The Homeschool Solutions Show with Pam Barnhill

The best homeschool content on the web streaming straight to your earbuds every Friday. Includes blog posts from Pam Barnhill, Sarah Mackenzie, Brandy Vencel, Mystie Winckler and more.
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The Homeschool Solutions Show with Pam Barnhill


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Oct 13, 2017

I’m about to tell you my dirty secret. I’ve kept swallowing this one back down for the past year. Sometimes (more often than not?) I don’t enjoy homeschooling.

There. It’s out.

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Oct 6, 2017

As a teacher, I’ve noticed one factor that consistently holds students back in the classroom: fear of failure. When my students are afraid to fail, they typically respond to challenges in one of two ways.

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Sep 29, 2017

It almost seems incongruous. Morning Time, the bastion of great literature, beautiful music, truth, goodness, beauty… and high-tech gadgets?

But, oh mama, it is true. There are ways moving into the 21st century can enhance the Morning Time habit you are building in your family. Here are three ways some easy Amazon purchases can make your Morning Time better.

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Sep 22, 2017

As homeschoolers, we all know the value of teaching our kids how to become independent learners. We work hard to pass the mantle of teacher from ourselves to our students. And we thrill as we see them picking up this mantle and running with it.

They are checking items off their lists, reading books, doing research, and filling their minds with lots of amazing information about science, history, geography, and more. Or are they?

What if your independent learners aren’t learning at all? What if they’re breezing through their work in order to get to free time? What if they’re skimming through the books? What if they’re killing time and not really learning what they say they are?

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Sep 15, 2017

Does the word schedule make you break out in hives? Do you picture yourself harried and deflated at the end of a day on a schedule? Maybe for you, like me, that’s a vivid memory, not a theoretical picture.

There’s a lot of visceral reaction against schedules in the homeschool world, and I totally get why. I mean, can I schedule diaper blowouts and my doorbell ringing and the toddler pulling an open bag of powdered sugar onto herself? Where does that go in the schedule?

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Sep 8, 2017

When she was six, my daughter told me she didn’t want to learn to read because then I might stop reading to her. Nothing could be further from the truth, but then six-year-olds aren’t known for their logic, are they?

Lucky for her it wasn’t too long after that I stumbled upon Andrew Pudewa’s talk, Nurturing Competent Communicators.

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Sep 1, 2017

Homeschooling parents love literature lists. love. love. love.

Quality literature is an important part of our homeschools. Historical fiction. Classics. Biographies. Non-fiction. The list goes on. and on. and on. Till we finally narrow down the titles we will attack for the school year.

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Aug 25, 2017

Homeschooling a middle school kid? We are and, I'll be honest, it's been a bit of a roller coaster. This letter I'm writing is really to myself - reminding me that these years are just as precious and probably even more important than our early homeschooling years.

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Aug 18, 2017

Dear Self,

I am here today with some tough love.

Because I do love you, and I know this homeschooling your kids thing is important to you. And yet, you struggle with homeschooling consistently.


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Aug 10, 2017

There’s this false dichotomy that pops up in the homeschool world. “You shouldn’t have a schedule, you should have a routine.” It sounds all well and good, a wonderful idea for folks who have an established routine or are not easily distracted.

Not so for many of us. Not so for me.

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Aug 4, 2017

* Contains Christian content “My child will never have a job where he needs to know algebra. We’re just teaching consumer math and being done with it.” “I know God isn’t preparing my child for college, so I don’t plan to worry too much about high school requirements.” “As long as my kids know the Lord, the rest of it doesn’t really matter.” “Neither my high school children or I are interested in history. I think we’re just going to do a quick lapbook (*written for elementary students) and count it as a credit.” “My kids give me so much grief about science that I’ve decided to stop teaching it for now. It’s just too hard to fight them.” “I know I need to get more serious about school, but ball practice two mornings a week, ball games at least one or two nights a week and co-op classes on Monday afternoons are really messing up my schedule. We’re trying to fit school in, but we’re so behind.” “God will fill in the gaps.” Above are actual comments I have heard within the last four months. They concern me. Read the rest here:

Jul 28, 2017

I know there are some moms out there whose character voices during read-aloud time rival the work of Oscar-winning actors.

I am not one of those moms.

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Jul 21, 2017

It seems like everyone you meet is obsessed with STEM or STEAM-focused activities nowadays. Should you worry about this with your preschooler?

There is certainly no need to jump right into formal schooling with a little one, but it never hurts to start incorporating mathematical learning into your everyday fun.

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Jul 14, 2017

If you are like I was when we had our first struggling reader some 17 years ago, and know nothing about the phenomenon called dyslexia, you may be wondering, as I did, how to know if someone you know is dyslexic or not.

It is no great mystery. There are quite a few signs of dyslexia that are easy to observe.

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Jul 7, 2017

I have never been very flexible — physically or otherwise.

I have always envied those people able to do splits (never done one) or be laissez faire about missing deadlines (never missed one in my yearbook adviser days).

Then I became a homeschool mom.

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Jun 26, 2017

Homeschooling is hard work. Juggling the daily homeschool schedule with managing the kids, the daily chores, the meal planning, and a few minutes for yourself (most likely hiding in the bathroom with a piece of chocolate) doesn’t leave much time for other pursuits. Part of the problem?

Your homeschool schedule.

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Jun 23, 2017

I recently heard from a mom who was concerned that if she homeschooled her son, she would be judged by other parents for it and that her son would likely be labeled as quirky. I hated to break it to her… but she was right. Even though homeschooling is on the rise across the country, it is still not the cultural norm. If we homeschool our sons they WILL be different than if we send them to school.

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Jun 16, 2017

Chaos is not my thing. Not that anyone really likes it, but some most folks roll with the punches better than I do.

The kids are yelling. The dog is tracking mud through the kitchen while he yips incessantly at said children. A pot is boiling over on the stove.

And in the midst of this I am supposed to be teaching reading, or math, or the kings and queens of England. I struggle.

Oh, I really do. You too?

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Jun 9, 2017

“I don’t know how you do it. I know I never could.”

The common response when people ask where my kids go to school and I respond with “home.” To which I mutter something back about how it’s not as hard as you might think and we’ve never really known anything different…it’s just what we do.

But I get what they mean. When you’re peeking into somebody else’s life that is so very different than your own, our common response is, I have no idea how they do it.

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Jun 2, 2017

Often the question comes up. Do you school year round or do you take a summer break? It’s a legitimate question that has different answers and reasons depending on who you ask. We school year round, but we don’t keep a regular schedule during the summer. We have a more relaxed Year Round Homeschool Summer Schedule.

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May 26, 2017

The other day, a friend asked me for help with a problem she’d been having in getting her toddler to sit still whenever she read to him.

She knows my daughter loves books as much as my husband and I do, and since I taught first and second graders to read during my years as an elementary school teacher, she figured I’d have a few helpful tips to pass along.

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May 19, 2017

When I found out about homeschooling, I was shocked.

Then I watched and thought and was intrigued.

Then I decided that it was what I wanted to do.

Then I fell in love with and married a man who was all for homeschooling our future family.

Then we had a baby (and two more).

I started to study. I read all kinds of books on homeschooling and educational philosophy. I spent hours and hours reading and participating on the Well-Trained Mind Forums. I read lots of blogs - well that wasn't new.

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May 12, 2017

Let’s talk about independence.

Some homeschoolers want more of it like it’s the Holy Grail of home education. Others counter with the criticism that homeschooling is not meant to be a solitary activity.

So, which is it?

Let’s explore some ideas in The Myth of Independence.

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May 5, 2017

The perfect homeschool plan is not elusive. In fact it is easy to create the perfect plan for your family if you begin by considering the needs of your family, considering your limitations as a homeschool teacher, and avoiding common pitfalls.

Planning means following a series of prescribed steps that will ensure that you have a plan that is going to work.

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Apr 28, 2017

When someone asks about my favorite homeschooling resources, I give the usual list - white board, dry erase markers, lots of notebooks, and a library card. I could share that list of resources today but I think I'd rather take a look at a few different things that you'll need for homeschooling that you can't buy at WalMart or Amazon. These are my homeschooling essentials.


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