Sign up to receive 10 free downloadable workbooks! Sign Up

Encouragement Archives

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: The Mother's Helper - Hero of Homeschooling

Hero of Homeschooling: The Mother’s Helper

Need a few quiet hours to work or write or think or walk or nap or do the dishes? Have you considered the potential miracle of a mother’s helper? That ten- or eleven-year-old homeschooled child from someone else’s family might be the key to helping your family blossom. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: 12 ways to stay connected to your child

12 Strategies for Nurturing a Strong Connection with Your Child

As we move through the years of parenting and homeschooling, maintaining our connection with our children is essential. Nurturing this connection is the most important thing we can do as parents. We sometimes hear parents lamenting that they feel they’ve lost the connection with their child and are not sure how to get it back. Continue reading »

Homeschooling: You're the Expert!

Homeschooling: You’re the Expert!

Have you ever wondered how homeschooling works for ordinary parents? It’s true: Most of us do not have advanced degrees in education or child development. Most of us are just ordinary people who went to school like every other kid we knew and never imagined we’d be homeschooling our own children someday. How can an ordinary parent possibly be qualified to be a home teacher? Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Banish Homeschool Burnout in One Week!

Banish Homeschool Burnout in One Week!

As a homeschooler, there comes a point, perhaps several points during your homeschool career, when everyone starts feeling burnt out. The kids are bored, you’re at your wit’s end and as much as you don’t want to admit it, the thought has crossed your mind to send them back to school and throw in the towel. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: How Much Is Enough?

Benefits of Homeschooling: Efficiency

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 »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Did School Happen Here Today?

Did School Happen Here Today?

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 »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Laying a New Homeschool Foundation

Laying a New Foundation

Love of learning. What does that phrase mean to you? When I began homeschooling, I figured my children would naturally love to learn. I would not need to teach them how to do this. Instead, my goal was to fill their minds with as much knowledge as I could possibly pour upon them. My experiences as a public school student and teacher taught me that children could easily make it from K-12 and beyond attaining titles such as “top of their class” without truly learning anything more than how to study, memorize, and regurgitate facts. I was one of those types of kids and I definitely wanted my children to get more than this from their education. Continue reading »

10 Ways to Create & Maintain Balance as a Homeschooling Parent

10 Ways to Create and Maintain Balance as a Homeschooling Parent

1. Know your priorities. Be clear with yourself about what is most important. Make sure everyone in the family knows what those things are. Talk regularly about the reasons why your family does things the way you do. Be open with each other when it feels like it’s time to revisit or reaffirm your family’s priorities.
2. Always start with a plan, and be flexible enough to… Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Ten Things Homeschoolers Don't Have To Do

Ten Things Homeschoolers Don’t Have To Do

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 »

End of Year Homeschool Activities

10 Ideas for Making the End of the Year Special

Is yours one of the many families whose “school year” has a beginning, an end, and then a break before the next year begins? Schooling at home is something to celebrate, and when the end of the year arrives, it presents an opportunity for joyful recognition and reflection. Here are some ideas for ways to make it memorable and special for your family.Is yours one of the many families whose “school year” has a beginning, an end, and then a break before the next year begins? Schooling at home is something to celebrate, and when the end of the year arrives, it presents an opportunity for joyful recognition and reflection. Here are some ideas for ways to make it memorable and special for your family. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: My son is 12 and in 6th grade but is reading at a 1.5 grade level. How do I go back and teach him the basics of reading and math?

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling the Child Behind in School

My son is 12 and in 6th grade. He is failing this year. Truthfully, I don’t know how he has passed in past years, and this year he seems to be regressing. He is currently reading at a 1.5 grade level. It is making it impossible for him to learn anything in school when he can’t read. He is in special ed, but they can not work with him one-on-one – not enough resources. We have spoken with the special ed dept and the staff and they agree that pulling him out of school and working with him at home would be best for him. I want to go back and teach him the basics of reading and math. My question is how do I legally do this? I mean I want to start over with him at 1st grade, so how do I do that and still have him enrolled in some homeschool program? He doesn’t have the ability to go to school and then me teach him the basics at home. It’s just too much for him. So how do I start over with him? Please help. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Homeschooling, grade levels, and potential based learning

Homeschooling and Grade Levels (Or… Relax)

Grade level, schmade level. Homeschoolers — relax.

If your children are below grade level in some way, they still first have to take the next step.

And if your children are above grade level, there are still more steps they can take.

That’s because homeschooling can be potential based, and homeschooled kids can follow their own arc of development as they reach toward their potential. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Adjusting to Homeschooling Mid-Year

Adjusting to Homeschooling Mid-Year

Making the decision to switch gears and begin homeschooling partway through the school year takes courage and faith. Whatever you were doing before wasn’t working, and whatever you are beginning hasn’t had time to feel routine yet. Here are ten suggestions to ease the way. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: I am Homeschool Mom. Watch ME Change.

I am Homeschool Mom. Watch ME Change

You might have seen that the publisher here at TheHomeSchoolMom memed a couple of my sentences: I am Homeschool Mom. Watch Me Change Stuff. She did that when I designated October 1 as Curriculum’s Not Working Day, a holiday honoring new homeschooling parents who are struggling with getting their kids “through” their new curriculum at this time of year. The piece was about homeschoolers’ freedom to make changes and do what works, rather than sticking with an arbitrary curriculum. I encouraged parents to think more about how their children learn and to think more about the differences between school and homeschooling. I got a comment on Facebook that stopped me in my tracks. A friend of mine, Heather Jeffrey, a long-term homeschooler, made a quick comment by just rewriting the meme, striking out the last word… Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: October 1 - Official Homeschool Curriculum's Note Working Day

October 1: Curriculum’s Not Working Day

October 1. We shall declare it an annual homeschool holiday. We’ll call it Curriculum’s Not Working Day — — because now we have reached the time of year when so many of the new homeschooling parents who bought curriculum when we said, “Don’t buy curriculum yet,” are concerned about not being able to get through Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: I'm not homeschooling AT you; I'm just homeschooling.

I’m Not Homeschooling At You

It’s not a good practice, but I admit it.

Sometimes I read the comments.

The ones that follow online articles about homeschooling.

Some of the comments are by people knowledgeable about homeschooling.

Some of them are by people who are interested in education and willing to learn about homeschooling.

Some of them are by people who are doubtful about homeschooling.

Some of the comments I enjoy most are by parents who don’t homeschool but who are supportive of all kids, regardless of the approach to education.

And some of them are by parents who send their kids to school — and who are really, really upset with me for homeschooling. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Transitioning from School to Homeschool

Transitioning From School To Homeschool

Sending your child off to school is a big transition. Making the shift to homeschooling when your child has been in school is another big transition. It may take some time to feel settled on the homeschooling path. Here are some things to anticipate as you make your way. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Homeschooler, Magician, Dad

Homeschooler, Magician, Dad

As a homeschool father, I was mostly in charge of going to work to pay the bills while my co-parent was largely responsible for the homeschooling, making food, organizing everybody, keeping us all alive–a ceaseless and thankless profession by most counts. Still, I have to admit, I was often jealous. I would go to the school where I was teaching, pouring my creativity and experience into creating lessons for other people’s children, most of whom didn’t want to be there. Then at night, I would collaborate with Kathy on our home curriculum–finding cool ways to explore the roots of Western Civilization or how to present division using chocolate chips–the creative engagement that attracted me to the teaching profession. Needless to say, I often felt torn between the need to make a living and the wish to participate in my children’s education. Looking back now, I can see that those days when I did play hooky from my job in order to participate in my children’s education are some of the most powerful and meaningful memories I have of my children. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Rhythms, Routines, Rituals In the Homeschool

Rhythms, Routines, Rituals in the Homeschool

Rhythms, routines, and rituals help us stay centered and on track as homeschooling parents, and they enable our children to relax and feel secure because they know what to expect each day. A thoughtful routine allows us to focus our energy in one area at a time, knowing that other essential areas will not be neglected. Well-established rhythms help us manage the ebb and flow of homeschooling and free our remaining energy to deal with the unexpected. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: What Curriculum Should I Use For My 4 Year Old?

What Curriculum Should I Use For My 4 Year Old?

Recently on TheHomeSchoolMom’s Facebook page someone asked for recommendations for her soon to be 4 year old. It took me back to when I had a 4 year old and a 1 year old and had recently decided to homeschool.

I. Was. So. Excited. What curriculum should I use? Continue reading »