5 things that are finally working


Written by Kari Patterson of Sacred Mundane.

“How’s school going?”

This seems to be a common question among homeschool circles this time of year. We’re about a month or so in, time enough to have a rough idea what’s working and what’s not. Our plans look so perfect on paper, but it takes a few weeks to get a feel for how it really works.

Only now do I feel like we’ve finally found our homeschool groove. Yes, it’s taken us five years!  I’m fairly certain most of you work out the kinks a lot quicker than that!

I recently revisited this Power of the Beginner article and it took me back to those early days, trying so many options, reading every homeschool book I could find, researching different philosophies and always feeling completely in over my head.

Sure, there are days I still feel like that, but at five years in I can confidently say I know what’s finally working for us. Of course, these won’t work for everyone, but just in case you’re also in the “trying-on” stage or exploring different ideas and options, perhaps one of these will be just the ticket for you.

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Using the bullet journal system for homeschool planning

Using the bullet journal method
Written by Kara S. Anderson

The first step is to not panic.

I know – the school year is starting, and your shelf is NOT READY, and that math thing you wanted to try is back-ordered and it doesn’t matter anyway because your oldest says that this year he’d prefer to just not do math at all.

Wouldn’t we all, kid.

Instagram and Pinterest are mocking you with the pictures of stylish schoolrooms (you meet at the corner of your dining room table that doesn’t slope), and the kind of judgy lady from co-op just called and told you that they really need someone to teach Ancient Greek to the pre-schoolers.

You don’t have to do much, just crafts and a puppet story time, and then learn and teach Ancient Greek.

I get it. The beginning of the school year is both wonderful and overwhelming.

There are so many possibilities and it all feels fresh and new, and mostly do-able, except for the small parts that are terrifying.

So I’d like to offer that maybe what you need is a notebook.

I know if doesn’t seem like much. In fact, you can literally buy one for 17 cents at Staples right now.

But I’m telling you, there is an amazing power to writing things down, and getting them OUT OF YOUR HEAD. Especially when you are feeling overwhelmed, which happens a little lot this time of year.

The way I do that is through bullet journaling.

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The homeschool hack that’s saved my sanity for 8 years

The homeschool hack that's saved my sanity for 8 years
By Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

So I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but kids can be LOUD.

Like REALLY loud.

Happy loud sometimes. Unhappy loud at others.

And when you get lots of them together? VERY loud!

Confession: I don’t particularly care for loud.

I also tend to be an all-or-nothing person, which shows in the fact that my husband Steve and I added three kids to our family in less than three years. Less than two years separate them in age–and even less separate them developmentally.

After our daughter Trishna joined our family, we had a four, three, and two-year-old. Suddenly, a good portion of my life was loud. And though I was no fortune teller, I was smart enough to guess that I had a decade, give or take, of more loud coming my way.

Some people handle loud just fine. I’m not one of them.

The three gorgeously loud beings of which I speak

Back in 2007 when I was adjusting to my new life as a mom of three, I didn’t yet know that I was a highly sensitive person as well as an introvert. Looking back with that knowledge, it makes perfect sense that I would find life’s sudden, uncontrollable volume overwhelming.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I knew I had to make life at home at least a little quieter if I was going to survive it, as well as add homeschooling to the mix.

A parent’s desperation–I think that’s how some of the best life hacks have been invented over the years!

My own conundrum led to an idea. One that’s gone on to save my sanity and allow me to continue homeschooling for eight years and counting.
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My 3 step process for homeschool planning

Written by Kara Fleck

If the past ten years of homeschooling have taught me anything, it’s that our years go much smoother when I have a plan.

Whether it is a rough outline or a detailed map, I value having a guide to our year – something more meaningful to me as the kids are growing up, the lessons become more advanced, and this mama (and her brain) are getting older.

I’m not a naturally organized person, but I feel planning is a good complement to the rather relaxed and flexible way we approach most of the living and learning in our home. Coffee and my wits will only get me so far, but a plan can help to clarify our daily goals and keep this homeschool machine running smoothly.

So, what does my process look like? It might not be pretty, but here is my real, tried, and true method for homeschool planning:
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Share YOUR homeschool day in the life!

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

It’s been so encouraging to take a peek into the days of several families during our 6th annual homeschool day in the life series!

We’ve heard from homeschool moms who embrace various styles and methods–and if you’re like me, you’ve discovered a few new tips and tricks to add to your days.

There’s nothing quite like this series to remind us that no homeschool day is alike,  and that we don’t have to be perfect to make progress and do what’s right for our unique family.
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