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Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling When Everything Is Terrible

by Jeanne Faulconer
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Dear Jeanne – I am stuck in a terrible situation and need some advice. I quit my job to follow my husband to another country. I put my daughter in a public school as my husband wanted, but then I started homeschooling because of poor school quality. While I feel comfortable teaching my daughter, and she has made some progress, I have ill health, and my daughter is still behind in school due to a vision problem. We have financial problems, so I’m teaching to earn money, and my husband is not supportive of homeschooling. It’s all affecting my mental health . . . I feel so lost as of now. What started as a joyous process is turning out to be ugly and unhappy. Continue reading »

Our Favorite Book Series for 8-12 Year Olds

by Vanessa Wright
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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
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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 »

10 Ways to Mark the End of the Homeschool Year

by Living Education Contributor
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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 »

How We Keep a Spring in Our Springtime Homeschooling

by Vanessa Wright
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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
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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 »

Ask Jeanne: Do I Need Teacher Training to Homeschool?

by Jeanne Faulconer
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I am not a parent yet but intend on having children and homeschooling them in the future. I’ve done a lot of research but never really found an answer to my question. I know that in my state it is not necessary for the parent to have a teaching degree, but I’d like to know whether getting a teaching degree (there are some online as well) or even attending a few college courses surrounding how to teach children would benefit the parent homeschooling the children. I’m getting my pharmacy doctorate so a teaching degree would be extra time and money so I’d like your opinion on whether you think it would be worth it. Continue reading »

Benefit of Homeschooling: Embracing the Wide Range of Normal

by Jeanne Faulconer
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When it comes to education, one size does not fit all. One of the benefits of homeschooling is parents’ ability to shape education to fit each, not all. Kids come with a wide range of abilities—academically, developmentally, socially, temperamentally, artistically, physically, and emotionally. Expectations in schools are based on a “standard” student when there is no standard student. Kids mature at different rates, have unique interests, have their own home environments, and have their own genetic traits. Here’s how homeschooling can make the most of that. Continue reading »

My Top 5 Favorite Homeschooling Books

by Vanessa Wright
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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 »

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