• Six kids sat down at the table, excited to follow along with the easy drawing lesson on YouTube. By the end, four were upset with themselves and two were in tears. Disappointment is normal, but we needed to have a discussion about negative self-talk. Nothing can derail a homeschool lesson faster than a child who's frustrated that he's not able to perform at the level he had hoped. This is especially true with skills like handwriting, playing music, and creative expression. Learning how to correct negative self-talk is a habit with life-long value. On a Scale of Perfect to Awful My eight-year-old was visiting with my parents. She asked if she could make an omelet for my mother. When she was ready to flip the omelet onto the plate, she didn't fold it exactly in half and the two edges didn't quite meet. She was very upset with herself.Read More

  • 3 Easy Ways to Bring Mindfulness to Your HomeschoolBecause we're always on the lookout for ways to increase focus, decrease stress, and encourage positive interactions in our home we encourage doing things with intention. Working daily on the habit of mindfulness supports this goal. As a homeschooling family, we're busy enough. No need to add to our already full plates. Together, we strive to incorporate mindfulness practices into the framework of things we are already doing. Accomplishing Mindfulness Each Day So how do we accomplish this daily? Well, the truth is we don't. At least not every day. We do trust that each time we can bring ourselves and the children to a more mindful state, we are developing brain connections. Perfection is unrealistic and striving for it will only serve to disappoint. Rather, we seek to be present and appreciate each success along the way. Our goal? Make a positive change in their emotional intelligence.Read More

  • As a child, I loved pretending to be a teacher. But despite my love of teaching, I never expressed a desire to pursue teaching as a profession. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Specifically, I stated that I never wanted to be a teacher—ever. I don’t really know why I was so opposed to teaching. It could have something to do with the fact that my parents were both teachers. I watched how hard they worked, how they never seemed to have time off. They carted home papers to grade, lesson plans to write, and stories of difficult students and a failing public education system. Sounded delightful. No thank you! Instead, I chose to earn a master’s degree in guidance counseling. I worked for a few years as an administrative coordinator in a private school. While I enjoyed my studies and my work, I floundered for awhile, unsure of my purpose and always searching for a job that suited me better.Read More

  • When my oldest child was about 5-years-old, we used to play a lot of Candy Land. Very often he would pick a purple card and move his piece to blue, or pick a yellow card and move to green. I was puzzled by it because he knew his colors. I figured he wasn’t paying attention or had lost interest in the game.

    One day he made a comment about his coat being grey—and it was dark green. In that moment, I realized he might be color blind.

    While color blindness is a relatively common thing, especially in boys (as many as 8%), it’s not something that most homeschool moms are thinking about. It can pose some challenges to your child, and once you identify it, there are ways you can help make their life easier.

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  • Most homeschooling families have the same basic checklist when trying to choose from the endless curriculums available. We are all looking for one that fits our kids’ learning styles and our budget. We also want one that won’t bore us to death but covers the subjects our state requires. Talk about stress, we have all been there.

    Unique Challenges of Military Families

    Military families are rare. Homeschooling military families are even more rare. We have our own unique set of struggles. Things like deployments, learning new homeschool laws with each move, and even homeschooling from a hotel room while between base assignments. Long periods of time away from a parent is the norm for the homeschooled child in a military family. Keeping track of your homeschooling materials during moves? It's a challenge!

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  • Do you have a homeschooling friend? Know this—homeschooling isn’t for wimps. There are days we homeschoolers wonder what on earth we were thinking when we signed up for this gig! But if I open up to you and share that things are tough, please don’t tell me the answer is to put my kids in public school.

    Everybody Has Hard Times

    It doesn’t matter what path you choose in life; there will be hard days. It doesn’t matter how you choose to educate your children; there will be things that go well and other things, well, not so much. Every parent goes through seasons where everything is overwhelming. This happens to public school parents. It happens to homeschool parents, too.

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  • When you become a homeschool mom, there are a lot of small and large expectations you find yourself reconciling or disregarding. Perhaps you expected to use your dining room for holidays, but the maps on the wall kill the ambiance.You thought that once the kids were in school you would have free time to hit the gym and grab a latte with friends, but now you wear yoga pants just for comfort.

    And who knew the anguish you would cause strangers by taking your children to the grocery store in the middle of a Tuesday? These are just a few of the countless ways we shift our priorities and expectations when we decide to homeschool our children. However, I have found there are deeper, more profound expectations I have discarded.

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  • Not all of us are morning people. In fact, my whole family knows that I’m not. We have a note on our fridge that says, “I love the smell of coffee in the morning—and the sound of no one talking to me while I drink it!” Two of my three children don’t seem to be bright-eyed in the morning, either. But starting off the morning with a crabby momma does not set a good tone for the rest of the day. It usually leads to bickering and squabbling between the rest of the family as well. So we’ve developed a habit of quiet morning routines to ease us all into the day. This way, our chipper morning folks enjoy the start of their day while the sandy-eyed half of the family get themselves together before they have to start interacting with the world.Read More

  • I started reading to my children even before they were born. Can you imagine? Picture me, reading to my growing belly. Almost every room of our house has books in baskets, stacked in corners, and layered on shelves. The public library is like our home away from home. The people who lug heavy bags of books up to the return window and take forever at checkout? We are those people. Both of my children love books. Yet, despite being read to almost every day of his life, my oldest hated to read. My son loved books. He just didn't want to read them to himself. He was the definition of a reluctant reader. When I started homeschooling my son in the middle of second grade, my hope was to rekindle his love of learning.Read More
  • Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind, where the time wasters seem to eat up your whole twenty-four hours? It’s easy for them to sneak into your life.Do you know how to spot them? 4 Ways You Do Waste Time In Your Homeschool Day 1. Not Planning Your Day Preparing for the day includes at least having an idea in mind of what needs to be accomplished, if not a full schedule. This also includes having needed items on hand. For us, that means having library books and games to go along with the interests of the children. I also keep a bullet journal so I can write down when extracurricular activities and appointments take place.After all, some days you’ve just gotta get that laundry done!Read More

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