Get access to our homeschool planner and more! Sign Up


TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Deschooling - More School Rules You Need to Break

Deschooling: More School Rules You Need to Break

Do you think of yourself as a rule breaker?

Well, if you’re starting to homeschool, I’ve got news for you…

You will be.

Home educators take pride in the fact that we violate some of the most sacred (often unwritten) rules of school – and we do it with gusto! Part 1 detailed the first 4 rules we like to eschew, in the efforts of giving our kids the most effective, individualized education possible. Although it can feel daunting to break out of the box when you embark on the homeschooling journey, it won’t take long before you begin to revel in the freedom of loosing the large-scale schooling chain of expectations and creating your own way — a path unique to your special student. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: Using a Homeschool Evaluator

Homeschool Evaluation Instead of Testing

Some states require end-of-year evidence of progress for homeschooled kids in order for them to homeschool in subsequent years. There isn’t actually any evidence that this improves homeschooling outcomes (and many homeschoolers believe it interferes with the educational process), but it is the law in some parts of the United States. Using an evaluator may be one of the options you can choose if you are in a state that requires evidence of progress. A homeschool evaluation can be a more holistic approach than standardized testing. An evaluator can use a “whole child” approach that takes into account accomplishments that do not show up through testing. Continue reading »

TheHomeSchoolMom: How our family defines successful homeschooling

Our Homeschool: The Standard for Success

Every once in a while in this homeschooling journey, by some miracle — you are able to see that you did something right.

That happened to me, recently, in an unexpected way.

It was testing time. Standardized testing time.

* Insert ominous theatrical music here.*

Yes, in years past, I have seen testing as the time that informs me of all the ways I am failing as a homeschool mom. Of course it’s not that, but that’s still how it felt. If my kids scored well, I scored well as a homeschool mom. If they didn’t, well… Continue reading »

Being Tested at Testing Time

Many a homeschooler feels “tested” by testing time. It often feels like standardized tests are a test of us. Of how we’re doing, of our efficacy as homeschoolers, of our success as educators and parents. And it is easy to transfer our own inadequacies and fear of failure to our children at test time. Sure, we want them to learn. Sure, we want them to do well on tests. Sure, it would be great to have high scores to show off to nay-saying friends and family members as “proof” that our little homeschooling experiment really is working. But in order to be responsible homeschool parents, we need to take a true look at how much our focus on standardized testing is about our children, and how much it’s about us. Continue reading »

What Standardized Test Scores Don't Tell Us

What Standardized Test Scores Don’t Tell Us

Springtime usually means “testing time” for homeschoolers. And if you’re at all like me, it is not your favorite time of the year. Although standardized testing is a state requirement for many homeschoolers, it can easily become the most dreaded part of homeschooling. Why? Because many of us feel like test scores are a definitive measure of… well, something. Something, uh, important. Good scores mean we’re doing a good job, and bad scores mean we’re not. Or good scores mean our kids are really smart and bad scores mean they’re not. Or good scores mean our children are learning what they need to know and bad scores mean they’re not. Good scores mean homeschooling is the right thing for our children, and bad scores mean we need to shift to some other educational option. Right? Continue reading »

Preparing for College

If you child will be going to college, there is a tremendous financial benefit for high SAT test scores.  Students with very high scores receive the most scholarship offers.  You can easily achieve this by using a high quality SAT workbook as an additional textbook in your homeschool.  Begin in eighth or ninth grade and your student will know the material very well by the end of twelfth.  She won’t be worried about taking the test because it will be so familiar.  And she will encounter exactly the same types of questions she studied for five years.  She will get a great verbal and math education too!  Below are brief descriptions of the SAT and other popular exams. Continue reading »

Testing Tips

About this time of year, those of us that are required by law to test our children are starting to re-focus our energies on “just the facts”. Not every state requires testing, but many of us test our students anyway to get a sense of satisfaction about what they have learned for this year. Sometimes we do it just to confirm what we already know (both positive and negative). Continue reading »