CTCMath Is a MUST for Your Relaxed Homeschool

Hi, my name is Shelly, and I homeschool eight kids.

Do I have your attention now? I’m going to admit, as a mom of eleven, eight isn’t really all that difficult to handle. I mean it! After graduating my three oldest, I finally feel like I’ve got the hang of this homeschooling thing. You see, if I had to choose one word to describe my home education philosophy it would be this:

Relaxed.

Believe me, it didn’t start out that way. We ended up here by sheer necessity, and praise God we did.

Continue reading “CTCMath Is a MUST for Your Relaxed Homeschool”

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Lifeschooling: Using the World as Your Classroom

Have you ever thought about what the word “curriculum” means? For years, the first thing that came to mind for me were books – textbooks, to be precise.

While books can – and usually do – fill that role, that’s not what curriculum specifically means. Curriculum simply means having a plan in place for an approach to education.

That’s it.

Continue reading “Lifeschooling: Using the World as Your Classroom”

2019/2020 Homeschool Curriculum for 8 Kids

It’s that time of year again…. curriculum time! Admit it, you feel just a little giddy planning for your next homeschool year, too. 😉

Like this year, next year I’ll be homeschooling eight kids – 1st, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 10th, and 12th. At one point I was homeschooling ten, so I’m getting there! One thing I’ve learned over these ten years of homeschooling is that our curriculum choices aren’t set in stone.

They just aren’t.

I refuse to allow myself and my children to get caught up in trying to make our homeschool fit our curriculum, rather than the other way around.

With that being said, I’m going to share with you the resources we’ve chosen for next year. Before I start, though, I’m going to make one thing clear:

Continue reading “2019/2020 Homeschool Curriculum for 8 Kids”

Introducing “This Week on There’s No Place Like Home”

What do relaxed homeschooling, ADHD, public school, and Konos all have in common?? They were all topics on my YouTube channel, “There’s No Place Like Home,” this week.

Several days ago – before I was hit hard by a serious case of the flu – I came up with the idea of sharing a weekly Friday night post with my readers showcasing the YouTube videos I had published throughout the week. (I sure am saying “week” a lot. Bear with me!)

You see, if there’s one thing I’m not good at, it’s social media. I hate it. The problem with that is that, consequently, I never really seem to follow through with letting my peeps know what I’ve been up to on my channel.

So here’s what I’m going to do: every Friday night, I’ll publish a short post with links to any videos I published that week (there it is again!) plus one link to an older video that you may have missed. If you find yourself looking for weekend homeschool encouragement, advice, or a productive way to veg out, my videos may be just what you’re looking for. 🙂 Continue reading “Introducing “This Week on There’s No Place Like Home””

My 10 Most Popular Homeschool and Education Videos from 2018

You know what I love about the New Year? Countdowns. How exciting is it to reflect back on some of the most “happening” things of the previous year?

Last week, I shared my 10 most popular blog posts from 2018. This week I’m going to do something I’ve never done before – share my most popular YouTube videos from 2018. I’m actually really excited because, as I write this, I still don’t know what they are!

That’s right. It’s all a surprise to me, too! So let’s get started! Continue reading “My 10 Most Popular Homeschool and Education Videos from 2018”

Are You Overcomplicating Your Homeschool?

When it comes to homeschooling, there are many temptations that come with it, both good and bad. Unfortunately, as is often the case, we parents will ignore our God-given instincts about what’s best for our children and, instead, try to stick with the status quo of what school is “supposed” to look like.

Think about it.

How often have you been tempted to take the day off and just do something fun, only to give in to guilt and continue with your homeschool routine as planned?

How many times have you suppressed the urge to just let your kids sit and play together quietly in order to interrupt an intense period of play so that your kids could learn about consonant blends?

And how many times have you gone against your instinct as a parent to keep your homeschool simple, and alternatively jammed as many things as possible into your everyday routine?

If you’re anything like I am, probably quite a bit.

Today I just wanted to talk to you about that last one: the oh-so-common pitfall of becoming obsessed with covering everything, only to find that not only does it not work, but it’s likely to impede a child’s learning as a consequence. Continue reading “Are You Overcomplicating Your Homeschool?”

Self-Directed Learning: It’s Time to Clear Something Up…

Ah, self-directed learning. It’s one of my absolute favorite advantages of relaxed homeschooling. There can be no more effective way for children to learn, in my opinion.

In fact, its efficacy is what has enabled me to embrace a simpler homeschool approach for my children. Out of all the “fool-proof” tricks I’ve tried and well-intentioned advice I’ve received, there is no denying the fact that kids (at least, my kids) learn far more successfully and enthusiastically when they themselves are the ones who are given the reins on their education.

However, over the past few months I have realized that there are some who don’t quite understand what self-directed learning actually is, and I’ve found that the most confusion stems from one faulty idea: that self-directed learning is just another name for independent learning.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Continue reading “Self-Directed Learning: It’s Time to Clear Something Up…”

5 Ways Unit Studies Saved Our Homeschool

Once upon a time, I quit homeschooling and sent my kids back to school.

Yes, I once sent my kids back to school.

Yes, really.

It’s not something I’m proud of, but I’ve come to realize that that dark experience is what gave me the courage to be as – ahem – outspoken about homeschooling and the public education system as I am.

While there were many things that gave me the courage and confidence to take them back out again after two years to begin our homeschool anew, today I’m going to focus on one thing that has kept us grounded: Continue reading “5 Ways Unit Studies Saved Our Homeschool”

Don’t Make This Mistake When Homeschooling High School

Homeschooling high school is a scary thing. Believe me, I get it.  I’m going to cut to the chase today because I need to address someting that I see happening quite often. You see, this very fear is what I honestly believe is at the root of a mistake many homeschooling parents make once their kids reach those last four years of “school.”

It’s a mistake that many people wouldn’t even consider to be a problem in the first place, and therein lies the problem.  Continue reading “Don’t Make This Mistake When Homeschooling High School”

How to Homeschool with Living Books

I love homeschooling. And I love books, so what better than to combine the two?

Now I’m not talking textbooks here – no thank you! As a homeschool mom, it is extremely important to me that my kids are learning in a way that is interesting and engaging, and, unfortunately, textbooks just don’t fit those criteria in my humble opinion.  Continue reading “How to Homeschool with Living Books”