Homeschooling & homesteading: The hardest part of Rachel’s homeschool year


Written by Rachel Wolf of Clean.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to live on a small homestead, tucked away in the hills in some quiet corner of Wisconsin. I longed for an old red barn when I lived in an apartment in the city; dreamed of sheep when I was a non-knitting vegetarian.

Why? I can’t explain it. I grew up in the suburbs for goodness’ sake.

When I was ten my only life goal was to live on a farm with my best friend, raise pigs for show, and have a house filled with pets. Fast-forward thirty-some years and most of that dream has come true.

I live with my best friend (my husband) on a small farm in Wisconsin. While we don’t raise pigs, we do have forty-some animals in our care. Or maybe it’s fifty. Frankly I’ve lost count.


Aside from our two homeschooled children, in our charge are six quail, nine ducks, dozens of laying hens, and (until last weekend) eighty (that’s 8-0) meat birds. Add to this our fifteen sheep, five goats, a fledgling fruit orchard, a gaggle of house pets, and a big vegetable garden and there are days when I question my sanity.

The hardest part of my homeschool year

There are days I can’t seem to locate anything that even resembles my sanity.

With milking and fencing and weeding and canning and mucking and tending – time is often thin.

And I wonder, “I’m supposed to ‘do school’ when?”

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Homeschooling a child with Asperger’s: The hardest part of Kari’s homeschool year


Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

I held my breath as I looked at the list. Every single item. It described him to the T. How had I never known? Wordlessly, I slid the laptop over to my husband. His eyes widened as he scrolled down, just as amazed.

You mean, this is a thing? 

There’s a name for this? And it’s legit?

Relief and grief often go hand-in-hand. On the one hand, I was overwhelmed with relief, finally freed from the crippling belief that all my son’s challenges were the result of my own inadequacies.

Terrible handwriting? Clearly my fault. Can’t tie shoes? My failure. Strange social behavior? My mess-up.

Lack of eye-contact, emotional maturity, empathy and a dozen other “typical” behavioral benchmarks?

All mommy-fails.

The hardest part of my homeschool year

But now, here, with one word I was freed from this Mommy-guilt prison.

His challenges weren’t my fault. This … was a thing.

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Homeschooling with depression: The hardest part of Shawna’s homeschool year

Homeschooling with depression: The hardest part of Shawna's homeschool year

Written by Shawna Wingert of Not the Former Things

As I woke, I felt a familiar dread spread throughout my body. I had barely opened my eyes, but already felt anxious and sad about what the day would bring. I wanted to turn over, pull the covers over my head, and just go back to sleep.

I wish I could say that my boys don’t have a mom that sometimes struggles just to get out of bed, and face the day.

I wish I could say that our homeschooling hasn’t suffered on days like this.

I wish I could say that once I get up and have a cup of coffee, it all seems better.

But I can’t.

What I can say is that I am a mom of two boys. We homeschool. And I have struggled with depression.

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The secret to Teaching from Rest (and a giveaway!)

The Secret to Teaching From RestWritten by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

We’re tiptoeing to the end of summer, and if you’re anything like me, you’re looking over your plans for the school year, making sure you’ve dotted your i’s, crossed your t’s, that you’ve stocked up on 10 cent notebooks and colorful pens.

And maybe… juuuuust maybe… you’re sneaking a few extra things into the curriculum.

After all, you want this to be the BEST homeschool year ever, right?

Me too. But I’ve been down this new-year-of-homeschooling road a few times, and I want to tell you the secret for setting out for a new school year with mindful intention that has the staying power to carry us through the year– that will get us through that November slump and even the February burnout that threatens us year after year.


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Homeschooling teens: The hardest part of Kris’s homeschool year


Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

A year ago, I became the mom to a houseful of teens. My baby turned 13 and my oldest was 19 with a 15 year old sandwiched in the middle. Y’all, I thought parenting babies and toddlers was hard, but teens? They present a whole new reason for sleepless nights. And don’t even get me started on their meltdowns and temper tantrums.

Don’t misunderstand. Teens are really awesome people. Society and the media have given them a bad rap. The majority of the teens I know are thoughtful, respectful, amazing individuals who have some incredible insight to offer if you’ll take the time to listen to them.

That doesn’t mean that homeschooling – or parenting – them is a breeze, though.

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