Steve Demme has believed in homeschooling since before he had kids of his own. This former math teacher and pastor joined the fight of the homeschooling movement early, helping to lobby and shape legislation that gives us the homeschool freedoms we have today. Along the way, he and his wife homeschooled their own kids, he write a math curriculum, and became the funny, favorite math teacher of a generation of homeschool kids. He is on the podcast today to tell the story of the early days of the homeschooling movement, the fight to become legal, and the journey so far.
Deciding to homeschool was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make as a parent. I remember being so torn with emotions, worrying we were doing the right thing. I know now it was the best choice for my son. It's what worked for our family then and we just kept going. It's hard to believe, but we just graduated our oldest and he's off to college! My youngest is heading into 7th grade this year, and we're busy putting off the start of school as long as we can. All summer I've been cleaning out old notebooks, curriculum, and all sorts of homeschool clutter that reminds me of our first years on this journey. Listen or read more at https://www.adriennebolton.com/blog/2017/08/survive-first-year-homeschooling.html
The second interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods is with a super-special friend of mine, Brandy Vencel. I am not (currently) a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, but sitting at the feet of Brandy keeps inching me more and more in that direction I think. I just love chatting with her about Charlotte Mason. Brandy, who has used Ambleside Online since her oldest was in first grade, is on the Ambleside Online Auxiliary Board. She also provides excellent Charlotte Mason support on her blog Afterthoughts. I hope you enjoy meeting Brandy.
The fourth interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods I got to chat with one of my very favorite people, Jennifer Dow from Expanding Wisdom. Jennifer is a joy, because she makes me think about life, education, and being a more virtuous person every single time we talk. In this episode we talk about the day-in-the-life of a classical homeschool and about a version of classical homeschooling that is outside the norm of what most people assume about classical homeschooling. Different than neo-classicism and tons of memory work, the classical homeschool Jennifer describes focuses on virture. The shownotes for this episode can be found here: https://pambarnhill.com/are-you-a-classical-homeschooler-the-ultimate-guide-to-homeschooling-methods
The third interview in the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods was a delight to record. I loved chatting with a new friend, Margaret in Minnesota. blogs about her beautiful life with seven kids at her blog -- Minnesota Mom where she focuses on family, faith, and lots of love. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/school-at-home/
As part of our interview series on the Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods, I recently had the opportunity to speak to Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote. Heather homeschooled her children using the unit study method for ten years. Sometimes she usel purchased unit studies, while at other times she (or her children!) wrote their own studies. She mentors other homeschool moms with her participation in the Five in a Row forums and through her blog, where she is a helpful voice with resources and techniques for homeschooling high school. I think you are going to enjoy Heather’s interview, so relax and have a listen. For the show notes visit https://pambarnhill.com/hs172
This episode from the archives is from our Ultimate Guide to Homeschool Methods and it was a delight to record three years ago. I loved chatting with my old friend, Sue Elvis who blogs at https://www.storiesofanunschoolingfamily.com/ and has a new book out called Curious Unschoolers. Sue unschools her large family where they focus on doing their own projects, relationships, and trusting the child. For more information and the show notes visit https://pambarnhill.com/unschooling.
There is nothing more fun than a road trip full of adventure and learning. And no group knows how to make the most of a learning adventure better than homeschoolers. Today I am joined by Trish Corlew of Homeschool Road Trips and Hip Homeschool Moms to chat about Trish's best tips for learning on the go as well as more information about the Homeschool Road Trips opportunities. We chat about how travel can be an important part of your curriculum, the biggest benefits of traveling with family, and some of Trish's favorite tales from the trips her family has taken. Enjoy!
Homeschooling through high school can feel intimidating. I am a teacher by trade, and I am constantly second guessing myself and checking to be sure that I have not left my children with a gaping hole in their education. We tell our kids that they can do anything they want, but am I stealing part of that future from them if I don’t aptly prepare them to meet it? Listen or read more at https://thesparrowshome.com/homeschooling-high-school-2-things-you-might-be-missing/
What happens to your morning time as your kids get older? Does it change or do we stop requiring them to attend? Can your teen outgrow Morning Time? These are the questions that Cindy West from Our Journey Westward joins me to answer today. In this episode of the podcast we talk about how the tone of Morning Time changes as your kids get older, how to get their buy in with what you are doing, and what a Morning Time with older kids can look like. Enjoy! Find out more at pambarnhill.com/hs168
The giddiness of families making educational choices for next year has begun! It is exciting to head to the NC Thrive! Conference and see all the bright shiny new choices. It’s like Christmas to flip through a catalog or browse an online market full of books and perfect curriculum choices. But with so many good options out there, how do we know what is best for our family? Do you ever get stymied by indecision? Do you come in like Franck in Father of the Bride and say, “Let’s change everything”? Do you blow your budget buying all the things that only sit collecting dust on your shelf the following year? Here are four questions I suggest you ask yourself before you begin buying all the books at the conference center! Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.com/2018/03/08/4-questions-before-planning-shopping-for-curriculum/
There is nothing that can more joyfully throw a homeschool year off balance than pregnancy and a new baby. Moms have so much to do already and now throw morning sickness, extreme fatigue, and a new born into the mix and homeschooling gets even harder. Joining me today is mom of many Amy Roberts who knows a thing or two about homeschooling while pregnant and with a newborn. Amy gives us her best tips for planning a year that you know will be challenged by all these big changes. She is pulling out her best big family tips. Enjoy!
Let’s start with a misconception about year-round homeschooling. It is typically NOT homeschooling all the time. Just because we are year-round homeschoolers that doesn’t mean we are doing more school than your average students. Traditional American school schedules begin in late August, take a couple of weeks off in December, and continue through the end of May with about twelve weeks off in the summer. Homeschoolers who school year round simply shorten that summer break; often cutting it in half or making it shorter so we can take more frequent breaks during the school year. This is all about flexibility y’all. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/year-round-homeschooling/
Planning for one or two homeschool kids is challenging enough, but planning for school with six or more? Now that is a Herculean feat. But never fear, we have some mamas on the show today who have been doing that for a number of years. Lynna Sutherland (mom of 8) and Heather Tully (mom of 10) join me today to discuss the ins and outs of big family homeschool planning -- what's different than regular planning, where to combine, and how to meet the needs of all.the.kids. Enjoy!
It's happened so many times you can replay the scenario in your head. One of your children runs in from another room screaming. He's got a complaint against a sibling and he wants justice. How do you respond? What do you say when faced with the accusations of one sibling against another? Eventually, you'll need to get them both involved in the conversation, but here are three things you can do before you add another person to the conversation. Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/face-sibling-complaints/
Have you ever wondered how your personality type might impact your approach to homeschool planning? On today's episode of the podcast we have a fascinating glimpse at how your Meyers-Briggs functions can have an affect on how you plan, what you plan, and how you work a plan. Homeschool personality guru, homeschool grad, and homeschool mom Mystie Winckler joins me for this very revealing conversation.
"And what grade are you in, honey?" the little old lady asked my daughter in an impromptu conversation by the produce section. She found my then eight-year-old girl sorting through apples looking for just the right one and thought it odd that a child her age would be at the grocery store in the middle of a Thursday. It was, I suppose. Listen or read more at https://www.theunlikelyhomeschool.com/2017/03/without-grade-levels.html
It is no secret that I am an introvert and introverts have a special place in my heart. There is nothing wrong with extroverts, but getting the world to understand the need for a little quiet and time alone and not take it personally is hard. It doesn’t mean one is shy (I’m totally not.) or awkward (debatable). But it does fly in the face of our very social world at times — especially when you are a mother and even more so when you are a homeschooling mother. We have chosen to be with our kids all day because we thing that is what is best for them, but we do that knowing the toll it will take on us and knowing we will need to compensate for all that together time. It can totally lead to guilt. That is why I was so excited when I found out about Jamie Martin’s new book The Introverted Mom. Now there is someone who understands and can offer help. And on today’s podcast, Jamie does just that. There is something for every mom on this show — introverts and extroverts both. I hope you enjoy.
We live in a society where being busy is considered normal. If you aren’t running to piano practice, baseball games, school awards ceremonies and every other possible extra-curricular activity every week, you aren’t doing enough for your kids. Every mom feels the invisible pressure to preform and possible out-preform their neighbor. Listen or read more at https://thezooicallhome.com/extra-curricular-activities/
We are so excited to announce the release of the brand new Plan Your Year with this special conversation about homeschool planning. Dawn Garrett joins me today as we chat what's new about the book, what homeschool planning looks like for different people, common misconceptions about planning and being "boxed in" by a plan, and so much more. This conversation digs deep into how freeing (yes! I said that) planning can be. Don't miss it!
If you're reading this, you are probably in the midst of teaching one of your little ones to read OR you have that endeavor looming ahead of you in the near future... amiright? The singular biggest fear of every single homeschool mom I've ever spoken to is failing to teach her child to read well... and especially failing to teach them "on time". Listen or read more at https://www.lifeabundantlyblog.com/lifeabundantlyblog/2018/6/20/when-you-child-cant-read-by-age-6
Sonya Shafer is the encouraging voice and curriculum writer behind Simply Charlotte Mason. Along with her friend Karen and their families, Sonya has been teaching about Charlotte's methods for years, helping families to bring them into the 21st century. A popular speaker on CM topics, I was excited to get to sit down in this episode and talk to Sonya more about homeschooling in general -- how her family started this journey, Sonya's journey into homeschooling her special needs daughter, and even how they began a ministry and a business that would grow to help thousands of homeschoolers everywhere. I know you will love this one.
Can I tell you something that's hard to admit? I've spent a lot of time in the past year being a miserable homeschool mom. Countless hours of training have gone into perfecting my craft. I'm excellent at complaining about parenting struggles, whining through hard days, and generally being difficult to be around. After our most challenging homeschooling year yet, I have it down. Here's how you can be a miserable homeschool mom too! Listen or read more at https://www.adriennebolton.com/blog/2017/01/miserable-homeschool-mom.html
Cindy Rollins, mom of nine and "Mama of Morning Time" (so-named by me!), is back on the podcast this week to chat about Stratford Caldecott's Beauty in the Word -- specifically the portion on grammar, or what Caldecott calls "remembering." Join us as we chat about anamnesis, what it is and how it is alike and different what we already associate with memory. Listen for: The idea of anchoring or tethering our children to a cultural heritage. What are some Morning Time elements that help to convey this cultural heritage. How Cindy handles the aspects of our heritage that are not positive or admirable. The connection between language and memory and how language helps form relationships with ideas. How technology is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to our efforts to be people who practice Remembering.
Is your husband against homeschooling? I know what you’re going through. Wanting to homeschool, but not being able to. I’ve been where you are and can help. Dear Mom, I see you. Wanting to homeschool, but your spouse is against it. I see you. Counting down the days until Christmas break. Yearning to have your kids home with you each day. Listen or read more at https://www.findingjoyinthejourney.net/spouse-is-against-homeschooling/
Today we have another installment in our veteran's series on the Homeschool Solutions show. Ann Karako, mom of five, joins us to talk about her experiences homeschooling high school with five kids, graduating four of them, and living to teach others that they can do it too. On today's show we chat: What Ann's kids have to say about their homeschool experience. The things Ann worried about when she first started homeschooling and what she would tell her younger self. Ann's biggest homeschooling mistake and how she would fix it. How Ann is transitioning to life after homeschool now that she is just about ready to graduate her youngest. Ann's best pro tips on homeschooling the high school years -- and she has a ton of them! This is an episode you won't want to miss.
Your little one knows many letter sounds and it’s time for the magic of putting them together and reading their first words. Use these top 10 tips for teaching short vowel sounds to start your child’s reading adventure! Listen or read more at https://pk1homeschoolfun.com/tips-for-teaching-the-short-vowel-sounds-to-beginning-readers/
On today's episode of the podcast we are joined by Jamie Erickson from The Unlikely Homeschool to talk about how she uses Morning Time as a forum to teach her kids manners. In the show we get a glimpse into Jamie's Morning Time including: What makes Morning Time a good setting for teaching manners. What kinds of topics have she covers in her Morning Time manners lessons. What are some of Jamie's favorite resources for teaching manners in Morning Time. What fruit she has seen from her efforts to intentionally work on manners with her kids. Join us as we explore this very practical way to use our Morning Time habit.
It’s the question that haunts many homeschooling parents – how do I know that I’m doing it right? I’m responsible for the education of my children and there’s no-one and nothing to tell me WHAT to do and WHEN to do it and HOW to do it and argh! It’s enough to cause a meltdown. To extend the question, without strict curriculum, and standards, and lots of other children to compare to and rank with, how on earth do we homeschoolers know that we’re doing a good job? How do we know this is all going to work out OK in the end? Listen or read more at https://fearlesshomeschool.com/homeschooling-doing-it-right/
Today I am joined by Homeschool Solutions Community Manager and fellow convention fan Dawn Garrett to talk all about the homeschool convention. Dawn and I are both long-time attendees of Great Homeschool Conventions and are looking forward to meeting many of you there this year. In this episode Dawn and I dish: Why go to a homeschool convention at all. Our favorite panel or talk from a convention and how to decide which speakers to see. How to avoid “overload” and work the vendor hall like a pro. The pros and cons of going with family or friends. How to stick to your budget and the one tool you should not forget to take to the convention. How going to conventions have helped us in our homeschooling and why we wouldn't miss going each year. If you haven't given a convention a thought this episode might get your inspired to check on out.
Have you seen the video where someone is trying to line up a litter of cute, cuddly kittens? If you haven’t, let me spoil it for you: it doesn’t work very well! As you can imagine, it’s a full thirty seconds of constant redirection, repositioning, and mayhem. To everyone watching, it’s hilarious, but to the poor person trying to herd those kittens, it was exhausting. This image hits close to home for homeschool moms of multiples. Some days, homeschooling multiple children is very much like herding cats. As soon as you get one seated, another pops up and wanders off, and the day is similar to the old whack-a-mole game. Can you relate? Listen or read more at https://www.sonlight.com/blog/multiple-children-homeschool.html
Today on the show I am joined by homeschool veteran and writing guru Julie Bogart. Part of our veteran's series, Julie has graduated five kids and now helps homeschool families the world over not only with writing skills through her Bravewriter program but also with how to homeschool bravely through her Homeschool Alliance and her new book The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life. In this conversation we chat about Julie's fond memories of homeschooling, what she did well, her biggest homeschool regrets, and she shares tons of wisdom on how to be true to yourself in your homeschool.
I’ve noticed that my attitudes get passed along to my children with pretty much zero effort on my part. When I am happy, things mostly flow along happily. When I worry, their worry amps up. When I am frantic, so are they. When I am calm … well, there’s always an exception to prove the rule. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/how-to-homeschool-with-confidence/
Today we welcome Christopher and Christine Perrin to the podcast to chat about prayer in your homeschool, Morning Time, and personal time. It is a fascinating conversation. Join us as we discuss: How prayer can be both a personal discipline and a corporate practice What are the best ways to teach and model practice of prayer. Tips for modeling something when we are just learning it ourselves.D Different types of prayer and the value of each. Tips for praying the Scriptures. And recommendations of prayers and more to read for moms. This was a helpful and fascinating conversation I think you will enjoy!
We've all been there. You're tired. The kids are bickering. Again. If only they would just stop fighting. If only they could just quit all the arguing. If you had a magic word, you'd say it, right? (Hey, magic words might be better than the other kids of words you're tempted to say when the children are fighting!) Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/children-stop-fighting/
Today we are joined on the podcast by Heather Woodie of Blog She Wrote, mom of four young adults. Heather has been practicing Morning Time in her family for a number of years, and has seen a shift in the practice as she has graduated two kids and is now left home with two more teens to go. In this episode of the podcast we chat about: how Heather's Morning Time changed has changed over the years. why is Morning Time still a valuable practice in the teen years. what kind of adjustments and challenges a teen-only Morning Time brings. how Heather's role at Morning Time changed as the kids have gotten older. and how Heather has been able to use topics from Morning Time as coursework and credits for the purposes of high school transcripts plus so much more. Sit back and enjoy as we dive into Morning Time with the teen set. Find the show notes at https://pambarnhill.com/hs142
Welcome to the NEW Homeschool Solutions Show. In this episode of the podcast I chat about the changes to the show. Instead of just being an audio blog, the show will now alternate between audio blog and interview formats. I am super-excited about the changes and hope you are too. You can find the webpage for the podcast at pambarnhill.com/solutions.
I wrote last week about how your quiet time could be sabotaging your homeschool morning. This is so true for moms in particular seasons of life — especially when you are still waking multiple times each night or you have small children still. But what about the mom whose kids are pretty much school age. Why might moms of older kids still be struggling with getting mornings off to a good start? I have a few theories that might explain what is standing in your way. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/enemy-of-best-morning/
It was dark and rainy outside. I slowly peeled back the covers and eased away from the warm little body bedside me and into the cold. If I woke him, all bets were off. I fumbled around in the dark for my glasses and slippers as I eased quietly from the room to make a cup of coffee. I was lucky. I had groggily slapped the alarm right as it began to beep and my early-morning visitor snoozed on unaware today. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/how-your-morning-quiet-time-is-sabotaging-your-day/
I saw a photo the other day of a worn out, exhausted mother collapsed onto a chair, hand to forehead. The caption under the picture read “I put my symptoms into Web MD and it turns out I just have kids.” I couldn’t help but giggle. I knew exactly how she felt. Listen or read the rest here: https://rinellafamilyoutdoors.com/2017/07/17/symptoms-of-a-homeschool-mom/
Everyone wants a perfect holiday. The candlelit dinner with the gorgeous turkey and delicious pumpkin pie dessert; the immaculately wrapped presents with bows that were made by a bowdabra; the family memories of adorably dressed children with matching holiday outfits; they are all part of the Norman Rockwell painting version of Christmas you aspire to create each year. Christmas is the holiday of holidays. Between the presents, the food, the crazy relatives – it can be super stressful to try to make Christmas perfect. How do you manage your visiting family and enjoy the most stressful holiday of the year? Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/perfect-christmas-with-visiting-family/
I am often asked a lot of things when out and about with my family. Are all those kids yours? Do you know what causes that? You Homeschool, Aren’t you tired all the time? Not only are they all mine and yes we are very aware of how it happens, we like having a big family and I love being at home and educating them. Choosing to homeschool for my husband and I, was one of the easiest decisions we have made for our children. Both of our parents started out with similar foundations and choose homeschooling in a time where it was not as common or idealistic as it is today. Listen or read more at http://ourhalfdozenadventures.com/2018/05/12/my-reflections-as-a-homeschooled-daughter/
Have you looked into the tired eyes of a public school teacher lately? Have you crossed paths with an overwhelmed mom scrambling to cook dinner, do laundry, and help the kids with homework an hour before bedtime? This homeschool life is a gift to so many of us, yet we often take for granted the privilege of homeschooling. If you haven’t recently spent time outside your homeschool walls, it’s possible that you’ve been missing one of the greatest gifts of the homeschool lifestyle. Sure, we’re all thankful for the gifts of homeschool, but have we somehow lost our appreciation for the privilege of homeschooling? Maybe so. Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/privilege-of-homeschooling/
I’m not going to lie. Having multiple people in the room all at once is often the hardest part of homeschooling. Harder than choosing curriculum. Harder than keeping up with the laundry. Harder than teaching math. (I know, right?) Not only are you dealing with personalities and relationships but also with multiple levels and multiple subjects. And it never fails that everyone seems to need you all the time and all at once. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/juggling-multiple-kids/
I asked a question in my It’s Not that Hard to Homeschool K-8 Facebook group recently: “Do you feel like a success as a homeschool mom? Why or why not?” As you can imagine, there was a wide range of answers — but more “no’s” than I expected. But as I think about it, it makes sense to me that we don’t feel confident that we’re doing a good job. I think we’ve got an idea stuck in our heads about what makes a “successful” homeschool — and it’s the WRONG idea. Listen or read more at https://www.annieandeverything.com/homeschool-mom-failure/
John and I have a combined 30 years of homeschooling experience, and more like 40+ years if you count each of our children’s education separately! Some of that is our own experience as homeschooled students, and some comes from our perspective as homeschooling parents. We are a team, but we definitely have our own perspectives on homeschooling, both the big picture and the day to day reality. What if you could ask us a series of questions about homeschooling to see the similarities and differences between Dad’s and Mom’s perspective? We’ve taken on that challenge in this post! Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/dad-mom-perspectives-homeschooling/
If you’ve got struggling or reluctant readers, this one is for you. I hope this post inspires you take a break from your everyday reading instruction and read the world around you. Don’t worry! Learning will move forward. You just have to think outside the book. Teaching a child to read is an amazing experience. I’ve been lucky enough to work with over 100 children learning to read in my career teaching first and second grade. Each child was different, and each one prepared me to teach my own son. Listen or read more at https://thehomeschoolresourceroom.com/2017/06/18/think-outside-the-book-10-other-ways-to-get-your-child-reading/
This is part four in my series on memory work. Find the other parts here: Help Your Kids Memorize Anything Recite, Recite, Recite Sing Me A Song Up to this point we have largely focused on the auditory elements of memory work. This is mainly because learning memory work is largely an auditory skill. This is not to say, though, that there are not some helps to offer kids who have a visual learning preference. There are a few things you can do to add visuals to the memory work to help those kids along. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/visual-learners/
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” “I might as well be talking to a brick wall!” “In one ear and out the other.” Clearly, kids who don’t listen is a thing. We have tons of cultural idioms about not listening, and they’re often used to describe children. Some of this probably comes from a combination of immaturity and the fact that they are still developing habits like attention. But in my own family, I notice it’s something I do that actually teaches my children not to listen. Listen or read more at https://mylittlerobins.com/2018/01/if-you-want-your-kids-to-listen-stop-repeating-yourself/
I do not think it necessary to expound on why we want to avoid overwhelm in our homeschools. Overwhelm equals stress, chaos, and uncertainty, none of which complement a healthy lifestyle. Overwhelm can be a rather quiet beast, creeping in gradually until one day you just CAN’T. I find keeping overwhelm at bay starts with intention. We first need to believe it is important and recognize that it will take life-long effort. In our homeschools, our children are constantly growing and changing, and so we must adapt. Avoiding overwhelm on a practical level may look completely different from one year to the next. The important thing is that you have go-to tools to help you avoid it, and if it hits, pull life back into balance. Listen or read more at https://www.jumpintogenius.com/avoiding-overwhelm-from-the-inside-out/
For some kids all it takes is to hear something set to song just a few times, and it becomes embedded in their memory. Olivia is a kid like that. I think she can learn just about anything if we set it to a tune. So using songs for memory work is something we do all the time. Many times there are already songs written for a topic we want to memorize. We use songs from Classical Conversations even though we are not in a community. The skip counting songs, timeline song, and Latin chants are all available on their CDs and are superb. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/songs-for-memory-work/
Is sibling conflict a problem in your home? Maybe you think that question is just a joke. Maybe you think it's a nice way to begin a post by making everyone feel normal and right at home because DUH! of course sibling conflict is a problem. In everyone's home. Always. But it may not be for the reason you're thinking. Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/sibling-conflict-problem/
It must be kind of hard to be J.K. Rowling. I had that thought the other night as I tucked into the first in her crime series, which she wrote under a pseudonym. I think if I were her I would do everything under a pseudonym.* I’d grocery shop under a pen name. Because she has already kind of done The Most Amazing Thing … Can you imagine that pressure? It must be crushing sometimes. Listen or read more at http://www.karasanderson.com/youre-not-homeschooling-for-likes/
Be proactive, not reactive. You know you are going to have good days and bad days. We’ve been talking the past couple of weeks about how we might be the ones sabotaging our homeschools. We also discussed the importance of having our attitudes ordered rightly because someone might be watching. But what does this look like in the day to day of our home? We have meals to cook, errands, appointments, and a house to clean. And then there are the unexpected problems that come up in our week. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/proactive-homeschooling/
You’ve met her. Maybe you’ve been her. Maybe you are her. Some homeschool moms might scare you. Some homeschool moms scare their children. But I think we’ve all experienced another kind of scary homeschool mom: the one who scares herself. Are you scary? Who do you scare? Is it always wrong to be scary? If our fears are pointing us toward our weaknesses, and we then reinforce those areas, we can become scary in all the right ways: Scary not to our children or to ourselves, but to the world, the flesh, and the devil. Listen or read more at https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/scary/
This is the second post in the series: Help Your Kids Memorize Anything. You can see part one here. No doubt, the heart of any memory method is recitation. By saying the words over and over again, the language patterns, information and the very essence of words become ingrained into our being. Often when we read, especially as better readers, we skip over words or read by phrase instead of word for word. It is this reason that simply reading something to memorize it is not enough. The better way is to say it out loud — or recite it. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/recite-recite-recite-help-kids-memorize-anything/
Guilt is a universal feeling though it rears its ugly head in different ways, using different strategies for each person. We must all learn to tackle this beast in our own way and find the strategies that work for us. I have been working hard to be reasonable, rational, and really honest with myself as I attack the ridiculous guilt that creeps up on me. Yes. Ridiculous. Some guilt is just plain ridiculous. Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/06/21/mom-guilt-over-it/
It’s no good looking all calm and serene in the face of criticism if you then go home and collapse into a snivelling heap, all confidence destroyed, convinced you’re setting your children up for a lifetime of failure. Here’s how to build your homeschooling confidence so criticism enters one ear and sails straight out the other, never thought of again. Except for a giggle with your homeschooling friends about the ridiculous things people say to you, of course. Listen or read more at https://fearlesshomeschool.com/confident-homeschooling-criticism/
Memory work is a big part of what we do around here. And while for some people, memory work would suggest feelings of drudgery and drill and kill, the reality couldn’t be farther from that. We love our memory work and have fun with it. The kids get great satisfaction in learning a new poem or a series of math facts. These “hooks” become saved in their brain to be excitedly called forth during the liturgy at church, at a science museum or demonstration, or during story time at the library. We memorize because of those feelings of satisfaction and to create those hooks of information. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/help-kids-memorize-anything/
I’ve found myself listening to opinions about home education, advocating it, and answering homeschool questions in some of the most unexpected places and times since we began homeschooling in 2009. From family and friends to acquaintances to complete strangers, people have plenty of concerns and questions about homeschooling. Some of those questions come so frequently that it feels like deja vu and some come so frequently that I’ve developed canned answers. Shameful, I know! Here are my 5 most-asked homeschool questions and how I answer them. Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-questions/
Struggling to squeeze all of your children’s math lessons into your homeschool day? Here’s 6 ways to streamline your math teaching so that you can fit multiple grade levels into your schedule! I recently received an email from Tiffany, who was debating whether to continue using Singapore Math. Along with some other issues, she wrote: “I’m finding it difficult to fit 3 separate Singapore math lessons in each day.” Whether you use Singapore Math or not, and whether you have two, three, or five kids (or more!), I bet you’re nodding your head in agreement. Math eats up a lot of time in homeschool schedules. Listen or read more at http://kateshomeschoolmath.com/how-to-teach-multiple-grade-levels-in-math/
Laura wanted to do this homeschool thing just right. She had struggled in the past, but this year was going to be different. Her homeschool planning was going to be perfect. So she started by buying a fresh, new homeschool planner. You know the kind. It had months of lesson plan grids that started in August and went all the way through the following summer. Laura began the year feeling compelled to write things in every box. Successful homeschoolers have a plan, and she wanted to be a successful homeschooler. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-planning-not-guessing/
The oldest just graduated from high school. For the last year, while preparing for him to leave the nest and live on his own, my husband and I began to realize we may have failed him when it came to essential life skills he needed to survive. We spent 17 years educating him, providing for him, making sure he was well-rounded and knew how to play most sports. But, we failed him on some of the simplest of tasks that we took for granted. Don’t fail your kids like we almost failed our son! Here are 10 life skills for teens who will soon have to navigate the world without their parents. Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/life-skills-for-teens/
History has been one of my favorite subjects since childhood. Some of my best memories involve family read-alouds, historic road trips, and abundant field trips. One summer our vacation involved traveling for 2 weeks to various Civil War battlefields, stopping at every single historic marker along the way. When we got to one museum it had already closed for the night, so my mom knocked on the door until the caretaker came. Mom being Mom, she got us in for an after-hours tour. Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/textbook-free-history/
When Matt and I were first married, one of our ongoing fights was about counter space. Matt took a practical approach. Anything you use on a regular basis should stay on the counter top. In the bathroom, the toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving cream should be stored on the counter. In the kitchen, the cutting board and toaster stay up top all the time. In my view, spaces should be clear and free of clutter, save the cute color-coordinated themed containers we registered for and received as wedding gifts! It may have seemed that we were fighting about counter space. But we later came to realize, as many wiser people before us have put it, that "the issue is not the issue". Listen or read more at https://www.hswotrainingwheels.com/issues-not-issue/
I got an email this morning that almost made me break out into hives. It was from a popular homeschool planning company that was touting their ready-made homeschool plans. Now having done this homeschool mentor thing for a number of years I know that people really want plans that are already made — after all we sell ready-made Morning Time plans for just those folks (and I use them myself!!). Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/lists-for-homeschool/
Most days I feel like my brain is a sieve. Can anyone else relate? It is full, absolutely full to the brim, and I am hustling like crazy to plug all the little holes and keep everything from running out of it. Remember to pay the bills. Remember to make the dental appointment (I have a referral for my son to get a tooth pulled. It is dated 2-5-18 and that appointment is still not made.) Remember to give the dogs their heartworm medication. Switch the laundry before it sours. Stir the chili before it burns. Read to the kids before they grow up and leave forever. *sniff* So when I say that I take the time to sit and plan my out my homeschool year (yes, the entire year) in the summer, I am not saying that to brag or show my superior organizing skills. Yes, I admit to being a checklist mom, but honestly, I do this because it is the only thing that saves my sanity during the school year. Without a plan, school would simply not get done. And that’s not a good thing when homeschooling is how you educate your children. Read more or find links: https://pambarnhill.com/how-a-homeschool-mom-can-worry-less-and-do-more/
My kids piled out of the mini-van and chatted happily, heading in the door of the donut shop. It was hot — almost 100 degrees on this mid-July day. But it was the first day of school and that means donuts. This was not some spontaneous decision made in the moment, but instead, a planned (and beloved) tradition that makes the first day of school something we anticipate instead of dread. We always start school on a Wednesday. We always start with just a handful of subjects. We always start with a tidy school room. And we always get donuts. Why? Because we like it that way and also because mom is a checklist mom. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/checklist-homeschool-moms/
Last week I told you all about Laura and how her homeschool plan actually created more stress in her life than it did peace. It happens. A lot. This week I am back, as promised, to give you four important keys you can use to create a plan that doesn’t feel like a guess, but instead, a tool to help you homeschool strong for the entire year. This is how to get it done. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/four-keys-homeschool-plan/
Ah summer. Swimming pools, ice cream, and hours free to get bored do what you want. I loved summer because our days are more relaxed. I love a break from the structured school time and the feeling of needing to get a litany of school work accomplished each day. But if I am not careful our summers turn into a marathon of cartoons, video games, and YouTube (Does anyone else’s kids like to look up their current passion on YouTube and watch all the videos?) Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/summer_organization/
Not all Fridays are great. Sometimes they bring out Friday Mom. You know the kind of Fridays I mean. They should be fun. But they turn into stress. For example, on a recent Friday morning, we had one hour before we had to leave home for a field trip. Of course, you know what happened—chaos. Listen or read more at https://www.sonlight.com/blog/four-day-homeschool-week.html
Laundry sits in piles upstairs. There are two loads waiting to be folded and two are sitting in the washer and dryer. Campfire scented top sheets are tossed haphazardly on the floor so I don’t forget to wash them next. None of these piles include my own laundry which is overflowing in a basket down the hall. I have only tackled the towels and the boys’ clothing so far and I can’t seem to even finish that task. Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/24/things-wont-work/
Isn’t it interesting that a homeschool parent’s qualifications or lack thereof can cause objections to homeschooling? For whatever reason, there’s this notion that only those with a background in education are truly capable of teaching and training children and teenagers. Here’s the thing, I am that homeschool mom without an education degree. I am that parent in question and I want to shout it loud that it can be done and done well. Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-without-degree/
I always feel pulled in two different directions in February. One on hand, the Fun Mom in me wants to live large. She wants to shake up the daily routine, toss out the boring old schoolbooks, and spend February setting the kids’ enthusiasm afire with fascinating hands-on projects from Pinterest. But on the other hand, the Responsible Mom in me would really like to get the math book done by the end of May. (And she’s not so sure she can pull off that watermelon clipper ship.) Fortunately, you can be the Fun Mom and still make progress in the math book with these eight ways to shake up your math routine. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/8-ways-make-math-fun/
Ask any veteran homeschool mom whose kids have already graduated from high school, and she will reassure you: She had the same fears you have now. She realizes now how pointless most of those fears were. What a difference 10-15 years of hindsight makes! But you don't have to wait that long. Let's look right now at ten of the biggest and most common homeschool fears so you can face—and more importantly, conquer—them. Listen or read more at https://www.bookshark.com/blog/homeschool-fears/
I hear it all the time. We’re having self-editing issues. For some reason, my children believe they are perfect writers! They can never find any spelling or grammar mistakes. Surprise, surprise! Most children simply don’t get the whole editing thing. They like what they wrote and can’t understand why you want them to—gasp!—look for ways to improve it. Listen or read more at https://writeshop.com/why-self-editing-is-hard-make-it-easier/
Do you ever have bad attitudes in your homeschool? I love homeschooling and my children usually do, too. But, sometimes the homeschooling attitudes in our house just stink. Have you ever wanted to wring the necks of grumpy kids who whine about every single task set before them. Or dole out about a hundred chores every time you run up against obstinate behavior? Me, too. Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/bad-attitudes-in-your-homeschool/
In my earliest days of homeschooling, I had ideas about what our homeschool would actually look like. You know what I mean… right? And then we actually started homeschooling. And it just never looked quite like that initial vision. Listen or read more at https://readaloudrevival.com/jbwc/
About five years ago the days in our homeschool were simply learning math facts, phonics, and letter formation. Yawn. Sure we read a picture book or two, but I had a two-year-old who sapped all the energy I used to have for putting together elaborate unit studies. In addition my kids had informed me in no uncertain terms that they wanted nothing to do with making another lapbook thank.you.very.much. Listen or read more at https://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschool-morning-time-2/
I am not a morning person. My kids are not morning people. Unfortunately, my husband IS a morning person. This became very apparent when we all went on a week-long homeschool field trip. My husband would wake early, run to the gym, and return to the hotel very chipper — and talkative (ugg!). Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/homeschool-morning-meeting/
Long before I was asked to speak at the Great Homeschool Conventions I was an attendee. In fact, convention time each year made me rather giddy. I almost always went with friends. We would make a road trip and a weekend of it. I would plot my speaker schedule like a general manages an attack, walk every single aisle of the vendor hall just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and I still have my rolling cart which held everything from water bottles to emergency snacks. And I just learned so much and felt renewed and refreshed every single year. This year I imagine my experience at the convention will be much more, um, nerve-wracking to say the least, but I cannot wait to meet all of you there. In order to make the most of your convention experience I have made a little Plan Your Year Convention Planning Pack that you can get here for FREE. It contains the forms you need to plan your best convention experience. Read more and find the free handouts at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-convention-planning/
When my daughter was two years old she had the cutest habit of picking up her toy cell phone, holding it to her ear, and making a noise somewhere between a growl and disgusted sigh. “Look,” we would laugh. “Where did she learn that?” Until one day I was driving down a stretch of rural highway we often traveled and my phone dropped a call yet again. The noise of disgust was barely out of my mouth when I realized exactly where Olivia picked up that little habit. Whoops. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-mistake/
“Everyone was up late and needs just a quiet day.” “We’ve been working so hard, a day off is just what we need. “ “We missed lessons yesterday, I’m not motivated today." Do any of these sound familiar to you? They used to be all-too-familiar to me. Not only that, some of them are still tempting from time to time. But now I know a truth: schooling consistency breeds consistency. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/benefits-homeschool-consistency/
The morning light was thin, blue, and cold. It was cozy under my blanket though as I sipped my coffee. I had an edifying book in my lap — who am I kidding — I was scrolling Facebook on my phone. One kid was asleep, two were upstairs watching “educational” cartoons, and frankly, I was in no hurry to start my school day. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/sabotage-your-homeschool/
I have been a somewhat lonely homeschooler for the past several years. It began when we chose to homeschool high school — and most of our homeschooling friends did not. True story: out of the 20-30 families we knew who homeschooled back when our children were in the early elementary grades, I can think of only a handful of them that continued homeschooling through the high school years. I confess that this bothers me.
There’s a common adage that says if you lose your why, you lose your way. In other words, if you forget why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re not going to get very far. You’ll be easily sidetracked by distractions, discouragement, and disappointments. If you don’t have a firm grasp on your reason for following your chosen path, you can get derailed. This is part of why I believe in purposeful living, which includes purposeful homeschooling. Listen or read more at https://embracingdestinyblog.com/2017/05/our-purposeful-homeschool.html
Being a mom is tough work. Being a homeschool mom is crazy tough work! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned homeschool mom, these 25 practical tips and words of encouragement will keep you trekking along in your homeschooling journey with your chin up! Listen or read more at http://rulethisroost.com/25-ways-to-rule-your-homeschool/
Did you recently meet a homeschooler for the first time? Did a friend or family member just shock you by announcing they will be homeschooling their children? Are you concerned but don’t know just what to say?
Listen or read more at https://thehomeschoolresourceroom.com/2017/08/13/what-to-say-and-what-not-to-say-when-you-meet-a-homeschool-mom/
I think my family has entered the golden age of Morning Time. My three kids range in age from 6 to 10. We have no toddlers to disrupt us (though don’t be fooled in thinking things are too quiet) and we have no teens who need to rush away to complete a list of requirements to earn credits. It is just us, together, learning to love beauty. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/morning-time-all-ages/
Somehow over the years I have become the pie cook for our family holiday gatherings.
I would like to think it is because I make the best pies. More likely it is because my mom thinks there are always other deserts around if I happen to ruin the pies. If I ruined the cornbread dressing? Well that's another story, isn't it?
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/when-making-it-from-scratch-isnt-good-enough
Repetitio mater memoriae.
This Latin motto, which apparently is used within the Latin classroom primarily and not embraced as a defining motto like the others so far, means Repetition is the mother of memory. This is supposed to spur you on to chant those declensions, but I think the truth contained therein should spur us on in much more than language acquisition.
Listen or read more at https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2014/education-is-for-life-repetitio-mater-memoriae-or-repetition/
Out of control. Disorganized. Fly by the seat of my pants. Does the start of the school year always feel this way? I don’t think it does. I am pretty sure that our past school years have followed the plan a bit more closely. But I can’t be sure. What I am sure of is that the kick-off for this 2016 school year was far from a touchdown. It feels more like life intercepted the ball and ran the other way with it and I am watching the ball leave my side of the field without a plan to get it back. Read or listen to the rest at http://www.notbefore7.com/2016/10/19/love-year-youre-with/
As the holidays descend upon us, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the tasks that fill your to-do lists each day. You might question whether it’s all worth it in the end, but rest assured that the extra work surrounding this time of year really does pay off, since these traditions have an extremely positive impact on a preschooler’s life. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/blessings-holiday-traditions-preschoolers/
Recently we had a great time by having friends over for our very first picture book Christmas cookie exchange. We had a few good friends over on a balmy December afternoon to share some of our favorite picture books and picture-book inspired cookies. This party was so easy to plan and hold. All we did was invite a few friends over and ask them to bring their favorite Christmas picture book, plus a treat inspired by that book. That was it. We didn’t need any other food, drink, and with it being Christmas the decorations took care of themselves. Read or listen to the rest here: https://pambarnhill.com/christmas-picture-book-cookie-exchange/
If you’ve been around the Homeschooling With Dyslexia web site or Facebook page for long, you know how I love to learn about learning. Since I learn completely differently than 7 of the 8 kids that I homeschool, you could say it is a bit of a necessity. Good thing I have learned to enjoy it! Listen or read more at https://homeschoolingwithdyslexia.com/motivate-kids-growth-mindset/
With each new school year that rolls around, I always seem find a renewed energy and vision for homeschooling. Rather than wait until Thanksgiving or when the blahs of winter kick in (when it seems to make sense to write a post about why I’m thankful for homeschooling), I thought I’d harness this joyful beginning-of-the-school-year energy to list all those reasons now. Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/10-reasons-im-thankful-for-homeschooling/
I will freely admit that our children have missed out on some things because we homeschool high school. There is no doubt that there are experiences that the public school provides that we just cannot replicate in our home. Some people even quit homeschooling at this level, because they don’t want their children to miss out on anything. Listen or read more at https://www.annieandeverything.com/homeschool-high-school-missed-opportunities/
Let’s say you are convinced that reading aloud to your children is the best thing you can do for them. You line up your reading selections, you plan your morning time, you are prepared to overcome the obstacles of wiggly bodies and wandering minds. You say that this is exactly the boost your homeschool needs. The first day comes, and you eagerly dive in. But then you find yourself stumbling over the words. You run into words you can’t even pronounce, let alone understand. After a short time, your voice becomes strained and tired. Hmm… this isn’t as much fun as you thought it would be. Maybe it just won’t work for you. Read the rest or listen at https://pambarnhill.com/how-moms-benefit-from-read-alouds/
When my family started doing Morning Time my kids were little and it wasn’t quite the homeschool buzz word it is now. There was very little Morning Time pressure in those days — we just liked learning together. Now, it seems that everywhere you turn people are talking about all the riches they are doing in Morning Time. Which is great — except when it starts to stress people out. Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/successful-morning-time/