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New to Homeschooling

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 »

12 Ways to Help Your Child Adapt to Learning at Home

by Living Education Contributor

Have you recently made the switch from schooling to homeschooling—or are seriously considering it? It can take some time for your child (and you!) to adjust to this new way of learning and being in the world. Some students adapt quickly, but others need a longer transition period. If your child is struggling or needs help navigating the transition, here are some suggestions that may help… Continue reading »

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 »

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 »

Finding Community as a Homeschooler

by Living Education Contributor

At first, particularly if you are new to homeschooling, it may seem like there are no homeschoolers around at all. But chances are very good that they are just hidden in plain sight! Families in many areas have established homeschool groups that meet for field trips, projects, playtime, and even parent-run classes. Finding them can be the hardest part. Some homeschool groups maintain a low profile to respect or protect the privacy of their member families. So it can be challenging to make that first connection. But homeschoolers, in general, are very resourceful and well-connected, and once you’ve found one local homeschooling family, you may soon hear about others. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling the Child Behind in School

by Jeanne Faulconer

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 »

Adjusting to Homeschooling Mid-Year

by Living Education Contributor

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 »

Is Homeschooling Right for You? What You Need to Know

by Amanda Beaty

Trying to determine the best path for educating your children can be confusing. Education is important, and we’re all trying to keep from messing up our kids any more than necessary. It’s not an irreversible decision (neither is any other education decision you make, such as putting them in a certain school or using a specific curriculum), but it will affect your whole family, so it’s worth putting some thought into. Continue reading »

You Decided to Start Homeschooling. Now What?

by Jeanne Faulconer

When you’ve suddenly taken your kids out of school to homeschool, there is a long list of things to do, and it all seems like it needs to be done quickly so your kids won’t be behind.

When you start homeschooling, one often overlooked aspect — especially if you hadn’t planned to homeschool — is the need for you and your child to come to terms with the school experience and the reasons you find yourself homeschooling.

To help you process the big change that comes with suddenly starting homeschooling, I recommend this… Continue reading »

Thinking Outside the Textbook

by Amanda Beaty

I’m a member of several homeschooling groups and email loops, and the most common questions are all related to, “It’s a battle to get my child to do her work. I thought homeschooling would be better for my child, but it’s all tears and yelling. For both of us. I may have to put her back in school.”

The specifics vary, but many parents new to homeschooling are trying to recreate a public school environment in their home and finding that it doesn’t work. It’s not their fault. Most of us went to public school; it’s what we know. We’re taught that this is the only way to get an education. That children won’t learn if we don’t tell them what to learn and force them do so. We shouldn’t be surprised when we find homeschooling not working under these circumstances. Continue reading »

Ask Jeanne: Work Full Time and Homeschool Five?

by Jeanne Faulconer

I work full time, and so does my husband. There is no way I could stay
home and be a full time mom. We have 4 high schoolers and the youngest
is in intermediate. The youngest we have the most trouble with, and I
am at wit’s end trying to get her at grade level of her peers without
medication. I have read about families who work full time and still
homeschool their children. If I could make this work in our lifestyle,
I would be interested in learning more about it. In addition, I
would like to start a “trial” period during the summer months. Are
their any resources available for summer curriculum and assistance
for full time working parents? ~ A Working Mom Continue reading »

Deschooling vs. Unschooling: What’s the Difference?

by Jeanne Faulconer

New homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers sometimes wonder about the word “deschooling” vs. “unschooling”. The prefixes “de” and “un” often mean such similar things. We “de-humidify” and we “un-tie” our shoes — both acts of reversing the meaning of the root word.

And in that sense, the words are related. Both deschooling and unschooling require thinking about the inverse of schooling.

But within the world of homeschooling, the two words deschooling and unschooling have meanings that are, most often, distinct from one another. Continue reading »

Goldilocks Effect: Learning When It’s “Just Right”

by Laura Grace Weldon

Young children seem to recognize that knowledge is an essential shared resource, like air or water. They demand a fair share. They actively espouse the right to gain skill and comprehension in a way that’s necessary for them at the time. Often children seem to reject what they aren’t ready to learn, only to return to the same skill or concept later with ease. This is not only an expression of autonomy, it’s a clear indicator that each child is equipped with an learning guidance system of his or her own. Continue reading »

New Homeschoolers, Beware

by Jeanne Faulconer

New homeschoolers are bombarded with information from which curriculum to use (see #11) to how to train their children (see #3). Homeschoolers are a wonderful group for crowd-sourcing information, but not all of the information available online or from other homeschoolers is helpful, useful, or productive. New homeschoolers are wise to beware the following… Continue reading »

What Curriculum Should I Use For My 4 Year Old?

by Mary Ann Kelley

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 »

Why Homeschooling Boys Works

by Mary Ann Kelley

Today a friend posted a video called “War on Boys” to Facebook and it showed up in my feed with lots of enthusiastic comments. As I watched the 5 minute video, all I could think was how obvious the video’s assertions are, and yet how far public schools are moving away from addressing the truths presented. Not just limited to boys (many girls share these traits with boys), the video shows how the policies being implemented in schools reward quiet intellectual pursuits in young children while simultaneously removing the opportunities for these kids to explore and learn through play. Continue reading »

Parental Deschooling: 5 Things To Do While Deschooling

by Jeanne Faulconer

Parental Deschooling Part 4 – I’ve explained why parents need to deschool as they begin homeschooling their children, and I’ve given you reading homework and asked you to network with other homeschoolers as part of the transition process.

Another aspect of deschooling involves things to do as you make the transition to homeschooling. Here is your “to do” list… Continue reading »

Yes, You Can Homeschool!

by Living Education Contributor

There are many reasons that lead families to consider homeschooling. Often it comes up when a child’s school is not a good match for their needs. Sometimes it’s driven by a parent’s desire to guide their child’s learning in the context of their own values. Sometimes children need a more flexible schedule in order to pursue athletic or artistic training, and sometimes parents simply can’t imagine missing out on the excitement of educational discovery.

How do you know for sure if homeschooling is the right fit for you and your child? Continue reading »

Parental Deschooling: Homeschool Networking

by Jeanne Faulconer

While you’re in a deschooling period with your kids, I hope you’re doing some of the reading I suggested in Part 2 of this parental deschooling series. Another thing you’ll find beneficial is to begin networking with other homeschooling families.

There are two basic versions of homeschool networking, online and IRL — in real life. Both are valuable in helping you with deschooling — the transition from school to homeschooling. Continue reading »

Parental Deschooling: Your Reading Homework

by Jeanne Faulconer

One of the most important things you can do is to read about homeschooling, education, and de-schooling. Read books, magazines, and online articles, blog posts, and websites.

Stretch yourself and read some things you don’t think apply to you, that are outside your comfort level. You don’t have to accept the premise of each homeschooling book or article you read, but even if you don’t agree or find certain ideas too radical, you’ll educate yourself about the many approaches to home education.
Continue reading »