Category Archives: Homeschooling Help

Plan B Homeschooling

Plan B homeschooling is a way to get school done even when life happens.

You have your homeschool plans all laid out. You know what they day will entail, and are ready to go. And then…. life happens.

  • Family emergency
  • Kids get sick
  • Power goes out
  • Water leak
  • Roof leak
  • Heat pump goes kaput
  • Mom gets sick

You know… life.   When life happens school oftentimes still needs to go on. But how? Most if not all of these require attention from mom. They require us to rearrange our days and our schedules. They are genuine reasons to STOP homeschooling for the day.

But, we don’t have to. How? Utilize Plan B in your homeschool.

What is Plan B Homeschooling? 

Plan B homeschooling is a way to get school done even when life happens. You know we all have our best-laid plans, but then they go awry we use Plan B right? We can do the same thing in our homeschools.

Why Plan B Homeschooling?

All of the above-mentioned situations? They happened to us in a months time. Seriously. Had I not had a plan b ready to go we wouldn’t have accomplished school at all. Here’s the thing, life will happen. Kids (and mom) will get sick. Family members will need us. Utilities will fail, home maintenance will need to happen, and sometimes plan b homeschooling can be a life saver.

What does Plan B Homeschooling Look Like? 

That depends on. For us, Plan B homeschooling is a basket of educational books. It’s board games that the kids can play on their own. It’s a math program on the computer. It’s educational apps that teach states and capitals, math facts, grammar, and history. Plan B homeschooling can be workbooks that we only bring out when we have to or a backup curriculum that can be done completely independently.

Plan B homeschooling is flexible.

How do I utilize Plan B Homeschooling? 

So, you want to have a Plan B ready for your homeschool? Here are a few ways to get started:

  • Find educational apps that fit your child’s grade and learning needs. Download them onto your child’s tablet or your own tablet.
  • Gather workbooks for your child’s grade level. These can be found at Walmart, Dollar Tree, Bookstores, or online.
  • Have a basket or bookshelf set aside full of educational books. Find topics that your child likes, and that are high-quality literature.

Having a few things ready in advance will help you and your child be ready when life happens and plan b homeschooling needs to be implemented. Plan B homeschooling will look different in every homeschool. And sometimes when life happens we will actually need to STOP school. But, in other situations school can go with us, school can go on, and this can happen because we are prepared with Plan B!

Embracing the Many Roles of a Homeschool Mom

The roles of a homeschool mom can leave us feeling exhausted. But, we don’t have to. Here are three ways we can embrace the many roles of a homeschool mom.

The alarm goes off at 5:15 am. Within minutes I’m up and working as a VA. A few hours later the kids begin to roll out of bed and I start hearing the word “mom”. Breakfast needs to be made, and chores need managed.  Before too long I’m gathering up the kids for school time.  Hours later more food needs cooked and served, followed by more time teaching.

After school means piano and soccer, followed by yet another meal.   The husband comes home and the role of dutiful wife is upon me.  There are bedtime routines, family devotions and hugs good night.Throughout the day There had been boo boos that needed bandaged, foreheads that were kissed, animals that were fed and books that get read.  I fall asleep exhausted knowing the next day will be the same.

The Role of a Homeschool Mom

The role of homeschool mom never ends. There are no yellow school buses taking our kids to school while we clean the house and run errands.    I have said before and I still stand by the fact that our jobs are one of the only  ones that are truly 24/7.

The many roles of a homeschool mom can leave us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. But, we don’t have to feel that way. Here are three ways we can embrace the many roles of a homeschool mom.

Count our Blessings

When I am feeling overwhelmed and underpaid (HA!) I remind myself of the blessing of homeschooling. There are no good byes at the bus stop. There is no homework at the end of the day. There is no wondering what our kids are doing if they are safe, or what they are being taught. I know. Homeschooling is a blessing and one that the Lord has called me to do. When I stop and count the blessing that homeschooling has given me I feel a lot less overwhelmed.


This is something that most of us don’t do enough off. However, I was reminded of the importance of rest this past school year. As I faced a year of burn out I realized that really the only person I had to blame for my predicament was myself. I said YES more than I said NO. I homeschooled out of negligence. I chose frustration over joy and all of these situations came because I was tired and hadn’t allowed myself to rest. Homeschool moms NEED rest and without we are not equipped to handle the many roles we face each day.

Enlist Help

We don’t have to do it all. Yes, we face many roles, but how many of those have to lie solely on our own shoulders? Not many.  Dad can help with grading papers, kids can help with chores, see if grandma can help with that errand that needs ran, and ask a friend if you can carpool to soccer practice. Too many times we carry a burden on our shoulders that we don’t have to face alone.

Moms, as we all start back to school chances are before too long we are going to feel overwhelmed and overextended. The many roles of a homeschool mom means we are running to and fro. However, we have a choice to make. Do you want your children to remember a homeschool mom that was too busy for one more book? Or one that said yes to what truly matters? Do you want to be an over tired mom who hasn’t made time to rest? Or do you want to be a mom who takes the time to care for herself so she can better serve her family?

This year I want to face the many roles of a homeschool mom head on. I want to embrace my role as a homeschool mom and not look at our homeschool day as another thing to mark off of my to-do list.  I want to enlist help from others so I can face my roles with a smile. I want to be a joyful and happy homeschool mom. And that choice starts with me!

How can you embrace the many roles of a homeschool mom? 

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.

Homeschooling Middle School

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of homeschooling middle school? Not anymore! This series will break down homeschooling middle school step by step.

This fall I will have my very first middle schooler. I’ll admit I am a little overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching higher level subjects. I also know after middle school comes…. HIGH SCHOOL! Where did my baby go?!

Anyway, in preparation for ME teaching middle school, I thought we’d start a series here on homeschooling middle school. Each week we will look at a different subject and I will share resources, tips, and a list of topics our students need to know. Maybe we can prepare for middle school together!

Homeschooling Middle School 

 At this age, the main focus is to teach our children to become more independent thinkers and learners. Much of the focus in Middle School is on problem-solving and finding more than one way to do things. As our kids enter Middle School the subject matter will be more complicated. But, guess what? We don’t HAVE to teach them everything there is to learn at this age it is important to teach them how to learn and to reinforce the basic knowledge and basic tools of learning.

Another focus at this age is on strengthening the basics.  Before they enter high school our goal is to ensure they  have a solid foundation in mathematics. Reinforcing reading comprehension, grammar, and basic composition skills are important also as they transition from report writing to essay and analysis.

Our middle schoolers have their own passions, interests, and talents. At this age, it is important to incorporate opportunities for them to pursue them. Some of our kids may be  ready to move into some high school level work. If this is your child encourage them to challenge themselves. It is also important to consider what your child may want to study in high school, and guys we can even begin researching homeschooling at the high school level.

Middle School Is Full of Transitions

This season of life for our middle schoolers is one of great transition —physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These years can be a challenging as they face changes they may not understand. With these changes can come problems with friends, relationships, and peer pressure. It is important to teach our children respect, manners, and how to deal with situations that may arise. In doing so it is also VERY important to keep the lines of communication open. Let them know they can come to us with problems regarding social issues. Let them know we will listen without judgement. Take their concerns seriously and in doing so we will develop an even stronger relationship with our middle schooler.

Homeschooling middle school is not for the faint of heart. Our days will look a lot different than they did in elementary school. Gone are the days of cut and paste, messy crafts, and hand holding. Instead, we will be focusing on responsibility, teaching our student how to complete their work independently, letting them explore their own interests, and have a say in what they are learning.

Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job right? And that starts when we are homeschooling middle school. Come back next week as we kick off this series on everything you need to know about homeschooling middle school!

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued, homeschooling and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.






The Pros and Cons of Year Round Homeschooling

Pros and Cons of Year Round Homeschooling

Year round homeschooling has been a debate for some time now. Some families LOVE year round school, some say NEVER! If you have been debating year round homeschooling for awhile now you may want to take a look at some of the pros and cons.


  • Frequent Breaks- Year round homeschoolers can run a variety of different schedules, but they all have one thing in common. Frequent breaks! This gives students and teachers time to recharge.
  • Academic Benefits- Gone is the long summer break, which can push many children back a few months. Students do not have a long gap in their education, which allows them to retain what they have learned longer.
  • Summer boredom is gone-We all love summer, but about a month in most kids are bored. Year round homeschooling puts an end to the long summer breaks and also eliminates the need for parents to find boredom busters.
  • Flexibility-Families are able to take vacation during off season times, which allows them to save money. You also have the ability to take unplanned sickness, or family events.


  • Frequent breaks can make it difficult to get into an established routine.
  • Some kids may have a hard time knowing they are in school during the summer while their friends in public school have a break.
  • Summer camps, 4-H and Bible Schools are all traditionally done in the summer making it a little more busy (and difficult) to fit it all in.

We   have tried both year round and traditional school schedules. For us, traditional worked for a long time however now we are going year round. The key is weighing the pros and cons and finding a homeschool schedule that works for you and your family!



3 Tips to Teaching a Child to Read

Here are a few tips that can help when teaching a child to read. #3 is great!

Years ago when I was longing to be a teacher, my desired grade was 1st. Why? Because at the time this is the grade when teachers taught their students to read. I LOVED reading, and volunteered throughout Jr. High, High School and College in the reading lab.

When I first began homeschooling I started out with an eager 5 year old who was longing to read. We purchased the curriculum and got to work. To my surprise it wasn’t as easy as I thought it’d be! Fast forward 6 years and I am working on my 5th reader (2 of my own, 3 extras). I have learned a few things about what works, and what doesn’t. Here are three tips to teaching a child to read.

Immerse them in Books

From the womb we have read to our children. As infants we offered sensory books, as toddlers we offered board books, and at preschool age we began reading good quality literature. We have immersed our kids in books at a young age, and so far it has paid off!

Kids LOVE books! IF they are offered to them. In order to create a reader you have to encourage a love of reading in your kids. Reading often will give your children the longing to learn to read themselves. It will create in them a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

Be Patient

I am not the most patient person, and sadly that shows in our beloved phonics curriculum. In the first book there are pencil marks where I circled words over and over again that my daughter missed. I remember those moments; I remember the tears and the frustration (from both of us). And, I have left the pencil marks there. Why? As a reminder that patience pays off. The second book has little to no pencil marks in it, and you know what? She breezed through that book.

Patience is SO important when it comes to teaching a child to read. Patience builds confidence; and confidence is a skill that is required for learning to read. If a child does not feel confident in their own abilities they will not offer their best work. So, be patient!

Be an Example

This goes along to an extent with being patient. Modeling patience will encourage our children to be patient while they are learning. BUT, we should also model a love of reading. Let your children see you read, take them to the library, let them see you checking out books, let them see that reading is something fun to do. By being an example, you will encourage your child in their own reading endeavors.

These are just a few tips that can help when teaching a child to read. Come back next week as we take a look at some of the best reading curriculums!

Misty Bailey is a work at home homeschool mom.  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.