4 questions that will simplify your homeschool this fall

Written by Melissa Camara Wilkins

September always makes me think two things.

One, I really should have bought more markers while they were on sale for forty-seven cents a box. (Back-to-school sales are the best.)

And two, How can I make things simpler around here?

I actually ask that second question every few months, because last season’s rhythms and routines might not be the best choices for this season’s. (Though my kids would be happy to turn our summer routine of hanging out at the pool into a year-round habit, please and thank you.)

Let’s clear something up real quick, though: SIMPLE does not mean EASY. Simple means not complicated, or at least less complicated.

To me, making things simpler means living more in alignment with who we are and what we’re about. That’s much less complicated than doing things because this is the way they’ve always been done, or because we think we “should,” or because we’re afraid of missing out.

Making things simpler means letting go of ideas that aren’t working, and finding practices that do work for our families. It means making changes so your life fits you (or anyway, fits you better than it did before).

I have a few questions I come back to when I’m ready to make things simpler. These are the questions I’ve been asking to simplify my September.

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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.

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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

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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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A chance to share your homeschool day in the life

Written by Jamie Martin of Simple Homeschool

Our 7th homeschool day in the life series has come to an end, but we still want to hear from you! So today is your chance to share with our community.

Do you have tips or tricks that really work for you? What are your favorite things about homeschooling? What makes YOUR homeschool unique?

We hope you’ll link up below and tell us all about your days, because every homeschool is different, and we all have so much to learn from one another!
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Kara’s homeschool day in the life (with a 5-, 8-, 10-, and 15-year old)


Written by Kara E. Fleck

Have you noticed that the more things change the more they stay the same? We’ve been officially homeschooling for ten years now and while some parts of our days look vastly different, there are many things that are the same: routines, books, lessons that are old friends.

Of course, there are also things about our days which homeschooling mom Kara of ten years ago wouldn’t recognize or believe, including that two of her kids would love math and that the high school years would actually be a good deal of fun.

A homeschool day in the life

No day is typical (that seems to be something I have in common with most of my fellow Simple Homeschool contributors), but here is a glimpse at a recent day in our homeschool.

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