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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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Sep 21, 2018

Is sibling conflict a problem in your home? Maybe you think that question is just a joke. Maybe you think it's a nice way to begin a post by making everyone feel normal and right at home because DUH! of course sibling conflict is a problem. In everyone's home. Always.

But it may not be for the reason you're thinking.

Listen or read more at https://hswotrainingwheels.com/sibling-conflict-problem/

Sep 14, 2018

It must be kind of hard to be J.K. Rowling.

I had that thought the other night as I tucked into the first in her crime series, which she wrote under a pseudonym.

I think if I were her I would do everything under a pseudonym.*

I’d grocery shop under a pen name.

Because she has already kind of done The Most Amazing Thing

Can you imagine that pressure?

It must be crushing sometimes.

Listen or read more at http://www.karasanderson.com/youre-not-homeschooling-for-likes/

Sep 7, 2018

Be proactive, not reactive.

You know you are going to have good days and bad days.

We’ve been talking the past couple of weeks about how we might be the ones sabotaging our homeschools. We also discussed the importance of having our attitudes ordered rightly because someone might be watching.

But what does this look like in the day to day of our home? We have meals to cook, errands, appointments, and a house to clean. And then there are the unexpected problems that come up in our week.

Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/proactive-homeschooling/

Aug 31, 2018

You’ve met her. Maybe you’ve been her. Maybe you are her.

Some homeschool moms might scare you. Some homeschool moms scare their children. But I think we’ve all experienced another kind of scary homeschool mom: the one who scares herself.

Are you scary? Who do you scare?

Is it always wrong to be scary? If our fears are pointing us toward our weaknesses, and we then reinforce those areas, we can become scary in all the right ways: Scary not to our children or to ourselves, but to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Listen or read more at https://www.simplyconvivial.com/2016/scary/

Aug 24, 2018

This is the second post in the series: Help Your Kids Memorize Anything. You can see part one here.

No doubt, the heart of any memory method is recitation. By saying the words over and over again, the language patterns, information and the very essence of words become ingrained into our being.

Often when we read, especially as better readers, we skip over words or read by phrase instead of word for word. It is this reason that simply reading something to memorize it is not enough. The better way is to say it out loud — or recite it.

Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/recite-recite-recite-help-kids-memorize-anything/

Aug 17, 2018

Guilt is a universal feeling though it rears its ugly head in different ways, using different strategies for each person. We must all learn to tackle this beast in our own way and find the strategies that work for us.

I have been working hard to be reasonable, rational, and really honest with myself as I attack the ridiculous guilt that creeps up on me.

Yes. Ridiculous. Some guilt is just plain ridiculous.

Listen or read more at http://www.notbefore7.com/2017/06/21/mom-guilt-over-it/

Aug 8, 2018

It’s no good looking all calm and serene in the face of criticism if you then go home and collapse into a snivelling heap, all confidence destroyed, convinced you’re setting your children up for a lifetime of failure.

Here’s how to build your homeschooling confidence so criticism enters one ear and sails straight out the other, never thought of again.

Except for a giggle with your homeschooling friends about the ridiculous things people say to you, of course.

Listen or read more at https://fearlesshomeschool.com/confident-homeschooling-criticism/

Aug 3, 2018

Memory work is a big part of what we do around here. And while for some people, memory work would suggest feelings of drudgery and drill and kill, the reality couldn’t be farther from that. We love our memory work and have fun with it.

The kids get great satisfaction in learning a new poem or a series of math facts. These “hooks” become saved in their brain to be excitedly called forth during the liturgy at church, at a science museum or demonstration, or during story time at the library.

We memorize because of those feelings of satisfaction and to create those hooks of information.

Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/help-kids-memorize-anything/

Jul 27, 2018

I’ve found myself listening to opinions about home education, advocating it, and answering homeschool questions in some of the most unexpected places and times since we began homeschooling in 2009.

From family and friends to acquaintances to complete strangers, people have plenty of concerns and questions about homeschooling.  Some of those questions come so frequently that it feels like deja vu and some come so frequently that I’ve developed canned answers.  Shameful, I know!  

Here are my 5 most-asked homeschool questions and how I answer them.

Listen or read more at https://tablelifeblog.com/homeschool-questions/

Jul 20, 2018

Struggling to squeeze all of your children’s math lessons into your homeschool day? Here’s 6 ways to streamline your math teaching so that you can fit multiple grade levels into your schedule!

I recently received an email from Tiffany, who was debating whether to continue using Singapore Math. Along with some other issues, she wrote: “I’m finding it difficult to fit 3 separate Singapore math lessons in each day.”

Whether you use Singapore Math or not, and whether you have two, three, or five kids (or more!), I bet you’re nodding your head in agreement. Math eats up a lot of time in homeschool schedules.

Listen or read more at http://kateshomeschoolmath.com/how-to-teach-multiple-grade-levels-in-math/

Jul 13, 2018

Laura wanted to do this homeschool thing just right. She had struggled in the past, but this year was going to be different. Her homeschool planning was going to be perfect. So she started by buying a fresh, new homeschool planner.

You know the kind. It had months of lesson plan grids that started in August and went all the way through the following summer.

Laura began the year feeling compelled to write things in every box. Successful homeschoolers have a plan, and she wanted to be a successful homeschooler.

Listen or read more at https://pambarnhill.com/homeschool-planning-not-guessing/

Jul 6, 2018

The oldest just graduated from high school. For the last year, while preparing for him to leave the nest and live on his own, my husband and I began to realize we may have failed him when it came to essential life skills he needed to survive. We spent 17 years educating him, providing for him, making sure he was well-rounded and knew how to play most sports. But, we failed him on some of the simplest of tasks that we took for granted.  Don’t fail your kids like we almost failed our son! Here are 10 life skills for teens who will soon have to navigate the world without their parents.

Listen or read more at https://www.hidethechocolate.com/life-skills-for-teens/

Jun 29, 2018

History has been one of my favorite subjects since childhood.  Some of my best memories involve family read-alouds, historic road trips, and abundant field trips.  One summer our vacation involved traveling for 2 weeks to various Civil War battlefields, stopping at every single historic marker along the way.  When we got to one museum it had already closed for the night, so my mom knocked on the door until the caretaker came.  Mom being Mom, she got us in for an after-hours tour.

Listen or read more at https://humilityanddoxology.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/textbook-free-history/

Jun 22, 2018

When Matt and I were first married, one of our ongoing fights was about counter space.  Matt took a practical approach.  Anything you use on a regular basis should stay on the counter top.

In the bathroom, the toothpaste, deodorant, and shaving cream should be stored on the counter.  In the kitchen, the cutting board and toaster stay up top all the time. 

In my view, spaces should be clear and free of clutter, save the cute color-coordinated themed containers we registered for and received as wedding gifts! 

It may have seemed that we were fighting about counter space.  But we later came to realize, as many wiser people before us have put it, that "the issue is not the issue".

Listen or read more at https://www.hswotrainingwheels.com/issues-not-issue/

Jun 15, 2018

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/

Jun 8, 2018

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/

Jun 1, 2018

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/

May 25, 2018

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/

May 18, 2018

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/

May 11, 2018

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

May 4, 2018

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/

Apr 27, 2018

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/

Apr 20, 2018

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/

Apr 13, 2018

Ask any veteran homeschool mom whose kids have already graduated from high school, and she will reassure you:

  • She had the same fears you have now.
  • She realizes now how pointless most of those fears were.

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/

Apr 6, 2018

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/

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