When nothing is working in your homeschool

Written by Sheila Petruccelli of Sure as the World

The last time I wrote a guest post for Simple Homeschool, I wrote about setting an intention to start the new year. I touched on our current year’s theme of “setting sail” and briefly mentioned our arrival in “unchartered waters.”

Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of the story. Shortly after that post was published, we found ourselves completely shipwrecked.

I have homeschooled my boys from the beginning, and I am very well acquainted with the ups and downs of living and learning under the same roof — all day, every day. I know there are good years and not-so-good years.

But this … this was different. Nothing was working.


When I could catch my breath, get quiet and be honest with myself, I had to acknowledge the dread I felt in the pit of my stomach every morning.

Somewhere along the line, I had lost my joy.

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What to do when your day falls apart

What to do when the day falls apart
Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

As if I hadn’t procrastinated starting our homeschool year until the latest possible moment anyway… we had a doozy of a first day back this year.

It’s almost like the new school year set out to mock me right from the get-go. It’s a year I’ve entered into with much trepidation (in an nutshell: an eighth grader, sixth grader, fifth grader, potty-training 3-year old, twin two-year olds… and a partridge in a pear tree).

It was 8:30am on our first day of the new year. I was pulling the twins out of the dishwasher, scolding a child for a sassy attitude, and barking orders at my kids to finish their chores and get to the table- STAT- so we could get going with our day.

(Right, so… it was not my best parenting moment. Ahem.)

Then I heard him yell.

He doesn’t usually yell- and certainly not like that, so it caught me off guard. I high-tailed it up to my bedroom to find my husband on the floor, stiff as a board, face contorted in pain.

“I…. can’t….. I can’t….. move,” he said between strained breaths, “…at all.”

And things more or less unravelled from there. My husband spent the rest of the morning on the floor and the entire afternoon at the ER. [Read more…]

The hardest part of YOUR homeschool year: A reader linkup

The hardest part of your homeschool year: a reader linkup
Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool and Steady Mom

Sometimes the image of homeschooling online appears bright, peaceful, and glittery.

Very much opposite of real-life homeschooling, which can be loud, messy and downright difficult at times.

This summer we’ve written about what makes homeschooling hard: from homeschooling with depression, to homeschooling an angry child, to homeschooling teens and much more.

As a site whose mission is to “deliver regular doses of homeschooling inspiration, confidence, and freedom to parents worldwide,” my contributors and I feel like it’s important to write vulnerably–so you know you aren’t alone.
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Homeschooling through disruption: The hardest part of Melissa’s homeschool year

Homeschooling through disruption
Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

I thrive on peace and calm and intention and purpose. I like to meet needs and meet goals, to make progress and make things work. Our days are fluid, but there’s “fluid” and then there’s “melted into a pile of goo.” I prefer the former.

Disruption, in other words, is not my favorite thing.

Last year, when we were trying to move to a new house in the middle of the school year, I mostly wanted to hide until the whole thing was over.

We live in an area where the housing market could best be described as “utterly insane.” Every morning we would open an app to look for new dots representing homes in our area, then send virtual messages begging to see those houses before anyone else did.

The whole thing seemed a lot like playing the worst video game ever, and when you won, you would get the joy of complete life upheaval. So that was great.

The hardest part of my homeschool year

We don’t hope to move often, but life throws plenty of other disruptions at us all the time, doesn’t it? Here’s what helps us cope with ours.

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Going beyond ‘I love you’ to build up a soul


Written by Rachel Macy Stafford of Hands Free Mama

When I began my Hands Free journey five years ago, I did it to free myself from the external distractions, internal pressures, and unrealistic societal standards that prevented me from truly living.

But there was an unexpected result: As my distracted ways lessened, my loving ways increased—tenfold.

For the first time in my life I saw a direct correlation between my undivided presence and my ability to love my people in ways that most nurtured them. When I was in their presence, I studied them. I listened to them. I watched their faces when I used certain words and tones.

I noted what words brought sighs of relief … surges of confidence … and glows of acceptance.

I vowed to say those words more.

I also noted what words brought shame … disconnection … pain … and silence. I vowed to say those words less. Over time, I collected quite a powerful list of words that helped me love my people in ways that helped them thrive.

Like sunlight and water to a plant, these words nourished the deepest parts of their human hearts and fostered growth in all areas of their lives. Hence, I called them Soul-Building Words.

[Read more…]