10 Gift Ideas for Homeschool Families

10 Christmas Gift ideas for Homeschool Families

 

Christmas season is upon us, and you may be wondering what to get the homeschool family that is near and dear to your heart. Or, you as a homeschool family, may be wondering what to add to that family wish list?

Here are some items that would be great gift ideas for Homeschool families!

  1. Globe: This one would make a great one for any homeschool family!
  2. Museum Memberships: Do you have a museum near you that you have been dying to go to? Memberships make great gifts and can be used year round. Also, many museum memberships offer discounts or free admission to other museums nationwide.
  3. Zoo or Aquarium Tickets: Aquariums and Zoos are great educational opportunities for homeschoolers, and family tickets would be a great gift for any family!
  4. Gift Subscriptions to Educational Magazines: National Geographic Kids, Zoo Books, Highlights and many others are great way to give the gift of education! Gift Subscriptions are easy to do online, and discounts can be found around the holidays on sites like
  5. Gift Certificates for Enrichment Classes: Has a child in your family been interested in dance, music, or another type of enrichment class? Ask for a gift certificate to give the classes a try!
  6. Microscope: Many homeschoolers have a great microscope like this one on their wish list. If the homeschool family you’re thinking of has one, then consider new slides to go along with it!
  7. Printer/copier/scanner: Homeschool moms use their printer, a LOT! So, a new one that maybe would be more efficient on ink, or one that has features theirs doesn’t would be a great gift idea!
  8. Computer: New computers are a splurge few homeschool moms would go for. So, if you have a larger budget, consider giving the gift of a new computer to a homeschool family. There are sales out there on Black Friday that can make one a steal!
  9. Educational Videos: Magic School Bus, Liberty Kids, Wild Kratts, Documentaries, Disney Nature movies and other educational videos are great for homeschool families!
  10. Craft and Art Supplies: I do not know any homeschool family that wouldn’t be thrilled with new craft and art supplies. Homeschool families don’t get a school budget for these items, and they go fast when you have many younger students running around!

So, take this list, and choose to bless a homeschool family this holiday season. I am sure that most homeschoolers would love any item on this list!

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 free 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. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

 

When Homeschooling is Not Working

You’ve been at this homeschooling gig for awhile now and things haven’t got any easier. Everyone is miserable, and homeschooling is not working. What do you do?

You’ve been at this homeschooling gig for awhile now and things haven’t got any easier. People said it would, but in your case it just hasn’t. The kids are miserable, you’re miserable, and homeschooling is not working. What do you do?

You just quit.

Yes, I said that. Now, before I go on let me just say that I LOVE homeschooling. I believe for most families it is a great thing, but I am one of the few that believe it is not for everyone. Sometimes homeschooling just isn’t for a family and that’s okay. I also believe sometimes there are situations that make homeschooling difficult, and if remedied homeschooling can still happen.

If homeschooling is not working for you right now let me suggest a few things:

  1. Take a break. Just quit for awhile. Put the books up and spend time enjoying your children. As MOM. Not as homeschool teacher. Do this for a week or two.
  2. Evaluate the situation. Is the problem the curriculum? Is it your teaching style vs. their learning style? Are you trying to do too much? Are the kids just not on board? Try and pinpoint what the issue may be.
  3. Remedy the problem. If it’s curriculum, try a different one. If it’s learning style vs. teaching style see if you can find a way that will work for both you and your child. If you’re too busy see if you can cut back on a few commitments. Sometimes saying no can be a blessing! If your kids just aren’t’ on board, talk to them about why you believe your family is called to homeschool. Listen to their concerns and see if a compromise can be made.
  4. Revaluate the situation. Can you remedy the problem? If so, try it out again for a few months. If you can’t decide where you go from here.

I know homeschooling parents who have put their kids back in public school. Homeschooling was not working for them in their season of life. Some pulled the kids back out and are homeschooling successfully. Some have kids still in public school and the kids are thriving. Some have one kid in public school and others who are homeschooled.

Listen, homeschooling is not a one size fits all situation. It’s not an all in situation. Homeschooling is great, for many families and many children, but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

If this is you right now let me encourage you to take a break, evaluate the situation and try to remedy the problem. If the situation cannot be helped then know that doing what is best for you and your family right now is the best case scenario.

Homeschool moms need support. All the time. Even when things aren’t working. Let’s encourage one another today. Let’s encourage one another even when things aren’t working and another mom may throw in the towel. Hug her neck, tell her you understand, be supportive even when homeschooling is not working.

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.

3 Tips to Ease the Homeschool Transition

3 Tips to Ease the Homeschool Transition

 

As we near the middle of the school year, it is time for many parents to evaluate whether or not public school is working. If this is you this year, and you are contemplating the switch to homeschool after the holidays, I would love to share some tips that can help ease the homeschool transition.

Believe in Your Abilities

The biggest thing most new homeschoolers are afraid of is failing. They don’t believe in their ability to educate their children. Can I just encourage you today? You ARE able to homeschool your children. Homeschooling does not require a teacher’s degree. It requires love and commitment. If you are a parent you are MORE than qualified to homeschool your children.

Take Time to Deschool

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. During this time of transition, it is important to talk to your child about your expectations, and his expectations. Explain that getting used to homeschooling will take time. Offer to meet up with his friends, take him to homeschool group meetings, and make sure that he realizes he will still be “socializing”.

DON’T Model Public School

When I first began homeschooling I lined up the text books and dug in. We had a timer, a schedule, and plans to make sure our day looked as much like school as possible. A month in we both hated homeschooling. Why? Because our home is NOT a public school, and yours isn’t either!

The biggest tip I have is to make sure your homeschool reflects YOUR family. Find a routine that works for you, find a curriculum that fits your child’s learning style, and don’t expect school to look like a traditional classroom.

Also, your school days won’t be 9-3 and they don’t have to be. Most homeschoolers are done in around 2-4 hours depending on the age of the child. There are no bathroom lines, or waiting on other children to finish. School doesn’t have to take as long, and it won’t!

As you make plans to transition into homeschooling, let me encourage you to be flexible. Homeschooling may not look like what you thought it would and that’s okay. Your first few months will be hard, but it will be worth it. Remember these tips to ease the homeschool transition, and be prepared for anything!

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

Curriculums for Independent Learning

It is important to find a curriculum that will nurture a childs desire to learn independently. Here are six great curriculums for independent learning!

 

A few weeks ago we discussed how to create independent learners, and why you would want your child to be able to learn independently. Once you have encouraged your child to be an independent learner, it is important to find a curriculum that will nurture his desire to learn independently.

Here are six great curriculums for independent learning:

Teaching Textbooks

Teaching Textbooks: Teaching textbooks is a computer based math program. The program is written to the student, so parent participation is minimal. It explains the math problems completely and clearly and is one of Cathy Duffy’s top picks!

 Alpha Omega LifePacs

This program offers 10 workbooks per subject that are to be completed throughout the year. Each work book covers a certain subject. For example, in Science, one workbook may cover weather, while another covers plants. The workbooks are designed to be done independently and the program is very self paced.

 Essentials in Writing

This program contains DVD’s that teach writing skills for 1st-12th graders. Also includes worksheets to go along with the lessons. One of the top picks from homeschool moms on this post.

 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.  .

 VERITAS Press

This curriculum is a self-paced history course. With 5 courses to choose from, each course has 160 class periods covering 32 historical events.  It offers interactive teaching, clever games, engaging video footage, and a talking historical character. VERITAS Press is sure to motivate your child throughout the entire school year

Apologia

This curriculum is a top pick for many homeschoolers. It offers studies on Zoology, Anatomy, General Science, Astronomy and more. One of the best things about it is the note booking journals that add a hands on concept to the textbook approach.

Independent learning work best with students who are self directed learners and who are good at time management. Independent learning works best with older children and may not be appropriate for young students. As with any homeschooling method, use what works best for your family. If this is independent learning then these curriculums for independent learners may work great!

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.

 

Who Homeschools?

As homeschooling continues to grow, more and more families are joining the homeschool trend. Who homeschools? The answer may surprise you!

Homeschoolers are oftentimes stereotyped as super religious, hippies, health nuts or just plain weird. But the truth of the matter is that most homeschoolers are just normal parents who have made the decision to homeschool. Who homeschools? The answer may surprise you!

Homeschoolers are everywhere,and come from all cultures, socioeconomic stuatus, career choices and all walks of life. Homeschoolers live in the city, country and suburbs. Homeschool families are made up by teachers, doctors, farmers, painters and more. Some homeschool families do so for religious belifs, and some are non believers. The truth of the matter is that homeschool families oftentimes don’t look any different than anyone else.

Let’s take a look at  some statistics on families who homeschool!

In the 2011-2012 homeschool year (source):

  • 3% of the population were homeschooled.
  • 83% of homeschool families were white, 5% African American, 7% Hispanic (according to HSLDA in 2013 68% of homeschoolers were white)
  • 91% of those polled said they homeschooled because they were concerned with the school environment

Additional statistics:

  • More homeschooled students live in suburban areas (34%) and cities (28%) than the number that live in rural areas (31%).
  • 66% of fathers in homeschooled families have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Income level varies greatly but children scored well on standardized test scores regardless of household income.

Homeschooling is growing by leaps and bounds and is the fastest growing educational option in the United States. Chances are you no longer have to drive huge distances to meet other homeschoolers, they are at your church, the park and the library.

As homeschooling continues to grow, more and more families are joining the homeschool trend. Who homeschools? Anyone who wants to!

Homeschool Domination
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