I got an email this morning that almost made me break out into hives.
It was from a popular homeschool planning company that was touting their ready-made homeschool plans. Now having done this homeschool mentor thing for a number of years I know that people really want plans that are already made — after all we sell ready-made Morning Time plans for just those folks (and I use them myself!!).
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/lists-for-homeschool/
Most days I feel like my brain is a sieve. Can anyone else relate? It is full, absolutely full to the brim, and I am hustling like crazy to plug all the little holes and keep everything from running out of it.
Remember to pay the bills.
Remember to make the dental appointment (I have a referral for my son to get a tooth pulled. It is dated 2-5-18 and that appointment is still not made.)
Remember to give the dogs their heartworm medication.
Switch the laundry before it sours. Stir the chili before it burns. Read to the kids before they grow up and leave forever. *sniff*
So when I say that I take the time to sit and plan my out my homeschool year (yes, the entire year) in the summer, I am not saying that to brag or show my superior organizing skills.
Yes, I admit to being a checklist mom, but honestly, I do this because it is the only thing that saves my sanity during the school year.
Without a plan, school would simply not get done. And that’s not a good thing when homeschooling is how you educate your children.
Read more or find links: https://pambarnhill.com/how-a-homeschool-mom-can-worry-less-and-do-more/
My kids piled out of the mini-van and chatted happily, heading in the door of the donut shop. It was hot — almost 100 degrees on this mid-July day. But it was the first day of school and that means donuts.
This was not some spontaneous decision made in the moment, but instead, a planned (and beloved) tradition that makes the first day of school something we anticipate instead of dread.
We always start school on a Wednesday. We always start with just a handful of subjects. We always start with a tidy school room. And we always get donuts. Why? Because we like it that way and also because mom is a checklist mom.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/checklist-homeschool-moms/
Last week I told you all about Laura and how her homeschool plan actually created more stress in her life than it did peace.
It happens. A lot.
This week I am back, as promised, to give you four important keys you can use to create a plan that doesn’t feel like a guess, but instead, a tool to help you homeschool strong for the entire year. This is how to get it done.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/four-keys-homeschool-plan/
Ah summer. Swimming pools, ice cream, and hours free to
get bored do what you want. I loved summer because our days are more relaxed. I love a break from the structured school time and the feeling of needing to get a litany of school work accomplished each day.
But if I am not careful our summers turn into a marathon of cartoons, video games, and YouTube (Does anyone else’s kids like to look up their current passion on YouTube and watch all the videos?)
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/summer_organization/
Not all Fridays are great. Sometimes they bring out Friday Mom. You know the kind of Fridays I mean. They should be fun. But they turn into stress.
For example, on a recent Friday morning, we had one hour before we had to leave home for a field trip. Of course, you know what happened—chaos.
Listen or read more at https://www.sonlight.com/blog/four-day-homeschool-week.html
Laundry sits in piles upstairs. There are two loads waiting to be folded and two are sitting in the washer and dryer. Campfire scented top sheets are tossed haphazardly on the floor so I don’t forget to wash them next.
None of these piles include my own laundry which is overflowing in a basket down the hall. I have only tackled the towels and the boys’ clothing so far and I can’t seem to even finish that task.
Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/09/24/things-wont-work/
Isn’t it interesting that a homeschool parent’s qualifications or lack thereof can cause objections to homeschooling? For whatever reason, there’s this notion that only those with a background in education are truly capable of teaching and training children and teenagers.
Here’s the thing, I am that homeschool mom without an education degree. I am that parent in question and I want to shout it loud that it can be done and done well.
Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-without-degree/
I always feel pulled in two different directions in February.
One on hand, the Fun Mom in me wants to live large. She wants to shake up the daily routine, toss out the boring old schoolbooks, and spend February setting the kids’ enthusiasm afire with fascinating hands-on projects from Pinterest.
But on the other hand, the Responsible Mom in me would really like to get the math book done by the end of May. (And she’s not so sure she can pull off that watermelon clipper ship.)
Fortunately, you can be the Fun Mom and still make progress in the math book with these eight ways to shake up your math routine.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/8-ways-make-math-fun/
Ask any veteran homeschool mom whose kids have already graduated from high school, and she will reassure you:
What a difference 10-15 years of hindsight makes! But you don't have to wait that long. Let's look right now at ten of the biggest and most common homeschool fears so you can face—and more importantly, conquer—them.
Listen or read more at https://www.bookshark.com/blog/homeschool-fears/
I hear it all the time.
We’re having self-editing issues. For some reason, my children believe they are perfect writers! They can never find any spelling or grammar mistakes.
Surprise, surprise! Most children simply don’t get the whole editing thing. They like what they wrote and can’t understand why you want them to—gasp!—look for ways to improve it.
Listen or read more at https://writeshop.com/why-self-editing-is-hard-make-it-easier/
Do you ever have bad attitudes in your homeschool? I love homeschooling and my children usually do, too. But, sometimes the homeschooling attitudes in our house just stink.
Have you ever wanted to wring the necks of grumpy kids who whine about every single task set before them. Or dole out about a hundred chores every time you run up against obstinate behavior? Me, too.
Listen or read more at https://ourjourneywestward.com/bad-attitudes-in-your-homeschool/
In my earliest days of homeschooling, I had ideas about what our homeschool would actually look like.
You know what I mean… right?
And then we actually started homeschooling. And it just never looked quite like that initial vision.
Listen or read more at https://readaloudrevival.com/jbwc/
About five years ago the days in our homeschool were simply learning math facts, phonics, and letter formation. Yawn.
Sure we read a picture book or two, but I had a two-year-old who sapped all the energy I used to have for putting together elaborate unit studies. In addition my kids had informed me in no uncertain terms that they wanted nothing to do with making another lapbook thank.you.very.much.
Listen or read more at https://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschool-morning-time-2/
I am not a morning person. My kids are not morning people. Unfortunately, my husband IS a morning person. This became very apparent when we all went on a week-long homeschool field trip. My husband would wake early, run to the gym, and return to the hotel very chipper — and talkative (ugg!).
Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/homeschool-morning-meeting/
Long before I was asked to speak at the Great Homeschool Conventions I was an attendee.
In fact, convention time each year made me rather giddy. I almost always went with friends. We would make a road trip and a weekend of it.
I would plot my speaker schedule like a general manages an attack, walk every single aisle of the vendor hall just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and I still have my rolling cart which held everything from water bottles to emergency snacks. And I just learned so much and felt renewed and refreshed every single year.
This year I imagine my experience at the convention will be much more, um, nerve-wracking to say the least, but I cannot wait to meet all of you there.
In order to make the most of your convention experience I have made a little Plan Your Year Convention Planning Pack that you can get here for FREE. It contains the forms you need to plan your best convention experience.
Read more and find the free handouts at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-convention-planning/
When my daughter was two years old she had the cutest habit of picking up her toy cell phone, holding it to her ear, and making a noise somewhere between a growl and disgusted sigh. “Look,” we would laugh. “Where did she learn that?”
Until one day I was driving down a stretch of rural highway we often traveled and my phone dropped a call yet again. The noise of disgust was barely out of my mouth when I realized exactly where Olivia picked up that little habit. Whoops.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-mistake/
“Everyone was up late and needs just a quiet day.”
“We’ve been working so hard, a day off is just what we need. “
“We missed lessons yesterday, I’m not motivated today."
Do any of these sound familiar to you? They used to be all-too-familiar to me. Not only that, some of them are still tempting from time to time.
But now I know a truth: schooling consistency breeds consistency.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/benefits-homeschool-consistency/
The morning light was thin, blue, and cold. It was cozy under my blanket though as I sipped my coffee. I had an edifying book in my lap — who am I kidding — I was scrolling Facebook on my phone.
One kid was asleep, two were upstairs watching “educational” cartoons, and frankly, I was in no hurry to start my school day.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/sabotage-your-homeschool/
I have been a somewhat lonely homeschooler for the past several years. It began when we chose to homeschool high school — and most of our homeschooling friends did not. True story: out of the 20-30 families we knew who homeschooled back when our children were in the early elementary grades, I can think of only a handful of them that continued homeschooling through the high school years.
I confess that this bothers me.
There’s a common adage that says if you lose your why, you lose your way. In other words, if you forget why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’re not going to get very far. You’ll be easily sidetracked by distractions, discouragement, and disappointments. If you don’t have a firm grasp on your reason for following your chosen path, you can get derailed. This is part of why I believe in purposeful living, which includes purposeful homeschooling.
Listen or read more at https://embracingdestinyblog.com/2017/05/our-purposeful-homeschool.html
Being a mom is tough work. Being a homeschool mom is crazy tough work! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned homeschool mom, these 25 practical tips and words of encouragement will keep you trekking along in your homeschooling journey with your chin up!
Listen or read more at http://rulethisroost.com/25-ways-to-rule-your-homeschool/
Did you recently meet a homeschooler for the first time? Did a friend or family member just shock you by announcing they will be homeschooling their children? Are you concerned but don’t know just what to say?
Look, I get it. When we decided to homeschool I knew exactly one homeschool family. It’s different. It’s weird. You don’t quite understand it. I mean, why would anyone want to do this? It seems so… hard.
But what do you say?
I think my family has entered the golden age of Morning Time. My three kids range in age from 6 to 10. We have no toddlers to disrupt us (though don’t be fooled in thinking things are too quiet) and we have no teens who need to rush away to complete a list of requirements to earn credits.
It is just us, together, learning to love beauty.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/morning-time-all-ages/
Somehow over the years I have become the pie cook for our family holiday gatherings.
I would like to think it is because I make the best pies. More likely it is because my mom thinks there are always other deserts around if I happen to ruin the pies. If I ruined the cornbread dressing? Well that's another story, isn't it?
My secret to perfect pie crust? I buy it from the little doughboy in the freezer section -- two frozen 9" deep dish at a time.
What I have come to learn from years of making pies is that scratch is not always better.
Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/when-making-it-from-scratch-isnt-good-enough