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  • Mornings used to be a cause for dread, but I’ve learned the art of homeschool morning survival!  

    I’ve been a night owl for as long as I can remember, never liking a morning routine or having to get up early. But when I started homeschooling, everything changed over time. Now I can’t seem to manage if I stay up late at night and start my day mid-morning.

    Wake Up Before Your Children

    Yes, this sounds cliche, but in all honesty it works entirely too well for me. I find that on mornings when I wake up with the kids, I can barely stay afloat. I constantly ask myself, “Now, what was I supposed to be doing?” and I feel that my tasks are on top of me rather than me being on top of my plans.  

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  • As a homeschool mom, some days I feel like all I get done is playing teacher. Being a mom is part of my job, of course, but playing the dual role isn't always easy. At the end of the day I, probably like you, have regrets. Our children are with us everyday yet, how often do we connect or encourage? How often do we break that teacher role and just be mom? Our children see the best and worst in us; they get the brunt of our bad days and the joy of our good days. They spend more time with us than our friends, family, or spouse. Yet how often do we take the time to encourage them as children, as individuals, note just as our students? I want to encourage my kids; I want to be intimately involved in their lives and build positive memories. I am sure you do too! Here are some ways we can choose to encourage our children as mom and not merely as teacher!Read More

  • There’s no doubt that there are very defined preferences among homeschoolers about whether or not to use secular curriculum. I've heard these very pointed questions when it comes to evaluating curriculum:

    • Does that science book espouse creationism or evolution?
    • Does your history curriculum align with the Bible?
    • What is the worldview of that program?

    We have chosen to homeschool for non-religious reasons, so the debate of whether or not to use secular curriculum is not difficult for us.

    choose our curriculum carefully. All year, I pour over catalogs and curriculum sites. I read reviews and constantly keep in check what we are using and whether or not it’s the best for each particular child.

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  • Our mornings go a lot like this:

    • I wake up about the same time as the children. We have coffee and breakfast.
    • We do a few chores, and I do some work
    • Suddenly, it’s lunchtime.
    • After lunch, my youngest goes down for a nap, and we get down to the business of school.

    Although some families swear by starting your homeschool day early, morning school is impractical for our family. I'm here to tell you that homeschooling is okay at any time of day!

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  • I am not a morning person. It’s not that I am asleep in the mornings because I am not. I actually do not sleep well at all. I do however love the peace and quiet of my comfy warm bed in the morning. As soon as I break that plane and cross out into the hall, the noise and chaos begin.

    We have a rule in our house that children are not allowed to leave their room until eight o’clock, and they must have their rooms clean and beds made at this time. I started this rule because my son would be up at the break of dawn and would inevitably make a mess or find himself in some sort of trouble.

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  • Flying by the seat of your pants is one approach to homeschool scheduling. However, if you have created a homeschool schedule and it has become more stressful than sanity-saving, look at these five ways to fix an upside down homeschool schedule.

    1. Scale Back to a Four-Day Week Schedule

    If you are already struggling with getting school done for the week, does it make sense to cut back the number of days you’re homeschooling? Absolutely. By having a slower start to the week and not schooling on Monday or by taking off a day at the end of the week, you are conquering obstacles that aim to sabotage your homeschool day.

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  • We all can recall that feeling from our days in public school when the teacher distributed a test full of letters to be circled and blanks to be filled in. Our sharp pencils would start to tap on our desks as we tried to recall something —anything —about what we had crammed the night before, but it’s gone. We draw nothing but blanks.

    We carefully read and reread the questions, maybe ruling out a C here or a D there and making our best guess between A and B. When the test is mostly filled in, we hand it in, hope for a passing grade, and it’s on to the next chapter in the textbook to repeat the cycle again next week.

    These icky memories of tests are why I’ve never been a traditional test-giver as a homeschool mom.

    I know that my soon-to-be highschooler will need to have testing skills eventually, and we will work on that as it comes, but for younger kids, especially kids that stress out easily, paper tests can be the straw that breaks a love of learning for your child.

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  • One of the challenges of homeschooling is what to do with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers when older children are doing their school. If your children are anything like mine, your little ones love to be right in the middle of the action and have their own "school" to do.

    I believe that literature is fundamental to a good education and you can't start reading with your children too early. Even babies can benefit from exposure to a variety of books and literary styles.

    My children are the rough-and-tumble type, and typically find it difficult to sit still and read for long periods. With that in mind, choosing books that will keep a toddler entertained can be a challenge.

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  • With expenses rising, many homeschool moms long to find a way to make money from home instead of seeking work outside the home. You know the opportunities are out there but maybe aren’t sure what you could actually do from home and be paid for.

    What if I told you that finding a work-at-home job isn’t as hard as you may think. There are tons of options out there. Believe me when I say there is a work-at-home job for everybody! The key is discovering one that works for you and your family. Among the dozens of options, there are two choices that stand out because of their ease of job entry.

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  • Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a movement in the homeschooling community that has gained a lot of momentum — the school for free method of homeschooling. This approach to curriculum means families school their children at home as inexpensively or as close to free as they can. Now I’m not against free stuff. We can all use help stretching our hard earned dollars, especially homeschoolers who often rely on one income. In fact, since 2001, my family has relied solely on my husband’s income, and I understand the pinch that happens to a family's finances when mom stays home to take the role of teacher. I get it. I really do. Homeschooling can be expensive. We all have to make wise purchasing decisions, but that doesn’t equal trying to do it all for free, especially if you have older students.Read More

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