There’s always a lot of talk and questions every from those considering homeschooling. Perhaps you are wondering “Should I homeschool?” It’s always frightening to take the road less traveled. If you are sitting on the fence, take heart. Here are some easy questions you can ask to determine if you should homeschool or not.
1.Define your nightmare.
If you did or do, homeschool, what would be the worst case scenario/outcome for you? My worse case nightmare would be illiterate kids that lived with me till the day.I.die. I like my kids. Really. I don’t like cooking three meals a day, cleaning up after everybody, managing rides, and schedules and laundry. The people rock. The workload, not so much.
The 2nd nightmare is that I go a bit nuts. Actually, the 2nd nightmare is more my husband and kid’s nightmare. It does occur on occasion. Fortunately, the benefits of homeschooling outweigh the nightmare. (Right, honey?!)
2. What steps could you take to repair the damage?
You know, if the worst case scenario panned out. A solid phonics program. Installing locks on the door. Move with no forwarding address. Prepare the children well. Engage, or marry, a good therapist. Wait, I did that one!
3. What are the outcomes/benefits, both temporary & permanent of more probable scenarios?
You know, if you were more successful than the worst case scenario. My kids would be literate (and literary). They would move out, have successful, amazing lives of their own. They would travel the world, make friends, and influence people. They might even earn degrees and money. Hopefully, they will have joyful marriages and healthy, delightful kids, laughing out loud and loving the Master of the Universe.
4. If you were forced to homeschool today, what would you do to get things under control?
You know, if you HAD to homeschool. For example, I would start by developing my teaching skills and plan for the year, then creating a seasonal and daily schedule. Next, I would order an excellent curriculum, based on my plans. Enroll in quality enrichment programs. Develop a lifestyle of learning. De-clutter my house. Streamline my life. Strategize in order to get it all done.
5. What are you putting off out of fear?
Are you delaying deciding because you think you’ll fail (see step #1), or because you think you’ll go nuts? (see step #2)
6. What is it costing you?
Your kid’s safety? Your kid’s learning environment? What is the motivation to even consider homeschooling? What do you hope will be different if you begin homeschooling? Write the vision and make it clear.
7. What are you waiting for?
Will the cost diminish if you wait or procrastinate or will the cost increase? If the cost will increase, perhaps it’s time to take a leap of faith and jump on in. C’mon! The water’s just fine!! So we know the question is “Should I homeschool?”, but what’s your answer?
Do you have a house full of hungry home-schoolers? These pancakes are easy enough to whip up a batch or two on a cold winter morning and fill those hungry tummies with whole wheat goodness. Your littles will love making them with you- pounding up the peppermint and sprinkling them on top of the pancakes. Your middle and older kids can learn to make them on their own. These pancakes are simple to make but special enough for Christmas and your other favorite holidays! If you’re gluten free, just substitute the whole wheat and white flour with your favorite gf flour.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
¼ cup cocoa
¼ cup sugar
2 cups milk
Either 2tsp Peppermint extract or
¼ cup ground, dried peppermint
Candy canes, crushed
(make your pancakes gluten free by substituting your favorite gf flour)
Directions for Perfect Pancakes
Butter griddle, and scoop ¼ cup batter for each pancake
Sprinkle peppermint on top, or mix it in.
Drizzle with your favorite syrup, fruit and whipped cream for a beautiful and delicious breakfast!
Your Christmas Peppermint Pancake Party is about to begin. Set a fancy table with fine Christmas china or eat in front of the Christmas tree; pajamas and pancakes are a winning combo on Christmas, or any holiday morning!
My name is Sarah Bean, I am 23 and live in Utah. I homeschool 2 kids, Ellie (4) and Will (2). We also teach kids to cook. Some may think they are too young for schooling, but tell that to them! My approach is simple. Learning can be found everywhere, everyday, in all things. Interested based learning is what they do best! Sarah blogs at Raising Human Beans
In New Mexico, it’s wryly referred to as “Enchantment” (think deserting pebbly dirt blowing around!) and can be defined in one of two ways: As small, loose particle of sand or stone, or as courage, resolve and strength of character. Grit is simply the combination of passion and perseverance. In this age of snowflakes and easy offense, it’s something to consider. Are our kids growing in grit? Are they becoming courageous, resolute and developing strength of character? The remarkable gift of grit will stand our kids in good stead as they face an increasingly secular world that tolerates very little in terms of strong convictions.
In her excellent book, aptly titled, Grit, Angela Duckworth, takes on the task of developing the idea of grit in our children. She advocates for making Grit development a part of kid’s life skills curriculum. I couldn’t agree more. Our kids need grit. It’s what allows them to go out and compete, take risks, fail and try again. Grit is the strength of character needed to actually do hard things. We can want to do hard things. We can hope to do hard things. But without grit, those dreams and desires never make it to reality. In the same way we can want and hope for our kids to do hard things, but if we make it too easy on them, they won’t develop grit. If we protect them from failure, make excuses, buy their way, coddle and protect them, they won’t develop grit. Their determination to succeed and their grit development will be stunted.
Duckworth goes on to explain the necessary ingredients for developing grit:
Practice– Practice is what lets us learn as we go. To practice and develop well we must get assessment and feedback.
Purpose– Grit is not always about pursuing those things that we might have a natural inclination in, but rather pursuing something that we can develop an interest in over the long term.
Hope- is as much about what you hope for as the ability to fail and keep trying, working and pursuing one’s goals despite set-backs.
Time– time to practice, purpose, fail and succeed.
In the homeschooling world you hear a lot of verbiage about making school “Fun” and allowing your child to pursue their passions. While I love fun and have pursued a whole lot of passions of my own, I believe this is a skewed understanding of education. When we focus on “fun” we lose sight of the satisfaction that comes from really hard, difficult, at times painful work. We cheat our kids from the joy of knowing they’ve conquered, maybe having failed along the way. Fun is entertainment. Success is hard work, sweat, tears, pain, failure and then, accomplishment.
I’ve also learned that our passions develop as we take an interest in something and learn more about it. We often like what we are good at. We don’t usually get good at something until we work at it a bit. Some of my passions in life have developed as I’ve faced challenges, failures and set-backs. An interest in something does not equal a passion. A fanatical pursuit does. Often those pursuits require learning new skills, overcoming hardships and road-blocks, looking somewhat foolish, asking hard questions and displaying humility.
Teaching our kids that life isn’t always fun is a really valuable skill. Teaching our kids that passions often require sacrifice is also a very valuable skill.
Duckworth’s recommendations for bestowing the remarkable gift of Grit Goals to your children are requiring them to:
Choose something that requires deliberate daily practice.
Commit to doing this activity for 2 years.
Finish what you’ve started for specified interval.
In our homeschool, we utilize grit goals. For the past two years, it’s been about tackling Latin. As a result, both of my kids have developed a true love for language learning and acquisition. Both have goals for tackling their next language and beyond. My daughter even picked up the little gem of a book, “How to Learn Any Language in 30 Days” at a thrift store recently. The point is, our last grit goal developed their understanding of what they could do and given them the tools and skills to hope in what’s possible. They know they can learn a second language because they learned a first. Is learning Latin “fun?” Not at the beginning. It’s grunt work. It’s memorizing declensions, and vocab and grammar. But it’s fun to de-code and translate. That, however, doesn’t come until after some of the grunt work.
Our grit goasl for this coming year will change, as our family changes, and kids grow. Our oldest son is at Boot Camp, as I write this. A program, paid for by our tax dollars, that bestows on thousands of young people the remarkable gift of grit each year. We, as a society, should be grateful for the thousands of young men and women who are tough enough to endure this intensive grit training on our behalf each year! Our second son is participating in a demanding memory work competition and our youngest, like I mentioned, is intent on studying languages even more in-depth.
Grit goals can be academic, physical, social, mental, spiritual. How do you determine which area to focus on? Start by considering what areas are your student the most vulnerable in? It might be time to think about some grit goals so that they can develop the courage needed to face whatever’s up ahead. Sometimes our biggest obstacles are where God wants to grow us the most. We often hear of world class athletes who overcome insurmountable physical odds to win beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
I also think it’s helpful for our kids to see us as parents setting and accomplishing difficult goals and challenges. We’re never too old to learn, grow and overcome! If you set Grit Goals for your students (or self!) I’d love to hear about it!
Our Essential Academic Advising package is develop to help you develop appropriate goals for your Homeshool. Are you overwhelmed or afraid that you are failing your student? We have the tools, skills and experience to come alongside of you and bring you peace of mind so that you can bring your homeschooling vision to fruition. Check out our complete Catalog!
Homeschooling High School can be intimidating, to be sure. But, for some reason, you are or have considered it, and you are ready to take the plunge! Many people are intimidated by homeschooling High School because they feel like they can’t cover all of the subject areas adequately.
Why are we so afraid?
Well truthfully, for most of us, it HAS been years since we took Algebra. We might never have been that good at writing, or we don’t have a good handle on history or science. And seriously, WHAT is a credit and how do we do we create a Master Plan of Action to get through these next couple of years with our strong-willed, bored, lazy, overly compliant, non-compliant, willful, just wants to read all the time, hates math, never wants to read ever, delightful, funny, sleeping all the time, hungry ALL the time teenager?! Honestly, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin!
The good news, actually the GREAT news is, that homeschooling high school has never been easier. Resources and materials for homeschooling High School have exploded the last couple of years, making it possible to craft an academically rigorous, delight directed, interest-led, affordable program for your teen!
So what are these resources, and where do you find them?
On-line resources are more diverse and range from free to expensive, with amazing content and quality. Some classes are live, some are pre-recorded, and some are animated. We’ve done our fair share of online courses ranging from Latin National Exam prep, Math, Greek, Pre-law, Marine Biology, Chemistry and more. On-line classes can fill in areas that you aren’t prepared or qualified to teach.
(If you are looking for live or pre-recorded online classes check out our catalog for some great options!)
Local Homeschool Groups
Closer to home, most cities have a plethora of homeschool class days, co-ops and academic programs that are inexpensive to participate and easily accessible. Our regional Homeschool Facebook page lists area groups and contact information. Many of us are involved in more than one group at a time, depending on our schedules and kids interests. Additionally, area points of interest have begun to offer homeschool specific programs, such as our local Outdoor Campus.
Having homeschooled in different areas of the country, it’s been my experience that the local homeschool community usually develops its own culture and unique offerings. We know of one large city that hosts a huge Homeschool Prom. Our smaller city hosts a yearly dinner dance, and we also have a rich and diverse theater program for kids of all ages, with Drama Camp, a yearly festival of One Act Plays and a Shakespeare Camp, where kids perform a full-length Shakespeare Camp!
Online Support Groups
Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Then there’s probably a group online that can help you out. Other homeschooling moms are extremely helpful, and more than likely there’s one out there who can answer your questions. A simple Facebook (or Google) search will likely lead you to a wide variety of online homeschooling groups. There all your questions can be answered. Don’t skip this valuable resource!
How does one take advantage of all of the amazing possibilities open to homeschoolers these days? You create a learning plan.
In my opinion, having helped hundreds of homeschoolers from around the world as an Academic Advisor, the most straightforward way to get through high school is to create a learning plan. This plan should include academics, family values, extra-curriculars, sports and more!
If you need help with this, check out our Academic Advising package! We provide credit evaluation, a Personalized Learning Plan, standardized testing, vocational testing and more!
Homeschooling High School can be such a rich, rewarding experience with the right plan and resources. Lucky for all of us, they are more available than ever before!
We are getting ready to celebrate the graduation of our fourth kiddo. He is 6’2″, blond, happy, Godly, talented, and kind. The past 12 years of homeschooling have gone by as fast as the speed of light; during the course of his childhood we’ve graduated older siblings, had a house fire and massive re-model project, buried grandparents, had health issues, had adult children in the home, and had both parents working. We’ve started co-ops, class-days, tutored, brought TeenPact to our area, and started businesses. It’s been busy.
And now that he’s graduating it has struck me how fast the time has gone by. It’s been a good run. We’ve read so many books, listened to books on tape, watched movies, memorized Latin, written and read papers, worked on presentations, done a boatload of plays, memorized a ton, done math, read even more history, drawn, gardened, eaten, celebrated, grieved, sought God and done more of the same.
He’s launching-just like True North Homeschool Academy, into an future that we don’t know yet. But he is as prepared as we know how to humanly prepare him. Again, much like True North. We have laid a firm foundation and have prayerfully considered the future. We plan and prepare, buying food for the party, putting together a picture montage and transcript. We’ll celebrate all that he, and we, have accomplished and thank-God for the past season, while we look to the season to come.
Our son, just like True North Homeschool Academy, is venturing into new territory. We are confident that God has and will continue to guide our steps. We have prepared diligently, have amazing teachers, awesome courses and decades of experience at the ready to assist you in creating the kind of amazing homeschooling experience we’ve had with our kids as we’ve homeschooled them.
We’d love to walk alongside you as you homeschool! Let us know if you’d like more information about courses, teachers or coaching!
Hey Homeschool Momma! Are you feeling overwhelmed by the hundreds of thousands of curriculum choices available? Worried that you’ll miss something important when it comes to covering your basis for high school? Don’t know how to navigate the strong will of your child with the curriculum that you need to get through?
We are here to help! Choose from a number of different coaching options. Email, group coaching, 1:1 coaching. We are here to offer you practical tips, guides and helps, drawing on years of experience and a passion for quality education.
Check Out Our Podcast!
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