Self-care While Homeschooling

Re-sharing one of my older blog posts. This is very important.

Often times as moms we forget to take care of ourselves. Add in homeschooling and well, you can really forget about it most days. Self-care is so important because if you’re not well you aren’t going to be able to properly care for anyone else.  I think caring for yourself is an important gift not only to yourself but your family. Nobody likes an overtired, grumpy momma!

woman doing yoga meditation on brown parquet flooring

Self-care is whatever you make it! Most people think it’s spa days or facials but really do something you love! Read a book, go for a walk, go shopping! It doesn’t matter as long as you do it! I think once you do you will find that you take the stress of homeschooling a lot better. The days where your kid refuses to do math, or won’t read a passage will be better handled. The shopping trip after you spend the whole day…

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5 Common Questions Homeschoolers Get Asked

Homeschooling families are asked a lot of questions about homeschooling and why they chose to do it. Some questions are more common than others. In this blog post I will answer 5 of the most common questions homeschooling families are asked.

  1. What about socialization?

This is probably the most common question that homeschoolers get asked. There is a big concern about whether homeschooled children are around kids their own age enough. The truth is socialization isn’t just about being with people your own age, but with people from all walks of life. Homeschooled children are socialized in various ways we go on play dates, library events, museums, church, co ops, many dance, are on sports teams, are girl/boys scouts, join 4-H, and various clubs.

The possibilities are endless, even a trip to the store is an opportunity to socialize. Talking to the employees and other customers are great ways to get to know people. Many families volunteer or travel. The short answer to this question is homeschooled children get plenty of socialization in many ways.

2. Are you qualified to teach your child/Are you a teacher?

The easy answer to these questions are yes, I’m qualified to teach my children. You don’t have to have a teaching degree to teach your children. There are a few states that require parents to have a GED or high school diploma to homeschool. There are, however, no laws stating you have to have teaching certification.

There are laws we have to follow and thousands of resources we can utilize to help teach our children. There are co-ops where people come together to teach what they known, curricula that has everything one needs to teach, tutors and more.

3. Why did you choose to homeschool? 

The answers to this question will vary depending on who you ask. Every family has their own personal reasons, but all will say it’s what’s best for their family. A huge misconception is most homeschoolers do it for religious reasons. The truth is many don’t, they have many other reason such as the kids being bullied or special needs not being met.

4. Is that legal?

Yes, it’s legal and as I mentioned earlier, each state has their own set of laws. As long as families are in compliance with the laws they are homeschooling legally. The laws for each state can be found easily online through websites such as https://hslda.org/.

5. What about high school? Will your child have a diploma? Will it be legal?

Homeschooling a high schooler is the same as other grades. You can use curriculum, resources, co-ops etc to help your child learn. Yes, homeschooled high schoolers will get a diploma. Homeschooling parents can print one up or get one through an organization such as the Homeschool Defense League. Yes, the diploma is legal even if the parents print it up as per state laws. In fact,many universities such as Harvard recognize homeschool diplomas as legitimate and accept them.

I hope this helps if you’ve ever wondered about any of these topics, If you have other questions please ask in the comments. I will do my best to answer them.

Books Homeschool Parents Should Consider Reading

I do want to put a note here. Some of these books do have Christian viewpoints.

I love reading homeschool books that help encourage or show me different ways to homeschool. There are many out there and for new homeschoolers looking to learn more finding books can be almost as daunting as finding curricula.

In this blog post I will share with you 5 books that I have read that encouraged or helped me on my homeschooling journey. There are way more books out there, but I wanted to share these because they are some of my personal favorites.

  1. Highlighting Homeschooling
Title details for Highlighting Homeschooling by Bethany Gardiner - Wait list

This book is amazing! Bethany explains what homeschooling is and encourages parents as they start this journey. She teaches you how to choose the right curriculum and help guide your child to success. Highlighting Homeschooling is great for people just starting out or a veteran looking for more info.

I chose this book to put on the list because it helped me when I was first starting out and had no clue what homeschooling really is. Highlighting Homeschooling is a step by step guide to help set you up for teaching your child from home. Bethany writes as if she’s speaking to you across the dining room table over a cup of coffee. I recommend this book to everyone getting started homeschooling.

2. The Homeschool Experiment, a Novel

The Homeschool Experiment: A Novel: Charity Hawkins: 9781937639068 -  Christianbook.com

This book is a delight to read because it’s funny and raw. Christy Hawkins isn’t afraid to show you what homeschooling can often times really look like. She not only shows you the rewarding parts of homeschooling, but also the not so rewarding parts. The Homeschool Experience lets you in on the life of a real homeschool family as they navigate what it’s like to laugh, learn, make mistakes, and enjoy the journey of homeschooling.

This is probably one of my favorites on this list because it’s not so much a manual as it is showing you what life is really like when you homeschool. No matter where you’re at in life you’re bound to relate to this book.

3. The Brave Learner

Julie Boggart brings a step by step guide on how to make your homeschool days more enjoyable. Julie is deeply honest about parenting struggles and family issues. She is completely honest about it not always being easy, but uses her experience to show others how to make it all work. The Bracer Learner takes one family’s experience and uses to help others navigate the world of homeschooling and find their place in it.

I suggest this book to everyone who asks me for recommendations because it helps people learn how to make even those impossible days into one that the entire family can enjoy.

4. Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School

This book is a different from the others on the list because it isn’t about how to homeschool or how to make it easier. Rebecca Rupp shows you how to make your own curriculum from scratch. She lists what they need to learn grade by grade, books to use as text for each subject, how to approach each subject, and more.

If you’re looking for a guide on how to make a comprehensive curriculum this is a wonderful choice for you. Rebecca is an expert in this field and you are sure to learn a lot from her.

5. How Children Learn, 50th anniversary edition

This book is for parents of early learners. John Holt is renowned or saying “For young children learning is as natural as breathing.” He talks about how we learn to talk, read, count, reason, and how we as adults can nurture these natural abilities in our children. This book is great for homeschool parents because it will help you guide your little ones learning.

This is a great book to help you embrace how your child learns so you can effortlessly meet them where they are. This book makes teaching young children easier for parents.

All of these books offer different prospectives on how to homeschool your children. They each offer steps, advice and ideas on how to make homeschooling successful, finding your right curriculum, and more. You can find all of them on Amazon.com. This is by no means a full list of the wonderful books on homeschooling, there are many more for you to discover.

Pregnancy, Life, and Homeschooling

This year has been full of surprises and beyond hectic. I’m 34 weeks pregnant with a baby that was a wonderful, lovely surprise. We found out at 24 weeks that it’s high risk and that turned our life upside down. We’ve been running to doctor appointment after doctor appointment. My son has been doing school while running around and my toddler just wants to know what’s happening since things have changed.

Picture of my lovely children

The house has been a mess, the laundry put on the back burner and my sanity is basically non existent. I keep hearing about how strong we are, how awesome, we’re holding it all together. All the while I shed tears of frustration before putting a smile on my face. To make matters worse, my husband tore a ligament in his ankle and is on light work duty while starting PT tomorrow. The same week someone rear ended him in his work van and we’re having to deal with that. It seems like one thing after another and we can’t catch a break!

Grayscale Photography of Crying Woman
Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I wanted to say let’s not do school today. Let’s just lie on the couch and sleep. My son, however loves doing school, loves learning and I feel like I would be punishing him to take that away. I power through, all the while exhausted, scared, frustrated and staring at my house that needs some love. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not a call social services’ situation here, but it does need some work! My toddler wanting the attention she so deserves, I give it to her, but sometimes it takes it all out of me!

Iron, Old, Laundry

I’m not writing this post so you’ll feel sorry for me! I’m writing it to let you know you’re not alone if you’re behind on homeschooling, housework, errands, or even giving a little bit of extra attention to your family. You’re not a failure or a bad parent! You’re in a season and one that will hopefully pass soon! I want you to know that we’ve all been right here in this moment of drowning and being overwhelmed and that it’s okay! I want you to know I understand because I’m right there with you! Struggling, fighting and slowly winning!

As a side note we have our induction date and will be meeting our little one in a little over two weeks! I’ve got this, you’ve got this and we will get better!

Dungeons and Dragons as an Educational Tool

Dungeons and Dragons will be refered a DND throughout the post

If you not into roleplaying games this is probably not the post for you. My family and I are super nerds! We love video games, comic books, action figures, superhero movies, and DND. My son has taken a recent liking to DND and wanted to learn really badly. I was all for it as it can be a great family bonding activity. I also started wondering how this could be a possible learning tool.

We are using DND as a learning activity in many ways. 1. Math this game is very, very math centric. Players have to roll different dice to make just about any more. From making a move in battle to charm their way out of a bad situation and more! The way this is done is with a set of dice, but these aren’t your normal everyday dice. You have d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. Each dice has a purpose in the game.

Image result for dnd dice
Picture from https://www.amazon.com

We are also using DND to teach our son about writing. How? You may ask, well by character building. Most of the building is by rolling those dice again and determining how strong, smart, and charming you are. There is a major part of character building is coming up with a backstory. The player comes up with a history or backstory for their character. They have to come up with character is from, what they do, what motivates them act. They record all this on a character sheet.

Image result for dnd character sheet
picture from https://www.instructables.com

Another way is teaching our son geography. You play in an imaginary land. Players either use a map or their imagination to visualize the land in which they explore. There are different terrain, buildings and people. Players have to learn the layout and history of this land. We use this to teach my son about real places by using them as a setting. It’s fun and he doesn’t always realize he is learning. Here is what a typical dungeon in DND looks like.

Image result for dnd map
Picture from https://dnd.wizards.com

DND is also a very social game! You can get together with many other people run a campaign. Friends are made and relationships cultivated. The DND community for the most part is an open, welcome, friendly community to belong to. My son is looking for a group right now of kids his age to play with. Look in the right places and you can find homeschool DND groups. Many people don’t see the value of DND but I promise you there are so many ways to use it to teach and get your kid around people with similar interest. Many times they do way more together then play the game. They actually become really great friends!

If you and your family like games DND may be one that you will all enjoy and as this post shows you it can be educational as well!

Preptober, NanoWrimo, and Homeschooling

This year one of my son’s assignments is to participate in Preptober and NanoWrimo. For those of you who may not know what that is NanoWrimo is something writers do in November. They write a novel of 50,000 words in a month. It is a fun, creative exercise to help them flex their writing muscles. Preptober is where we all prepare for Nano the month before. Many writers use the month to come up with an idea, research and outline.

Image result for nanowrimo 2019
NanoWrimo 2019 poster

I have used Nano to write two novels one has been published and one is almost ready to be published. My son has shown a great interest in writing a book and I really want to encourage in in doing that. Nano offers a young writers program and I thought participating this year would be a great, fun way to get his feet wet. He can do it alongside me while I help him. He is excited and has been asking me to get him outline templates to start working on his story.

The good news is that the young writers do not have to write 50,000 words unless they choose to. They can pick what they want their word count to be on the website specifically made for them by the Nano team. You can check that out here: https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/

As for outlining the amazing team has provided workbooks to help young writers plan and prepare for Nano. You can download those here if you’d like. https://ywp.nanowrimo.org/pages/writer-resources

Image result for nanowrimo workbook pdf
Picture curiosity of the Nano website

I will be getting my son the middle school one, but as you can see they have one for all grade levels. This can easily count toward school and who knows if your child is serious about writing could help lead them down the path of being an author.

Do you have a student that wants to be a writer? Or maybe you want to be a writer. I would suggest doing Nano this year as a way to get started in that direction! Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever participated, had a child who has or if you or your child wants to

You ARE an ARTiST! Curriculum

My family was recently blessed to win a year’s subscription to You ARE an ARTiST curriculum. We have access to video online lessons. My son is able to follow along and make his own pieces of artwork. We have never used this curriculum before but are looking forward to diving in and see what we think of it.

There are no expensive, intimidating list of art supplies. A Simple Start in Acrylics Video Art Lessons is a wonderful stand alone art curriculum for all ages.


This is one of the courses we are able to do, but there are so much more! Such as:

Nana's A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels Video Art Course Charter School Edition because you ARE an artist! Beautiful artwork, tips on colors and chalk pastel techniques.

I will be writing weekly blog posts about what we are learning and what we think! If you think you’d be interested in buying courses there are different options for you. Prices vary depending on what you want, but you can make monthly payments! If you’d like more info, check out their website here: https://www.chalkpastel.com/get-started-in-chalk-pastel-art/.

Have you ever used this curriculum? If you have can you please tell what what you thought in the comments?

Why I haven’t posted in a While

Hello all!

I wanted to hop on here and let you know why I have been posting as much. We found out I was pregnant in February. We recently found out I’m high risk so that resulted in more doc appointments. I have also started a business and my daughter is starting preschool. That means I have a middle schooler and a preschooler. My husband has had an increase in hours, always a good thing, but I’ve had a little less help due to it. We’ve just been taking it one day at a time here! Things are starting to so down so that is good!

For the most part everything has been fantastic! We’ve just had an increase in doc appointments. I’ve gotten my daughter started in preschool and she is doing well. That means I’m teaching a middle schooler and pre-schooler this year. We are thinking of changing up our curriculum for the 6th grader because he isn’t really being challenged by what we’re using. I’m really hoping to hop back in with blogging regularly soon!

How are all of you doing in your homeschooling? Let me know in the comments!

Life has Gotten the Best of Me

This post contains affiliate links!

Wow, so long time no write! I am so behind on my work! Writing, blogging, and even home schooling. I have been running a lot lately from appointments and just because of life. We found out we are having another baby and that has been the focus a lot lately as well. I have some posts to make about the curriculum we’ve reviewed and so much more stuff! While I was blessed to be able to team up with Intoxicated on Life! They have so many amazing homeschooling resources and other awesome stuff! I wanted to share one of the things I love with you today!

Their Brainy Breakfasts book! I love this because they have over 4 healthy breakfast ideas for your family! They are good, easy to make and grain free! Please click the banner to check it out!

Square

Okay, now that that has been done, I just want to say I’m going to do my best to post once through twice a week again. This coming school year should be interesting for my family! I’ll have a 6th grader, a preschooler and come November a newborn. Tell me what grades your kids are in and how you plan to tackle this coming year in the comments!

Techie Homeschool Mom: Ancient Egypt Online Unit Review

We have gotten the chance to review Ancient Egypt Online Unit Study by
Techie Homeschool Mom. She offers many other unit studies but we are going to only focus on the one we have done for this review! My son has always loved learning about Ancient Egypt so when an opportunity popped up to do a unit study we quickly said yes! You child will learn all about Ancient Egypt through videos, website and projects they get to make themselves! Students learn all about Egypt’s civilization, daily life, hieroglyphs, inventions made by the Egyptians, mummies, clothing, the rosetta stone and so much more!

When your student is done with the videos and reading any info on the given websites they will do a quiz to test there knowledge. There is also some great suggestions that you can add onto what your students are learning. These include books and games to play. Below is another picture of what the unit looks like.

My son loved learning about Egypt through this unit study and has expressed interest in learning more by doing all of the other unit studies that are offered!

Solar, Ancients and Famous People Unit Studies {Techie Homeschool Mom Reviews}
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