• Having a child who lives with anxiety can often be an overwhelming experience. It’s painful for us, as parents, to watch our children struggle with the weight of anxiety disorder. We work tirelessly to help them learn coping mechanisms, develop strategies for managing their anxiety, and help them live their best lives. What if there was one small thing—something many of us might already be doing—that could add another layer of support to their anxiety management? I am currently parenting and home educating a child who has generalized anxiety disorder. Because I also happen to be an adult who lives with anxiety disorder, I have a deeper understanding of what my child is experiencing. I’ve been there and can truly empathize with my child’s feelings.Read More

  • Have you heard the advice about getting up early and getting your most important tasks done before noon? It’s great advice until it’s taken too far. Since my family is composed of early risers who are up and moving before 7 a.m., I decided I could get homeschool and housework done in the morning. This arrangement would leave me and the children free in the afternoons for playing at the park and reading books together. So I sat down with a schedule and planned. My goal was to cook a hot breakfast every morning and have it on the table by 7 a.m. We would deep clean the house, complete all weekly chores, and finish the day’s homeschool lessons by noon. Our afternoons would be free.Read More

  • Many times in my homeschool journey, I have discovered that the simplest changes are often the most effective. This was the case with copywork, which wrangled together printing, spelling, and writing mechanics all into a single task. It was also the case with pulling up works of art for picture study on our tablets using Google image search, rather than lugging heavy books home from the library each week. But my favorite simple fix by far has been the use of audiobooks in our homeschool. It all started with Harry Potter. My daughters had seen the first movie, and they were hooked. I knew they would love the book too, and since we were doing a lot of driving at the time, I ordered it on AudibleRead More

  • Our house is full of books, and, of course, being a homeschool family has only added to our collection. I’ve always loved books, and I am a voracious reader. My husband is a book lover as well, so it was natural for our love of the written word to overflow to our children. Although our interest in books came easily, here are five ways that we fostered a family book culture. Replicate these in your home to create a haven for books and reading. Share Your Favorite Books with Your Children

    As a new homeschool mom, one of the first things I wanted to do was share favorite book characters from my own childhood with my young pupils. I grabbed my beloved copies of Ferdinand, Miss Nelson is Missing, and Winnie the Pooh to read to them.

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  • “Oh, I could never homeschool!” I hear that a lot, as most homeschool parents do. When given a few moments of thought, it’s usually the reaction of most people. They imagine the time they’d be giving up, maybe a job they’d have to leave. Insecurity strikes, and we suddenly feel like we don’t know enough to ever have graduated high school, let alone teach our children. Time and patience and finances—homeschooling can certainly require a lot of us as parents.

    Those requirements, though, can feel downright impossible as a parent with a chronic illness.

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis several years ago. It’s an autoimmune disorder that causes, among many other things, severe fatigue, brain fog, and physical pain. It’s a burden to bear, for sure, and it absolutely affects my life every day in one way or another.

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  • I have three kids, and two of them are kids after my own heart. There is nothing the three of us love more than cuddling up on the couch and reading a good book aloud together. For us, using BookShark is homeschool perfection — the perfect fit. My other child, however, is different. She wants to do things, not read about them. Although she will sit with us when we’re reading a book, it’s definitely not her favorite activity. Through the years, I’ve found ways to appeal to her kinesthetic learning style while still helping her reap the benefits of a book-based curriculum like BookShark. Do something during read aloud time. My child seems to listen better when she’s doing something. If I can find one, I’ll print off a coloring sheet based on the book that we’re reading and let her color while I read. If I can’t find that, I’ll let her cross stitch or sew while she’s listening.Read More

  • Homeschooling is an adventure. There are so many paths that it is difficult to choose which is right for your family. It’s different from sending your kids to school in many ways with the most obvious being that you make all the decisions, including your teaching methods.

    Maybe you are wondering if a literature-based curriculum can provide a excellent education? I’m here to tell you that it can and will. I should know! I’ve shifted from a literature-based (Charlotte Mason) approach to a classical one and finally back to literature-based with BookShark.

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  • Because of the flexibility, great books, and family memories, homeschooling can be one of the most enjoyable experiences you have as a parent! However, all that excitement can be overwhelming. Between teaching your curriculum, reading books for fun, taking your kids to co-op classes, managing a household, and possibly working a part-time job, how can you get it all done?

    Homeschool burnout is real, and one of the biggest reasons it happens is because we homeschool parents have too much on our plate. Besides simply saying no more often, what can we do to make life easier and avoid burn out?

    Establish Family Quiet Time

    My kids grew out of nap time many years ago, but that doesn’t mean I have to lose that hour (or two) of quiet! Everyone needs time to decompress during the day regardless of age.

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  • We’re in spring cleaning mode at my house, but the one area that is hardest to declutter is our homeschool. Being frugal means I am prone to keeping everything because you never know when you’ll need it. Being a homeschooler intensifies that tendency because I really do need random things at random times!

    However, when your homeschool threatens to take over your entire house, there are a few things we can do to simplify your homeschool and keep it organized. 

    Spring Clean Your Arts & Crafts Supplies

    For one month, pay attention to what supplies your kids are actually using. In our house, it is pencils, scissors, colored pencils, tape, and drawing paper. There’s no need to hold on to finger paint from three years ago if your kids never paint anymore. Toss it or donate it!

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  • It used to be that the first question I’d get after someone found out I homeschooled was, “What curriculum do you use?” It’s probably the only thing most people know to ask that doesn’t come across as judgmental. Heck, I asked it back before I signed my son out of public school for good. Over the last year, though, the questions have shifted. What used to be polite queries have turned into interested, informed, almost intense interrogations about how they could possibly homeschool, as well. Where once my acquaintances would smile and move on, now they pounce at having someone on the inside, someone who can give them the rundown, someone who can tell them not just what it’s really like, but how they can do it, too.Read More

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