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Vanessa Wright

Vanessa is a homeschooling mama to three inquisitive, creative and often loud kids ages 13, 11, and 11. She is married to Jason and they live in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Vanessa is a self-professed eco-beauty junkie, avid reader, yogi-wannabe, tea drinker and chocolate snob. You can find her on Instagram at @Wrightathomeschool and on Facebook at Wright at Homeschool where she’s keeping the REAL in homeschool reality.

100+ Educational Gifts for Kids That Bring Fun to Learning

by Vanessa Wright

Gift-giving doesn’t have to be stressful! With our list of over 100 educational gift ideas for kids, you can cross off your gift list with educational gifts that are fun and promote learning and creativity. It might seem challenging to find fun and educational gifts that are not all technology-related. Now, I don’t have anything against technology, we use it every single day in our lives and homeschool. That said, I do try to find items and gifts that get them moving, creating or building and exploring. Continue reading »

When Homeschooling Gets Tough, the Tough Make Biscuits

by Vanessa Wright

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 »

5 Non-Homeschooling Books that Make Homeschool Life Easier

by Vanessa Wright

I previously wrote about my favorite homeschool-related books, which I encourage you to check out if you haven’t already. I gather so much goodness and inspiration from these titles and their authors. Homeschooling is a marathon, not a sprint, and reading encouraging words is something I rely on year after year. As an avid reader and book junkie, I’ve also curated a list of five non-homeschooling books that are making a difference in our current homeschooling journey and our day-to-day lives. Homeschooling is about more than teaching subjects and cultivating a love of learning in our kids. I’ve selected a book from each of the following areas: Parenting, Home Decorating, Health and Wellness, Cooking/Meal Planning, Self-help/Spiritual Guidance. Continue reading »

15 Educational Games for Homeschoolers

by Vanessa Wright

Games have been a staple in our home(school) ever since my oldest received Candy Land at age three. While our stash of games has changed over the years, our love of playing games continues to flourish. I’ve compiled a list of classic, educational, and online games/apps that we’re enjoying with a house full of teens and tweens.  Continue reading »

9 Hands-On Learning Ideas for Teens

by Vanessa Wright

One thing that has remained consistent into the teen years for my kids is their need for hands-on learning. We’ve just updated and tweaked what that looks like these days compared with when they were younger. With some creativity, planning, partnership, and imagination, hands-on learning can be explored in a variety of ways. I’ve got nine ways you can cultivate hands-on learning for your older homeschooled kids. Grab your pen and planner, and let’s chat! Continue reading »

My Favorite Homeschooling and Parenting Podcasts

by Vanessa Wright

Are you a podcast junkie like me? If you’re a busy homeschooling mom (and I know you are), podcasts are a perfect way to learn, laugh and, let’s be honest, block out the 237 questions about food choices and screen time. I’ve curated a list of my current favorite homeschooling and parenting podcasts. These are my go-to podcasts for encouragement, ideas, and connection. Grab your earbuds and let’s get listening! Continue reading »

5 Steps for Balancing Homeschooling, Working, and Taking Care of YOU!

by Vanessa Wright

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 »

The Magic, Mayhem, and Mostly Awesomeness of Middle School Homeschooling

by Vanessa Wright

When I decided to tackle a blog post about our 7th grade plans for my twins, I had to pause and catch my breath. How are they already in 7th grade? Why are they taller than me? Will they notice if we do Five In A Row again for old time’s sake? My oldest, a rising high schooler, made his way through middle school homeschool. Sometimes, his learning looked super structured, but often it looked more unschool-ish than I had anticipated. Here are my three key insights about homeschooling middle school . . . Continue reading »

Why My Homeschooling Kids Need Breaks from Each Other and How We Do It

by Vanessa Wright

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 »

Looking Back to Move Forward: A Homeschool Journey Reflection

by Vanessa Wright

The homeschooling bug bit me 10 years ago completely out of the blue. It was never our intention to homeschool our gaggle of kids. That said, I always wanted to be a mama and a teacher and a writer. So, here I am juggling all three roles and then some. It’s nothing like I imagined. Continue reading »

A Homeschool Summer Break that Brings Fun, Sun, and Rest for All!

by Vanessa Wright

How are you prepping for summer? Do you take a FULL STOP 3-month break with a “See you in September” attitude? Are you year-round homeschoolers? Do you fall somewhere in between? Do you have everything planned for summer and your next school year? Do you fly by the seat of your super cute swimsuit? Guess what?  It’s all great! No matter how you “do” summer in your home and homeschool—it’s just perfect. Popsicles, pool days, and playing—sign me up! Summer for our family is a bit different this year. My kids are older now and this means a few things… Continue reading »

How Embracing My Strengths Has Made for a Better Homeschool FLOW

by Vanessa Wright

Do you ever get hit in the face with your own weaknesses as a homeschool mom? Here’s my truth: I’m not a huge fan of holidays. If I’m being honest, I’m not great at creating mind-blowing celebrations, whether it be for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Pi Day or Halloween. So, when I woke up last Valentine’s Day morning, I thought: Uh-oh. It’s Valentine’s day. And I’ve got nothing. Continue reading »

Our Favorite Book Series for 8-12 Year Olds

by Vanessa Wright

When my husband and I had children, books and reading were naturally part of our day and our routines.  When we started homeschooling, I would snuggle up on the couch with the kids or I would sit at the kitchen table and read while they snacked or worked on projects. Some days were easier than others and some books were enjoyed more than others. I polled my kids and we came up with our top 10 favorite book series.  Continue reading »

Creating a Teen Book Club to Build Connections

by Vanessa Wright

My newly 13 year old son was insisting that he wanted different school projects that didn’t always include his younger siblings (11 year old twins). After discussing, we decided to start a teen book club that would appease my desire for him to branch out into other literary genres AND would give him a social opportunity with his friends. There would, of course, be lots of food too. Continue reading »

How We Keep a Spring in Our Springtime Homeschooling

by Vanessa Wright

Spring might be my favorite time to homeschool. It has quickly replaced the awesomeness of back-to-homeschool in late summer. It’s not necessarily because of the weather—spring just feels different. My kids are all working on different things at this point. It can be overwhelming because I feel like I’m not staying on top of everyone’s everything. In the end, that’s not my job. My role is to be an Educational Opportunity Provider. We can flow with the seasons and our energy levels. It’s spring and it’s a good time to both shake things up and create a flowing routine. Continue reading »

Why I Don’t Do Homeschool Planning in the Spring

by Vanessa Wright

When I first started homeschooling, I was ALL about the planning. I would research EVERYTHING to nth degree. I almost broke our printer one summer printing out everything I could find about Charlotte Mason and Ambleside Online. I was pumped. We were going all in on Charlotte Mason—100 percent, friends. It was May and I was feeling awesome about everything. Fall came around, and can you guess what happened? Continue reading »

My Top 5 Favorite Homeschooling Books

by Vanessa Wright

It took some time and some actual homeschooling my real children to get our grove and to experience a homeschooling life that was uniquely US. I needed to make our own way—mistakes and all—and not feel pigeon-holed into a certain method or philosophy. Fast forward a few years and I now have nearly a decade under my belt (well, under my yoga pants band—do people wear belts?) and I’ve curated a stack of homeschooling-ish books that I am always recommending and also going back to for encouragement, ideas and connection. These are my top five. Continue reading »

Can You Thrive And Not Just Survive February Homeschooling? Yes!

by Vanessa Wright

Dear February – Why do you sneak up on me and then drag out your days until eternity despite being the shortest month of the year? Why do you keep cramping my homeschooling style? Sorry, February, not this year. Nope. I’m taking February homeschooling by (snow?) storm and I’m going to encourage my friends to do the same. Can we be friends, February? Can we partner together to thrive and not just survive homeschooling in the longest shortest month of the year? Continue reading »

Do You Need Patience to Homeschool?

by Vanessa Wright

We’ve been homeschooling for awhile and we’re asked lots of questions, have endured so many opinions from people we don’t know (and some we do), and have received both resounding support and eye-rolls and sighs. The most common thing we hear is, “You must have so much patience to homeschool. You really need to have patience to homeschool.” Continue reading »

Yes, You Can Homeschool Without a Homeschool Room!

by Vanessa Wright

Do you ever scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and see perfectly perfect homeschool rooms? The huge farm tables, the meticulous supplies (color coordinated, of course), built in book shelves with alphabetized books, a delightful desk for planning and a lovely set of double doors to close off everything at the end of the day. Sigh. Perhaps you’re new to homeschooling or maybe you’ve been at this life for a few years. You see the images of lovely homeschool room ideas, and you feel frustrated because you don’t have a dedicated space just for homeschooling. You’re not alone! Continue reading »

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