posts in homeschool encouragement

How Much Time Does Homeschooling Really Take?

Feb 8, 2016

mom and child homeschooling

"I could never homeschool. I don't have enough time."

  • Maybe you're a single mom.
  • Maybe you have to work outside the home.
  • Maybe you have a large family.
Not having enough time is a common reason for not homeschooling. 

Does homeschooling really take a lot of time? Is it necessary to school the children for 6 or 7 hours each day? How does that work?

What to Do When Your Homeschool Year Has Been Derailed

Jan 18, 2016


The 2015-16 homeschool year did not go as planned. 

Usually, I get our curriculum laid out and purchased in February/March and begin our year on April 1.

That's not what happened this year. 

The short version of this story is that bipolar depression plagued my youngest for many months, making it nearly impossible for her to function. 

In addition to that, my year was a financial flop. I had no money for curriculum.

So what does one do when the school year feels like a complete wash?

The 4 Worst Homeschool Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Nov 13, 2015

boy at desk

Every homeschool parent makes mistakes.

We all do it. I did. Chances are you have (or are). I'm sharing some of the more common homeschool mistakes and how you can fix them.

Worst Homeschool Mistakes and How to Fix Them

{This post may contain affiliate links.}

Comparing Your Homeschool to Public School

It's common for new homeschool parents to worry if their child is 'keeping up' with his public school peers. The result can be that you pressure your child to move along before he has mastered a skill. It can also keep you stressed out.

The Fix:
Understand that homeschooling is not a competition. 

Your child doesn't need to 'keep up' with what his public school peers (or homeschooling peers, for that matter) are doing. Homeschooling means freedom. Guide your child according to his abilities. Take advantage of that freedom.

Relax and know that your child will progress at a pace just right for him

Becoming a Slave to Your Curriculum (or schedule)

What does this look like? It looks like a stressed out mom with stressed out children. You spend each day fretting over how much is getting done and when.

The Fix:
View your curriculum and schedule as guidelines. 

Your schedule should be more of a routine than a schedule. With a routine, you can start and finish at any time of day, regardless of what else is happening in your life. 

Your curriculum is not your master. Allow your child to move at his own pace. Set short lesson times and when the timer goes off, he's done. 

Of course, if he is engrossed in something at the moment, allow him to continue. Following his interests is a step toward self-education. Encourage that!

Setting Unrealistic Expectations (or no expectations)

This can go hand-in-hand with the previous two mistakes. 

When you're expectations are unrealistic, your child will be under undue stress and you, quite likely, will feel like a failure as a homeschool parent. 

Just because your child isn't reading at 5, doesn't mean he's behind. Just because your friend's 3-year-old already reads, doesn't reflect on your homeschool either.

It's also easy to slip into a too-relaxed state. It starts off as a simple break and before you know it, you haven't done anything all year. 

Yes, that can happen.

The Fix:
Get to know your child well. Set some realistic goals, then put together a curriculum that addresses his unique abilities, weaknesses, and interests.

Take breaks, yes, but don't let that get control of you either. If it does, don't beat yourself up. Pull out the books and start moving forward!

Ignoring Your Child's Ideas and Opinions

Yes, you're the parent. Yes, you know your child very well. Still, you can't know everything he thinks and feels unless he tells you, right?

If you press forward with all sorts of ideas and projects without consulting with him, he's going to lose interest. School will be a drudgery for him. 

That, my friend, defeats the goal of creating self-educators. You don't want him to hate learning.

The Fix:
Listen to him. Value his input. 

If something isn't working, make a change. 
If he's struggling, find out why. Then make a change. 

There are plenty of mistakes to be made, but these are the top four I see in my consulting business.

What other mistakes would you add to the list?

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The Ups and Downs of My Homeschool Life

Apr 27, 2015

Homeschooling has it's ups and downs. Here are some great things about our homeschool and some not-so-great things.

Let's talk about what I love about homeschooling. 


So that was a little short, I'll admit. The truth is I enjoy homeschooling. Except for one thing, I actually do enjoy every aspect of this lifestyle.

There is only one thing about homeschooling I don't like. really dislike writing our curriculum. And that's it. That's my one and only dislike.

But no one wants to hear about my perfect homeschool, right? That's great, because I don't have one!

My homeschool may not be full of likes and dislikes, but it is full of ups and downs.

I May Be a Single Homeschooling Mama, But I'm No Supermom

Nov 17, 2014

Being a single mom who homeschools doesn't mean I have it all together all the time. I'm no Supermom.

"I'm in awe of all you do!"

"Wow! I don't know how you do it all. You're awesome!"

People say things like this to me all the time. Because I work, homeschool and am a single mom of special needs kids, people are impressed. 

Now, I'm not saying I don't enjoy the boost of confidence from compliments. I do. Feel free to keep them coming.;-) But I also want you to know I'm not a Supermom. 

I want you to know that because I don't want you to doubt yourself.

It's easy for readers to look at mom bloggers and formulate conclusions based on our blogs. We can look so put together. 

I Can't Homeschool Because I'm a Single Mom

Jun 9, 2014

Being a single mom can present challenges, but these are not necessarily barriers to homeschooling. Here are some tips and advice for homeschooling as a single mom.

Are you a single mom? Do you want to homeschool? Do you think you can't?

You're wrong. You absolutely can. 
How do I know? Because I'm a single mom and I've been homeschooling for 15 years. 

Incredible, isn't it? I must be a super mom! No. Not at all. There is nothing special about me.

I do it because I love homeschooling and it is best for my kids. Honestly, I find homeschooling as a single mom easier than sending them off to school. But that's me.

Single Moms Can Homeschool

You may have a job outside the home. 
Maybe your work from home. 
Maybe you own your own business. 

Whatever the situation is, I can tell you I've done it before. 

Yep. I've done all of it. I've worked at home and away from home. In 2005, I even worked two jobs while building my green cleaning service. At that point, I had 5 kids and was on my own again. 

How to Get Your Kids to Hate Learning

May 11, 2014

I'm going to tell you exactly how to get your kids to hate learning.

I think I'm perfectly qualified to teach this. I mean, not only have I been homeschooling nearly 15 years, but I also got a kid to hate learning in my early days of homeschooling.  


A step-by-step instructional post on how to get your kids to hate learning, written by a mom who has successfully done it.
Original Photo Credit

Oh, I won't take all the credit. That would be selfish. I'll give a good amount of the credit to the public school system. They had six years of working on my son before I brought him home. They had all but killed his desire to learn.

Then I got hold of him and finished the job. 

Here's how you can do it, too.

How I Juggle Homeschooling, Housework and Work as a Single Mom

Apr 21, 2014

Juggling homeschool, housework and work as a single mom can be a challenge, but not one that can't be accomplished.
Original Photo Credit

"How do you do it all?" 

It's a question I'm asked all the time. If I'm not asked how I do it all, I'm asked, "How can I do it all?

Can you do it all? Is it possible? That depends. What does all mean to you?

I'm a single mom. That means working, maintaining a household, and homeschooling. I must be mom and dad. In other words, I have to bring home the bacon, fry it, and teach the kids how it came to be bacon. That's what all means to me. 

So how do I do it?

Homeschooling: You Can Do It

Nov 12, 2013

Do you believe you can't homeschool?

There are a multitude of reasons parents believe they can't homeschool.

I say you can homeschool. I can say it because I homeschool.

Tips for New Homeschool Parents

Aug 16, 2013

New to homeschooling? Feeling a little nervous about beginning your first year? Maybe you have a friend who is just starting out on their homeschooling journey. 

I've written a post at The Homeschool Classroom offering a bit of encouragement and advice. Hop over to read my post entitled, "6 Tips for New Homeschoolers".

If you’re new to The Holistic Homeschooler, I'd like to welcome you! I'm so happy you paid a visit. I am a single, homeschooling mom to two daughters (the last of my five children). I write about homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason method of education and educating children with Dyslexia and Bipolar Disorder. 
Here's how you can stay connected with The Holistic Homeschooler:
Happy Homeschooling!

How to Ruin a Homeschool Day in 10 Easy Steps

May 15, 2012

Homeschool days don't always go as planned. On this particular day, I allowed business to get in my way.

I'm perfectly late with this post. Who had time to post? I was busy ruining a homeschool day. 

I thought I'd share with you just how to manage this feat.

How to Ruin a Homeschool Day in 10 Easy Steps

1. Don't get up when the alarm goes off. Just hit snooze (or better yet, hit dismiss) and go back to sleep.

2. When you finally get up, decide you should check your Facebook and email "really quick" before waking the kids. 

3. Two hours later (Man! That must have been some interesting email, huh?), wake the kids and realize you never took the dog out this morning. 

4. Take the dog out and while he's doing his business, decide you'd better make some calls to fit in that customer that left a message on your business Facebook page saying she needs you tomorrow. 

5. After three phone calls and an hour of time, get back to attending to the kids who have now sucked themselves into Zelda and YouTube. Decide it's closer to lunch than breakfast so they can stay on the screens while you prepare lunch.

6. While they're eating lunch, realize that the youngest bipolar bear doesn't appear to be doing well. She did, after all, miss her morning "meds" when you overslept. Note that she can't take her "meds" until 15 minutes after eating.

7. Answer the phone call that's coming in because you don't recognize the number. Oh! It's a business call! This will only take 5 minutes.

8. Thirty minutes later, hang up the phone and take another look at the youngest bipolar bear. Her lips are pale. Give "meds" to her and hope they kick in before the mania does. Pull out some school books and decide you'll just focus on math and reading today because it's so late.

9. Walk by computer and decide that you'll see if Facebook customer got back with you. While there, check your online scheduler to see if any customers booked any cleaning jobs for the week.

10. An hour later, decide that the day is pretty much over and there's no point in getting started with lessons. Besides, youngest bipolar bear just hopped a plane to Mania-land.

Pretty masterful huh? Eh.. just keepin' it real. Gotta laugh at myself sometimes.

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This and It's OK

We all have those days that kind of fall off the calendar. There are days when we are diverted by whatever may divert us. In this case, I allowed business to get in the way. That's unusual for me because usually I put business off until late afternoon. 

No matter how good our intentions, some days just don't happen the way we planned. 

The point is: every one us is capable of letting the day slip away. For me, it's important to have my plans laid out before me. By plans, I mean a schedule or routine. It's something to guide me along.

The good news is that even on a day that went 'wrong,' learning still happens. 

We can still sit down and read a wonderful piece of literature or have an impromptu nature study or discussion about the life of Thomas Jefferson. Sometimes our formal lessons go flying out the window but informal lessons are just as important.

Sometimes I think they're even more important because they teach the kids to go with the flow. They learn not to give up just because plans fell through or a day took a detour. They also learn that learning always happens. 24/7.

Happy Homeschooling!

10 Ways to Ensure Homeschool Burnout

Mar 14, 2012

A tongue-in-check post offering steps on how to achieve (avoid) homeschool burnout.

In the homeschool community, we hear about homeschool burnout. Many of us have experienced it. There are many things written about how this one or that one overcame it or gave into it. But has anyone ever told you how to actually reach the point of burnout? No?? Well today I'm going to do that for you because I'm just special like that. In no particular order, here is my list of Top 10 Ways to Ensure Homeschool Burnout:

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