

One way to make homeschooling more effective is to get involved on the child’s level. You each carry a basket for treasures you’ll find on your walk together. You sit down and paint your not-very-good-painting while your child paints at the table with you. You take your child to the library and model looking up a book in the computer catalogue; then you and your child search among the Dewey Decimal numbers on the shelf to see who can spot the book first. Let’s explore the “Let’s” Effect. Continue reading »

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Ask Jeanne: Is My Wife Really Homeschooling?

by Jeanne Faulconer

Question: My wife has been homeschooling my 6 and 8 year old daughters for almost 2 years now. At first I was against it but after it caused friction in my home, I decided to support her. Lately, I have been in a dilemma. I’ve noticed that my wife hasn’t done any school work with my kids for months now (about 2 months to be exact). Anytime I mention if they she have done school with the kids, she gets highly upset… Continue reading »

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Benefits of Homeschooling: Efficiency

by Jeanne Faulconer

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 »

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Did School Happen Here Today?

by Jeanne Faulconer

An occasional complaint of the primary homeschooling parent (most often Mom) is that the other parent (most often Dad) does not appreciate any learning for which he doesn’t see first hand evidence.

If “learning” happens while Dad is away working, but he happens to come home to kids who are on the internet, watching television, or “just playing,” he may not believe any “school” took place in his absence.

This can certainly be a reasonable concern that a father has for wanting to make sure that the children he loves are being well educated. Continue reading »

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Home(schooling) for the Holidays

by Jeanne Faulconer

Thanksgiving is almost here in the U.S., which means homeschooling may take on a different look in the coming weeks.

When our family was young, normal homeschooling routines went out the window. We hung on through Halloween, but Thanksgiving was a clear line of demarcation: We’d squeeze in family holiday traditions, performances, programs, and service work — and a lot of our usual learning routines and classes were squeezed out or not even scheduled. Why should homeschoolers worry less about schoolwork during the holidays and embrace the season? Continue reading »

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Interested in Interest-led?

by Jeanne Faulconer

What is interest-led learning, and how can it fit into your homeschooling?

Interest-led learning is just what it sounds like — letting a child’s interests lead the learning process.

This means parents take note of what a child is curious about, enjoys doing, and is naturally drawn to. Then parents help a child learn about that interest. Since this may involve field trips, library books, research, projects, and more, there are many academic skills which are practiced, and a lot of content knowledge is learned — just by helping a child pursue specific interests.

What might this look like in a homeschool? Continue reading »

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The Truth about Attendance at Homeschool Activities for Teens

by Jeanne Faulconer

“We offer activities for teens, but they don’t come.”

If this sounds like your homeschool group, you are probably wondering why teens aren’t interested in attending your events. Many groups are sincere in wanting to offer activities for older homeschoolers, and want to figure out why it’s not working.

As someone who has created multiple homeschool groups and co-ops in the many communities where we have lived, I have a few ideas about some of the reasons that may contribute to low attendance by teens. Continue reading »

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Ask Jeanne: Age Restrictions in Homeschool Co-ops and Classes

by Jeanne Faulconer

I’m a new homeschool mom with an eight year old who is really advanced in his academic skills. My problem is that the people who run the classes and co-ops we’re interested in won’t let me sign him up above his age group. This includes our county recreation department, the local history museum, and activities sponsored by our local homeschool group. How can I get them to place him correctly so he won’t be bored?

This is one of the reasons we took him out of school. He started reading and writing at an early age, and he got in trouble in school because he already knew how to do everything they were working on in the classroom. I’m frustrated that people don’t seem to accept that he is gifted and should be in higher level classes. People talk about homeschoolers being able to work at a customized level, but then they apply restrictions that are similar or identical to school. What gives? ~ Frustrated Mom Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: The people who run the homeschool co-ops and classes we're interested in won't let me sign up my academically advanced child above his age group What gives? />

Ten Things Homeschoolers Don’t Have To Do

by Jeanne Faulconer

You’re excited about the new homeschool year, and you have a list of things to do to get ready. Do you have a list of things you don’t have to do? Homeschoolers don’t have to… Continue reading »

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Learning with the Olympics

by Jeanne Faulconer

I’m cautious about twisting every interesting thing into a “learning opportunity” that can turn off otherwise interested kids, but the Olympic Games are compelling, and your kids will probably want to know more.

Watching actual competitions on television or via internet is surely the hook. Competition is its own drama, and the personal stories of athletes who have trained for so many years are interesting.

But with the 2016 Olympics in Rio set for August 5 – 21, what are some good resources for additional learning? Continue reading »

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Arranging a Strong Week: Your Homeschool Schedule

by Jeanne Faulconer

As a homeschool evaluator in Virginia, I’ve worked with hundreds of kids in families who have used all kinds of weekly homeschool schedules. I’m also in my 19th year of homeschooling, and since we’ve moved around a lot, I’ve been in a ton of different homeschooling communities and groups with so many good homeschooling families. I’ve seen all kinds of weekly schedules work well for people, and creating a strong week of homeschooling can look different for each homeschooling family. Some families have weekly schedules that look like school schedules, but most homeschooling families use the flexibility of homeschooling to create a weekly schedule that is customized for them. Here are some of the homeschool schedules that I have seen work to create a strong homeschooling week. Continue reading »

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Grade Level: When It Matters in Homeschooling

by Jeanne Faulconer

In a previous post, I encouraged parents not to obsess over grade level to the detriment of their child’s actual engagement and learning. However — yes — I concede there are times you do have to think about grade level, and your child and your homeschooling efforts will benefit if you do. Continue reading »

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Office Schooling: One Way to Work and Homeschool

by Jeanne Faulconer

We hear a lot about the flexibility of homeschooling, but people usually mean that the curriculum or approach to homeschooling is flexible, or even that the daily, weekly, or yearly calendar is flexible. However, in addition to how homeschooling is done and when homeschooling is done, there is also flexibility in where homeschooling is done. One example I’m running into more frequently is something I’ve started calling office schooling — where parents bring their children to work and use their office as the children’s place of learning. In spring of 2015, I met Angie Cutler at the VaHomeschoolers Conference, and she told me she would be office schooling her daughter during the 2015-16 academic year. I caught up with her just before the 2016 spring VaHomeschoolers Conference, and I was able to interview her about how their first year of homeschooling at the office has gone. Continue reading »

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Resources for Homeschooling High School When Mom’s Not the Expert

by Jeanne Faulconer

When negative people who don’t know anything about homeschooling start talking about why it can’t work, one of their criticisms is that homeschooling parents can’t possibly know enough to homeschool the “hard” subjects of high school, which is why homeschooled kids won’t ever get into college. Of course, this would be a shock to all the homeschooled kids who’ve not only been accepted to college, but also already graduated. Continue reading »

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