About Kara Anderson

Kara is a freelance writer and homeschooling mom, with a goal of encouraging fellow mamas in real-life homeschooling. She also's the happy co-host of The Homeschool Sisters podcast.

5 of the best-kept secrets for new homeschoolers

Written by Kara S. Anderson

There are many things that I wish had known when I started homeschooling.

I was so excited, but so confused. I felt like I had to pick a philosophy and stick with it, even if parts of it didn’t work. I felt like I had to start in pre-school, and I put a ton of pressure on myself to recreate a school-like environment at home, even though I also had a tiny baby to care for.

So today, I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned. These are some of the homeschooling “secrets” that I wish people would have shared with me.

I hope this post gives you a bit of a head-start, and maybe helps you feel a little less pressure. Deep breath! You’ve got this, homeschool mama!
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How to win at homeschooling

Written by Kara S. Anderson

Recently, a friend of mine posted a photo on Instagram, and I thought to myself – That’s It. That’s the stuff, right there.

I need to tell you that it wasn’t a particularly fancy picture (no offense to my friend).

But it wasn’t staged. There wasn’t lighting. It wasn’t #sponsored, and the kids weren’t wearing coordinating Hanna Andersen outfits. They weren’t in a field of wild flowers, or at the base of the Eiffel tower.

Instead, it was a picture of a moment – her son comforting her daughter through an anxious time.

And so, it made me think of the Dum-Dums. Of course.

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Bringing joy and delight to your homeschool

Written by Kara S. Anderson

My kids and I recently decided to have an impromptu Bob Ross Day.

We had been watching a lot of Bob Ross on Netflix, because it is calming and peaceful, and sidenote: if you are a person with insomnia, it will put you to sleep faster than warm milk and a Benedryl.

But it’s also super satisfying. In 30 minutes, Bob finishes an entire painting. And he makes it look easy.

“We need to do that,” we decided one day at Michaels, because there was a sale and we had coupons and sometimes, you just get really excited about something.

I happen to think that joy and delight are two very necessary ingredients in homeschooling, and before you think I am just talking about delighting your children constantly like a circus performer, tossing out candy and singing the state capitals at them, I am talking about your own joy and delight too.

“Never fill your schedule too full that there isn’t room for a little joy and delight,” I said recently on Instagram, surprising myself.

But here’s the thing – joy and delight aren’t easy for every homeschool mom. And how much is too much?

Let’s chat about that:

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Kara’s homeschool day in the life with a 10- and 13-year-old

Written by Kara S. Anderson.

As I sit down to write about our day in the life this year, we are mostly surrounded by half-read books, half-done puzzles, and half-eaten pans of cinnamon rolls.

It is my very favorite week of the year – the week between Christmas and New Year’s – but it’s also a break week for us, and our routine has gone out the window entirely.

The ONLY thing that has remained the same is our volunteer day.

And so today, I thought I would share a bit about that and how it has impacted our homeschool this year.

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Balance and flexibility for homeschooling parents

Written by Kara S. Anderson

Growing up, I was a competitive figure skater, which meant I spent hours each day on ¼-inch thin blades, tracing intricate figures, spinning in neat circles or landing jumps after multiple rotations in the air.

In addition to our time spent on the ice, my fellow skaters and I took other classes, including ballet. The idea was that jumps and spins were fine, but without grace and artistry, they were simple perfunctory.

Skaters needed to hold their hands in a pleasing way. They needed to tilt their heads just so.

And they needed to be flexible.

What I learned spending 12 years of my life freezing my toes off is that balance is good, but it’s nothing without its partner in crime, flexibility.

I think about this sometimes as a homeschooling mom.

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