What Is Relaxed Homeschooling?

Part 1 of the Relaxed Homeschooling 101 Series

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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!

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”

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?”

3 Simple Ways to Schedule Unit Studies in Your Homeschool

(Plus an exciting announcement!)

Have you ever found yourself intrigued by the whole philosophy behind unit studies but had no idea how in the world to implement them? 

Believe me, I get it. When I was first introduced to unit studies, not only was I unsure of how to implement them, but I wasn’t even aware that they were to be used instead of textbooks, rather than in addition to them!

Figuring out how to use these amazing homeschooling resources can be a bit tricky if you don’t have a model to at least give you some ideas as to how to approach them. It can be really difficult to implement something that you’re not even sure how to schedule!

That’s what I’m going to help you with today. 🙂  Continue reading “3 Simple Ways to Schedule Unit Studies in Your Homeschool”

Our Homeschool Afternoon Basket for Pre-K, 1st, and 2nd Grade

Don’t you just love the freedom we homeschool moms have to tailor our kids’ education to meet the needs of both them and our families?

Take morning time, for instance.

“Morning time” and “morning basket” are quickly becoming the most popular buzzwords in homeschool circles, and, although we do use a morning basket, today I’m going to let you in on a little secret…  Continue reading “Our Homeschool Afternoon Basket for Pre-K, 1st, and 2nd Grade”

Our Homeschool Morning Basket for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade

As a relaxed homeschooling family, our family’s combined learning time is crucial to our everyday routine. When you’ve got multiple children learning- all at separate levels- consolidating your homeschool regimen as much as possible is an absolute must.

For us, this happens during our daily morning time.

As with all homeschooling techniques, morning time can and will look different for everyone. One thing that most families who incorporate this routine into their day will have in common is a morning basket.  Continue reading “Our Homeschool Morning Basket for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade”

Our Homeschool Morning Time Routine

Although this is our 9th year homeschooling, by no means do I know everything there is to know about it.

Take morning time, for example.

Up until very recently, while I had heard the term “morning time” over and over again, I never really made much of an effort to find out what it was because I was happy with where we were at in our homeschool and didn’t see the need to try anything new.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to find out what the fuss was all about. Interestingly enough, I discovered that morning time actually would fit perfectly into our homeschool routine because we were pretty much already doing it!  Continue reading “Our Homeschool Morning Time Routine”

How to Painlessly Incorporate Read-Aloud Time into Your Homeschool

If anyone would ever ask me to choose one part of homeschooling that ranks above all others in fun, learning, and family bonding, I’d have to say read-aloud time. When I think of the perfect homeschool day, you’d better believe it always includes lots of hot chocolate, comfy blankets, and a good book.  Continue reading “How to Painlessly Incorporate Read-Aloud Time into Your Homeschool”

Homeschool Organization When You Don’t Have a School Room

Every year around this time it starts. You begin to see photo after photo of magazine-quality homeschool rooms all over Pinterest, YouTube, and Facebook. These photogenic rooms can be the inspiration for so many homeschoolers.

Or, if you’re like me, they send you running.

You see… I don’t have a school room. 

Believe it or not, that statement is not a complaint. Years ago we did have one in our old house, and we ended up never using it, so it’s not that I’m envious. It simply reminds me that we don’t have as much room to store all of our homeschool “stuff” as other people may.

But that’s okay. Being the practical mom that I am, I made it work. Today I’m going to share with you how.  Continue reading “Homeschool Organization When You Don’t Have a School Room”