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Ten Things First Year Homeschoolers Should Know

 We did it. We survived the first year! We pieced our way through, and came out the other side in one piece. For the most part.I have to tell you, it was a LOT of work. It wasn't always easy. The things that I thought were going to be a slam dunk, well...they weren't. The things I was most worried about tended to be easier than I imagined. We dumped curriculum, picked up new ones, … [Read more...]

Homeschool Science Fun: Frozen Bubbles

In case you've been living in a cave recently and hadn't heard, a "polar vortex" has gripped our section of the country with the coldest temps we've seen in twenty years. With temps below zero before the wind chill, almost all schools in the area have closed to keep kids safe. But being a homeschooling family, school goes on here! Honestly, we've been on Christmas break for three weeks now--I … [Read more...]

Teaching Simplicity in Homeschooling

I get asked a lot about how homeschooling is going for us, especially in light of my goal of simplifying life in our house. On the surface, it would seem like homeschooling adds more chaos to our lives. And to be honest, it does in some ways. But in many others it doesn't.The short answer to their question is: homeschooling is a major challenge, but it is AWESOME. It has been a lot of work, … [Read more...]

Practical Homeschooling 101: Staying Flexible

One of the key things you'll learn as you begin homeschooling is that flexibility is a MUST. I'm pretty structured in how we do school--there is a schedule for every day of what is being done and when--so that we stay on track. All three of us are ADHD so without the schedule we'd never get anything done. But even within that schedule, I've learned that I must remain flexible. Heck, you can see … [Read more...]

Homeschooling 101: The Charlotte Mason Philosophy

One of the most popular homeschooling philosophies is the Charlotte Mason philosophy. Many, if not most, homeschoolers utilize at least some of her theories and methods in their homeschool. In fact, from what I've read and seen, I would say that many homeschoolers are following her philosophy without even realizing that is what they are doing! Her methods are such a natural fit for what most … [Read more...]

Homeschooling 101: Unit Studies

Now that you've answered the two most important questions about the why and the what of homeschooling, you are ready to begin exploring the different philosophies and styles available to you. There are so many! From Classical to Charlotte Mason to Online to Unschooling (say what?) and even to problem-based learning...there's a style for everyone! While many do subscribe to one philosophy, most … [Read more...]

The What and the Why of Homeschooling

When you decide to start homeschooling, it feels like there are a zillion decisions to be made. You have to pick out curriculum (and there seem to be several thousand of those!), decide a learning style, figure out where you're going to homeschool in the house, set up a schedule, answer a bunch of questions from friends and family, decide whether or not to join a co-op, find a co-op, navigate the … [Read more...]

31 Days: Beginning Homeschooling 101

It's October, and that means it is time for a really big challenge: a new 31 Days series. Last year I spent October sharing with you my journey into Naturally Frugal living. I shared recipes, tricks and tutorials on things I'd been learning over the year. When it came time to plan out this year's series, I decided to once again reach into a subject that I myself am still learning: … [Read more...]

Practical Homeschooling

So here we are on day one of homeschooling, and already a wrench has been thrown in the works: we have a showing. Our house is still up for sale, which means that when a potential buyer calls we have to make ourselves scarce. We normally run errands and go hang out at the library during showings, but I thought today I'd combine running errands with a little lesson on practical math and … [Read more...]

Homeschooling–The Biggest Decision We’ve Ever Made

This summer has been a summer of huge changes for us. We've not only decided to sell our home and move, but we've decided to homeschool both of our kids as well. This was not a decision made lightly. In fact, as parents, this has been the biggest decision we have ever made. We have talked about it for years as an option, but have never really looked at it seriously. The move--and all the chaos … [Read more...]