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  • Our homes are full of distractions, and before we know it, if we’re not intentional with our time, the hours tick away and our homeschool lessons remain undone. Every time we find ourselves in this situation, short of an emergency happening, it is because we have said yes to multitasking, yes to being interrupted, yes to being distracted.

    How do homeschoolers minimize interruptions? Instead of saying yes, we say no, nope, no way! Easier said than done, right? Here are a few ways I’ve found to keep my homeschool hours on track.

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  • Are you in a season of on-the-go-schooling? Are you out exploring the world more than you’re at home? I know I am! Museum visits, sports practices, dentist appointments, weekend trips, co-op classes, piano lessons and countless hours in the car blanket our week.

    This constant motion means that our homeschooling has to be flexible. Sometimes reading assignments are tucked into the twenty-minutes hanging out in the waiting room or the forty-five minutes at the library between activities.

    At first, I didn’t think we could fit anything meaningful into these short shifts of learning, but I knew I had to find a way!

    My solution? Tote bag homeschooling!

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  • I admit it. I was disappointed. Read-aloud time didn’t look like I expected it to.

    My vision: Quiet children, hanging on my every word while sipping hot cups of cocoa and wholly engaged in the story.

    Instead, our read-aloud time was filled with interruptions and fights over who was sitting where and whose blankets were touching. Children poked siblings, hung upside down on furniture, or climbed shelves for no good reason. Finally, I’d end the chapter in a huff, and we’d all go our separate ways.

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  • Although some homeschoolers do recreate public school at home, most embrace the freedoms that come with educating our own kids. One of those freedoms is being able to customize our children’s education in a way encourages self-directed, independent learning.

    We want our kids to be able and willing to continue their learning experiences far beyond high school. In fact, our goal is to raise life-long learners. Allowing them to pursue topics of interest during their homeschool days puts them on this path to an ongoing culture of learning through adulthood. Here's how to nurture independent, self-directed learning in your homeschool.

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  • Let me get this out of the way first: I do not hate teachers. I do not think that one bad apple ruins the whole teacher’s lounge. I have teachers in my family, teachers on my friends list, and teachers in my past who have made a tremendous impact on me. I love many, many teachers. But I’ve also found it difficult to publicly discuss problems with teachers without every teacher I know becoming offended. That knee-jerk reaction makes it hard to get to the meat of the problems. Let’s agree right here that not all teachers are the same. Whatever motivation and dedication everyone may enter the profession with, not all remain so dutiful after many hard years of serving in the school system. In fact, some teachers are downright bullies.Read More

  • Homeschooling is a Socialization Benefit Not a Drawback“I sure hope my friend is here,” mydaughter said from the backseat of the car, as we pulled up to one of our favorite breakfast places. One might assume she hoped to see another little girl, but the person she eagerly awaited talking to was not a child, but our favorite waitress, Tanya.

    Tanya is in her late thirties and has a son who is twelve. She works most days at the family restaurant and we always look forward to her bright smile and her energetic nature. She and Tanya talk as we order our meal, as we eat, and then, just before we leave, Tanya hands over a handful of lollipops to my smiling daughter.

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  • Multitasking or Mindful Single-tasking? How often do you find yourself wishing that you had more hours in the day? Hoping you can squeeze in a few more pages of your Read-Aloud while dinner simmers on the stove? Do you find yourself fluttering from the sink full of dishes to the math lesson at the kitchen table?

    As homeschool parents, we often consider ourselves brilliant multitaskers. Out of necessity, we juggle diaper changes and laundry piles, snack prep and science experiments. But have you ever stopped to question whether or not all the multitasking really serves your homeschool?

    Consider this, Multitasking may actually prevent us from accomplishing our homeschool goals. Before we dive into the benefits of single-tasking, let’s take a peek at the layers of multitasking.

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  • Homeschool Science for Multiple Children: How I Failed But Finally WonWith seven years of homeschooling I’ve racked up more than a few successes and failures, but nothing has been so black and white as our science journey. I’m sorry we wasted so much time but grateful we’ve finally found our perfect science fit. Here are six tips that would have gotten us learning and loving science much sooner.

    #1 FAIL: Keep Using Science Curriculum No One Likes

    We started out doing science with a grade-specific textbook for our oldest daughter. As time marched on and we added another student, we discovered that juggling two science programs was possible. I would sit down with each girl separately to read the assigned pages and ask the coordinating comprehension questions. But there wasn’t ever any additional discussion. They didn’t talk to each other about what they were learning, and they weren’t ever waiting at the door when their dad got home, bubbling with excitement over the new information they had learned.

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  • Skip School or Push Through? How to Know When to Play Homeschool Hooky Some of my favorite childhood memories involve my mom and me playing hooky from school. Once or twice a year, she’d call me in sick, and instead of heading to the doctor or back to bed, my mom and I would head to Bob’s Big Boy for breakfast. We’d go shopping, or I’d run errands with her. Then back at home we watched her soap operas.

    Nothing huge ever happened on those days, but they were the best. They were out of the norm and 100% about connection. They gave me time with my mom; I didn’t have to share her with my sister. As I got older, those days off of school also helped me recharge.

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  • When I first started explored the possibility of homeschooling, I resisted.

    Hard.

    I thought of dozens of reasons why I couldn’t, why I shouldn’t. I insisted. I protested.

    And, as you can probably guess, I eventually accepted that homeschooling was the best option for my son.

    One of my chief concerns was that I valued my relationship with my son too much to homeschool him. I was convinced that spending so very much time with him would result in us growing tired of one another.

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