A photo of Amy Dingmann

Amy Dingmann

Amy Dingmann lives in Minnesota with her husband where they have been homeschooling their two sons since 2007. Her hobbies include filling up her sons’ bottomless pits, drinking a lot of strong coffee, and smiling. Her least favorite subject is math. Her favorite subjects are everything else. She likes talking to other homeschooling parents and assuring them that even though they worry they’re totally screwing things up, they actually totally and completely rock.  Amy blogs at The Hmmmschooling Mom, and works as an author/speaker on homeschooling and parenting/family topics. 

Five Ways to Approach the Homeschool Socialization Question

two boys grasp hands

It’s one of the most common questions asked of people who plan to—or already do—homeschool their kids: What about socialization?

Next time you find yourself on the business end of the infamous socialization question, try countering with a question of your own—asked with kindness and grace, of course! Here are five ideas to get you started. To the person concerned about socialization, reply with one of these rejoinders.

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4 Ways a Homeschool Mom Can Suck the Fun from Her Kids' Interests

4 Ways a Homeschool Mom Can Suck the Fun from Her Kids' Interests

One of the many great benefits of homeschooling is that our kids have the time and space to dive deeply into their interests. Interest-led learning is an awesome way to approach homeschooling, right? Yes—if mom and dad tread carefully. Here are four surefire ways to kill your child’s love of learning by misusing their interests. (Don't do these, okay?)

Your child might be interested in dinosaurs or go-carts or astronomy or jazz musicians. While it’s good to celebrate and explore these topics, there also comes a point where you can go overboard.

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The Best Homeschooling Advice I’ve Ever Received

ice cream cones lay on a white wood table

A friend who is considering homeschooling recently asked me, “You’ve been homeschooling now for a decade. What’s the best advice you ever received in that whole time?” Thinking back on ten years of homeschooling advice covers a lot of things. There have been conversations about what homeschooling method is best, how to choose the right curriculum, and whether or not a homeschool co-op is necessary. There have been numerous suggestions on age appropriate screen time, fun ways to review what you’ve studied, and how to help your kids learn independence.

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Dealing with Winter Cabin Fever as a Homeschool Family

a child with a woolen hat looks almost cross-eyed at a snowflake that has landed on her nose

After the rush and chaos of the holiday season is over, how does a homeschooling family—with its members already having spent the rest of the year together—get through a seemingly endless winter?

When cabin fever sets in, conflict can arise because we’re all indoors together. Winter also makes things harder because the weather can affect our mood, causing us to be not only less motivated, but more irritable—and that goes for everyone in the house!

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3 Reasons Your Homeschool Is Absolutely Perfect

woman, prone on an orange cushion, holds a purple mug in her hand

It’s fun to see how other homeschoolers do things, right? Day-in-the-life blog posts can be useful when looking for ideas or because you have an interest in how others live life as homeschooling families. But sometimes seeing how other homeschoolers approach their day can make us second guess the awesomeness of our own set-up. Sometimes checking in on what another homeschooler is doing can make us feel as though our own homeschooling life isn’t quite up to par.

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Handling Questions about Homeschool at Holiday Family Events

a girl in a red santa hat holds a pencil

Handling Questions about Homeschool at Holiday Family Events

The holidays will soon be upon us, and that means family get togethers. Yay! Right? Or…maybe not.You may be less than excited to deal with questions from curious or critical family members: So what are you learning in homeschool?Have you joined a co-op yet? Tell me about your friends? What books are you reading? How far are you in math?

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Encouraging Involvement When Your Kid is Not a Joiner

a girl with one hand on a scooter looks at the viewer

Encouraging Involvement When Your Kid is Not a JoinerSome people believe that homeschooling creates unsocialized children who prefer to keep to themselves.

Wait. What?

Most—if not all—homeschooling parents wholeheartedly disagree with that belief. Spend a decent amount of time around a group of homeschooled children, and it’s clear there are just as many introverted homeschooled kids as there are homeschooled kids who can sell ice to an Eskimo.

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10 Small But Powerful Ways You Can Change Your Homeschool Today

two girls blow dandelion fluff

10 Small But Powerful Ways You Can Change Your Homeschool TodayThere comes a time in every homeschool journey when you need to change what you’re doing. Maybe you’re entering a new school year and want to do things differently than last year. Maybe you’re halfway through the school year and need a little variety so you don’t go stir-crazy! Maybe your children are maturing, and what worked before is no longer clicking. It's time for a switcheroo! 

Here are ten different areas where you can make modifications to your homeschool when you feel you need a little adjustment. Choose one or try them all!

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How We Both Do and Don't Homeschool Year-round

school supplies against a red background

Choosing to homeschool will change the way you think about a lot of things. The longer I homeschool, the more the lines between school and life blur, and that makes it hard for me to answer the question of whether or not we are year-round homeschoolers. Maybe you have this problem, too?

I don’t assign math in the summer months. June through August, I don’t ask my sons to save their work or projects in a three ring binder in our homeschool closet.

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The Joys (and Challenges) of Homeschooling Siblings Who are Close in Age

two brothers with arms around each others' shoulders

My two sons are close in age—12 months and 3 weeks apart, to be exact. While this closeness has benefited many aspects of our homeschooling journey, it’s also handed us a few challenges as well.

If your kids are close in age, it’s common to find they’re able to do their subjects together using the same curriculum or study.

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