5 Homeschool Planning Hacks to Save Your Sanity!

Ah, homeschool planning. You either love it, or you hate, am I right?

Me? I’ve always loved it – perhaps a little too much. I enjoyed doing it so much that I would often go overboard. I’d plan too far ahead. I’d get too specific, and I would get too ambitious about what days we’d be doing what activity…even six months down the road!

Lord, I don’t miss those days. Since then I’ve learned that when it comes to homeschool planning, it needs to follow in the footsteps of my homeschool philosophy: keeping things simple.

Here are the five most important things I’ve learned about planning a homeschool schedule. I hope it helps some of you! Continue reading “5 Homeschool Planning Hacks to Save Your Sanity!”

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Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan for Elementary and Middle School

I can’t believe it. Our new homeschool year begins next week already. Wow, this past six weeks went quickly!

As I was gathering books at the library for our first unit study the other day, I realized that some of you might like to see how I’m planning for our homeschool days to unfold, especially in regard to our unit study. I’m fairly certain that, even though I address unit studies quite often, they can be a bit of a mystery to those who are unfamiliar with them.

As you might be aware, for years I’ve been breaking my children into groups for their learning, simply because I have so many of them. 😉 (This year I’m homeschooling 8 again.)

However, now that my second youngest is ready to move up to the middles group, I’ve got a bit of a dilemma – that leaves my youngest alone in the littles group. She’s not too happy about that.

Continue reading “Our Beginning-of-the-Year Homeschool Plan for Elementary and Middle School”

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”

Using Read-Alouds as the Spine of Your Homeschool

Imagine a homeschool day with no textbooks, no worksheets, and no busy work. Imagine a homeschool day quietly spent reading aloud to your children, all the while feeling perfectly confident that this was enough. Imagine a homeschool day devoid of disconnected subjects and seemingly impractical lessons but instead filled with quiet conversations and sometimes passionate debate.

Sound impossible?

This, my friends, is a homeschool that is centered on read-alouds.

Continue reading “Using Read-Alouds as the Spine of Your Homeschool”

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?”

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”

10 Ways to Cope with Frustration When Your Homeschooler Doesn’t “Get It”

Homeschooling sure can be frustrating.

No, I haven’t changed my mind about teaching my kids at home. I would never change this lifestyle for anything. Anything.

I’m not going to lie to you, though. Homeschooling isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. Ask any homeschool mom. Like anything in life, there are aspects of it that can be stressful. The root cause may be different depending on who you ask, but, trust me, there’s always somethingContinue reading “10 Ways to Cope with Frustration When Your Homeschooler Doesn’t “Get It””

Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 10th and 12th Grade

Don’t you just love back-to-homeschool time? Everywhere you turn, excited moms are sharing their plans for the new school year. It is such an awesome experience to see how different homeschooling can look from house to house, and how, despite the differences, they’re all equally impressive.

Today I though I’d share what I have in store for my 15 and 17 year old. I will admit that these choices aren’t set in stone- but then again, nothing in homeschool should be, right? Another thing I’ll also point out is that, although I have them “labeled” as 10th and 12th grade students, I don’t actually use a single resource that is grade level specific.

Not one. To me, grade levels are just an arbitrary holdover from traditional school. In fact, we only use them so that:

  • our kids know which Sunday School class to attend, and
  • because our school district assigns them grade levels in their records, anyway.

So, with that being said, let’s get started!  Continue reading “Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 10th and 12th Grade”

Our 2017/2018 (Very) Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 1st and 2nd Grade

I love homeschooling. Well, specifically, I love relaxed homeschooling.

After the disastrous beginning to our homeschool journey that ended with my children being enrolled in school again, if there’s one thing I’ve learned on this adventure, it’s that simplicity is a necessary component in this slightly chaotic household.

My approach to homeschooling 1st and 2nd grade may come dangerously close to unschooling, but that’s okay. It works for us.   Continue reading “Our 2017/2018 (Very) Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 1st and 2nd Grade”

Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade

I’ll be homeschooling nine kids this year. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually one less than last year since my oldest daughter became my first homeschool graduate.

Sniff.

As stressful as people think that may sound, it truly isn’t as chaotic as people think. Busy? Sure. I’d be worried about any homeschool that wasn’t busy. But believe it or not, homeschooling is actually pleasurable for me.  Continue reading “Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade”