Making Sense of the Past with an American History Timeline

I’ve got a confession to make. 

Even though we are currently in our 9th year of homeschooling, and even though history is hands-down my favorite subject, I may have only recently begun to use timelines.

Shocking, I know.

I honestly don’t know why or how timelines slipped past my homeschool mom radar. I mean, I knew what they were and I knew that lots of people use them. Somehow, though, I never made the connection that when you approach history in a non-linear fashion as I do, a timeline is a crucial tool to bring everything together chronologically.  Continue reading “Making Sense of the Past with an American History Timeline”

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Homeschool Math Curriculum You Can Trust and Afford

Have you ever reached a point in your homeschool when you thought you had it all figured out, only to discover that you were sorely mistaken? 

If I had to name one homeschool subject that would do this homeschooling mom of many in, I would have to say it would be math. Not because I don’t like math, or because I was never good at it, because I’ve honestly always kind of liked it. Unsurprisingly, though, my kids don’t learn the same way I did.

I was one of those kids who was great at memorizing and regurgitating. My kids, on the other hand, aren’t. So finding a successful and workable homeschool math curriculum has been quite the journey for us. Additionally, since I am homeschooling nine children this year, it is absolutely imperative that I find something that is well within our price range.

Believe me, it hasn’t been easy.  Continue reading “Homeschool Math Curriculum You Can Trust and Afford”

How to Relax Your Homeschool

Part 3 of the Relaxed Homeschooling 101 series

I cannot believe that we’ve already reached the third and last installment of my “Relaxed Homeschooling 101” series.

Over the past couple of weeks, I delved a bit more deeply into what relaxed homeschooling actually is and how to set the stage for a relaxed homeschool. Today I will (finally) be covering how to get started with relaxed homeschooling.

So let’s get started. 🙂  Continue reading “How to Relax Your Homeschool”

How to Set the Stage for a Relaxed Homeschool

Part 2 of the Relaxed Homeschooling 101 Series

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about my fellow homeschoolers these past couple of years, it’s that they are dedicated, passionate, and intent on figuring out what they need to do in order to best help their children learn.

Okay. Maybe that counts as more than one thing.

Out of everything I discuss either here on my blog or on my YouTube channel, the two topics that receive the most interest are relaxed homeschooling and notebooking. Since I’ve already dedicated quite a few videos and posts on notebooking, last week I decided that it was time to write a series on relaxed homeschooling, the second part of which I’m bringing you today.   Continue reading “How to Set the Stage for a Relaxed Homeschool”

How to Homeschool High School Literature with Excellence

Sometimes homeschooling high school can seem like a daunting task. As a homeschool facilitator, keeping things balanced between being interesting and being thorough can be a bit of a struggle.

All too often it seems like we have to make a choice between fun and shallow, or comprehensive and boring, and, as a lifelong bookworm, nothing makes me sadder than a literature curriculum that is guaranteed to bore a student to tears.  Continue reading “How to Homeschool High School Literature with Excellence”

What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?

Part 1 of the Relaxed Homeschooling 101 Series

I’ve learned something about myself these past couple years of blogging:

I can have a one-track mind.

I tend to go on and on about things like relaxed homeschooling, yet I realized that I’ve never actually defined what it is- at least not in a way I’m satisfied with.

The fact is, embracing the relaxed homeschooling lifestyle literally saved our homeschool. Would I have quit homeschooling if I had never discovered it? I honestly doubt it because I’m no fan of the school system, and I know what it’s like to have kids enrolled in that mess, BUT it helped us to uncover a sense of peace that can only come when you know you are doing what was willed for you all along. It enabled us to find joy in our learning and contentment as a family.

Relaxed homeschooling has been a gift that I’d love to share with you.

Starting today, I’ll be publishing a 3-part series called “Relaxed Homeschooling 101.” I’ll be covering:

So let’s get started. 🙂

What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?

Relaxed homeschooling is known by several names, such as simple homeschooling, minimalist homeschooling, and even hyggeschooling, but the foundation remains the same.

I tend to think of it as a hybrid of eclectic homeschooling and unschooling. While it will look different for each family, relaxed homeschooling, simply put, is a homeschool environment that offers an element of structure with ample time for children to follow their own interests.

One of the basic tenets of relaxed homeschooling (and unschooling, for that matter) is that children learn best through life, whether it’s through pursuing their hobbies or simply going about their day absorbing whatever comes their way.

This may sound very similar to unschooling, because it is, but for varying reasons, relaxed homeschooling families supplement this leisurely learning approach with more structured lessons, which you won’t find in an unschooling household.

Some reasons people may choose to add this bit of structure may include:

  • the need for routine in their day
  • accountability
  • a type-A personality (like me) that likes to have some sort of plan
  • living in a stricter state that requires more paperwork (although I will add that unschooling is legal in all 50 states)
  • wanting to give their children a good foundation
  • wanting to introduce their children to topics they might not otherwise be exposed to

What does this structured learning look like?

Again, it will look different from house to house, but the majority of relaxed homeschoolers tend to focus their structured learning time around the 3 Rs- reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Other resources used may include:

Additionally, relaxed homeschooling families are often very intentional about keeping their lessons short. After all, spending 5 or 6 hours a day on school work wouldn’t be very relaxing now, would it?

A few months back, I made a video in which I gave a rather thorough explanation of what relaxed homeschooling is and how we implement it in our large family homeschool. I encourage you to watch it if you have any other questions. 🙂

I’ll see you next week when I discuss how to set the stage for a relaxed homeschool. Until then, God bless and happy homeschooling!

If you’ve been on the lookout for a relaxed homeschooling community, join my FB group!

The Public Education System Fosters Ingenuity…or Does It??

What’s your homeschool Kryptonite?

For me, one of the most difficult things to overcome as a homeschool mom has been getting over my instinct to recreate the “educational” environment I grew up in. After all, aren’t we absolutely inundated with propaganda about how great school is?

Over the years I’ve increasingly become more and more awake to the mess that is called the public education system.  Continue reading “The Public Education System Fosters Ingenuity…or Does It??”

10 Homeschooling Questions I Hear All the Time and How I WISH I Could Answer Them

Being a homeschool mom takes a certain amount of diplomacy.

Although we unquestionably have it easier now in the 21st century than the homeschool pioneers of a few decades ago, there are times we still get bombarded with the same sorts of questions over. and. over. again.

Whether we’re at the store, the dentist, a party, or with extended family, it’s inevitable that there will be curious people who want to know more about what we do, and who have never really looked beyond the traditional school model.

I get it. Truly, I do.  Continue reading “10 Homeschooling Questions I Hear All the Time and How I WISH I Could Answer Them”

My Top 10 Most Popular Homeschooling Posts from 2017

Can you believe it’s 2018 already? It seems like only yesterday I was sharing my most popular posts of 2016. In what seems like a blink of an eye, here we are one year later.

Wow.

Anyway, after allowing myself to take a much needed one-week break from the blog, my YouTube channel, and most social media last week, I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get this new year started!

Before I kick off my own countdown here, I just wanted to say thank you so much to all of you for reading, commenting, and being such a huge encouragement to me. Believe it or not, I had over a quarter of a million views on my blog in 2017 and my fledgling YouTube channel has almost 2,000 subscribers. Is that crazy, or what?

So, without further ado, here are my:  Continue reading “My Top 10 Most Popular Homeschooling Posts from 2017”