Homeschooling a Reluctant Learner


Do you have a child who just doesn’t like school? Everything seems like a chore when it comes to learning. They don’t want to do math, reading is a bore, and getting them to sit and concentrate is a near impossible task…. If this is your child, you may have a reluctant learner. Most kids are reluctant in school at some point in their education career, but reluctant learners are different. They really don’t seem to like school. At all.  Here are some tips for homeschooling a reluctant learner.

Debunk the Myth

What is the myth? The myth is that your child doesn’t want to learn. That is not true. All children WANT to learn. Whether it be how to play the new minecraft game, or how to climb the tree they are gazing at out the window. The key is to find out what it is that they WANT to learn.

Slow Down

Don’t push. Really. Who says a child HAS to read at five? If reading is hard, slow down, and pick it up in a few months. Forcing a child to learn something they are not ready for can cause emotional stress on the child, and exasperation for you. Let them work at their own pace. That is the beauty of homeschooling.

Set Goals

What does your child like? Figure that out and set a goal. You can have X for 10 minutes AFTER we finish this page of math. The key is to get them to want to finish their work, in order to move on to the next thing.

You can set bigger goals for the weeks accomplishments. If you finish all your assignments this week, we will have pizza for dinner on Friday. Or something along those lines. Find out what excites them and use it to your advantage.

Get Them Involved

What do they want to learn about? Find out and tailor your lessons around that. Unit studies may be a great approach for the reluctant learner because all the lessons are focused on one topic. I had a friend whose child was fascinated with tornadoes. That is all he wanted to talk about or learn about. So, she did a study on tornadoes, for a MONTH! The science of them, the history of the worst tornadoes, math related to how long they travel, books and spelling lists related to tornadoes, it was a LOT about tornadoes. BUT, he learned, and not reluctantly. Because it was something he was interested in.

Having a reluctant learner can be a challenge, but you can homeschool your child! Find out what interests them, slow down, and get them involved. These tips will help make your days a little smoother.

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.


A Look at Homeschool Socialization

homeschool socialization

One of the biggest questions homeschool parents get is “What about socialization?”. We’ve discussed here before about what socialization is, and how homeschoolers can make sure their children are socialized. So, today I am going to share some of the social advantages homeschoolers have, and how the statistics say homeschoolers perform socially.

HSLDA conducted a survey in 2003 of over 7,000 adults who were homeschooled. The surveys goal was to show that homeschoolers “grow up” better off than their public schooled peers, and that in fact they are well-socialized adults capable of handling society, and their peers. What they found was very interesting!

  • Homeschool graduates are active and involved in their communities. Those who participated in community services were 71% of homeschooled adults compared to 37% of non-homeschooled adults. Eighty eight percent of homeschooled adults were members of organizations like a church, professional group, etc compared to 50% of U.S. adults.
  • Contentment makes a big difference in our lives as adults right? Homeschooled adults are happier with their lives, compared to adults who were not homeschooled (59% vs. 39%).
  • Out of all the homeschooled adults, polled 95% say that they were glad they were homeschooled and 82% say that they plan on homeschooling their children.

In addition to the above facts, there are many more awesome social benefits to being homeschooled. One study conducted by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute found that homeschooled children tend to demonstrate fewer behavioral problems than their peers do. This result was found after counselors observed a group of children playing; they did not know which were homeschooled, and which were not. The results, iNational Home Education Research Institute president Brian Ray, believes are based in part due to who the main role models are in a homeschoolers life:

 “Public school children have, as their main role models, peers, while homeschool students have as their role models, adults,” he explains.

The study also found that homeschoolers tend to be less apt to follow along with negative influences.  Jeffrey Koonce, a school superintendent in Miller County, Missouri, has studied homeschool students as some transition into public schools. He has found that in most cases, homeschoolers are “socially adept” and mature than their peers. This could be because homeschoolers are around a wide range of ages, including adults, rather than being in a school with students all the same age on a regular basis.

If you have been concerned over how your homeschooled child may fare socially, I hope this has put your mind at rest. Homeschooling offers many advantages; social skills are just one of them!

Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. 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.



Great Educational Board Games for Homeschool Families

educational board games

One of our favorite things to do as a family is have family game night. We try to do this at least once a week! As a homeschool family,  I have to admit that sometimes… I like to make sure those games are also educational. After all learning can and does happen anywhere right?

Here are 10 educational board games that are great for homeschool families!

  1. Candy Land: What preschooler doesn’t love this game? It teachers colors, taking turns and counting.
  2. Scrabble: This game is great for a variety of reasons. It teaches spelling, letter recognition and vocabulary skills. Also, it is a lot of fun!
  3. Battleship: This game teaches boat recognition, and how to read a grid. It also is a great game for critical thinking!
  4. Monopoly: Budgeting and money management skills are learned in this fun game. It also teaches patience as it takes forever to finish one J.
  5. Uno: Preschoolers can learn colors and number recognition while playing Uno alongside the rest of the family!
  6. Jenga: This game makes you think. Where should you place the blocks? Where should you pull? No one wants to be the one who makes the tower fall!
  7. Guess Who: Helps teach kids memory skills, and helps them learn the elimination process. Which players have red hair? Which ones wear glasses? Identification skills are learned as well
  8. Operation: My kids have learned different body parts by playing this fun game! All kids like to take a turn being doctor J
  9. Where in the World USA: This game is great to help kids (and parents) learn USA geography skills!
  10. Spot it: A new spin on memory and visualization skills this game is fun for parents and kids!

Family game nights can be lots of fun! But, they can also be educational if you try one of these 10 games J.

Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. 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.


Five Great Language Arts Curriculums!

Great language arts curriculums

Its curriculum shopping season and as you are browsing catalogs, hitting up conventions, and scouring the web, you may ask yourself what the BEST curriculum is. Well, the truth of the matter is there is NO perfect curriculum. However, we can break it down and help you find a great curriculum that works for your family.

Here are five of the many great Language Arts curriculums out there!

  1. Rod and Staff– This is what we use and I love it! It is simple, it is thorough and it is inexpensive. Published by Mennonites it has terms that some kids may not recognize, but overall would fit most families. It is religious based, and uses scripture throughout the books. The teacher’s manuals are essential for full use of the curriculum.
  2. Sonlight– This curriculum is known as one of the top literature based programs out there. It is full of great books, fantastic grammar and spelling programs, and is all inclusive. It is religious based, however, they now have a program called BookShark that has the same format and lesson plans without the religious content.
  3. Veritas Press– Based on the classical approach to education; Veritas Press is a comprehensive Christian curriculum. Their grammar program gets great reviews!
  4. 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.
  5. Abeka– Abeka is known for its comprehensive curriculum and is used in various private schools around the country. You can buy a full language arts kit, or just certain parts of it. Another top pick from homeschool moms

These are just a few of the many great Language Arts curriculums out there. You can see some of these and many more at the Southeast Homeschool Expo!

Misty Bailey is a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. 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.

Homeschool for Free

Homeschooling for free

A common question many new homeschoolers ask is how expensive is homeschooling? The short answer is that homeschooling is as expensive as you allow it to be. There is curriculum out there that can fit any budget, from a substantial amount, all the way down to free. Yes, that’s right you can homeschool for free!

Here are just a few of many free websites out there offering free curriculum.

Khan Academy: Free math website complete with videos and tutorials for a variety of different areas in math.

Classical House of Learning : A place for FREE classical literature guides following a 4-year history cycle.

Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool: A free comprehensive homeschool program for student’s preschool through 8th grade.

Homeschool Share: Free Lapbooks for the Little Ones J

Ambleside Online: Ambleside Online is a free curriculum using the Charlotte Mason philosophy of education.

ABC Jesus Loves Me: is a complete preschool Bible themed curriculum.

Bible Road Trip: A free three Year Bible program for children and adults. Phonics site perfect for those who are learning to read.

Spelling City: Free spelling games and activities for kids.

Scott Foresman Reading: Free printable grammar and writing sheets for students in grades 1-6.

In addition to these great sites there are many other resources available right at your local library. Rebecca Rupp offers a book titled Home Learning Year by Year. This book includes recommendations for numerous resources that are available to create your own homeschool curriculum. Many of these are probably located in your town’s library. I have used this book for years and have found it invaluable.

Also, many libraries offer teachers kits. These kits are available on a variety of subjects. They may include crafts, books, audio, and many other resources. Check and see if your library has any to offer.

You tube and Netflix have many educational videos for kids.  One show that my children love to watch on Netflix is the Magic School Bus.  Another great one that is on You Tube is Liberty Kids. It is all about American History during the Revolutionary War.

These are just a few resources that I have used or found that are free and great homeschooling resources. If your budget is tight, and you’re not sure how you can fit homeschool curriculum into the budget, I encourage you to check out these resources. Even if your budget isn’t tight, we all love things that are free, right?

Author: Misty Bailey

Misty is a homeschool mom of three and has been homeschooling for over 4 years. You can read about her homeschool journey and more on her blog, Joy in the Journey.