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How to Overcome a BAD Homeschool Day

Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? When a bad homeschool day happens (and it will!). These tips can help!

Have you ever had a day where you were really tempted to throw the kids on the big yellow school bus? A day where nothing seemed to go right? The kids don’t want to “do” school, they keep bickering, and you just want a break? If this has ever happened to you, let me encourage you by saying welcome to the club! We have all been there! I may have been there more than once….this week.

Homeschooling can be hard, it can be exhausting, but it is also a huge blessing! When you are having a bad homeschool day, take the time to find something you and your family enjoy. Find a way to add some extra joy to your day! Here are some ideas to get you started.

Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? When a bad homeschool day happens (and it will!). These tips can help!

Go outside!

Yes, packing everyone up may be a pain. But, unless it is sub zero temperatures outside you will all be better off by getting some fresh air. Consider going on a nature scavenger hunt. Take a walk, go for a bike ride. Physical exercise tends to make everyone feel a little bit better. Sometimes it’s also nice just to sit under a tree, or in the sunshine and read a book or even complete a subject or two in the great outdoors. 

Hug your kids!

Spend some time cuddling, reading a book, or just chatting. I think that too often times we forget we are mom first. Teacher role tends to take over, but what if our kids just need us? Not the taskmaster, or the instructor. But, simply MOM.

Have a movie day!

Pop some popcorn, turn on a family favorite and watch a movie, even if it is in the middle of the day.  When I feel guilty about this, I remind myself that we watched movies in school too. My niece watched a Christmas movie every day one week in December at her school. And, it still counted as their school day ;) Why can’t we do that once in a while too?

Host a playdate!

Call up a few homeschooling families and invite them over to play. The kids can socialize, and you can too. Sounds like a win/win to me. On these days we’ve done baking, gingerbread houses, bike rides, or even just a good old-fashioned “go outside and play” .

Make a Bucket List!

Let everyone pick one thing that they want to do at home today. Then, make plans to do it. It could be a board game, an art project, or something as simple as making a choo-choo train track. Make the list, and then get to work having fun together!
On those days when nothing seems to be going right just remind yourself this season will pass. If you look hard enough you can find something to be thankful for! You can find some reason to choose joy. I’ve noticed many times when things don’t seem to be going right in our home it is because I have spent a lot of time working, and not as much time playing. Many times this is due to necessity, but sometimes it’s not. Picking an item from this list can help you and your kids get back on track on those bad homeschool days!

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.


5 GREAT Math Programs

Struggling with Math in your homeschool? We are discussing spiral vs mastery approach as well as some great Math programs to take a look at.

Math is one of those subjects that we have really struggled with. All kids learn different ways and a few years into our homeschool journey I realized that what worked for my oldest in Math was not going to work with my middle.

There are two typical ways to teach math, spiral and mastery. Let’s take a look at both.

Spiral Method

The spiral method of homeschooling, means that a new concept is taught, along with practice and review over past concepts.  This approach presents a given set of topics that repeat from level to level. Each time the material is presented, it is with more depth, and linking new concepts with those learned preciously.

Mastery Approach

The other is mastery approach. This means that the same concept is taught until the student grasps it, then the move on to another concept.With this approach, skills are built upon each other until a student has a thorough comprehension of one topic before moving on.

Both approaches end with the same concepts being covered, but the order and the manner in which the students learn them differ greatly.

If you are struggling with Math in your homeschool, here are some great Math programs to take a look at.

Struggling with Math in your homeschool? We are discussing spiral vs mastery approach as well as some great Math programs to take a look at.

*Stars indicate one of Cathy Duffy’s top picks.

  1. Christian Light Education-Used and published by Mennonites, this math curriculum is solid and affordable. It comes with ten light units per grade and two teachers’ books. CLE uses the spiral approach and requires little to no prep work from the teacher. Daily flash cards and speed drills help student’s master facts. Uses the spiral approach.
  2. *Teaching Textbooks-Teaching textbooks was designed for homeschoolers to help them with some of their math struggles. It uses a CD rom and includes interactive lessons combined with practice problems in a workbook. It also features an automatic grade book that takes the grading part away from parents! Uses the spiral approach.
  3. *Horizons- Published by Alpha and Omega, Horizons Math uses the spiral approach. It contains two colorful workbooks and uses manipulative to help students grasp concepts. There is some teacher prep required. There are readiness tests available to help with student placement.
  4. *Math U See-Math u See is a very popular curriculum for homeschoolers. It teaches math hands on and many parents say that thanks to Steve Demme’s math lessons they finally “get” math. Math U See uses the mastery approach, and each level builds upon the previous one.
  5. *Life of Fred-Designed for independent study, Life of Fred is a comprehensive math curriculum. It was written by a retired math teacher. They take you through the life of Fred. A young boy whose adventures are a jumping off point for the math lessons. Each lesson teaches a concept, followed by practice questions.

These are just a few of the many great math programs that are out there for homeschoolers.

5 Ways to Ease the Transition from Public School to Homeschool


As we near the middle of the school year, many parents will be evaluating whether or not their children’s public school is working. Some will take the plunge and pull their kids out of public school over the holidays. I know, this was me! My freshly turned 5-year-old came home on Christmas break and we never looked back. But, the transition from public school to homeschool was hard. And the older your children are when you start, the more difficult it may be.   I would love to share some tips that can help ease the homeschool transition.

Give Yourself an Adjustment Period

When your child first begins homeschooling, there will be a time of transition. This transition period is the perfect time to “deschool” your child, and yourself. You are both used to a public school mindset, and you will both need time to learn what homeschooling is and what it looks like. Homeschooling is NOT public school at home. The environment is different, the structure is different, and the learning can be different.

Don’t Go Nuts with Purchases

This was the biggest trap for me. I purchased a huge boxed curriculum for my kindergartner only to pitch most of it within a year. Don’t fall prey to the same mistake. I recommend looking at purchases before buying them. You can do this with a local homeschooler, or a convention in the spring. Until you can see items in person, use free products online or from the library. If you know you won’t be able to see curriculum in person, then order a few items at a time. Chances are the first couple purchases will NOT fit you and your child. Finding a good fit curriculum wise takes time. So, don’t go nuts with the purchases at first.

Remember Homeschooling is NOT a Fix All Answer

Homeschooling is a wonderful education choice. It is a great way to for our children to get a one on one education.  We are able to tailor our children’s lessons to their learning styles. We are able to educate them in a safe environment. We are able to do so much that the schools can’t.

But, homeschooling is not a fix all answer.  

It is not going to take away every bully your child may ever meet. It’s not going to make them a well-mannered child, or an academic genius. All of the issues your child may have in public school may also exist in the homeschool environment. It won’t fix everything. So, be prepared for that.

Allow Your Child to Have a Say

When planning out what you want to study homeschooling you may have ideas and thoughts in mind. But, what do your kids think? We tend to forget about the students we are teaching. We forget that they are individuals. We forget that they have desires of their own. We forget that they HAVE an opinion. So, talk to your kids. Let them have a say in what they plan on learning. This may make the transition easier for them as well. Have an animal lover? Spend a year studying zoology. Your child loves space? Astronomy may be the way to start. History buff? Let them choose the time period they are most interested in. If you aren’t entirely onboard with their choices, what can you compromise on? Maybe you need to choose a certain curriculum in one area, but give them liberty in another area. Our kids have likes and dislikes, and homeschooling gives them the freedom to study what they are interested in.

Are you transitioning from public school to homeschool? You may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. Here are 5 tips to make the public school to homeschool transition easier for you and your child!

Don’t Forget Socialization

This is huge. For you and your child. Homeschool moms need homeschool friends. And your kids need socialization. Don’t forget this important part of homeschooling. Continue to nurture your child’s friendships with the kids in his public school, but also, reach out to local homeschoolers and homeschool groups. Join a co-op. Attend a field trip. Sign up for that community art class. Go to the park. Socialization is important for ALL homeschoolers. A common problem I see in my area is parents pulling their children out of school, joining our Facebook group, but then never attending anything. Within a year or two the kids are back in school because they “miss their friends”. But, they never had the opportunity to make new ones. For homeschool success, don’t forget this important step.

So, are you ready to make the leap into homeschooling! Go for it! You’ve got this :) I hope these tips help you and encourage you to make the best of your homeschool journey. It isn’t always easy, but it is worth it!

Related Posts:

Finding a Homeschool Group

3 Tips to Ease the Homeschool Transition

A Look at Homeschool Socialization

Extracurricular Activities for Homeschoolers


15 Ways to Homeschool Through the Holidays

As the holidays approach you may be wondering whether or not you should homeschool through the holidays. Life gets in the way of school sometimes, and maybe you’re behind where you wanted to be.

So, should you homeschool through the holidays? Many say yes, many others say no. You are the only one who can truly make that decision.

Whether or not you decide to homeschool through the holidays though, we have you covered. Here are 15 ways to homeschool the whole month of December.  Thinking you’d rather not? Than scroll on down to find 5 reasons why you should just take that holiday break!

How to Homeschool Through the Holidays One Country at a Time by Hide the Chocolate Blog

5 Simple Ideas for Homeschooling Through the Holidays by As We Walk Along the Road

20+ Ideas for Creative Christmas Homeschooling in December by Our Journey Westward

Homeschooling Through Advent by Forever for Always No Matter What

How to Homeschool Through the Holidays Without Losing Your Mind by Hide the Chocolate Blog

Photo courtesy of Homeschool Your Boys

7 Ways to do a Homeschool Shake Up Over the Holidays by Homeschool Your Boys


Ultimate Guide to Christmas Nature Study by Our Journey Westward

Homeschool Christmas lessons by Adventures in Mommydom

30 + Christmas Art Projects to Enjoy with Your Children by Classically Homeschooling

How to Homeschool Through the Holidays with Music by Hide the Chocolate Blog

Homeschooling Through the Holidays by Abundant Life

Christmas Activities – Add some holiday fun to your homeschool! by Starts at Eight

Photo courtesy of Blog She Wrote

Homeschooling Older Kids through the Holidays by Blog She Wrote

Exploring Nature Through the Holidays by Amy’s Wanderings

How to homeschool through the holidays (without going crazy) by Simple Homeschool

How to Homeschool Through the Holidays With Creative Art Projects by Hide the Chocolate Blog

Thinking homeschooling through the holidays isn’t for you, but you need someone to back you up? We’ve got you covered! 

The Case for a Holiday Break by Southeast Homeschool Expo


5 Reasons Why We Take a Holiday Break From Homeschooling by Starts at Eight Blog

5 Steps to a Simple Christmas by Southeast Homeschool Expo

Why You Need to Take a Christmas Break by Joy in the Journey

Whether you decide to homeschool through the holidays or not, we all want to make sure we do one thing. Enjoy the season with our families. In a blink this homeschool journey will be over, so take the time this holiday season to cherish it. Whether that is learning, or just sipping cocoa and watching Christmas movies :)

Should you homeschool through the holidays? Many say yes, many others say no. You are the only one who can truly make that decision. We have you covered either way!

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 and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog  Joy in the Journey








Where to Find Notebooking Pages

Whether you are new to notebooking, or you have been using the method for years but your kids are asking for new/nicer/more creative pages than just a binder, I’ve put together this list of where to find notebooking pages.

I’ve divided them loosely between free and paid pages, although many of the paid sites also offer some terrific freebies, so you’ll want to go take a look at all these places and see what they have that fits your needs.

Free notebooking resources:

I would be remiss if I didn’t start by sending you to the wonderful site owned by Jimmie Lanley, A.K.A.The Notebooking Fairy. Jimmie is probably the best-known notebooking homeschooler around and offers tons of great advice as well as loads of attractive, free pages.

The Crafty Classroom offers some terrific freebies and some paid sets. Of particular note in the freebies are some beautiful Mystery of History go-along pages, and some really useful creative writing resources, but there are loads to choose from.

Practical Pages Nadene has been using the Charlotte Mason style of notebooking and journaling since her children were small, and she has a fantastic collection of free notebooking pages for pretty much any subject. I especially love the coloring pages of famous works of art, perfect when you are doing artist studies.

Homeschool Helper Online is another don’t-miss -it place for some great pages! Sports, holidays, and geography are just a fraction of the beautiful and simple pages you’ll get here.

Design-Your-Homeschool has a few pages that you might want to grab for older students especially.

Guest Hollow is a blog that’s been around for years and has offered a lot of terrific materials during that time.

Activity Village has my favorite set of famous people notebooking pages, including quite a few hard-to-find ones.

Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus has some truly gorgeous pages, and all free. TONS of topics, too!

Confessions of a Homeschooler made these for the youngest notebookers: Daily Learning Notebook for preschool/K and lower elementary as well as cursive .

Looking for notebooking pages? We have the BEST list of available notebooking pages for your homeschool.

Great notebooking companies:

Notebooking Pages is probably the best known of the companies in this topic….and for good reason. They offer a lifetime membership, sets by topics, a way to make your own, and a lot of freebies for subscribers. has paid and free pages from a massive variety of companies. You can filter by grade, cost, subject, and a load of other things to make it easy to narrow down your search. Set aside extra time for this one, though, because you’ll find yourself on many rabbit trails as you surf!

Donna Young used to be free but now her many and varied pages are subscription only. It’s still worth it!

Homeschool Notebooking offers thousands of pages for a $5 subscription.

NotebookingNook offers both sets at a fixed price, and all-access pages for a lifetime membership option.

A Journey Through Learning, besides lapbooks, sells page sets to go with popular curricula such as Prairie Primer and Apologia. A real time saver for busy families.

That Resource Site offers a nice selection of science notebooking pages on a subscription basis.

Westvon Publishing (Happy Scribe, History Scribe) have loads of copywork pages with different topic and font options, and their History Scribe pages are great for self-propelled learners.

Hands of a Child (better known for their lapbooks) also offers notebook packages for older students. Look for their Note Packs.


Got another suggestion for where to find notebooking pages? Share with us on Facebook!



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