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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Now displaying: May, 2016
May 27, 2016

The search results taunt me. “Creative homeschool: A lot of ideas” “Great homeschool/education ideas” “Using Pinterest as a free homeschool curriculum” (<—- Really!? Isn’t that akin to “Eat homemade ice cream for dinner for 13 years”?)

I give up. I just can’t live up to all the homeschool hype. The mummified chicken. The salt dough maps. The notebooking page for a third grader that has more lines than my kid could fill in a month. He burst into tears over that stupid notebooking page (no, I wasn’t requiring him to write on every line) and honestly I felt like crying with him.

Because homeschooling shouldn’t be this difficult. Because I am supposed to enjoy staying home with my kids each day. Because it’s all my own fault. Listen to hear the rest...

May 26, 2016

I wish I could tell you that I have the formula for the perfect homeschool day, but sadly I do not. All I know for sure is that there are no two homeschool days that are exactly alike and whatever you plan, it will often not go exactly as planned.

Yes, having a plan in place is important. If we don’t, the overwhelming nature of the task before us will paralyze us. So here are my best tips for creating a daily schedule that inspires you to get things done.

May 25, 2016

Can I answer this question with a question? (No, not that question -- another one.) What do you want to accomplish with your homeschool schedule? Which scheduling method you use depends on what you are trying to accomplish in your homeschool, because both types of schedules lend themselves well to accomplishing very different goals. Block scheduling is used to organize your homeschool subjects in such a way that you are doing fewer of them at any given time. This allows you to focus deeper on fewer things throughout the day, have less anxiety because you are tracking less at any given time, and go more deeply by spending more time on a subject. Loop scheduling on the other hand is a way for you to reduce the stress in your homeschool that comes from skipping or missing subjects because they are assigned to specific days. Loop scheduling doesn't really allow you to do more or less in your day -- just not be upset by which thing you should do next. Let's take a look at a few examples of both to see how this plays out. Listen to hear the rest...

May 24, 2016

Recently I took part in an online conversation with homeschool moms about the value of cursive writing and whether it should be taught in a homeschool. It was a polite, but lively conversation and a number of people weighed in on the topic.

The most surprising things about it, was that instead of relying on their own family goals or the latest research on the subject, so many families were basing their decision to teach cursive or not on the whims of the public school.

"They don't learn it any more in the schools in our town" and "My friend who is a teacher says..." were common refrains That got me to pondering. If pressed, many homeschooling families can succinctly spell out why they homeschool.

Homeschooling is tough; it is likely someone won't be homeschooling long past the first few months of eight-year-old math angst, without that knowledge of purpose and conviction.

In addition, most homeschoolers can explain quite well why they follow a specific homeschooling philosophy. Whether they are Charlotte Mason because they believe in a broad, liberal arts education for even the youngest child, or are Unschoolers because they believe you can't learn anything by coercion, they have thought enough about the philosophy before taking it on to know why they wear the label.

Where I see a lack of forethought on the part of homeschoolers is in thinking about the whys of their day-to-day subjects and schedule. Much thought and deliberation goes into the purchase of curriculum, yet how much thought goes into the idea of why even buy curriculum to do a subject in the first place?

Listen for the rest...

May 23, 2016

I see it time and time again. Desperate pleas for help from new homeschool moms come across the feed of our local homeschool group.

"I am pulling my son out of second grade tomorrow, and I don't know where to start."

"We are thinking about homeschooling our kids in the fall, and I need to know what curriculum to buy for a fifth grader?"

"I've got to get my junior out of school -- she is miserable. How can I make sure she gets her Algebra credits?"

You are out there -- moms who have made a decision to homeschool -- and you are not alone. Some of you agonize over it for weeks and months, a few have to make a rush decision because of a bad situation at school.

You may be scared and unsure and wondering if you are going to ruin your kids by doing this. Yeah, let me tell you right now, you are not. But I know that is a hard thing to take at face value. So let me give you five things to keep in mind to help you on your journey...

May 18, 2016

In episode 000 I introduce myself and give you the down-low on what the Homeschool Solutions Show is all about. Each super-short episode is an audio blog of a piece of great homeschooling content previously published online. You can find an index of episodes as we add them each Friday on