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”

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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:

  • What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?
  • Setting the Stage for a Relaxed Homeschool
  • Getting Started with Relaxed Homeschooling

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!

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”

How to Keep Records in a Relaxed Homeschool or Unschool

Sometimes homeschooling in a strict state can be a real bummer. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve finally reached a point in our homeschool where I’m comfortable enough with what the laws really say that dealing with the bureaucracy no longer bothers me.

But it used to bother me.  Continue reading “How to Keep Records in a Relaxed Homeschool or Unschool”

Homeschooling: Why I’m Not Worried About What My Kids “Need” to Know

As a type-A homeschool mom who has been through burnout and the nightmare of temporarily putting my kids back in school, there are a few things that will literally make me cringe when they come up in homeschool circles.

This is one of them.  Continue reading “Homeschooling: Why I’m Not Worried About What My Kids “Need” to Know”

Are You Homeschooling with Textbooks, By Default?

Why is it that the things that should be the most obvious to us are those which we find so difficult to grasp?

Take textbooks, for example.

I’m honestly astonished at the number of homeschoolers who seem to cling to this holdover from compulsory schooling- you know, that form of education most homeschoolers are trying to avoid?? And I’m not approaching this topic in an uppity manner, since I was once one of those very people.

Thankfully, I have gradually realized how little textbooks have to do with an effective education for most children, and I think a good number of other parents instinctively know this, too. Despite this fact, however, I’ve increasingly come into contact with many, many other homeschool moms who are genuinely aware that textbooks aren’t working for their children, yet they beat themselves up over it and desperately try to get them to work.  Continue reading “Are You Homeschooling with Textbooks, By Default?”

Are Homeschooled Kids Smart Enough?

Last summer at a family reunion, as I sat talking with a distant relative about homeschooling, she asked me a series of questions that were a bit difficult to answer. 

I don’t want to insinuate that she asked with any malice; she was genuinely interested and simply had never been exposed to a homeschooling family before. However, several of her inquiries threw me for a loop- one in particular:

How do you know if your kids are smart enough?

Continue reading “Are Homeschooled Kids Smart Enough?”

Homeschool Holiday Stress? The Solution Is Within Your Reach!

As the holidays seemingly arrive with astounding speed this year, it can be quite easy to be overcome with the stress of knowing that not only has the Christmas season appeared with little warning, but as a homeschooling parent, you are still responsible for educating your child during this time.

What to do?

Although many families attempt to trudge through like the troopers they are, quite a few realize after a brief time that it just isn’t going to work. How can it with all of the busyness that often accompanies this time of year?

There’s shopping and baking to be done, relatives to visit, carols to be learned, scarves to be knitted, and trees to be decorated. Where does homeschooling fit into all of this?  Continue reading “Homeschool Holiday Stress? The Solution Is Within Your Reach!”

Homeschooling 101: Do I HAVE to Teach My Kids for 5 Hours a Day?

Some habits can be really hard to break. 

Let’s take the notion of what education is “supposed” to look like, for example. Most people likely wouldn’t consider the assumptions about learning that have been ingrained in them since early childhood as a “habit,” but that’s exactly what they are.

Taking a look at the population as a whole, I think it’s safe to say that most people have been brought up in a traditional school setting. They sat at desks while a teacher lectured in the front of a classroom. They raised their hands to go to the bathroom. They read textbook chapters and answered section review questions, possibly without ever wondering why things were done that way in the first place.

Which brings us to where many homeschooling parents are today- stuck in those classrooms of so long ago.  Continue reading “Homeschooling 101: Do I HAVE to Teach My Kids for 5 Hours a Day?”