• Once you make the plunge to homeschooling, you may start to question everything that you assumed to be true about education. You break more and more of the molds from traditional schooling and blaze your own unique path. You wonder... Is it possible to homeschool in fewer hours than the traditional school day? Can I meet my children’s academic needs in less than five days a week? Can a shorter week and shorter school day provide enough academics?

    These are questions every homeschooler weighs. The resounding answer is yes! You can give your kids all they need academically with a highly efficient model at home, using a 4-day school week, often with as little as a 4-hour day!

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  • I’m about to come clean. Deep breaths. I don’t homeschool all of my children. In fact, I don’t homeschool most of my children. Pause for pearl-clutching.

    Of my three kids, one is homeschooled and two attend public schools. My husband and I do what works best for each child, and right now this is what works. This arrangement is likely to change in the future as each kid's needs change. But for right now, this is the set-up that allows each child to thrive.

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  • “What grade are you in?”

    I cannot tell you how many times my daughter has been asked this question in the last couple of years.

    I think what I love most though is her response, “I don’t do school.” She says it with an ease I admire. After the confused or alarmed looks, I explain that we homeschool.

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  • If you’ve ever doubted yourself as a homeschooler, you’re not alone. No matter how many years we homeschool, doubt can get loud. Seeds of doubt plant germinate and sprout when our kids struggle, when we’re tired, when our kids say they are bored, or when learning stagnates. When worry rears its head, our inclination might be to turn to a quick fix or busy work to quiet our fears.

    What is busy work? Busy work is anything we tell ourselves is good for our child knowing full well deep inside it’s a way to keep kids occupied or put a bandaid on whatever is going on.

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  • Once upon a time, you sat slumped in history class as the film strip droned on. You were implored to memorize the dates and events of World War II. You took notes, strained over their details, crammed for the test and then, if you’re anything like me, forgot almost all of it. Now, picture this. Your kids sprawl across the carpet and sofa as you begin reading Snow Treasure, "'Beat you to the turn!' Peter Lundstrom shot his sled down the long steep slope." Immediately, you are all transported to Norway in 1940. As you near the end of chapter one, your children beg you to continue reading. You are happy to indulge.Read More

  • Early in our homeschooling days, we lived in a tiny apartment over a parking lot with almost no natural light and no room to spare. I distinctly recall our first season in that apartment, hugging up to the one decent window and longing for all of the homeschool spaces I’d been saving for months on Pinterest. We made do for awhile, conducting the majority of our homeschooling time on the living room floor. But when the first spring rolled around, we needed a change of scenery. One particularly beautiful morning, I packed all of our books, notebooks, and crayons into a hiking backpack, along with a picnic lunch and a blanket. We headed out to a quiet pond nearby and set up our classroom for the day on a lush, flower-dotted hillside in the shade of a cottonwood tree.Read More

  • While interacting in the gifted homeschooling community, I see one major concern come up pretty frequently. Daily, even. No, it’s not wondering about socialization, or even how a homeschooled child will ever learn how to stand in line (insert sarcasm font).

    It’s wondering how to adapt a curriculum for a child who devours knowledge, programs, and books at lightning speed. Parents find products and programs that they really like, full of information and easy to use, but their kids just want more.

    And more.

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  • Are you ever curious about other BookShark families? We can assure you that, after interacting with so many customers at conventions and online, every family is unique! While there is another family like yours in some ways, there is no other family exactly like yours! BookShark families span the gamut of family size, makeup, and approach to homeschooling. Of course, the one thing they all have in common is a passion for their kids. They invest deeply in and advocate fiercely for the academic and emotional well-being of their children. One example is Kelsey, mom to Emmett, living in North Carolina. You may know Kelsey from Instagram where she posts under the handle @_little_mama_purple. We recently interviewed Kelsey to learn more about her homeschool experience. She will inspire you to overcome your own challenges and grasp all the benefits homeschooling offers!Read More

  • When people ask me about priorities or goals in my homeschool, I forego the usual “love of learning, top academic school acceptance, being a rocket scientist” answers for something a little more simple. One of my top priorities as a homeschool parent, is to prepare my children to survive out there in the big wide world. We teach math, foreign languages, art, and history, but how many of us really take the time to teach our children one of the most important skills they’ll need as adults? I’m talking about time management. When I was growing up, we were never explicitly taught how to manage our time as students. We were told what to do, when to do it, and if we were late, we were docked marks or failed the assignments. In between the giving of an assignment and the successful handing in of said assignment, there was a lot of work to be done, but no one taught us how to manage that work.Read More

  • You Are Not Ruining Your Child: The Sneaky Temptation to Catastrophize in Your HomeschoolA friend recently sent me an article on faulty thinking that she thought I would find interesting. I hold a counseling degree and remain fascinated by human behavior and emotions, so this was right up my alley. In it, many common cognitive distortions were discussed—literally flawed patterns of thinking that cause damage to oneself. The simplicity of the harmful thoughts stuck with me. A few days later, while scrolling through one of my favorite Facebook groups for homeschooling moms, I was startled to see them, in black and white, fueled by emotion and dripping with desperation—those very same cognitive distortions. Only here they weren’t hypotheticals or obscure examples. They were very real women who were tormented by the very real thoughts they were having.Read More

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