A photo of Alicia Hutchinson

Alicia Hutchinson

Alicia Hutchinson is the homeschooling mom to four.  She and her children love reading and history and exploring outside. They are just settling into their new home in the Minneapolis area, where they just relocated from North Carolina.

You can read more about Alicia and their homeschooling adventures, current projects, and thoughts on motherhood at her blog living well + learning well.

We Don't Homeschool for Religious Reasons

We Don't Homeschool for Religious ReasonsHomeschooling has come a long way in the last fifteen years. It used to be that most homeschoolers were educating at home because of religious reasons and mostly kept their children hidden at home —afraid that too much exposure to the world around them would hurt them in some way.

These days, people are homeschooling for an array of reasons. Even some who are religious are choosing to homeschool for non-religious reasons.

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Don't Let Decision Fatigue Lead to Bad Curriculum Choices

succulent plants overlap in a random pattern

What’s for breakfast? What should I wear today? Where are my car keys? What should we do today? Do you want to sign up for Scout Mom? What are we getting the kids for Christmas?

Decision fatigue is a real thing. When you consider that we moms get the above questions 30 times per hour, there’s no debate that our brains are tapped out, and we cannot make another decision. As they say, "I can’t even."

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Why We Use a Secular Homeschool Curriculum

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?

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Four Assumptions Homeschool Moms Need to Ditch

a red school desk

Whether we used to be a teacher in the school system or we’re brand new to homeschooling or we’re just unsure of what we’re doing as homeschoolers, there are some big assumptions that homeschool moms need to let go of. I would venture to say that most of us grew up going to a brick and mortar school, sat at a desk with metal legs, went out for recess and drank warmish milk out of a cardboard carton.

We might have loved school. We might have hated it.

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Five Ways to Have a Successful Family Reading Time

a mom and daughter laugh at a book

5 Ways to Have Successful Family Reading Time Although having a family reading time is important to my family, I realize that with the numerous other obligations a homeschool mama has, reading aloud as a family might not seems doable.  Our family reading time is one of our favorite times of the day, but it didn’t always look like it does now.  Here are five easy tips to help you and your family have an awesome daily reading time together:

1. Be choosy about the time of day.

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5 Secrets of My Low-Stress Homeschool Planning

a pencil eraser stands against a red background

What planner are you using this year? Have you found a new math curriculum? What’s your schedule looking like for fall?

The buzz in the homeschool world is hyped around planning, planners, and all things organizing. I get it. We’re homeschool moms. We plan things. That’s what we love to do!

It gives us a sense of control in our often chaotic lives. Add it helps us to manage our days full of history lessons, co-op meetings, and dance lessons.

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My Slow Summer Planning

a mom does planning with pencil and sticky notes in hand

My Slow Summer PlanningHomeschool moms have sonar hearing for words like planner, list, and curriculum sales. We find joy in laying out the next school year to come, as we should! The anticipation of an upcoming school year is a great motivator, but sometimes we can let the planning get in the way of other things that are really important too—things like enjoying the summer months and the break you have from school. Or we let stress and worry seep in while we plan. Or, worse of all, we can overlook the ones who we’re actually doing this for—our kids!

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Five Things to Do This Summer to Get Ready for Next School Year

three red and orange popsicles sit on a blue and white distressed wood background

I am a true savorer of the seasons. I’m not one to rush through to the next thing, but instead, I like to embrace the season, let it sink in and enjoy it. Even so, there’s nothing wrong with following Helen Keller’s advice to “be thankful for what you have while working for what you want.”

So even though I can be thankful for slow lake days and Popsicles melting down to my kids’ elbows, I can also be thinking ahead to the approaching school year. Here’s five things I’m doing this summer to get ready for a great homeschool year to come.

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Evaluating Your Homeschool Year with a Positive Lens

a bright red saucer with a mug of coffee sits atop a spiral bound notebook

We’re getting close to the finish line! The air is starting to smell like summer, and the cluttered bookshelves are looking more neglected as we’re spending more time outdoors with our composition notebooks in the sunshine. Even if you homeschool year round, the spring gives an aura of finality to a school year. Outdoor activity speeds up while academics slow down. The excitement for summer mounts day by day!

Sometimes we homeschool mamas can get a little anxious at this time of year. We might be looking at our physical or mental lists with dismay at all the unchecked boxes.

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Tips for Wrangling Busy Kids at Read Aloud Time

a dad and two kids sit/stand on a couch, reading a book

Tips for Wrangling Busy Kids at Read Aloud Time

Each year my goal is to read more with my kids. If you are like me, you write an extensive book list, order or reserve the books, scope them out, and get excited.

Then I sit down to read, and my book-loving bubble bursts within minutes.

I hear my voice rising decibel by decibel, minute by minute, trying to be heard over the Hot Wheels cars zooming over my feet, the tickle-fest that just broke out, the phone ringing in the kitchen, and the whining because somebody didn’t want to read that particular book.  

Sound familiar?

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