Because we are all preparing to get back into the swing of homeschooling, we thought you would appreciate a little back to homeschool help from us.
Back to Homeschool Help
We all need new inspiration now and then. So we invite you to visit with us a while. Let us encourage you. Save this post for any sort of back to school time. Whether it be after the holidays, the start of a new school year, after sickness – whatever the reason. Our Curriculum Choice review authors share…
Exploring the Various Homeschool Methods
Not sure where to start? Often it helps to figure out what type of homeschooling best suits the needs of your family. This What do Homeschool Methods Look Like in Real Life? series explores 8 different homeschool methods in-depth. Delving in to what they are, how they work in daily life, and specific resources for implementing each method.
How Do You Plan For Next Year’s Curriculum? “How do you plan for next year when you may or may not want to change what you’ve been using?” ~ from Cindy
How to Plan a Unit Study “Whether they are literature, science or history based, unit studies weave our learning together in meaningful and often exciting ways.” ~ from Cindy
Weekly Lesson Notebooks “I have a newly organized planning notebook for myself and both of the big kids have their own weekly binder. Besides organization, the binders are going to help the kiddos work towards more work independence and responsibility.” ~ from Cindy
Creating and Filling Gaps-Should We Change Our Curriculum? “Perhaps it was because in my heart I knew that if we had picked and stayed with Abeka or Sonlight or even Tapestry of Grace, our homeschooling would not have been as enriched and exciting as it has been. There seems to be no sense in sticking with any materials that are not working for your family.” ~ from Barb-Harmony Art Mom
What Happens When…You Need to Choose a Homeschool Curriculum “Whether you are a first time homeschooler, or a veteran mom in the trenches, you will come to a point where you will need to find or choose a homeschool curriculum. It can be a somewhat overwhelming and daunting task to not only find curricula but to narrow the field so you can choose a homeschool curriculum. These are some of the things to consider during this process. ~ from Heidi C.
What Happens When…You Know a Curriculum Isn’t Working “I was so nervous about making sure everything was done to the letter and then some! I had purchased an extensive public school science curriculum with black line copies, tests, textbook, etc. After just a couple of chapters I knew it wasn’t working. When the book covered volcanoes in one sentence I was ready to be done!” ~ from Heidi C.
Starting a New Year/Planning
Homeschool Planning: Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot a self -paced course designed to walk you through creating a custom homeschool plan for your family. ~ from Heidi C.
Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week “Each and every year something in our homeschool changes. We ebb and flow with our needs (both academic and personal) at the time and based on our previous experiences of what is working and what isn’t. I have used SO many different planning methods and planners as our needs have grown and changed. For this coming year I am Planning a 4 Day Homeschool Week schedule for the first time! Come see how I did it!” ~ from Heidi C.
4 Year High School Plan FREE Spreadsheet Printable “Planning for high school and college really ups the ante when it comes to what you need to do and know! While I was working out my curriculum plans for my oldest, I realized in order to accurately account for everything she would need, I would need to have a full 4 year high school plan!” ~ from Heidi C.
My Favorite Books for Homeschool Planning A collection of books to help you make a plan for your homeschool. ~from Meredith Henning
Plan Your New Year for Purpose and Peace “Pam Barnhill’s Plan Your Year begins with considering your big picture vision for your homeschool. She walks you through how to create concrete goals based on your vision statement that can provide real help when sifting through homeschooling choices. With a sense of the overall vision, you can weigh specific curriculum choices to find the ones that best align with your goals.” ~ Kortney
The Back to School Survival Manual “While we had started our homeschooling in July every year, usually. However, I was already looking forward to reading this book. For me, back to school can be started and done anytime since we have the authority to control our homeschooling. It’s never too late to improve what we have done! Therefore, I recommend this book to any homeschooling mom whenever you are – whether you want to start a new school year or you want to renew your homeschooling year.” ~ from Adelien Tandian
Deciding on Resources “I try to keep this in mind whenever I venture out to try something new. Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t mean it will work in real life application in our family. I have made some “oops” decisions and lived to tell about it.” ~from Barb-Harmony Art Mom
Year-Round Schooling We are emphatic fans of year-round schooling. Read the many reasons we love school in the summer! ~ from Heidi
10 Tips for Starting the New School Year Off Right Get your school year off on the right foot by remembering these ten tips! ~from Heather
Homeschool Organization: Schedules, Plans and Paperwork…Oh My! Lists and schedules were one way I calmed my fears as we began homeschooling. I started with a detailed spreadsheet for each week, with time slots in fifteen minute increments…the problem was that instead of the schedule working for me I was a slave to the schedule. I relaxed a little at a time until I found the level of organization that worked for me–enough to keep us on track but allow flexibility. ~ from Heidi
Owning an Authentic Homeschool Life That You Love: “If you aren’t thrilled about a particular homeschooling program, your children will know it. They will see it in your manner and hear it in your voice.” ~ from Barb-Harmony Art Mom
If I Could Do It Over – My Homeschool Advice for Those Starting Out “Homeschooling since 2006. Through death, moving, sickness, and more, we have paved a path for ourselves that has become more of a lifestyle than I ever could have imagined it would become. If I knew then, what I know now, if I were to give homeschool advice for those starting out, my number one word would be – flexibility.” ~ from Heidi C.
Homeschool Generations Series – A series that asks, and answers the question, “If we explored the combined wisdom, experience, enthusiasm, and innovation from multiple generations of homeschoolers, what might we discover?” ~ from Amy Sloan
Be sure to browse the Homeschool Planning Guides at iHomeschool Network. There is so much homeschool experience wrapped up in these posts, including several from our authors here!
80% Passing Grade: Learning for Mastery I’ve seen this concept raise eyebrows and meet with disapproval. But is it really crazy? Am I really demanding too much? Long ago some homeschool writer, whose name I forget, gave me this idea and it does make sense. Why are we homeschooling? To teach our children. Obviously, if they do not understand the material well enough to get 80% on a test, they have not learned it. ~ from Annie Kate
Homeschooling Multiple Ages Preschool, elementary, middle school and high school. For a long time I’ve called it Layers and Levels of Learning. That one-room schoolhouse type of learning. But Lasagna Learning describes it much more accurately. ~ from Tricia
The Ultimate List of Easy Slow Cooker Recipes Give me easy. Mix a few ingredients. Make it simply delicious. In the practical world of homeschooling and feeding a crowd on a budget, a long list of ingredients does not make the menu plan. I want to put the slow cooker to work while I take care of other things. ~ from Tricia
Our Home Schoolroom We organized a former dining room into our school room using things we already owned along with second-hand items and some DIY projects. ~ from Heidi
New Year Resolutions Then we had our first day of school today, and I remembered a crucial detail: a day has only 24 hours. Oops! So now I have a theme rather than a resolutions list: With joy, gratitude, and reliance on God, do what needs to be done. ~ from Annie Kate
Back to Homeschool Help that is Subject Specific
Numbers and Patterns Kindergarten: Playing and Learning with Manipulatives “Child’s play” with manipulatives can teach the following important math concepts. This is really all you need to cover for early math (K). ~ from Betsy
Geometric Shapes and Beginning Fraction We then cut the pizza into halves, thirds, and fourths before serving it. Seeing the different sizes of each fraction made fractions so clear – and delicious! Then, later, making cookies became a lesson in learning shapes! We cut out hexagons and rectangles in the cookie dough after my daughter rolled it out. ~ from Betsy
Math Planning: How I Do It Take a look to see how Heather from Blog, She Wrote plans math for her kids before they hit algebra. It’s a fun mix of living math and reaching goals along the way to algebra success: ~ from Heather W
You Are An Artist So much art to choose from! Art made easy with chalk pastels and paper! Many courses to choose from like I Drew it Then I Knew It (composers, world landmarks, maps, literature, famous artists, presidents and more!), Master Classes, A Simple Start and more!
More from Our Authors
Interested in more from our authors? We have an Ultimate Guide to Choosing Curriculum, Homeschool Helps, Special Needs Homeschooling, a visit to our homeschools and more here: Review Team Features.
We hope you will save this post, pin it, share it. Because all of the above apply year ’round in homeschooling. Wouldn’t you say? How about you – what would you add?
~ Originally Published January 2013
Annie Kate says
Thanks for posting this…and especially thanks for the link to your Return of the Routine ebook. You’re so right; at some point we just need to rest. We need to do what God gives us to do and just trust him…even while supper’s neglected on the stove due to an urgent need of a different sort.
May the Lord bless us all on this journey and give us all what we need to serve him and raise these children he gave us for these precious years.
Annie Kate – it’s sometimes so very hard to set aside the things we think we should be doing and truly do what we NEED to be doing. I found that out just recently with sickness over the holidays. I had to set aside my usual thinking on when we were supposed to be back to school, start the planning later. And just rest. Thank you so much for your encouragement and words of blessing! They mean much.