Thank you so much Merit! Here is the meta tag.
Organize Your Homeschool

Organize Your Homeschool

Even for the naturally tidy parent, the ability to organize your homeschool can feel like a daunting task. 
This is so much more than laundry, meals, and getting to ball practice on time. You’ve taken on the immense responsibility of educating your children. Disorganization in your homeschool can leave mom feeling overwhelmed and on the edge of burnout. As bad as that is, there’s more. 

Disorganization by Definition

What is disorganization, anyway? You might think organization is cleanliness, but that’s just the fruit of organization.
So, what are we talking about? Disorganization is defined as a “lack of proper planning and control” or “inability to plan one’s affairs or activities efficiently.”
If we apply this definition to homeschooling, it’s easy to get a mental picture. Every homeschool parent has been there.  It might look like being late to important events or not being able to find papers, books, curriculum, supplies when you need them. It can make the homeschooling parent look out of control of the situation to outsiders and even her own family.
And does she feel this? She does. The stress of disorganization is real and it can completely derail your homeschool!

How Disorganization Impacts Homeschool Children

  1. Disrupts focus. Disorganization keeps everyone in multitasking mode rather than deep focus mode. This can make study time more challenging.
  2. Disruptive behavior surfaces. This study demonstrates the impact of clutter and disorganization on our children’s brains. Emotionally regulation is impacted.
  3. Embarrassment.  When children are small, they don’t show embarrassment the same way an older child might experience embarrassment about their surroundings, but disorganization on our part can be a painful experience for our kids.

Disorganization Impacts the Homeschool Mom, too.

When we homeschool, the truth is our homes are in a perpetual state of looking pretty lived-in. Our kids have Lego projects going on, science experiments on the kitchen table, and don’t even get me started on books! 
So, there is a certain amount of clutter we’re likely to live with in this step of our mom journey. But, when it tips over and touches our inability to keep our head on straight (can’t I just have a quiet corner to sip this cup of coffee?), or getting to important places on time (why can’t I find my keys?), or simply finding a pair of matching shoes or socks — it impacts our blood pressure, cortisol, and general mood. 

What We Can Do to Organize Our Homeschool

While the idea of getting organized can feel a little scary, it will bless our families in the long run. And you’ll feel relief at being able to relax in your surroundings!

What can we do?

  1. Set up systems in our home that support us.
  2. Make decisions about what is most important in our surroundings.
  3. Create a rhythm of organization in your homeschool.

No need to embrace mom-guilt, take simple steps to start organizing today. 

 

Still need help? We’ve got you covered with this How to Organize Your Homeschool Masterclass. 

 

The Thief

We only know about him because he held the unique and dishonorable distinction of being a thief, and one who was caught at that. He died in disgrace, poverty and agony. He was tortured, crucified and died.

Thieves often come under cover of darkness, in confusion, or perhaps on social media; places where they can easily hide and are rarely called out. And thieves- they can be so compelling. They are often masters of disguise, presenting themselves as one thing all the while working underhandedly to steal and destroy. Thieves are con artists- they are the masters at bait and switch. I would venture that many unwitting, well meaning people have handed over that which further damns the thief to their ultimate demise. Thieves are, by definition jealous people who are not content with their lot in life and perhaps even work to destroy that which they claim they now want or was taken from them.

The well known thief on the cross probably worked under cover of night, or in secrecy, or in a crowd, but died in broad daylight, exposed and disgraced. 

We’ve all done it. Shared that juicy tidbit, been outraged by accusations, shocked at what we’ve just heard. In fact, I would venture to say that a good thief- one has honed their craft- is subtle enough to tweak the facts just so, so that the we see a bit of truth in the claims, “Ah yes, I always knew he was demanding- I see how he’s a bully,”  But few – if any of us- actually go to the person who is the true victim of thief’s crime to seek truth. Reacting to a claim takes little from us. Acting as a Chrsitian takes everything.

But let’s be honest, we are all thieves. Each one of us. We’ve all claimed what wasn’t ours, been jealous and petty, said a little – or big lie- to justify our own sin. Projected onto others so that we are not discovered. We’ve all taken something precious and destroyed it. We’ve all defiled the purity and holiness of the Living God; stolen from others and bankrupt them; stolen from ourselves and defiled what and who are called to do and be. 

 We are all thieves, hanging on the cross- disgraced, found out, naked and exposed. 

Some of us proudly jut out our chins and die, sealing our fate. Others of us accept the free give of mercy and salvation and recognize that the man in the middle holds the power of life and death with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. His arms- stretched out on the cross- nailed there in humiliation – have the power of life and death, hell or resurrection.

We are all thieves. And we can all look to the  Man in the middle. It’s not too late- whether we are successful in our thieving or  exposed. Either way, the Living Christ is the truth holder and knows of our  disgrace, death, corruption,  jealousy, bitterness and hate. 

The one hanging there is the middle- HE is the Living Christ. He offers the free gift of salvation to all who believe. He has raised the dead to life- each one of us- dead in our transgressions, if you only look to Him and believe!  Alleluia!

Homeschooling and Socialization: A Cause for Concern?

Homeschooling and Socialization: A Cause for Concern?

Parents choose to homeschool their children for a variety of very good reasons, and the evidence has proven that homeschooling and socialization aren’t at odds with the success of homeschooling. Let’s dive into some facts.

Homeschooling for Good Reason

If you’re considering homeschooling, you’ve likely come to that point for any number of good reasons:

  • a desire to transmit a culture or worldview to your child
  • academic opportunity
  • build a strong family unit
  • traveling sports
  • the opportunity to involve your child in entrepreneurship
  • travel or RV life
  • special needs or twice-exceptional child
  • a child has been bullied
  • safety not found in public schools
  • the cost of private schooling

Isn’t Homeschooling and Socialization Important?

Yes, it is. But, how do we actually define socialization? Is it only peer-to-peer interaction? Or is it reasonable to define socialization as the ability to be social with individuals from all ages and walks of life?

Statistics indicate that homeschoolers have positive outcomes regarding socialization, and in some instances even better.

So, when we talk about homeschooling and socialization, what are we really talking about? What are we actually being asked?

Socialization or Accommodation

There may be a true concern from some about the child’s ability to interact with others. Actually, what may be being asked is how well-adjust the child might be to the ways of the world. Are they accommodating? Will they bend to the demands of the culture at large?

Homeschoolers with vision have something else in mind. They do want to pass on a culture, but not the one the world hands them. At True North Homeschool Academy we believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture. We are coming from a decidedly Judeo-Christian point of view. We are people of the Book. 

So, why then do we care about socialization? We care because socialization helps us with our most important given task, to share the Gospel.

Life Skills, Soft Skills,

Now, this doesn’t mean we’re raising little missionaries in the traditional sense. It means “always being ready to give an answer for the hope that we have.” So, what kind of socialization do we need to have in order to make an impact for the Kingdom? Two things: life skills and soft skills.

Life Skills are the building blocks of knowing what to do and how to do it in our personal life. Learning these things requires a level of socialization. We do by seeing others do. We apprentice. And we are an apprentice to others.

Think of how Jesus apprenticed to his earthly father, Joseph. Ponder how that prepared him for the task given him. Life skills are essential.

Soft Skills are those personal attributes that allow us to interact well with others, allowing us to have peaceful and healthy relationships.

They are also known as power skills or personality traits. Soft skills are those skills that everyone seems to understand implicitly. They are related to manners and social moves. For kids with learning disabilities, however, soft skills can be elusive and confusing. This is the art and science of socialization!

And this type of socialization is necessary for every single person, including homeschoolers. As homeschoolers, we have to be able to think creatively and critically to communicate with the world around us. As Christians, this is essential in sharing the Gospel and helping others find True North.

Finding True North

In a nutshell, this is the entire point of socialization – the ability to transmit truth and help others find their hope in Christ, their True North.

Education is the perfect companion to this socialization, but it doesn’t have to take place in a traditional school setting where peer-to-peer socialization is the measure of successful socialization.

We are called to give an answer (defense) for what we believe with gentleness and respect. This goes beyond mere logic (though we do love our Logic!) and relies on the soft skill of communicating with creativity, clarity, and grace.

That’s socialization homeschoolers can feel good about.

Preparing Your Kids for Socialization

Homeschooling is more than school at home, it’s the school at the heart of the home. And this is such a great opportunity to embrace training in socialization for the Gospel.

True North Homeschool Academy is committed to equipping and nurturing parents as they educate their children. We believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture and are coming from a decidedly Judeo-Christian point of view. We are people of the Book. 

So, how can we help? We have the only small-class, live, dynamic education platform designed for homeschoolers on a mission.

True North Homeschool Academy teachers are a group of passionate, qualified, creative educators providing carefully curated Core Courses and Clubs, delivered by utilizing cutting-edge technology, gamification, and solid academic pedagogy. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities of homeschooling.

Providing more than academics, we give our students the opportunity to develop wisdom. They collaborate and learn with students from around the world. A perfect setting to socialize in a way homeschool parents can trust.

Summer and Fall Classes and Clubs are Enrolling Now.

3 Way to Be a Working Homeschool Mom

Homeschooling takes work. If you’re wondering if you could possibly work and homeschool, yes- you can be a working homeschool mom!

Know Your Working Homeschool Mom Limits

Limits are a good thing. They work as boundaries to keep you from overwhelm. To understand your limits and set your boundaries, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I practicing good self-care?
  • Do I choose foods that nourish my body?
  • Would meal-prepping work for me or add extra stress?
  • Do I have any “tells” that help me know when I’m approaching overwhelm?
  • Am I losing my temper with my friends, family, or work associates?
  • Do I need a certain amount of time in the morning to myself before I’m on for the day?
  • Do I need a regular bedtime to support what I need to do each day?
  • Am I allowing for enough off-time or playtime?
  • Can I set boundaries for myself that I can provide to others and easily enforce?
  • What are my employer’s expectations?

Allowing yourself the grace to say “yes” when you mean yes, and “no” when you mean no will provide you with a filter for creating limits.

Set Your Work Goals

With work comes expectations. What does your employer expect from you? If you work from home, what do your clients expect of you? What do you expect of yourself? What are your goals?

Adding to your own limits, note the following:

  • What are my work hours?
  • Do I have any nights or evenings I’m expected to work?
  • Can I leave my work at work or will I be expected to work from home?
  • Do I have help with my kids while I’m at work?
  • Does the person who helps understand my homeschool plan?

Make Your Homeschool Plan

If you’re not sure where to start, I just want to say from the get-go, do not overwhelm yourself with this. Keep it simple.

If you can come up with 5 key things per student you’d like to cover for the year, you’ve got a solid big picture. You can add to the big picture in a way that doesn’t overwhelm you or your helper if you have one.

Things to consider:

  • Where are we starting? How did we end the school year last year?
  • What are the ages and grade levels of my students?
  • What are the courses I would be comfortable teaching or delegated?
  • Would I benefit from online, interactive homeschooling classes?
  • What is my worldview? How does that weight my homeschooling choices?
  • How many children am I homeschooling?
  • Do we have to have traditional homeschool hours or do we have some flexibility with that?
  • Do I have a homeschool method I’m committed to?

Just Get Started Homeschooling

The hardest thing to do is to just get started. Pick one subject, one goal, and just go for it.

We can help.

Need a like-minded tribe to journey with? Our Parent Equipping Membership is a great place to start and our Getting Started Homeschool Printable Planning packet was created to help you create a plan, write out your goals, and your vision while keeping your home and students on track. Download it free.

Or Grab the Working Homeschool Mom Bundle FREE

This special Working Homeschool Mom Bundle will get you going.

Working Homeschool Mom Bundle

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool this Summer

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool this Summer

5 Great Reasons to Homeschool Over Summer

(Home) School is in for Summer

 I know, you are so ready for a summer break. Sleeping in, swimming, camping, and vacation. I hear you. I’m just as ready as you are. But, I also remember just how hard it was to get back into the swing of things with homeschooling come Back-to-School time. So, this year (Home) School is in for summer! 

There are tons of really good reasons to homeschool year-round, but today I’m going to share what I think are 5 great reasons to homeschool over the summer. Let’s dive in! 😉 

 

1. Choosing to homeschool this summer gives you the freedom to break at other times. 

 

Embracing the summer as a time of learning can let you flex when things come up during the year. And they do come up, don’t they? Someone gets sick, family visits, you travel during the holidays. Summer learning affords you the freedom to break when you need to without feeling behind or guilty. You set the pace.

2. Summer homeschool can help prevent that “summer slide” we hear about.

 Studies show that 20% of school year reading gains and up to 27% of school year math gains are lost in the traditional summer break. For the homeschooling parent, summer homeschool isn’t just about something to do over the summer, it’s part of the big picture of learning. We don’t want to have to start the year on the struggle bus, playing catch-up. 

3. Baby, it’s hot outside.

I know, this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if your kids were anything like mine, that heat can be just as disrputive as a snow day. The heat makes kids lithargic. They tend to gravitate towards the air conditioning and often times a screen. Why not capture the screen time for learning?

4. Master a new skill.

Often times our school year is packed. We’re focused on the essentials and it’s hard to fit in a purely interest-based class. It might be time to learn a new language, master the math we’ll need for Chemistry next year, or hone our essay writing techniques. Even preparing for next year with a class on Study Skills can give a real advantage.

5. Getting a preview of coming attractions. 

Summer classes at True North Homeschool Academy are a great way to preview how the classes work in the fall. Our classes are particularly designed to support our full year classes. Students will meet fellow True North Homeschool Academy students, learn from one of our world class teachers and learn to navigate our online campus!

We’re here to support your homeschooling choices, happy to answer your questions, and provide you with an educational option that helps lead your kids True North. We’d love to see you this summer!

 

 

Bundle Your Summer Classes & Save!

Summer Bootcamp Bundle allows you to choose 3 Summer Classes for 20% off over ala carte classes!

Choose from fourteen Summer Classes that will build students academic skills, setting them up for future academic success! Our classes are particularly designed to support our full year classes. Students will meet fellow True North Homeschool Academy students, learn from one of our world class teachers and learn to navigate our online campus! Choose from the following:

Each class leads into a full year class in the fall, for students that want to continue their educational journey with True North Homeschool Academy!