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How to Refresh Your Homeschool in the Middle of Your School Year

Are your facing a mid-year slump?  Now may be the time to refresh your homeschool! Here are some tips to carry you through.

Let’s face it, we all have experienced that mid-year slump a time or two. As much as we love homeschooling our kids, exhaustion and weariness have a way of creeping in. Sometimes this simply calls for a break. But if you’ve tried that and you’re still wondering how on earth you will all survive til summer finally rolls around, here are some tips to carry you through.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Do you have a pile of broken crayons and markers without lids? Throw it all out and splurge on some new supplies. Go on a shopping date with the principle of your little homeschool and stock up on some necessities, and maybe a few non-necessities. It’s amazing how freshly sharpened pencils can be motivating!

Restock the essentials

By this point in the year, things have likely gotten a little scattered. Your paint bin has glue sticks in it. The graded math and completed handwriting pages have just become a stack of homeless papers. Books are falling off of the shelves and legos have taken over your son’s desktop. It is time to do some reorganizing and cleaning up. No matter where your school space is, take care of the clutter. Hang a new poster on the wall. The fresh space will encourage a fresh start.

Change things up.

It’s possible your curriculum is the driving force behind your mid-year slump. If you don’t think it’s time to throw it out altogether, maybe it’s just time to give it a break. Spend a week focusing only on your kids’ favorite subject. Do that book study you’ve been wanting to squeeze in somehow. It’s the perfect time of year for a unit study on snow or St. Valentine. Give your teaching (and their learning) a little jump start with a simple change-up.

Recommit. 

Spend some time reflecting on why you’ve taken on this homeschooling thing. Read over your goals and mentally recommit to them. Evaluate how the year has gone so far and make any needed changes. Even though you’re only mid-year, it may be time to change some of your goals or add in some new ones. Talk to your kids about their goals. Recommit together to finish out this year full steam ahead!

Focus on today.

Homeschooling is the marathon of all marathons. After you’ve recommitted to your goals, take a deep breath and just focus on today. Looking ahead at the next 5 months or next 5 years while you’re in the midst of the daily grind can be overwhelming. If you’re still struggling with feeling trapped and unmotivated, focus on how you can make today better than yesterday. What is one simple thing you can do right in the midst of your school day today to liven everyone up?

 

Don’t let the mid-year slump make a mess of the rest of your year. Do a little refreshing and get back at it. You’ve got this!


Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a  Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the JourneyAre your facing a mid-year slump? Now may be the time to refresh your homeschool! Here are some tips to carry you through.

 

 

Keeping Your Child Engaged During Read Aloud Time

Reading aloud doesn’t have to be a chore! These tips can help you and your children be more engaged and enjoy reading time

Does read aloud time feel like a chore? Does it sometimes seem impossible to get your kids to hear a word that you read? Know that you are not alone. Families all around the world deal with this frustration every single day. But there are also scores of families who have found ways to make read aloud time their favorite time of the day! How do they do it? Here are some tips that will help you join the ranks of families who love to read together!

Let your child choose the book.

I don’t mean that you have to read the book your 4-year-old has made you read every single day for the last month. There are times when you can give them a little encouragement in a certain direction. And there will be times when you simply need to choose. But if you can give them the opportunity to pick the book most of the time, they will be more apt to get excited about read-aloud time.

Be animated in your reading.

You may not be gifted in doing voices, but it’s worth a try! Even if you adjust the pitch and speed for different voices, you’ll manage to capture a wandering child’s attention. Exaggerate your inflections even to silly proportions. Your kids will love it. And they will likely emulate your animated reading when they are reading aloud which fills up a momma’s heart!

Give them something to do with their hands.

Parents and teachers alike are beginning to see the benefit of allowing our kids to have something to do while they listen. Some children need nothing more than an apple to munch on. Others can focus and comprehend what’s being read significantly better when they’re hands are completely engaged in something else such as building legos or drawing pictures. Choose some activities that are only for read-aloud time to encourage their excitement. Here are some examples:

-Snacks

-Building blocks

-Playdough

-Paper and pencils

-Crochet/knitting/sewing supplies

-Simple crafts (such as beading)

-Coloring books

It may feel counterproductive at first, but I think you’ll be amazed at how well this works!

Let them interrupt.

Not all the time, but once in awhile when they have a genuine question about the book or want to be sure you see the silly thing going on in the picture, give them a minute to talk. This means they are engaged in the book, and that’s something to encourage! You’ll also be opening up communication with your kids that will spill over into regular life.

Make reading aloud a lifestyle.

The early years of reading aloud can sometimes feel a little rough. You wouldn’t be the first parent to stop mid-sentence and call it a day. But when reading aloud is a regular part of your family’s life, whether your kids are all still toddling about your feet or they have their driver’s licenses, it becomes a cherished time full of (mostly) positive memories. Don’t worry, your kids won’t remember the not-so-great experiences, and neither will you, when reading aloud is your lifestyle. To help make this happen let reading happen at intentional but natural times, such as mid-afternoon or before bed.  Mealtimes can work well, too. This is particularly a good idea for those wiggly kiddos!

 

Reading aloud doesn’t have to be a chore on your checklist. It should be your whole family’s favorite time of day, and now you are equipped to make it just that.


Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a  Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the JourneyReading aloud doesn't have to be a chore! These tips can help you and your children be more engaged and enjoy reading time

 

 

How to Deal with Homeschool Naysayers

Almost every person who announces their decision to homeschool will have to deal with homeschool naysayers. It’s just a fact.

“I don’t think homeschool is a good idea.”

“Your kids are going to end up weird and unsocialized.”

“Homeschooling is wrong! There’s a reason we have public schools.”

“Homeschooling should be illegal. Kids

“Only teachers are qualified to teach your kids. You should just put them in public school.”

“How are you going to teach them everything they need to know?”

“They’re going to fall behind the rest of their peers.”

“They’re not going to be able to compete in the real world.”

“They’re not going to be able to get into college.

These are just a few of the doubts, criticisms, and outright opposition you will hear from loved ones and strangers alike when they learn that you have opted to homeschool your child(ren). I admit it can be difficult to cope with all the negativity. And I think we can all agree that the criticism stings just a bit more when the negativity is coming from family and friends. You might be able to let negative remarks from strangers roll off your back, but hearing it from people who you think should be supportive can be a hard pill to swallow.

So how do we deal with homeschool naysayers whose opinions we care about?

 

 Know Your Why

When you are new to homeschooling, it doesn’t take much to have you wondering if you are doing the right thing. You may already be riddled with fears and doubts? Can I do this? SHOULD I do this? So, when you hear doubts and criticism from loved ones, it can be enough to make you wonder if maybe they’re right. That’s why you need to know why you chose to homeschool. The big, deep why. The one(s) that made you feel as though this is the best educational option for your child(ren) and family. Perhaps your child has exceptional learning needs that wouldn’t be met by your local school district. Perhaps there are medical concerns in your family that are best addressed by having your children home with you. Perhaps you feel as though homeschooling will allow you the flexibility to teach your children not just what they NEED to learn, but what they enjoy learning. Whatever your reason is for being passionate about homeschooling, keep that in mind. Write it down if you need to. That way, when you start feeling the doubts creeping in, you can remind yourself of why this was the best choice for your family.

Ask Questions

Often, the doubts and criticisms that loved ones have about homeschool stem from misunderstandings. The next time someone is being negative about homeschooling, ask them “What is it about homeschooling that you disagree with or find problematic?” You might be surprised at what you hear. Some of them may not have any good reason other than homeschooling is not something they are familiar with. And unfamiliar often equates to “can’t be trusted”. After all, in their minds, if homeschool was such a good thing, we’d all be doing it. However, some may have questions and concerns that are deeper. They may believe that homeschooling is very expensive and have concerns about whether you can afford all of the resources. They may think that you are depriving your child of the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities like clubs and sports. They may believe that homeschooled children do not receive diplomas and, therefore, are unable to attend college. They may also believe that homeschool requires 8 hours a day of study and question whether you can commit to that. Understanding their concerns enables you to address them.

Educate Them

Once you know what your loved ones are concerned about as far as homeschooling, you are better equipped to clarify things, clear up misconceptions, and give them a better idea of how homeschooling works. For example, if they are concerned about how expensive homeschooling is, you can tell them about all the ways you save money on homeschool resources and activities. If they are concerned about your child’s social life, you can explain to them about the Tim Tebow law and the various activities your child is involved in (such as 4-H, homeschool co-ops, martial arts, and more). If they are concerned about how homeschooling may affect your child’s future, you can share stories of successful homeschoolers (there are loads of them!). You can also talk to them about how your homeschool day goes so that they can see just how much you can get done.

Get Them Involved

If talking to your loved ones about your homeschool life isn’t convincing enough, invite them to get involved. Invite them to hang out with for the day. Or ask if they’d like to tag along while you go to co-op. You could even ask for help. For example, if someone is really good at something, ask them if they’d be willing to let your child try it out with them. Then, you can casually point out that they are learning and that that is the basis of homeschooling – finding learning opportunities all around you.

Share Your Child’s Progress

Sometimes just sharing something cool that your child has learned or is learning can be enough to get people to stop worrying so much about their progress. Especially if they are learning something that isn’t typically offered in public school or at their grade level. For example, a 7-year-old taking a class that is focused solely on Greek Mythology, physics experiments, or Robotics is super impressive. However, even just giving family periodic updates on how your kids are doing in school can be enough to show them that you (and your kids) are taking their education seriously.

Set Firm Boundaries

If all else fails, it may be time to set some simple yet firm boundaries. Sometimes loved ones don’t realize how harm their statements may cause. Not only to your morale, but to your children’s. If you feel that they are crossing the line when it comes to discussing your decisions, it may be helpful to pull them aside and let them know. I recommend not reacting in the heat of the moment. Walk away from the situation and give yourself time to calm down. Figure out what you want to say to them. Then ask if they have time to talk. Be respectful yet clear about what is bothering you about their actions. Perhaps you find it wearing to have to hear about how they are against your decision every time you see them. Or maybe you think it is unfair (and annoying) that they continue to quiz your children at random about what they are learning. Or it could be that you are tired of them flat out telling you that you need to put your kids in public school. Whatever your concerns are, let them know. Then tell them, in no unclear terms, that you would appreciate if it they would keep their negative comments to themselves and refrain from questioning your children. It can be scary to have these types of conversations with loved ones, but sometimes it is necessary. Remember, be firm yet calm.

These are just a few tips that veteran homeschoolers have used to deal with homeschool naysayers. I hope they help!

So how do we deal with homeschool naysayers whose opinions we care about? Here are some tried-and-true tips on how to deal with homeschool naysayers.


Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a  Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

How Homeschooling will Bring Your Family Closer Together

When I first began considering homeschooling I am ashamed to admit I worried about how it would affect the relationship between me and my kids. I mean we’d be together ALL day. Who could handle that? Years later, I am realizing that society has ingrained it in us that it is normal to send our kids off to strangers for hours at a time instead of allowing them to truly get to know and spend time with their family. We are considered the weird ones for being around our kids all day!

The truth of the matter is that homeschooling will bring your family closer together. This is one huge benefit that comes from making the choice to homeschool. The challenges of homeschooling, the fun of homeschooling, the lifestyle of homeschooling, all will help aid the relationship within the family unit.

In time, you will see that homeschooling will bring your family closer together. 

 

 

Not sure if homeschooling will be good for your family? Believe it or not, homeschooling may actually bring your family closer together!

You Will Be More Connected as a Family

Homeschooling means that HOME is a good part of your life. Even if you’re not actually HOME (because let’s face it, we tend to run ALL the time) the bulk of your time will be spent with your family. We are almost always together. This means family time happens more often. It means our kids spend LIFE with us. Not just a few hours in the evening. It also means that their siblings become their friends because they actually KNOW them.  Older children can help their younger siblings with their assignments. Younger children can have a more playful relationship with their older siblings. Time is spent together instead of apart and based on grade/age level.

When kids are away at school all day, they spend the majority of their time connected to the people in their classroom. Homeschooling means you develop these connections to those people in your home. Your relationships with your siblings and parents strengthen because you bond with them in ways that public school time constraints didn’t allow.

You Will Have More Time 

I was really nervous about the amount of time homeschooling would take when I began this journey. Now, I can’t imagine giving so much time to the public school. We have more time together and can dictate our time ourselves instead of being told what to do and when to do it.

There is no waking up, getting dressed, and dropping the kids off at school. Instead, we can sleep in, take our time eating breakfast, and start school when we want to. Also we are done SO much sooner than the public school kids. This means we have more time to get to know each other as a  family.

One of our favorite things to do is activities like the zoo, museums, park days, and field trips. Homeschooling allows us to spend more time doing all of these activities and as a bonus we can experience them with our WHOLE family!

You Will Really Get to Know  Your Kids

Of course, we know our children better than a public school teacher, but homeschooling allows us to know them even better. Spending every day together means we are going to really learn our child’s behavioral and emotional patterns. We will witness how our children react to situations, stress, success, and failure. We will know without a doubt what our kids are capable of doing and understanding.

Homeschooling also allows us to nurture those things our children love, and to spend time with them DOING those things. I know my middle is an animal lover, homeschooling allows us to experience this passion together by volunteering at animal shelters, training her pets, and researching veterinary science. My oldest wants to be a pastry chef, so our kitchen is regularly a sticky mess. These are passions that they may not have time to pursue in public school, so instead, they are practicing them at home, where I can experience this joy WITH them.

So, what brings homeschooling families closer together? 

One common theme you will have noticed throughout so far is TIME. Without a doubt, homeschooling offers families more time together.  The amount of time spent with the family is something that children who attend public school, do not experience except during the holiday and maybe summer vacation.  Homeschooling IS family. It is experiences and activities. It is life lessons and values.

One of the best ways to develop a strong relationship with any person is by spending TIME with them. The more time spent together, the more you will know that person, and understand them. Homeschooling allows us to do just that, which naturally brings us all closer together.

All of this means that homeschooling will bring your family closer together. Many people cringe at the idea of spending all day with their children, but homeschoolers KNOW the value in it. They see it is a GREAT thing and something that should not be pushed aside.

And that is how homeschooling brings families closer together.


Author: Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling since 2009. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.

 

 

Can I Homeschool as a Single Parent

Are you a single parent wondering if you can homeschool? This article is full of tips to get you started and help you succeed!

Homeschooling is becoming more and more mainstream. Years ago it would have been rare to see working moms in homeschool groups, yet it is happening more and more. It would have been practically nonexistent to see single parents at homeschool groups, yet again it is becoming more and more common. Homeschooling as a single parent is possible, it just takes a little more work.

Are you a single parent wondering if you can homeschool? This article is full of tips to get you started and help you succeed!

Get Creative

If you are working outside of the home consider switching to working from home. There are tons of work at home jobs available, your own employer may even consider letting you work from home a few hours a week. Work at home jobs can range from being a teacher to a writer, to customer service. The sky is the limit when it comes to working from home.

If child care is an issue, ask around about swapping babysitting services. You may have friends who would watch your kids in exchange for you doing the same. Bartering is also an option. If you have a skill a friend or neighbor can use, see if you could exchange that service for child care.

Plan Accordingly

As a single parent you will probably want to utilize curriculum that is not very teacher intensive. You may also need to plan ahead more to make sure school work is done. Sending work with your children during the day be necessary, as will unconventional school hours. Planning ahead will allow you to make the most of the time you have available for homeschooling.

Seek Support

Find a community of homeschoolers, or friends and family who support you and your endeavor. If this is hard for you to do in person, find an online community to help you and encourage you. Homeschooling is hard work and will require a lot of support and encouragement in the first few months.

Single parent homeschooling has been uncommon for while, but is becoming more and more popular. I was able to find some resources and sites that may help you if you are considering homeschooling as a single parent.

How to Afford Single Parent Homeschooling

Tips for Single Parent Homeschooling

Single Mom Homeschooling

How to Homeschool as a Single Parent



Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a  Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

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