Are you homeschooling a “different” child?


Written by Sally Clarkson

“I have a Nathan, too!’

This was the comment I heard every time I spoke at a homeschool or mom conference.

My out-of-the-box boy – clinically OCD, ADHD, argumentative, on a small spectrum of other issues and with learning disabilities, certainly provided me with lots of stories to share through the years.

And I was amazed at how many women breathed a sigh of relief when they realized they were not the only ones with children who were often a puzzle.

My journey with Nathan was challenging, lonely, and difficult in so many ways. My most difficult challenge was that I did not have friends who understood him or my struggles in homeschooling him.

I often felt like a failure, living in and out of frustration, wanting to love him but losing my patience. It was a constant drain on my life. It’s why I agreed to write a book with Nathan about our journey as mom and child–so that others like me will not feel alone.

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10 things every new homeschooler should know

10 things every new homeschooler should know
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

I never know exactly how to answer when someone asks me how long we’ve been homeschooling.

“Since the beginning,” goes over pretty well.
“We always have,” gets a fair response.
My holistic view of learning used to lead me to say “since birth,” but that one raised some eyebrows here and there.

But if someone, wanting a more technical response, counts the time since my oldest would have started Kindergarten, that makes this our eighth year of learning at home! No matter how you slice it, I guess I’m not a newbie anymore.

I still remember those days well, though. The insecurity, the worries, the thoughts of inadequacy. (Oh wait, that was just last night!!)

I’m crazy far from being an expert on the matter, but the past several years have taught me a few things I’d like to pass on to every new homeschooler.

I hope they bring comfort to those of you getting started.
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3 things I’m quitting in our homeschool this year


Written by Kara Fleck

“Hear ye! Hear ye! By royal proclamation of the headmistress of the Fleck Academy Homeschool, this mom declares that some things are going to change around here, and high time, too. So, hang on to your hats, people!”

Okay, perhaps I’m not starting the new year on quite as dramatic note as that, though it was tempting to rent a jester costume for the announcement.

What brought all this on, you ask?

We took three weeks off from lessons, and I spent some of that time going over the first half of the year. While I was lounging with my eggnog and holiday cookies and pondering life as a homeschooling mama, it occurred to me that I need to be more of a quitter.

Specifically, there are three things I need to stop doing in our homeschool (and one that I would like to start).

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Are you practicing sustainable homeschooling?

Are You Practicing Sustainable Homeschooling-
Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler

If you’ve walked into a grocery store lately, you’ve seen items marked “sustainable.” They’re everywhere, it seems.

Even our Facebook feed is full of the concept of sustainability. We hear about “sustainable crops,” “sustainable housing,” “sustainable teas” and even “sustainable budgets and economies.”

All this has led me to think: What about sustainable homeschooling?

Now wait a minute, you say. Sustainable homeschooling? I’ve never heard of that before. But think about it.

The definition of sustainable is either:

  1. able to be maintained at a certain rate or level, or
  2. able to be upheld or defended.

And isn’t that what we all want for our homeschools?

We want to be able to work consistently, to accomplish tasks without burning out ourselves or our children. To do our job in the best way possible so that we can uphold and defend our values.

We all want sustainable homeschooling.

So whether you’re sitting around the fire this Christmas reminiscing about the year gone by, or planning for the year to come, here are four practical ideas for making your homeschooling sustainable.

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How do you want your homeschool to feel?

Written by Kara S. Anderson

I was talking with Melissa Camara Wilkins recently about the holidays, and she asked the best question:

How do you want the holidays to feel?

That took me back a step. I don’t usually think about the holidays that way – I’m too busy focusing on what to do next. I often see the Christmas season as one giant to-do list, until I can hit my bed face-first Christmas night, exhausted, but finally able to rest.

That’s not how I want to feel about the holidays, though, and that’s not how I want to feel about homeschooling.

I don’t want these years to be filled with nothing but check-boxes and to-dos.

And so I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to how our homeschool feels, and what I want it to feel like going forward.

As January rolls around in a few weeks, and we begin a new semester of learning, here are some of the things I want to focus on:

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