When you think of the first day of school, what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you imagine crisp autumn air. Maybe you picture fun “first day” signs and shiny new backpacks. Likely, in your mind, the start of school syncs up with the end of summer. What if it didn’t though? What if your school year ran in line with the calendar year? Continue reading »
Are you embracing the flexibility of homeschooling to make things better? It sounds like a huge overhaul, almost as big as those first questions you had about curriculum and socialization. It's actually not. Simply adjusting these three things as needed can get you back on track and/or head off future problems. Continue reading »
Recently, I shared a day in the life of our homeschool with three teens. It was a particularly busy day, but a pretty typical one for our family. You see, even though we homeschool, we're rarely at home. Recently, life has changed due to statewide "stay home" orders. We are in our home. All the time. Our life is vastly different. This is a day in the life of our homeschool while we are homebound for comparison. Continue reading »
I admit I love to peek behind the curtain into other people's homeschools. I can't help it! It's not because I want to compare. It's because I love seeing how people tailor their routines, curricula, and lives to support their home education lifestyle. Continue reading »
Even if you are the kind of person who plans out the entire year, life still happens and vacation-mode-mama (or dad) brain can derail your best efforts. How do we set ourselves up for a smooth transition back into our homeschool rhythm and routine after a holiday or vacation break? Check out these 5 simple steps to get back into your homeschooling routine without losing your mind, losing your cool, or losing all your chocolate stash at once. Continue reading »
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 »
I remember our first day of homeschooling like it was yesterday. In the beginning, we followed the traditional public school schedule. This was new territory for me, and I felt safe wrapped in tradition. Later, I no longer needed the safety net of tradition. I had evolved. It felt freeing. After a bit of trial and error, we discovered year round homeschooling. I was in love. Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
For many of us homeschoolers, summer doesn't necessarily mean "no school". Homeschoolers have the flexibility to choose the level of education they wish to do during the summer months, as they do the rest of the year. And every homeschool family does it differently. Some families school straight through the summer, some take some breaks but continue to school some as well, and other families take the summer off completely. We do the combination approach. Continue reading »
Trying homeschooling over the summer? Learn how a “trial” of homeschooling this summer may or may not give you a real picture of how homeschooling will work longer-term in your family. You may think that if homeschooling doesn't seem to work, your children can enroll in school for the next school year, without any lost academic time. If homeschooling does seem to work, then you can commit to homeschooling fully and begin the next academic year with home education. Many veteran homeschoolers will tell you, though, that a summer trial of homeschooling may not be a great indicator of how homeschooling will work for your family. Continue reading »
The Homeschool Calendar: New homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers frequently wonder about whether the "homeschool year" follows or needs to follow the traditional calendar used by most public and private schools in the United States. Long-term homeschoolers frequently find their answer to that question changes as their children get older. Casual observers of homeschooling might think "of course" homeschooling has to follow a school calendar in order to be legitimate and sufficient.
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