Homeschool Your Way
With the right tools and the right mindset, homeschooling is nothing to be intimidated about! We’ll admit that homeschooling isn’t for everyone. But if you want to homeschool -- or really need to homeschool—you can do it! And best of all, you can do it your own way!
Wouldn’t you love to have experienced homeschoolers, cheering you along with insider secrets? Yes? Then you’ll love this podcast! The hosts know homeschooling is not one-size-fits-all. So in each episode, they’ll bring you the coolest methods and the most fascinating guests to help you find your way—the best way—to homeschool.
Wouldn’t you love to have experienced homeschoolers, cheering you along with insider secrets? Yes? Then you’ll love this podcast! The hosts know homeschooling is not one-size-fits-all. So in each episode, they’ll bring you the coolest methods and the most fascinating guests to help you find your way—the best way—to homeschool.
THEY ARE SMART!
Have you ever wondered if you are smart? Do your children ever ask you if you think they're smart? What is smart anyways? Today's episode explores the theory of multiple intelligences. An IQ test isn't the only way to measure intelligence. My guest, Dana Fohr, discusses the eight ways your kids are smart. You may just be surprised by what you hear. ★LISTENER COUPON CODE Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. ★Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. | Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLE Janna: "[Our children a]re not just another person living in your home that you have to feed and drive around and look after and clean up after. I mean, it does feel that way sometimes in the thick of being at home and homeschooling your children. But when you really get to know them and see what motivates them and as they start to mature and you're like, 'Oh my gosh, you're a really cool person. You're neat.' And it's such a privilege to have the time when I homeschool to be able to do that with my kids." TIMESTAMPS 01:04 Dana's background. 02:09 The value of giving kids autonomy. 04:32 Book referenced: 8 Great Smarts by Dr. Kathy Koch | The 8 intelligences, outlined and defined: word smart logic smart picture smart music smart body smart nature smart people smart self smart 07:32 How multiple intelligences is different from how IQ is traditionally measured. 08:58 How an understanding of multiple intelligences can impact our homeschool. 13:34 Sometimes you can identify a child's special gifts by looking at what annoys you. A child who's constantly in motion? Could be body smart! 14:36 The difference between correction and criticism. 22:32 Get help from others who can teach your kids from various strengths/smarts. 24:34 How to be smart with your smarts. 25:38 How to help a well-rounded child who doesn't have extreme smarts in one particular area. 27:23 About being the best. 36:25 The need for constant adjustment as a homeschooler. ★ If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
May 10, 2022
YOU ARE THE RIGHT TEACHER FOR YOUR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD
Wondering if you can homeschool your special needs child? The answer is probably yes! Hear from Peggy Ployhar, the founder of SPED Homeschool for fresh ways to look at your role as a parent and teacher. Release yourself from the public school model and give your children what they truly need! Visit SPED Homeschool for more resources. LISTENER COUPON CODE Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 01:28 Introduction to Peggy Ployhar and why she created SPED Homeschool. 03:40 How the homeschool culture has changed over the last 20 years. 07:16 Why homeschooling is ideal for special needs students. 09:22 What forms the public school model and what actually should be the guiding force. 11:14 How do I know what to focus on when teaching my child? 16:03 Why the love of learning is so critical. 20:00 I'm not seeing progress. Does that mean my child's not learning? 24:00 Parents tend to blame themselves when their children face a learning struggle. 25:25 Is getting a diagnosis valuable? 26:56 How to communicate with your kids to find out how they learn. 35:03 When you homeschool, getting the answer first or fast doesn't matter. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
May 03, 2022
ALTERNATIVES TO COLLEGE
There are multiple off-ramps for your high school senior. Sure, college is one, but not every child is academically inclined. Special guest Cindy Lajoy shares alternatives to college for your homeschooled teens including trades, apprenticeships, tech-jobs, self-employment, entrepreneurship, and military service. Learn how to tailor your homeschool now for your child's future blue collar occupation. Connect with Cindy at Blue Collar Homeschool. LISTENER COUPON CODE ★Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES TIMESTAMPS 01:30 Cindy's introduction and background, including adoption and homeschooling stories. 02:58 Cindy never thought she'd homeschool. Here's why she did though. 06:42 See your children as humans who will continually grow. 07:29 What is Blue Collar Homeschool and its origin. 10:07 The vision of Blue Collar Homeschool: Not homeschooling for Harvard. Or a different kind of homeschool excellence. 12:11 Trades and military service as alternatives to college. 15:11 How Blue Collar Homeschool goes against the typical homeschool grain. 17:44 How tech companies are rethinking the college degree. 18:27 The value of apprenticeships and the high salaries of many trades. 23:58 The average adult has seven careers. 25:03 The entrepreneur (or self-employed) route for homeschoolers. 29:06 Some kids are not academically oriented. They are still smart! 30:30 Cindy's son's experience with learning about film. And another semester renovating a home. 34:51 How to adjust your curriculum to fit your child's future blue collar job. 38:03 Why you'll need a support network when you go the blue collar route. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
April 26, 2022
HOMESCHOOL DO-OVERS: WHAT YOU'D DO DIFFERENTLY
We asked homeschool moms what they would do differently and what advice they'd give their younger selves about teaching at home. They didn't say they would work through more curriculum, drive their kids harder and faster, and be super homeschooler. In fact, their answers may give you the permission you've been needing to relax the pace and the reduce the intensity of your homeschool. Use this food for thought as guideposts for your own homeschool experience. LISTENER COUPON CODE ★Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 03:35 Nugget of wisdom #1: "Your homeschool does have to look like everyone else's. Go at your kids' pace, foster independence, it's okay to take your time." 12:12 Nugget of wisdom #2: "You don't have to have it all figured out. You're going to change things anyway, right?" 16:09 Nugget of wisdom #3: "Don't be afraid to outsource. You don't have to teach every subject to your kids every day." 21:25 Nugget of wisdom #4: "There are many things I would've done differently. I would've used the curriculum I'm using now and not let cost stop me. I would've done less book work and more practical application." 22:04 Nugget of wisdom #5: "Don't push. Learning will happen if you let it." 22:51 Nugget of wisdom #6: "Stop spending so much time lesson planning; there's a better way." 25:03 Nugget of wisdom #7: "Relax, it's really not worth the stress and anxiety." 27:18 Ximena shares her do-over: not to be so caught up in finishing the curriculum. 28:05 DeeDee would take more of an unschooling (not classical) approach. 29:46 Janna would be more goal-focused when making homeschool decisions. ★Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
April 19, 2022
DON’T RECREATE PUBLIC SCHOOL AT HOME
If public school is all you know, it's natural to try to recreate that experience at home. But guest Sarah Hercules warns us against falling into that trap. Instead, let your family's needs guide your decisions. Flex to what serves your routines and your well being! You don't have to have desks in a row or start lessons at 8 am each morning. (Of course, you can if you want to!) When you get outside the public school box, you have the freedom to truly savor the learning journey with your children and stop worrying about wearing the parent hat or the teacher hat. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Janna: "So think of curriculum like an outline. So as long as you're hitting the main points, you're getting the information that your child needs. If you're super creative, then you can take that creativity and expand your outline to include a lot more activities or different ideas. But if you're bare bones getting through the day, you're working full time, and trying to homeschool your children, just having that outline and knowing that this is what we need to accomplish today, it can be very basic." Sarah: "... there's not a distinction between being a parent and being a teacher because parents teach. That's one of the jobs that we have and that we get to do so, and so if we're mentally separating them, that's because that's what public school does." Sarah: "But I can be really good at finding out information or I can be really good at finding the perfect YouTube video that's going to help my child with that concept. And that makes me a great teacher." TIMESTAMPS 02:25 Sarah shares her transition from a public school believer to a homeschooler. 03:55 How Sarah's attempt to use desks, schedules, worksheets in organized drawers, etc. led to disaster. 05:54 Sarah's epiphany while nursing the baby and reading to the other children on the couch. 07:17 Managing a classroom requires certain structures that you don't need in a homeschool setting. 08:13 Insights from A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille: Public education grinds everyone into sausage. With homeschooling, our kids don't have to be funneled through the same tube. 09:17 How to homeschool six unique children, some with special needs, while combining them for history and science (and life skills like cooking dinner)! 13:44 How long homeschooling actually takes and why the school day at home is so much shorter. 15:30 Sarah outlines a typical day. 22:28 Why you don't need to worry about juggling or switching roles. A parent is a teacher. 24:44 Learning alongside your children takes away a lot of the fear of homeschooling. 26:00 Janna shares how she embraced her role of mom and stopped trying to be a teacher. 27:57 How to learn better discussion skills so that homeschooling becomes more and more natural. 34:04 Examples that you really don't need tests, worksheets, and grades. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:33 Self-care Your Way A snowshoe retreat in the mountains —without snow — that turned into a Netflix binge. 21:46 What We’re Reading The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
April 12, 2022
YOUR TOP HOMESCHOOL QUESTIONS—ANSWERED
In this episode, DeeDee, Ximena, and Janna field your homeschool questions including socialization, high school transcripts, how to know when you're doing enough, and how to measure progress. It's an uplifting show that will give you the confidence to trust the process as you homeschool your way! LISTENER COUPON CODE ★Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 05:08 Let's get started! 06:01 Q1: How will kids be socialized if they are homeschooled? 11:49 Q2: How do you make a transcript for your high schooler to get into college? 15:42 Get a coupon to use at BOOKSHARK.COM 16:56 DeeDee's reflection on cherishing the moments. 19:51 Q3: How do I know if I'm doing enough? 24:56 The amazing story of the teen who went to college without ever having written an essay in high school. 27:22 Q4: If I am not seeing progress, should I stop homeschooling? 32:37 Janna's goal as a homeschooler is simply not to kill her children's love of learning. ★Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
April 12, 2022
WHAT A COLLEGE WRITING PROFESSOR REALLY THINKS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLED STUDENTS
Dr. Elaine Roberts is a writing professor who shares her perspective on homeschooled students (and much more) in this episode. You'll get her insights on how to teach writing in your homeschool, why going slow is the secret to going fast, and dealing with student frustration over not already understanding what's in the lesson. Find out her suggestions for setting your teens up for success in college. ★★★LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 03:36 Homeschoolers sometimes reach college without ever having written a formal research paper. Granted, other kids lack this experience as well! 04:48 Homeschoolers tend to be more willing to expend effort to fill up their learning gaps. 07:19 Regardless of college major or field of work, everyone needs to be a proficient writer. 09:32 Don't equate writing with grammar. Let writing be integrated into every subject. 13:27 Critical thinking is the bedrock of good writing. 15:48 Why public school classrooms struggle to naturally integrate writing into all the subjects. 17:48 Teachers have less freedom to be cross-curricular than homeschoolers have. 19:49 Being a math-person, a science-person, etc. 23:28 When kids are frustrated by things they don't yet know/understand. 32:25 What Dr. Roberts' English 101 students typically don't know. 33:26 Go slow to go fast. 35:42 How to set your kids up for college success. 37:46 Focus on a broad scope of knowledge. [Reference Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein] 38:51 About entrance exams (SAT, ACT) ★★★ Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
April 05, 2022
SIBLING CONFLICT AND RELATIONSHIPS
As a mom to eight children, Lynna has lots of practical experience dealing with sibling relationships. In this podcast, she explains how to manage conflicts between brothers and sisters with her acronym SWIM. Connect with Lynna at: Sibling Relationship Lab Heart Investigations - family book guides for conversations to develop emotional intelligence Single-Session Parent Coaching Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Lynna: "My mantra is a good homeschool schedule has a shelf life of about three months and it decreases proportionate to the age of your youngest child. So the younger the little ones are the faster schedule will expire and need to be redone because somebody that was napping isn't napping anymore. And somebody that was wearing diapers is now potty training and that's like a fourth subject that you're teaching." Lynna: "...all the problems that you run into in homeschooling are 5% academic and 95% parenting on steroids." TIMESTAMPS 04:22 Lynna's own homeschool journey 06:45 The advantage of having a large family: You figure things out faster since your survival depends on it! 09:05 Homeschooling is really just intense parenting. 10:24 The origin of the Sibling Relationship Lab. 15:33 The fear of making mistakes as a parent. 18:08 Generic parenting advice only goes so far. Ultimately it comes down to knowing your own children. 19:15 See sibling conflict as an opportunity to teach instead of an interruption to our homeschool! 22:35 Teaching kids to be good siblings to one another means you'll be repeating the same lessons over and over again. 26:15 What difference do these tools make? 30:41 Always start from the foundation of a solid family relationship. 31:30 Not every situation is a learning opportunity. Sometimes you just make executive decisions to get things done. 33:37 Dealing with big emotions. 36:08 Lynna's advice to her younger self. SPECIAL SEGMENTS Hack of the Week 02:02 Create a hair station outside the bathroom. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
March 29, 2022
REFRESHING YOUR HOMESCHOOL
Learn how to avoid burnout by refreshing your homeschool. Keep your kids motivated, keep yourself on track with your homeschool goals, and finish your school year strong as you lead into a delightful (and well-deserved) summer break! ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES DeeDee: "So sometimes we think it's too late in the year to make a big change of things, but that's not true. As homeschoolers, we have the freedom to change things whenever we want." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 04:42 Planning versus going with the flow. 07:09 How Ximena totally ditched their curriculum and went an unschooling route when she saw her son losing zest for learning. [Listen to the UNSCHOOLING episode here.] 09:36 Reflecting on what's working and what's a challenge. 11:09 Choosing energizing activities. 12:12 Focus on enjoyment in your homeschool. It may mean adding a unit study, a special project, etc. 21:34 Have a reset day. 29:12 Plan fun outings. 30:35 Look forward to the end of the school year by planning a celebration. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:05 Hack of the Week—Reserving books at the public library. 17:50 A system for resolving sibling conflict from The Independent Homeschool by a Dr. Fred Lybrand. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
March 22, 2022
PRESCHOOL AT HOME WITH BOOKSHARK
Find out how to do preschool at home from travel blogger Stephanie Taleghani who is using BookShark's Pre-K curriculum. Learn why she says it was a perfect match for her three-year-old and why she's working through it a second time now that her daughter is four years old. Find Stephanie at Consistently Curious. Find BookShark Pre-K here. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:59 Stephanie started her travel blog as an outlet during postpartum depression. 04:51 What Stephanie looked for in a curriculum to homeschool her preschooler. 06:49 Stephanie's own reading habits. 08:49 Why Stephanie is working through the entire Pre-K program again! The pros of repeating it. 11:45 Outside feedback Stephanie received about choosing to homeschool. 13:39 How Stephanie makes room for socialization. 19:01 How the Instructor's Guide was Stephanie's lifesaver! 23:27 After working through Pre-K twice, what are Stephanie's next steps? 27:40 Stephanie's opinion of homeschooling preschool in general. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
March 15, 2022
HOMESCHOOL THE EASY WAY WITH BOOKSHARK
Think homeschooling is an insurmountable task or unbearable burden? In this episode, Janna interviews Sharon, a massage therapist who now homeschools her two children after a theater career. They discuss the lazy (IE easy) way to homeschool — with BookShark! It's simple to use and fully planned, yet still parent-intensive. But it's enjoyable because you're learning by reading great books (only 4 days a week) and discussing them. There's room for rabbit trails of exploration to foster curiosity, too. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:04 Sharon's introduction. 04:30 Being with your kids all day. 07:51 Lit-based vs. screen-based learning. 08:59 Easy, but parent-intensive. 10:45 The four-day schedule. 11:43 Discovering how your kids learn. 14:17 Being so-called behind. Letting things go undone; adjusting the curriculum. 16:21 Spiral learning lessens your load. 23:35 Tough concepts are made understandable through literature. 24:44 Sharon's weekly prep. 29:47 Sharon's final advice to a mom/dad on the fence about homeschooling. "Never sell yourself short. You can do more than you think and especially with given the right tools. And I know where you can find those tools and it's with BookShark. It'll all come in one box and it'll be, all the instructions will be inside to the point where they can give you a script to read if you don't know what to say. If you don't know what to say, it'll be right there. And if you do what to say, then just love your kids and you're not going to make a mistake because you've already cared enough to even try." If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
March 08, 2022
EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM YOUR KIDS
Special guest Aaron Brewster brings his insights about expectational homeschooling — expecting great things from your kids to stimulate amazing results. Your kids don't have to be geniuses or gifted to excel. You simply need to nurture their innate abilities with high expectations. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:37 Aaron's background with homeschooling. 06:17 How Aaron's mom planted the roots of what he calls expectational learning. 09:32 Socialization for homeschoolers 11:23 The benefits of a multi-generational home. 13:35 The lie that you have to have a degree in education to successfully homeschool your own children. 15:38 How the expectational approach meshes with any other homeschool philosophy: unschooling, Classical, etc. 23:15 What geniuses have in common. 26:33 The problem with lowering expectations and making things easier. 27:20 How to distinguish between high expectations and unrealistic expectations. 29:47 How the modern concept of adolescence has changed expectations of children/teens. 35:57 Mental maturity vs. physical maturity. 43:43 What if kids don't match our high expectations? If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
March 01, 2022
HOMESCHOOLING WITH HONEST EXPECTATIONS
Any homeschool parent will admit there are days you just can’t get it all done. And there are seasons when you won’t get it all done. What if, instead of trying to push through, you set yourself up for success by scaling back expectations and honing in on the homeschool basics? Could this process expand space for you to thrive in the hard times while still achieving your homeschool goals? Sabrina Bryant, from The Simple Happy Life, shares her journey of homeschooling through recurring health issues. Learn how keeping perspective and staying organized allow her homeschool to stay on track during life’s unpredictable moments. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES 35:50 Janna: "Maybe the key to success to getting it all done is really just letting it all go." 38:52 Sabrina: "I feel like I've tried a few different curriculums and I've learned that nothing is going to be perfect for my kid. And not even perfect for my kid every month, every week or every day. You have to flex with it." 47:35 Sabrina: "When you feel overwhelmed, go back to the must dos. What do you need to do to survive, to eat, to stay in your home? But outside of that, everything else can be let go or put down for a moment or longer or not get done at all. And it will be okay. It will be okay." TIMESTAMPS 19:17 Key question: How can I simplify this? 23:00 Maybe you don't need time management. Maybe you're just tired. Maybe you need a break. 23:58 Setting your future self up for success. 30:15 Organization for messy people. 31:53 Macro-organized vs. micro-organized. 32:38 Starting small with organizing. 38:23 Flexibility 44:57 Sabrina's final words of advice for a parent who's feeling overwhelmed. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:29 Hack of the Week: Remind yourself who's in charge when you're feeling out of control. 29:04 A Reflection: Consider how far you've come! If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
February 22, 2022
SOURCES OF STRENGTH FOR YOUR CHILD'S MENTAL HEALTH
As parents, we set the tone for the mental health dialogue in our homes. Sources of Strength is a framework that gives families the vocabulary and resources to dialogue about anxiety, depression, compulsive thinking, anger, and much more. This wellness model gives kids and parents tools for emotional wholeness, with a focus on hope, help, and strength. Youth advocate Katheryn Willie, the special guest in this episode, outlines components of the support wheel and explains how parents can guide their children into resilience and confidence. Visit sourcesofstrength.org for additional family resources. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 04:07 Although Sources of Strength was originally created as a suicide prevention program, it doesn't talk about suicide all that much. These tools work for daily ups and downs and are powerful tools for parents to teach children. 06:58 There are eight protective factors or strengths that people can tap into when they're having a tough time, struggling, or feeling stressed out. 07:14 ONE: Family support 08:29 TWO: Positive friends 09:04 THREE: Mentors 09:38 FOUR: Healthy activities 11:17 FIVE: Generosity 12:15 SIX: Spirituality 14:45 SEVEN: Physical health 16:15 EIGHT: Mental health 24:41 How Sources of Strength can help a parent-child relationship. 26:00 Kids want you to ask them how they are doing. 27:44 Our three big emotions: anger, anxiety, and sadness. 28:14 Use the Sources of Strength to make those emotions manageable. 32:37 In a crisis, please call the National Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also text HOME to 741741. It's not just a suicide prevention hotline, but is also helpful for anyone who is struggling with addiction, or anxiety, bullying, depression, eating disorders, abuse, family issues, self-harm, or financial challenges. 33:58 Homeschoolers face the same struggles as all other families. It's okay to admit when you need help. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:44 Hack of the Week: Get your kids' input! 23:59 Reflection: Reminisce with your kids. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
February 15, 2022
SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
Whether you aim for second language mastery at the bilingual or biliterate level or whether you simply want to expose your kids to another language, introducing foreign languages into your homeschool is a worthy venture! Learning another language can be a way to foster appreciation for and connection to your own culture (like Ximena's own story), or it can be a way to boost academics overall. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 05:27 Second language learning boosts vocabulary in your mother tongue (in some cases) and can help kids understand grammar in general. 07:06 Second language learning opens new neural pathways. It actually develops your brain! 08:33 You'll naturally learn about other cultures and countries when you start studying a new language. 11:35 Studies have found that students who speak more than one language score higher on standardized college admission exams. 13:20 Being bilingual can open career opportunities. 20:00 Apps and resources for second language learning. 24:15 How Ximena's parents are helping her children practice Spanish over Zoom. 25:17 And how DeeDee's Nana discouraged her second language learning by being too critical of her accent. 26:12 The value of songs for learning another language. 27:16 Find ways to immerse yourself in the second language and practice it in real-life situations. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 1:07 Hack of the Week: Reverse planning for folks who love to check things off 17:47 A Memorable Quote John Holt says, "Children learn from anything and everything they see. They learn wherever they are. Not just in a special learning place." If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
February 01, 2022
HOMESCHOOLING THROUGH HORMONES
Hang on for the twists and turns, dips and dives of the roller coaster ride we call homeschooling with hormones! Whose hormones? The kids' or ours? Both! In this episode, DeeDee and Ximena talk about the intersection of puberty for our kids and the typical hormonal fluctuations of moms. When it all gets ramped up, there can be emotional explosions and angry meltdowns. But there's hope for the hassles. Tune in to find out! Note: if talking about hormone changes, menstrual cycles, and puberty makes you uncomfortable, then this might not be the episode for you. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 03:47 Hormones are always part of our life! 05:51 At ages 6-8, kids go through a change called adrenarche which sets the stage for puberty. 07:37 DeeDee taught her kids to remind her that their brains are not fully developed. 09:14 Laziness? Or distracted? 10:25 How menstrual periods affect homeschool moms. Be prepared! 12:51 The changes of perimenopause: brain fog, inability to get organized, weight gain, etc. 14:40 Coming to grips with the maturation of our kids. 21:04 How to be proactive about hormones in your homeschool. 25:44 Pay attention to diet. Consider protein needs, especially. 28:08 Question your use of caffeine, especially that second cup. 29:17 Rest and sleep are essential. 30:44 Incorporate movement and exercise for the entire family! 33:15 Plug into a community that will support you. 33:50 Make sure teens going through puberty have community, too. Related podcasts: ep. 76 SEX EDUCATION FOR HOMESCHOOLERS ep. 29 HOMESCHOOLING TEENS AND TWEENS If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
January 25, 2022
HOMESCHOOLING WITH A PRESCHOOLER WITH DOWN SYNDROME
Leilani Garcia is a former classroom teacher and a current special needs mom to four. In this episode, she chats with hosts DeeDee and Ximena about her life of parenting and homeschooling a preschooler with Down Syndrome. They'll cover juggling multiple kids when one child has a ton of therapy appointments, how to teach critical thinking, dealing with insecurities, and finding supportive community. Connect with Leilani on Instagram or YouTube. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:01 Help kids learn to use a planner or daily checklist. 03:51 Leilani shares her background and how she came to be a homeschooler. 07:10 How the older siblings are impacted by having a little sister with special needs. 09:56 Trust your curriculum. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. 12:06 Challenges: insecurity, being shunned, being misunderstood, lacking self-confidence. 13:57 Who is an expert? 16:30 How is homeschooling a preschooler with Down Syndrome unique? 23:59 "Do right, not be right." You want to do what's right, not always trying to prove that you're right in the situation. 25:33 The critical thinking gap. Thinking Like a Lawyer: A Framework for Teaching Critical Thinking 27:52 So much therapy! How to handle all the appointments. 31:11 Frontloading the details of the day with your kids. 33:16 How community has been critical in Leilani's homeschool journey. 35:30 Leilani's advice to her younger self: stop! If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
January 18, 2022
HOMESCHOOLING TEENS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
Natalie Vecchione is the special guest on this episode about homeschooling teens with developmental disabilities and how to successfully launch them into adulthood. Natalie's podcast is FASD Hope. Her new book is Blazing New Homeschool Trails: Educating and Launching Teens with Developmental Disabilities. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:25 Natalie talks about how valuable unit studies are for neuro-divergent students and that they can be just a single day! 06:15 Natalie's personal story about adopting her son and discovering he had fetal alcohol syndrome. 09:21 Natalie's choice to homeschool her children including her daughter who has dyslexia. 12:50 Why it's key to focus on strengths not weaknesses. 15:09 Don't be married to a curriculum. Be willing to adjust it. 16:51 The isolation and loneliness of homeschooling a teen with developmental delays. 21:38 What keeps Natalie going when days are difficult: her 3 whys. 23:54 The analogy of the dirt road. 31:27 Natalie talks about her new book. 33:51 The woodworking apprenticeship her son is doing. 38:45 Be your child's guidance counselor. 40:38 Use your teen's interests to craft a unique homeschooling experience. 48:29 Teaching kids interdependence. 51:06 Natalie's advice to her younger self. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
January 11, 2022
CHORE SYSTEMS FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
As homeschoolers, your home is in constant use, and it shows! Enlisting your children to take on household chores is a win-win for everyone. Kids gain self-sufficiency in key life skills, the home stays comfortable and presentable, and you aren't bearing the entire brunt of the work! Get inspired to set up chore systems for your home with this episode hosted by DeeDee and Ximena. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 01:03 Take advantage of playlists to energize your kids and signal chore time (or other times of day). Use the Chips & Salsa playlists on Spotify. 04:00 Children need to be able to complete tasks independently to develop a sense of self-motivation, purpose and competency. 05:23 Teaching independence can be messy. But it's key! 07:40 Laziness and not wanting to work. 10:37 Chores as an antidote to entitlement. 13:02 Chores are an opportunity to practice delayed gratification. 14:26 Chores foster gratitude. 18:20 Chores are life skills! 19:36 When kids help with chores, it makes your job easier. Plus it provides a sense of family unity. 25:10 Choosing chores that are developmentally appropriate for toddlers to teens. 32:38 Be clear with instructions and modeling of chores. 35:34 Keep your requirements simple and doable. 36:23 Build chores into your routines. 37:07 Using chore carts, Alexa, etc. 39:56 Using reward systems to motivate. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
January 05, 2022
SEX EDUCATION FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
This episode is about the dreaded talk that we need to have with our children. Yes, homeschool moms and dads, it's our responsibility to provide sex education. You may be nervous to dialogue about the birds and the bees, but DeeDee and Ximena have some great tips (and some hilarious anecdotes) to equip you. • • • • • • ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. • • • • • • TIMESTAMPS 03:05 Just because you homeschool doesn't mean your kids aren't exposed to sexual content. Thanks to the internet, it's more important than ever that we talk to our kids about sex before they consume harmful imagery or misinformation. 03:58 Two very helpful and age appropriate books for tweens are: The Boy's Body Book: Everything You Need to Know for Growing Up You The Care & Keeping of You: the Body Book for Younger Girls Using a book to start the conversation relieves some of the awkwardness. 05:58 The importance of giving kids a SAFE place to talk about sex, puberty, periods, and body changes. Keeping the discussions nonchalant. 09:57 Try to remember what it was like to be a teenager. 10:22 The funny stories! (You will laugh!!) 19:59 The nitty gritty of sex ed. 23:12 You want to be the parent your child can approach when they see or experience something disturbing. 23:41 Lean on community. 25:33 Be aware of the prevalence of sexual content that children ages 8-12 are encountering. 27:32 Ad blockers and other filters are great, but if you're not having the conversations, they are inadequate. 27:55 Don't volunteer too much information. Answer their questions with age-appropriate responses, but don't push beyond what they're asking. • • • • • • If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
December 28, 2021
WHY EVERY HOMESCHOOLER NEEDS COMMUNITY
Torrie Oglesby is the special guest in this episode about the importance of community and how to find it or create it. Parenting is hard, and homeschooling only adds to the challenge. Having a network of support is essential to well-being! Connect with Torrie on: Youtube The Oglesby Ohana | Instagram @torrie_oglesby | Podcast: The Fruitful Vine ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "So if parenting is like growth and refinement for us as people, which it is, then homeschooling is growth and refinement on steroids." Torrie: "...that's another thing that no one really talks about with parenting is, it's like a letting go process. Every day we're letting go a little bit more and a little bit more." TIMESTAMPS 02:00 Meet Torrie. [Note, her IG handle has changed since this podcast was recorded. She is @torrie_oglesby.] 04:08 Power hour to plow through homeschool quickly. 05:55 The value of being goofy and setting the tone in the home. 08:14 More background on Torrie, how she started homeschooling. 11:37 The difference between choosing to homeschool and actually following through. 13:56 How to handle complaints from your kids about school. 15:15 How Torrie created community for herself when there was none. 17:45 Why do some people resist community? 21:20 The difference between virtual community and in-person community. 22:24 Challenges in community: parenting styles. 30:02 Torrie's community called The Womanhood. 36:40 Letting go as a parent and raising your kids to be adults. 41:17 How to be community for others. 44:32 Torrie's advice for her younger self. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
December 21, 2021
INTENTIONAL HOLIDAYS FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
Celebrating winter holidays can get in the way of homeschooling. But that's okay! Learn how to merge your holiday memory-making into your homeschool to keep the learning stress-free. For example, wrapping presents and budgeting for gift giving are both life skills that come into play in December. Embrace the mess, lower your ridiculous standards of perfection, and enjoy the holidays with your kids this year! ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
December 14, 2021
A GUIDE TO USING UNIT STUDIES FOR HOMESCHOOL
Want to light your children's enthusiasm for science, history, and language arts? Structure a UNIT STUDY around the topics they are already crazy about, and you'll naturally draw them into the learning. In this episode, DeeDee and Ximena interview Sara Jordan, a homeschool mom who loves creating and using literature-based unit studies. Learn how to create your own unit studies and how to use them alongside or as a break from your regular curriculum. Find out if your kids would love this approach, and if yes, adapt Sara's brilliant (yet so simple) interest inventory notebook to get started. •-•-• ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. •-•-• TIMESTAMPS 03:47 How Sara became a homeschooler. 06:25 Sara defines unit studies. 07:43 How unit studies motivate kids to enjoy learning. 11:50 Ximena gives an example of an American Girl unit study. 12:57 More benefits of unit studies. 14:28 How to get out of the way and trust the process when it comes to homeschooling with unit studies. 15:29 How to handle math with a unit study approach. 22:11 Unit studies are great for inquisitive kids who like to direct their own learning. 23:39 Tips for crafting unit studies. Get FREE literature-based unit studies at BookShark (for subscribers). 27:34 How to use unit studies alongside or as a break from your regular curriculum. 28:09 The value of a well-stocked home library. 29:43 A typical day of homeschooling with unit studies. •-•-• If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
December 07, 2021
TIPS FOR HOMESCHOOLING AN ONLY CHILD
Jessica Waldock comes back to the podcast, this time to share her experiences as a homeschooling mom to an only child. Learn if it's harder to homeschool one or many children. Find out why strewing and single-player games are key to Jessica's sanity. Jessica reveals why homeschooling one can feel lonely and what to do about it. Plus learn how to provide the socialization that an extrovert craves. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 01:57 The magic of strewing. Read more. 07:46 How Jessica chose to homeschool her only child Emily. 09:12 What's harder? Homeschooling many or homeschooling one? 11:07 Thoughts for the mom who feels less than a complete mom. 15:21 When your only child is an extrovert. 20:52 Feeling alone as a homeschool mom. 24:25 The sweet relationship that comes from homeschooling an only child. 31:01 Emily's lemonade stand. 33:10 Letting your child lead the learning. 35:47 The learning lunch. 40:01 Providing socialization for an only child. 42:48 Keeping an only child entertained. 43:51 Single-player games. 48:53 You will doubt yourself. But develop a thick skin to outside criticism and know that the grass is not greener. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
November 30, 2021
RETURN TO JOY: SELF-CARE FOR HOMESCHOOL PARENTS
With endless to-do lists, the responsibility of homeschooling, and adulting in general, it is easy to lose focus on what brings you joy. Self-care is abuzz in homeschool circles, but how can you put one more thing on your plate? Hear the secret to sustainable self-care from Camille Kirksey, founder of The Intuitive Homeschooler. She explains how self-care isn’t an all-day spa retreat or an hour soaking in the tub (but it can be if that’s what works for you!). It’s a simple strategy to return to what brings you joy! Camille Kirksey has homeschooled her three children since 2013 and is the author of the book, Coming Home: A Quick & Practical Guide for Preparing a Mother's Heart, Mind, & Home for Homeschooling. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:04 Self-care can feel like another task on the to-do list. 03:41 What is self-care? 07:49 Apply the same creativity we use for lesson planning and family activities to our own self-care. 08:28 Self-care looks different at different stages of mothering and life. 09:21 How the all-or-nothing mentality will ruin your attempts at self-care. 10:14 Why it's important for your children to see you set boundaries to care for yourself. 13:29 How texting with tweens and teens can improve communication. 17:02 Finding the sweet spot of providing the structure kids need while also giving them freedom. 22:37 Releasing the need to constantly be productive and busy. 25:38 Using gratitude and indulgence as guides to self-care. 31:37 Indulgence isn't eating too many sweets. It's the ordinary delights that you enjoy simply to fulfill yourself — no other goals. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
November 23, 2021
THE HIDDEN TREASURE OF READING ALOUD TO TEENS
Join special guest Candice Kelly from Homeschool on the Hill for a discussion about sharing books with our middle schoolers and high schoolers. Just because kids can read independently doesn't mean it's time to forfeit all the treasures of reading aloud to them. In fact, the teen years are when the richest discussions come into play! Read-aloud time is also a super way to reconnect as a family since kids tend to become more and more solo in their studies and extracurriculars as they mature. Candice gives a fantastic hack for choosing read-alouds for teens: movies! ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 04:12 Reading aloud for togetherness. 08:14 If your teens are put off by your reading aloud, try audiobooks. 12:42 Reading aloud is especially important for kids who don't choose to read on their own for pleasure. 15:32 The benefit of stumbling over pronunciations or new vocabulary. 16:55 How rereading a book as an adult will give you new insights. 18:02 The rich conversations inspired by sharing a read-aloud. 24:00 How to introduce read-alouds if it's new for your teens. 33:38 Choosing read-alouds solely for fun. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
November 16, 2021
YOU ARE ENOUGH: HOMESCHOOL FROM A PLACE OF CONTENTMENT
Are you experiencing feelings of inadequacy when it comes to your homeschooling? Come hear how you are enough! Listen as author and blogger Kara Anderson, from KaraAnderson.com and The Homeschool Sisters Podcast addresses common issues felt by homeschooling parents. • dealing with the fear of not doing enough as a homeschooler • keeping expectations in check • the key to homeschool contentment is resisting the urge to do every cool activity • how comparison distracts you from the unique beauty of your own family • how fear drives so many of our bad homeschool and parenting decisions Want to see this episode? You can watch it here. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Kara: " I always say the sweet spot of homeschooling is when you like what you're doing and your kids like what you're doing. But I mean it's like an eclipse. How often does that happen? But you look for those things." Kara: "...we don't really know exactly what we're preparing our kids for anyway. So the things that I think are so important are, a lot of times, not the academic parts. It's, like you said, the dinner around the table. It's modeling for them, trying something brave like your daughter did. Then she knows that she has the support either way. It's like being that safe place for our kids for them to be themselves and for them to say, 'I want to try this.'" Kara: "... what a gift it is...when we can just let people be 100% themselves, our kids and us too, as much as we can without getting nervous about it." Kara: "I'm their mom. I'm not their computer programmer. They're not little robots. They're just kids that need a hug and a snack." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:08 Kara's introduction. 03:39 What inspired Kara to write her book More Than Enough: Grow Your Confidence, Banish Burn-Out and Love Your Homeschool Life. Read a sample chapter here. 06:51 Love is the answer to all the questions and insecurities. 08:18 Setting expectations for yourself and your homeschool. Making trade-offs and avoiding comparisons. 12:12 Unrealistic expectations on steroids! 14:57 Kara's BPPP: big picture planning page. 17:52 Cheerful nonchalance: strewing with zero expectations. Read more on Kara's blog. 22:05 Finding overlap between what you and your kids all like. 23:39 Appreciating the lovely quirks of your own unique family. 29:00 Dealing with outside pressures for parenting and homeschooling like sports participation. 33:49 The fear of making irredeemable mistakes. 37:19 The sad angry song of fear that plays in the background.
November 09, 2021
HOW TO GIVE YOUR KIDS A GROWTH MINDSET
As parents, we want to inspire greatness in our kids. We want our them to love learning and confidently overcome the difficulties they encounter throughout their lifetime. Developing a growth mindset is key to this success. As a homeschool parent, we plant the seeds of the growth mindset with how we encourage and praise our kids. Learn what to do and what to say to nudge kids away from a fixed mindset and towards a growth mindset with host Janna and guest Amy Milcic. Also, learn why you need to take on a growth mindset yourself! ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Janna: "...what I love is in a growth mindset, you just expect some failure. And that's real, right? That is real." Amy: "Another thing that's really great to do with your kids is to ask them a question to get their feedback, so that you're paying attention and that you've noticed the effort that they put in. So let's say for example with the handwriting. [You say,] 'Wow, the way that you fit your letters in between those lines today! How did you do that? Tell me what you did to make that happen.' And just phrasing the effort, phrasing what they thought about doing in order to make that happen. Because you might see somebody pick up a pencil and write. There's a lot of different steps that have to go on in your brain to make that happen. And so that also helps your kids slow down and say, 'Oh, wait a minute. Yeah, today I got my pencil and I just...' walking through all of that." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:01 Introduction of special guest Amy Milcic from Rock Your Homeschool 05:49 Definitions of growth vs. fixed mindsets 08:38 Growth mindset is realistic and accepts the negative. 11:23 How the stories we tell ourselves or the stories we grew up hearing inform our perspective, especially labels. 12:51 How to apply a growth mindset day to day in your homeschool. First, how to handle resistance or frustration. 15:06 How to build on past success to foster the growth mindset. 17:12 Parents need to shed a lot of the public school mentality. 19:04 How the growth mindset applies to you as a parent when you face hard things! 20:47 The way we think is a continuum from growth to fixed mindset. Sometimes triggers plunge us back into a fixed mindset. 23:01 The analogy of riding a bike and turning obstacles into rewarding (fun, even?) challenges. 24:51 Expecting things to be easy or expecting things to require hard work. 28:19 Modeling your mistakes, being transparent about your own failures and how you resolve them. 33:11 The best ways to praise kids. 41:09 Growth mindset prepares kids to handle feedback and criticism (constructive or not) in the real world. 44:54 Growing doesn't always feel good. Sometimes it feels meh or bad. 46:51 Amy suggests two books to learn more: Mindset: A New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck Grit by Angela Duckworth
November 02, 2021
THE GIFTS OF ART & MUSIC FOR YOUR HOMESCHOOL
Get motivated to include more art and music in your homeschool by hearing the powerful benefits the arts give our kids. And then be inspired by DeeDee and Ximena's amazing unit studies that teach history by way of music! And like they say, "You do not have to be a musician to teach this!" Art appreciation and music appreciation are easy to enjoy thanks to YouTube, Spotify playlists, and Meet the Classical Composer CD series. Imagine teaching history and science through the lens of music! For example, in the Roaring Twenties, the music industry was born thanks to Thomas Edison's inventions. Experience the music of WW2, then learn about the social movements of the 70s through the music of those days. Listen to the full podcast for more ideas! See Chips & Salsa playlists here. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 06:08 Benefits of including art in your homeschool. ONE: Higher math, reading, and writing skills. 07:03 TWO: more organized writing 07:59 THREE: behavioral benefits 10:09 FOUR: observational skills 10:27 FIVE: problem solving 12:00 SIX: a greater appreciation of nature 12:19 SEVEN: development of the whole person 13:49 Benefits of including music in your homeschool. ONE: fine motor skills. 14:16 TWO: brain integration 14:32 THREE: coordination and gross motor skills 15:36 FOUR: instills growth mindset 16:57 FIVE: boosts self-esteem 17:12 SIX: exposure to different cultures 17:27 SEVEN: social skills and teamwork 18:37 EIGHT: math skills and problem solving 19:04 NINE: intelligence and IQ 19:18 TEN: enhances critical thinking skills 20:32 ELEVEN: music can be used to teach nearly anything 21:36 TWELVE: boosts endorphins 28:44 Practical tips for including more music and art in your homeschool. BookShark's art/music electives. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:13 Hack of the Week: Keep duplicate necessities in every bag you own. 24:30 A Memorable Idea from The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart: Are you bellows or bucket of water when helping your kids with writing? If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
October 26, 2021
SCREENTIME TACTICS FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
Special guests Dr. Meghan Owens and her husband Adam peel back the curtain on the negative effects of too much screentime and the addictive quality of games and programs created for children. But better yet, they provide practical tips for managing screens with a healthy attitude, accepting that they can enrich our lives as long as they are their proper place. Meghan's book: Spoiled Right, Delaying Screens And Giving Children What They Really Need Screen-Free Parenting. QUOTABLES Meghan "...about a fifth of adults say they can't control their media use ... your child's prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed until they're 25. So expecting them to do something that's not designed to be regulated with a brain that isn't designed to regulate yet, just temper your expectations of what they're able to do." ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 07:39 Some of us grew up when devices were in a fixed spot in the house. Now devices are everywhere, with us 24-7. 09:18 The science behind the impact of screen time on our kids: SWAAT — sleep, weight, aggression, attention, and talking. 13:11 Screentime in this episode refers to entertainment not using devices for school work, research, or creating something. 13:37 How screentime impacts creativity. While IQ scores are increasing, creativity measures are going down for children. 18:08 We use the same devices for work/school and entertainment. For kids to make that switch without getting distracted takes a level of self-control that most of them simply don't have. 18:30 Use physical cues and boundaries to help kids with screentime. 18:57 Advice for the parent who's feeling guilty about screentime. 25:04 What about letting some kids watch TV while you're working with others on their homeschool? 27:22 Five screen-free activities that have the biggest bang for the developmental buck, providing positive social outcomes, cognitive outcomes, and physical development outcomes: the SPOIL system, which stands for social activity, play, outdoors, independent work, and literacy. 31:51 What about the family who has allowed unfettered screentime and now wants to establish some healthy standards? 33:22 Instituting a screen-free day each week. 35:01 Having screen restrictions on spaces often works better than time limits. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:35 Hacks of the Week To curb screentime, prepare a box of special toys. Read 5 minutes of a parenting book daily. 22:53 A Reflection Go slow! The importance of modeling. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
October 19, 2021
HOMESCHOOL HACKS TO MAKE YOUR SECOND YEAR OF HOMESCHOOLING BETTER THAN THE FIRST
Reduce frustrations and get more done each day with Linsey’s matter-of-fact advice about categorizing all of your day-to-day tasks. Linsey and Janna will give you permission to let go of expectations that don’t suit your family so you can homeschool confidently with your own flair. Finally, Linsey encourages families to celebrate the successes of their homeschool year—no matter how unconventional it was. Although you may not have checked all the boxes, rest assured your children have learned this year! Linsey Knerl is a mom of six, a small-business owner, and author of Homeschool Hacks: How to Give Your Kid a Great Education without Losing Your Job or Your Mind. Because she understands first-hand the stressors homeschool parents face as they constantly juggle multiple demands, she’s uniquely qualified to help new homeschoolers make next year even better. Now that her oldest daughter has graduated from a 4-year college, she has concrete proof that homeschooling truly works! (No, her daughter wasn’t the weirdo on campus!) Watch this episode here. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Janna: "I just realize how much I have to change, how much I as a homeschool parent need to be less rigid in the way I think it needs to be done. Because in my mind, you don't just skip math for a day. That's mutiny. But really, that is ... is that permission, once again. Actually, you can skip math for a day, a week if you're having a hectic week. It doesn't have to be so rigid." Linsey: "So you talking to your child about what's going on with the pandemic, that might replace reading for the day. And that's just something you have to accept. That doesn't mean that time was lost, or it didn't have value, or they weren't learning. It's just really hard to put down on your little homeschool planner, but it counts. It really, really, really counts. I want parents to give them more credit than what they do for just being that emotional, strong support for their child, which is really what they needed so much this year, I think." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:04 Meet Linsey. 06:38 Evaluate the homeschool tasks that require high supervision on your part. Be realistic about these. 10:12 Be prepared for things to change year by year in your homeschool as kids mature and needs change. 14:55 Homeschool myths. 21:33 What are the criteria of a good homeschool year? If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
October 12, 2021
CANDID TALK WITH FIRST-TIME HOMESCHOOL PARENTS
Meet moms Amber Lewis, Eileen Duby, and Sharon Miller who opted to homeschool because of the pandemic. Led by host Janna Koch, these three moms talk candidly about their unexpected school year at home—what motivated them to take their kids out of public school, what they learned about their children and about themselves, their academic wins, and their day-to-day struggles. Teaching their kids at home has pulled back the curtain on the shortcomings of public school and revealed the hidden advantages of homeschooling. Hear encouraging stories when moms realized their kids were truly learning and their relationships were blossoming. For example, one child who always hated school now loves it, thanks to homeschooling with BookShark. Learn how these moms overcame their own self-doubt and school-ish traditions to excel as homeschoolers. And finally, hear their top tips for other new homeschoolers. Watch this episode here. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Amber: "Yeah. I tell my husband all the time, I'm like, 'Do you know what I learned today? Not what the kids learned, but what I learned today.'" Sharon: "Just stop and let them figure it out. You don't need to push. Or you need to push them to a point where they will do it on their own. Stop resisting and just take a breath and try again. Sometimes it works out, and when it does, it's magic." Eileen: "I think the biggest challenge I faced was myself. My biggest hurdle was trying not to overthink everything, not trusting in the curriculum, still being in the public school frame of mind that you had to go sit at a desk, you had to do it from this time to this time, and thinking that we weren't doing enough. I overcame it by finally realizing ... that I was doing an awesome job and the curriculum was doing 10 times more than the public school was and she was learning so much more. But really, I was the issue. It wasn't her, it wasn't the curriculum, it was me." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:29 Introductions 12:47 What has worked well for you as a homeschooler? 30:00 What are your top memories of homeschooling so far? 37:36 Your biggest homeschooling challenges and how you overcame them. 50:12 What surprised you most about homeschooling? YOUR TURN If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggestion for a podcast topic or guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
October 05, 2021
POSITIVE PARENTING FOR HOMESCHOOLERS
If you struggle to get your kids to listen or follow directions, this session is for you! Jill Jackson, mom of 3 and a professional counselor, applies her expertise to help homeschool parents break out of negative habits so we can thrive in the daily grind of living and learning with our children nearly 24-7. Discover the downside to telling your child no and don’t. Learn the key perspective shift that counteracts fatigue. Find out how shorter conversations and positive affirmations are more effective than long lectures, yelling, and negative accusations. See how Jill uses a simple chart to give kids clear expectations and set them up for success. Genius! Evaluate if school frustrations are caused by unrealistic standards. Hear how a dedicated workspace cues kids for focused learning. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. Watch this session here. QUOTABLES Jillian: "if we know anything, it's that it is very hard for us to control other people. We can't control our children. We can try, but we can control ourselves for the most part and that's the goal. If we can modify, if we can adapt, if we can control ourselves in these areas, then that is how we will see the greatest change and growth through our kids." TIMESTAMPS 04:06 How to handle being with your kids 24-7 without breaks. 08:39 How to pace your day. Slowing down instead of rushing to avoid fatigue. 10:16 How to get kids to listen. Avoid negatives. Use positives. Shorten our speech. Confirm understanding. 22:52 How to motivate kids to do their school work (or other tasks). 28:32 Talking to kids about their strengths and weaknesses. 33:15 The value of positive reinforcement. 37:40 Are you discouraging/pressing or encouraging? 40:35 What happens when we yell at our kids. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 32:25 Hack of the Week — Let your children decide what subject they want to do next. If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, or a book you're loving, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
September 28, 2021
WHY YOU SHOULD CHILL OUT: FACING YOUR HOMESCHOOL FEARS
Really. Just chill out. While your fears are totally normal, they are mostly not worth stressing about. In this episode, DeeDee and Ximena breakdown the most common anxiety-provoking elements of homeschooling and explain why you need to take a deep breath and trust the process. You are not failing your kids! QUOTABLES Ximena: "That's something I get from a lot of people that don't know much about homeschooling. They're like, 'Oh, I'm sure it's really hard for your kids to see you as a teacher when they see you as a mom.' Yeah, it is hard, and I don't expect them to see me as a teacher one hour and then see me as a mom another hour. I expect them to see me as this messy, conglomerate of teacher and parent together, because that's who we are. Ximena: "We're so scared of failing, but how can we fail our children when we love them? Are we perfect? No. Are they perfect? No, but who's asking for perfection? If we are, then we're being fools and we're missing out on what's important." DeeDee: "When we spend time with our kids, we are investing in who they're going to become in the future." ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 14:32 How you set the mood in your home. 18:26 Teaching and parenting are one and the same. 20:22 How self-care, routines, and community all help you face the difficulties of homeschooling. 22:52 How to overcome the fear of not choosing the right curriculum. 24:22 Straight talk about academic gaps. 27:11 Fear of failure. Ximena says, "Even if perfect robots raised your children in the perfect setting, in the perfect atmosphere, your kids would still have issues." 29:00 Broaden your scope to go beyond academics and include character. 29:33 How to embrace the mess of homeschooling. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:19 Hack of the Week: Exercising early before the kids are up. 14:32 A Memorable Quote: "Creating a positive home atmosphere has more to do with who you are than what you do." —Leah at My Little Robins If you'd like to share an aha moment, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, a book you're loving, or a suggested podcast topic/guest, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
September 21, 2021
BACK TO (HOME)SCHOOL: MOTIVATION & PLANNING
Back-to-school season is time for anticipation, inspiration, preparation, and expectations. Get back into the homeschool groove with your hosts Ximena and Dee as they recount their overly ambitious summer plans and what they're doing to set the stage for an excellent year of learning with their kids. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES DeeDee: "Again, we all have different personalities. I'm surrounded by people who are pretty intense, and the intense people sometimes burn out really quick because they go so hard right in the beginning. And I remember in college, one of my roommates, she was like, everything's labeled, everything's ready for the first day of school, all our pencils are sharpened, her highlighters are ready to roll, but she'd be struggling by week three. And I'm like, you've got to learn to ease into it. So I've taken that into my homeschooling where we ease into it so that we can have longevity." TIMESTAMPS 04:05 True confessions: Ximena did maybe 10% of what she aimed to accomplish over the summer. Her summer plans, dreamed of at the end of the school year were a bit too idealistic. But no regrets on taking a relaxed summer! 06:37 Use self-care before you are burned out! 08:58 Get inspired by books, YouTube videos, conferences, podcasts. 11:19 Brainstorm with your kids to find out what's their vision for the school year. 12:22 A homeschool mom retreat to kick off the school year. 13:49 Prep through shopping, organizing your school area, etc. 18:35 How to motivate your kids for back-to-school. 24:18 Back-to-school traditions like a picture, exploring the curriculum, getting new school supplies. 30:09 Ease back into your school year slowly. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:49 Hack of the Week: Let kids alternate meal planning and preparation. 19:05 Reflection: ENJOY! If you have an aha moment to share, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, or a book you're loving, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
September 14, 2021
THE MONTESSORI APPROACH FOR HOMESCHOOLING
Learn how to bring the joy and freedom of a Montessori school to your home. Special guest Jessica May explains how to homeschool with a Montessori minimalist approach — even with reluctant learners or middle schoolers. Helicopter parents, brace yourselves. With the Montessori method, you need to embrace messes and give your child more autonomy. QUOTABLES Jessica: "The Montessori approach, in a nutshell, is self-directed, it's hands-on. In the early years it's abstract, and it becomes concrete later, when they're older... You don't sit people down with worksheets... that's kind of the gist of it ... following and observing the child." Ximena: "...we have learned that less is more... there's a commonality in all of the approaches that we want our listeners to understand, is that there's always concrete learning with reading, writing, and math. Right? And then basically everything else, it's your choice and your style, and you can curate it the way you want. And I think that's so exciting to hear because it just simplifies everything. Focus on those three things in a concrete manner and then everything else, you can be creative with." ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 06:30 Jessica defines Montessori homeschooling. 07:36 How is Montessori different from unschooling? 09:32 Jessica explains her Montessori minimalist approach. 13:22 The mindset changes you'll need to make as a Montessori parent. 16:01 Montessori for middle school and teens. 23:57 A typical day of Montessori homeschooling. 29:32 Handling reluctant learners. 31:23 Getting started with Montessori. 33:06 Practical tips: Be prepared for messes. 34:15 Advice for your former self: Chill out. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 02:06 Hack of the Week — curate an environment by prepping ahead of time 21:11 An Aha Moment — avoiding the phone/email during homeschool hours If you have an aha moment to share, an inspirational quote, a homeschool hack, or a book you're loving, leave a comment at bookshark.com/podcast. We'd love to feature your reflection on a future episode.
September 07, 2021
THE CLASSICAL APPROACH TO HOMESCHOOLING
The roots of classical education go back to Plato and Aristotle who wrote about pursuing wisdom and loving virtue, forming the whole person rather than just preparing children to work in a job. In the Middle Ages, classical learning was outlined into seven liberal arts: the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric—those are language arts) and the quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy). Find special guest Mystie at Simply Convivial and Schole Sisters Podcast. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Mystie: "there is no checklist that says, 'Well, as long as you are doing these things in your homeschool day, then you're classically educating.' It's less about the books or the curriculum that you're teaching from and it's really more about a mindset, an approach, and a set of goals... [It] takes continual re-evaluation." Ximena: "Yes. It's funny that you say that about being willing to be relaxed because when I read Susan Wise Bauer's book, I felt really small. I was like, 'Okay, I'm never going to be able to do this to the T.' It just felt super overwhelming, super strict. And then she was one of the keynote speakers at this conference that DeeDee and I spoke at last year, and she was the most relaxed, encouraging person. I was like, 'Did you write this book?' Because it was like awesome to hear that from her mouth, how she uses her intuition and just, again, focusing on the love of learning versus the everyday grind. And so, that was really freeing to hear that from her." Mystie: "...classical education is a books-centric approach. The books are important, but there are different ways to get those books in rather than just, well, the kids have to read everything on their own." Mystie: "That's really a homeschool mom's job—noticing what's going on with your child and experimenting with different ways to help them and finding out what works. It's challenging, but it's also rewarding to figure out how to help your child learn." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 07:59 A brief intro to classical education. 13:25 What is Susan Wise Bauer's role in classical education. 14:12 The challenges of using the classical approach. 30:39 Getting into the nitty gritty of the homeschool day with Mystie. 36:57 How to get started with the classical approach to homeschooling. Mystie suggests The Liberal Arts Tradition by Kevin Clark and Robby Jane, published by Classical Academic Press. 38:19 How to use classical education if your child hates reading. 43:11 How giving kids checklists can soothe a great deal of frustration. 46:46 Mystie's advice for her former self: the need to follow through on whatever you assign to your children.
August 31, 2021
WORKING PARENTS CAN STILL HOMESCHOOL
It can be done! With schedule flexing and creative thinking, it's possible to homeschool as a working parent. Shift your mindset out of the traditional schooling mold and learn how to create a lifestyle of learning that makes room for education, work, as well as play and rest. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Paulette: "...humans are such creatures of habit. So we think Saturday is for chores or Sunday [is] when we do the cleaning or ... our errands. And we live in a 24/7 world now ... we can go grocery shopping at midnight if we need to." Paulette: "... it did take a good year, a year and a half to get into that groove. The first year, I will say it took a lot of trial and error just to figure things out. And also, Janna, not to get stressed out when you know what there's not that third worksheet done, you know what? Yes, that can wait until Friday or can wait until the weekend, but just ensuring that you're there for your children and you're giving them what they need. And then feeling comfortable with your work schedule and knowing that you can do a job well done there as well." Janna: "And so when I'm advising parents, when they're calling into BookShark, I love to say that, 'You need to understand you are now on a foreign Island. We're going to be speaking a different language. Maybe just different vernacular, but this is totally different and I need you to be willing to hear and understand that it's not just taking a school at home, a traditional school and bringing it home.'" Paulette Vildberg is a homeschool mom with 8 years of homeschooling experience. She is also self-employed, running a marketing company, and has over 20 years of marketing and business management experience. Her company produces a number of homeschool workshops, meetings, and conferences and feels that this a great way to connect with other homeschool families and the community. You can follow Paulette's homeschool brand on Facebook at Inspire Your Homeschool. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 03:36 How the flexibility of homeschooling makes working doable. 06:40 Breaking free of the traditional school mindset in your schedule. 08:17 Reading during at-home exercise time. Using audio books. 09:44 How a flexible homeschool day is more relaxing and learning-focused rather than just getting things done. How a 3-day week can be enough. 12:43 The pros & cons of working at-home part-time vs. working outside the home as a homeschool parent. 15:30 It can take quite a long time to find your groove as a working homeschool mom. 17:26 Being willing to skip work if a child has already mastered the concept. 18:53 Changing expectations. Erasing perfectionism. 20:34 When you work at home in front of your kids, you teach them how to handle stress and how to engage with clients or peers (on the phone). 25:17 Taking breaks from your kids and providing socialization for them. 30:57 Plan to be flexible! Paulette tells a funny story about how her daughter sabotaged a work document. 33:05 Having routines can make the day flow more smoothly. 38:29 Favorite planning tools.
August 24, 2021
Contrary to myth, unschooling is not a form of lax parenting where you let your kids run feral. Instead it's a way of raising your children that respects their autonomy to choose when, how, and what they learn. But you are always there as a facilitator and supportive guide. Homeschooling as an unschooler is a collaborative relationship between parent and child. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Julie: "We still have to be parents, and we're still responsible for teaching them character, and morals, and good life habits, and plus we're supposed to be the ones with wisdom. We need to still exercise parental authority and parental responsibility, even as we give them educational freedom." Julie: "Where are they going to get ideas from and how are they going to figure out what they're interested in if we don't expose them to things? We have to be really hands-on and interactive. So, to [unschool] well means that you have to be sparkly. It's a borrowed term, but you have to be a little bit sparkly to help them to be excited about learning new things and bringing things in. DeeDee: "You have really convinced me that unschooling is not just throwing caution to the wind. I can see that we have had some unschooling moments in our homeschool, and those are definitely been the funner moments." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 05:43 Julie tells how she started as a homeschooler. 13:50 Julie defines unschooling. 14:51 The difference between delight-directed learning and unschooling. 15:30 Julie's long-term goal informs her day-to-day homeschool decisions. 18:05 How to handle math as a unschooler. 28:08 A typical day for an unschooler, including what Julie's high schooler is doing. 31:33 Making sure the day has some structure so kids aren't reading too many fantasy novels or playing too many video games. 33:55 How to redirect kids when you feel they are spending too much time on a certain thing. 34:36 Rules for unschooling. Know the difference between entertainment and education. 37:04 An unschooling parent will probably have to invest in research to inspire her kids. 38:03 How to be sparkly. 41:04 Advice for the younger you: Trust yourself. Connect with Julie at Julie Naturally. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:00 Hack of the Week Block out catch up time in your schedule to accommodate for the unexpected. 26:50 A Memorable Quote "Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire."
August 17, 2021
CHARLOTTE MASON HOMESCHOOLING
Dachelle calls herself a relaxed Charlotte Mason homeschooler. Learn how she incorporates technology into her literature-based homeschool and what is more important to her than finishing a curriculum. At one point, Dachelle's kids were reluctant readers. Find out how she overcame that hesitancy to raise lifelong learners. Hear how her homeschool has morphed as her children reach their teens. Connect with Dachelle at Hide the Chocolate or Literary Adventures for Kids. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Dachelle: "Obviously, Charlotte Mason wasn't into technology because there wasn't a lot of technology for her. But I kind of have this idea that if she had been around right now, she would say, 'Embrace technology because your kids are going to have to learn it. They're going to have to know how to deal with technology.' So I think she would've been pro-technology." Dachelle: "Part of it is helping encourage them to be independent educators. It's their education, not mine. So if they want to do something with this when they get older, go into a certain career, then I want to facilitate that, but I'm not the one educating them. They have to educate themselves. So I want them to continue to do that as they grow. When she says she wants to take a psychology class, I'm giving her the tools for that. As they've grown up, I'm no longer sitting there as the teacher that's saying this, this, and this. I'm now saying, 'Okay, here's some books, here's some videos, here's some things that I think would help you,' so that she can educate herself." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 04:23 Dachelle shares how she got started as a homeschooler. 07:16 An introduction to the Charlotte Mason approach. 09:28 What Charlotte Mason would have thought about technology. 10:46 What kind of curriculum a CM homeschooler uses. 12:20 Homeschooling so that your kids are lifelong learners. 13:07 The value of taking field trips and traveling. 14:32 Using a literature-based curriculum for reluctant readers. 15:37 Immersing yourself in the CM mentality without being a purist. 17:40 How the Accelerated Reader program can ruin kids' love of reading. 19:18 How Dachelle overcame her kids' resistance to reading. 26:13 What relaxed Charlotte Mason homeschooling looks like day to day. 27:25 How homeschooling changes when kids turn in to teenagers. 34:07 Homeschool mom guilt is real. 34:56 Dachelle's nature book club. 37:41 Dachelle's online book clubs. 39:13 Advice for your younger self? Chill out. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 02:02 Hack of the Week — Teach kids to do their own laundry and keep them accountable. 23:16 Homeschool Reflection — Teaching kids how to think critically is more important than finishing your curriculum.
August 10, 2021
AN OVERVIEW OF 7 COMMON HOMESCHOOL STYLES
It's useful to understand a little bit about the different homeschool styles out there, not so you can adhere to a label but so you can mix and match the features that suit you best. There's a reason that most homeschoolers take the eclectic moniker! Each method has positive traits, so feel free to borrow your favorite parts from each style to truly HOMESCHOOL YOUR WAY. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 03:29 School at home (traditional method) 05:44 Unschooling 09:32 Montessori method 18:55 Classical method 23:48 Charlotte Mason approach 26:34 Unit Studies 29:59 Eclectic SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:08 Hack of the Week Taking breaks with a year-round school schedule 16:08 A Memorable Quote "No matter how hard you try, you really can't improve your weaknesses. You are wasting time and energy trying to do so. The best thing you can do is discover your strengths and then find a role that allows you to use them." —Donald Clifton in Now, Discover Your Strengths
August 03, 2021
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FEEL BEHIND
Does a homeschool parent ever really feel on track? It's easy to feel behind when you're homeschooling with endless options at your disposal. Veteran homeschool mom and product specialist Lynn Woodley chats with host Janna about this nagging feeling that you just aren't doing enough and that you are falling behind. The great news is that if you are feeling behind, it's probably a sign that you are doing great job since slackers never worry about being behind! ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Lynn: "You can't be behind when you are truly doing the work. You are exactly where you are and where you need to be, and you are free to take a break when you need to take a break." Janna: "when you're homeschooling, you're looking at an individual ... speaking to the whole child." TIMESTAMPS 03:05 Lynn reports that one school she partners with requires families to only get through 32 weeks of the curriculum. 04:01 Options for the Type A mom who doesn't like to leave things undone. 05:45 Why you're really never behind as a homeschooler. 07:30 If you're really worried about your kids' being behind, give them a standardized test! It will give you the confidence you need. 10:51 Are you really schooling? Are you unschooling? Are you slacking? What are you doing? 11:41 Any parent listening in is likely to be a very driven homeschooler. Being worried about not getting enough done is typically a sign that you are doing plenty! 13:03 How to use your summer break to catch up on things you didn't accomplish. 18:02 How to catch up on your Timeline Book if you've put it off. It makes for great review! 21:39 The mentality of lifelong learning. 22:30 Keeping your Instructor's Guide in its place. It's not a dictator. 28:12 When you worry your child is behind in skills or mastery. 30:39 Why you should throw out the grade-level mentality. 34:05 Remember that character traits such as empathy are a part of development too. 36:48 Janna shares how she handled her daughter's being behind in math. 39:29 Don't think of skills as assigned to certain grades. They are simply skills that can be learned at any age! 49:32 Remember the importance of play — even when you feel behind. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:17 A Lesson Learned The school year's start and end can be a fluid thing rather than a hard deadline. 27:29 Hack of the Week: Add chores to the daily school checklist. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
July 27, 2021
TRUE CONFESSIONS OF HOMESCHOOL PARENTS
When homeschool moms anonymously shared their secret confessions, the common challenges of homeschooling became apparent. For example, 64% of respondents reported wanting to quit homeschooling at some point. (We just want to know, who are you other 36% who have never wanted to quit? 😂) The podcast trio of Janna, DeeDee, and Ximena work through the list of confessions, adding their own stories to the mix. This is an encouraging episode that will leave you feeling uplifted! ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES DeeDee "you are the best teacher for your child. You don't need a credential. You don't need a teaching background. You have been the best teacher for your child since the beginning, and they are looking to you to learn. And so they've been learning from you from day one, and no one knows your child better than you do. That's just the truth. And so you get to be with them at each stage as they're developing and you get to see the changes, you get to see their growth, you get to see where they're lacking and what you need to work on. A teacher that knows them for one year sees very little of that. And they're not really focused on the whole child. Usually, they're focused just on academics and the things that they need to report to their boss. So I really want to stress that, that you do not need to be a teacher. You are the best thing for your child." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 13:03 I worry my kids are missing out. 14:41 Reading aloud to my kids is hard. 16:52 I struggle with keeping a routine. 18:56 I have no idea how I'm doing. Am I failing or winning? How would I know? 23:02 Using humor or potty language to get kids invested in their lessons. 26:42 Lots of moms expressed gratitude at how Covid-19 forced them to homeschool since it's actually been a great experience overall. 32:19 I buy gobs of curriculum but don't use it all. 34:38 Having a strong motivation to homeschool helps you stay the course when you want to give up. 35:57 It's okay to cut out everything except the 3Rs during times of stress. 37:34 In the survey, a lot of moms confessed to feeling like a failure. DeeDee, Ximena, and Janna address these common self-doubts. 39:49 Dealing with electronics, screens, and gaming. 44:46 History is actually fun when it's learned through real books! 46:58 Being with your kids all the time can get weary. If you struggle with these 24-7 demands of homeschooling, you are not alone. It's okay to want and take time for yourself! Also take breaks from lessons when you need them! SPECIAL SEGMENTS 30:47 Hack of the Week storing supplies on a wheeled cart so you can easily take lessons outside when the weather is nice 00:36 A Memorable Quote "What if, instead of a pass or fail grade, there was a grade of not yet?" from a TED Talk by Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
July 20, 2021
HOMESCHOOLING WHILE WORKING FULLTIME
Linsey Knerl is owner of Knerl Family Media, mom of six, and the author of Homeschool Hacks: How to Give Your Kid a Great Education Without Losing Your Job or Your Mind. In this episode, she talks with DeeDee and Ximena about juggling roles, managing time, and making sure your home runs smoothly. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Linsey: "I'm less of a teacher, more of a superintendent or a manager or administrator. And if you think about how much administrators get paid in school systems and how hard those jobs are and how much goes on, it's a huge role. Is not at all shameful to be like, 'I spent my whole day administrating my child's homeschool.' Because it's a big, big job." Linsey: "Well, I'm not a likable person when I'm doing more than one thing. I've been told that by my husband, and I've been told that by my kids. So just by virtue of not being the most horrible person in their life, I need to calm down and just do one thing at a time." --------------- Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. --------------- TIMESTAMPS 02:31 Linsey tells the story of her homeschool journey. 04:13 How being a terrible planner can make you a better homeschooler. 05:17 How Linsey runs her home with so many children with such a range of ages and needs. 08:38 Linsey sees her role more as a superintendent, manager, or administrator than a teacher. 09:41 Coping with guilt as a homeschool parent who also works. 11:03 Is doing it all even possible? 12:19 Mono-tasking instead of multitasking. 18:00 A typical day at the Knerl home. 20:07 Linsey's curriculum choices. 21:40 How to know things are going well in your homeschool. 23:28 Top hacks from Linsey's book. Why books are so essential to the homeschool. 26:53 Avoid being too formal with organization. 28:09 Get advice from a wide variety of homeschoolers so you never feel like you have to fit a certain mold that doesn't suit you. 29:26 How to handle extracurriculars. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:32 Hack of the Week — Always try before you buy! 16:45 A Memorable Quote —Ray Bradbury said, "Jump and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall."
July 13, 2021
Deschooling is a period of detox when you get yourself out of the public school mentality and into the homeschool way of thinking. It's also the process of rethinking what education means. Not only do children need to deschool but parents also need to make this shift. To help you move from rigid box checking and constant worrying about doing enough into a confident but relaxed perspective, guest June Doran of This Simple Balance shares her own transformation as a mom. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES June: "...deschooling means deconstructing school, really all things school. So saying, 'What does learning look like? What should it look like? What makes a good education, and who decides what that is? What's worth learning? Why are we even learning?' Really asking all of the questions that before were very easy. It was just, 'Oh, send your kids to school. They know all the answers. They have it all.' And instead taking it back into our hands and saying, 'We're going to deconstruct what is school, and we're going to rebuild from the ground up kind of our own definition of what school is and what a good education is and what learning is and what it looks like.'" June: "So for me, the biggest risk would be my homeschool looking exactly like school and for me, the biggest thing was crushing my kids' love of learning, seeing that die in them, and then not being driven to learn the things they want to learn and not having that natural drive." Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:41 June tells how she came to be a homeschooler. 05:29 How a homeschool curriculum catalog moved the needle for June. 07:40 Deschooling means deconstructing all things school. 09:23 DeeDee admits that even after so many years of homeschooling, she still sometimes doesn't consider what she does with her children "real school." 10:02 June's daughter's reluctance to do worksheets moved her to rethink the nature of education. 11:18 June's parents were public school educators, so she felt it was essential to become a confident homeschooler who could answer her family's questions. 12:45 When people find out that you homeschool, their first question is typically, "Do you use a curriculum?" What are they really asking? 13:32 The risks of not deschooling. 16:09 June explains her goal for her kids to operate confidently outside a school system or a box that school puts us into. 21:41 Why you need to have hope, bravery, and faith as a homeschooling parent. 22:55 Practical ways to deschool. Start by reading the history of education. Then read unschooling books like Free to Learn by Peter Gray. Constantly ask why. 26:21 What about unschooling for high school years? 30:56 June talks about curriculum and how reading aloud is the core of her homeschool. 32:33 How long will deschooling take? 33:35 Make choices that will give you confidence as a homeschooler. 34:01 What to avoid during deschooling: don't throw out all structure. Having natural rhythms is good! 35:53 Remind yourself that your children are naturally driven to learn.
July 06, 2021
THERE ARE NO HOMESCHOOL HATS
Tired of swapping out hats, going from parent role to teacher role? Great news! There are no homeschool hats! You are a parent. And parents are teachers—always have been and always will be. Absorb the down-to-earth encouragement from special guest Camille Kirksey who takes a holistic approach to being both mom and teacher, simultaneously. Dissolve the barriers of roles and relax into learning alongside your children without a need to control them or always be the expert. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Meet Camille Kirksey at her two sites: Intuitive Homeschooler and World Homeschooler's Day. Her book is Coming Home, a practical guide for preparing a mother's heart, mind and home for homeschooling. QUOTABLES Camille: "As a mother, I'm very fluid. I do what they need, bottom line. I don't know why that would be any different with the homeschool part of it." Janna: "We're giving you permission to know that you're already a teacher. You're already their mom instructing them in every day situations. It is no different when you're homeschooling." Camille: "It's cultural, it's fear, it's ego. We feel this pressure as homeschoolers. You don't want to miss something. You don't want them to have gaps." Camille: "Homeschool will make you know yourself whether you want to or not. That's a good thing even if it's hard at the time." TIMESTAMPS Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. 06:16 Why Camille's starting question is "Are my heart, mind and home prepared for homeschooling?" 09:06 These questions aren't just for newbies. It's never too late to ask these questions. 10:30 They myth of controlling your kids. 12:03 The power of unlearning and deschooling. 13:15 The holistic approach of parenting as a homeschooler and the myth of homeschool hats. Being a mom is enough. 17:49 Getting outside help as a homeschooler is not bad. You do the same thing as a parent. You consult Google. You search the medicine cabinet. 18:54 The advantages of being a mom-teacher (versus a school teacher). 21:12 Using a just-in-time approach to parenting and homeschooling. 24:44 How and why our children's behaviors can trigger strong reactions in us as parents. 25:15 Letting go of the school-ish authority structures and control to let your kids lead. 30:40 How to handle the fear of not knowing everything as a homeschool teacher. 34:04 Why parents sometimes push kids beyond what is reasonable. 36:47 Letting kids see you as a fallible person. 38:16 How to handle people who are critical of your choice to homeschool. Radical advice — don't talk about it! 43:30 How going outside is often the solution. 46:20 Think of yourself as a partner with your child. 50:05 Your end goals for your kids probably won't be achieved via worksheets or textbooks but by the time you spend with them.
June 29, 2021
HOW TO SPEND YOUR SUMMER
It's summer! Tune in for suggestions of how to spend these precious weeks of freedom. Hosts DeeDee and Ximena suggest having a loose plan with some academic and life skills goals. You may want to go all out and do a special science or history camp or book club with your homeschool co-op this summer or have a more low-key experience at home catching up on the things you didn't have time for during the school year. Consider typing, driving, cooking, laundry, or a craft like knitting. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES DeeDee: "...let your kids be creative during the summer and explore new hobbies. And this is always important to me, but they're not going to do it if you let them be couch potatoes." DeeDee: "Well then you can also just think, we have to work on reading, writing and arithmetic. Because the three R's, right? That's the foundation of our learning. So what books are you going to read this summer? And what... like you were saying about math facts, how are you going to keep your math facts sharp? Whether it's playing a game online on your computer or playing Yahtzee your regular rotation, or whatever it is that you think ahead so that you're prepared, you're planning to have it. And then some writing, my kids love writing books or short stories. So encouraging them to do that during the day summer." Special thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:27 Take a long summer break or opt for year-round schooling? (Episode 8 is about year-round homeschooling.) 04:15 Ximena likes to enjoy summer break but still include some homeschool activities to keep a rhythm and avoid bad attitudes. 06:48 Learning loss can happen during the summer. Ximena tells a story about bombing an assessment in second grade due to summer brain drain! 08:15 Summer homeschooling is a perfect time to get caught up or ahead on a particular topic or dive into something very fun like knitting or cooking or photography. 11:16 About limiting screentime during the summer. 16:50 Practical tips for creating a summer schedule for your homeschool. 19:20 Get older kids to provide input to help craft the plan. 20:17 Older kids can work on typing, driving, or learning how to do laundry. Try a fun unit study. 22:58 DeeDee and Ximena talk about their summer science camp. 24:58 Their epic Washington DC summer trip and their US History Cram Camp to prepare for it! 25:57 Help your kids plan their summer activities so they actually do them! 26:49 Have a summer book club. SPECIAL SEGMENTS Hack of the Week 01:06 Use a boogie board tablet to make writing more fun (and to save paper). Weekly Reflection 14:12 How fast the kids grow up. Savor each moment instead of worrying so much!
June 22, 2021
HOMESCHOOL MYTH BUSTERS
The worst homeschool myths make parents afraid to try homeschooling. This episode is here to put your mind at ease with a behind-the-scenes look at what homeschooling is really like. No, it's not all peaches and rainbows. But it isn't drudgery or non-stop frustration either! These six myths are legitimate fears, but don't let them keep you from homeschooling if you want to. All of these can be overcome. Tune in as your hosts Ximena and DeeDee dispel the exaggerations, stereotypes, and outright misinformation with facts and their own personal stories. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Special thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "Homeschool allows you the freedom to step off the highway of learning and take a more scenic route along the dirt road. ... You're not on this conveyor belt of education, where everybody's the same. No, no. You are taking the scenic route. You're learning the way you learn. You're homeschooling your way, guys." Ximena: "And your kids can end up being sheltered and weird if you raise them up that way, but that can happen even if they go to regular school." TIMESTAMPS 02:16 MYTH 1: You are a parent not a teacher, so you're not qualified to teach your children. 04:32 MYTH 2: Homeschooled children don't get as good of an education as traditionally schooled children. 05:35 MYTH 3: Homeschoolers have a hard time getting into college. 06:18 MYTH 4: Homeschoolers miss out on sports and on other important social activities like school theater or prom. 07:13 MYTH 4: Homeschooled kids are sheltered and unsocialized, and therefore weird. 08:58 MYTH 6: Homeschooling is too expensive. 17:59 MYTH 1 DEBUNKED: You've been teaching your children from day one. You already are their teacher! 20:34 MYTH 2 DEBUNKED: Homeschooled kids get to do so many more field trips and hands-on learning that you just don't get in a classroom. The curriculum and pace can be customized to the child. It's an excellent education. 23:58 MYTH 3 DEBUNKED: Colleges want the homeschooled kids because they perform so much better! 26:36 MYTH 4 DEBUNKED: Many states allow homeschooled kids to participate alongside public schoolers in different sports or extracurriculars. And homeschoolers form local groups to hold dances and other social events that schools typically provide their students. 29:50 MYTH 5 DEBUNKED: Homeschooled kids are not just social. They are social butterflies! 32:20 MYTH 6 DEBUNKED: There are ways to homeschool affordably. And homeschooling is loads cheaper than private school! SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:23 Hack of the Week Do your weekly homeschool planning on Saturday (not Sunday night). 13:32 A Memorable Quote "The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home."
June 15, 2021
WHAT YOU COULD LOSE IF YOU STOP HOMESCHOOLING
Homeschooling has a lot of perks. If you send your kids back to public school, you may not completely lose these perks, but they are a heck of a lot harder to achieve! Spending extra time with your children and being immersed in their day-to-day learning creates a unique dynamic that you can't easily recreate when your children are at school all day. Join Janna, DeeDee and Ximena as they explore what you might lose if you stop homeschooling. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "... a lot of the things that scare parents is, 'I'm not qualified, I'm failing my kids,' right? But really what we want to end with ...is that our goal is to nurture a love of learning for them, right? Because once we teach them how to love learning, they can learn anything in life. So if you keep that as your number one goal, then your kids are going to be okay. TIMESTAMPS 04:50 If you put your kids back in school, the biggest change will immediately be the lack of flexibility. 12:19 If you stop homeschooling, you'll lose personalized learning. 15:02 You won't be able to provide your kids that soothing, comfortable safe spot for learning (your home). 21:20 Life skills are more easily taught in a homeschool environment, things like cooking, cleaning, and handicrafts. 23:38 Ximena's daughter confided in her that she's afraid she'll grow up and not know how to do things and will make mistakes in life. 24:56 As a homeschooler, you can help your child learn problem solving with day-to-day situations. In a traditional school setting, a teacher has a lesson to teach and can't always make time for detours. 27:01 Why "I don't know" is such a great sentence to use as a homeschooler. 27:08 Socialization! Contrary to myth, homeschoolers actually have more opportunity for socialization and conflict resolution than kids in school. 30:34 Living life at an unhurried pace. Homeschooling gives you the gift of more time. 31:27 Quality control over what your kids are learning, how deep to go, the pace to work at, etc. 33:45 A homeschool mindset creates more of a love of learning and a lifestyle of curiosity compared to a traditional school mindset which focuses mainly on getting things done. 35:36 When we homeschool, we get to learn alongside our kids! It's fun to finally learn the things we missed in school (or forgot). We have so much fodder for great family conversations about history, science, and so on. 38:51 Homeschooling provides a very high quality of education that a traditional classroom cannot provide. 43:02 You'll read so many books together as a family as homeschoolers. 47:21 Ximena recalls her exhausted lifestyle when her daughter went to school. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:02 Hack of the Week —Frequent timed breaks 20:28 A Memorable Thought — Enjoy your kids more. Read more What You’ll Lose if You Stop Homeschooling After Covid Four Reasons to Keep Homeschooling Even After Schools Reopen Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
June 08, 2021
A THRIVING HOMESCHOOL VS. HOMESCHOOLING IN A PANDEMIC
Hosts DeeDee and Ximena want to say "well done" to all of the podcast listeners. This has not been an easy year and a half for any of us. As a listener, you care about your kids. You've tried your absolute best and you're still trying. They know you love your children and no matter how hard the school year was, you did your best! This episode is to debrief some of the tough parts of the school year and give you hope that it will get better! Homeschooling during a pandemic was hard even for seasoned homeschoolers. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 04:09 A lot of new homeschool families can't wait to put their kids back in school! 04:32 Zoom detention is a thing. 🙄 05:41 Contrary to myth, families who homeschooled before the pandemic didn't have an easy time with lockdowns, closures, and social distancing. 07:42 The precious gift of community as a homeschooler. 11:04 Ask yourself these questions to evaluate if homeschooling will be better for you after the pandemic. Question 1: How was my life before homeschooling? And how did homeschooling make it better? What lessons did you learn by slowing down and having your kids at home? 11:58 For the challenges you faced, were they actual homeschool problems or were they pandemic problems that you would have faced anyway? 12:27 Ask "How has the pandemic impacted me emotionally and psychologically?" 14:31 Train your brain with habits that eliminate the need for willpower. 15:08 The comfort of routines and structure. 16:35 Find a community! 19:42 The pandemic taught Ximena to relax a bit more in her homeschool, to play more games and flex more. 21:31 Creating an atmosphere with candles, music, etc. Taking brain breaks with physical activity. SPECIAL SEGMENTS Hack of the Week — making your home the teen hangout A Memorable Quote —"For the strength of the pack is the wolf. And the strength of the wolf is the pack" by Rudyard Kipling. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
June 01, 2021
SHOULD I HOMESCHOOL AGAIN NEXT YEAR?
If you started homeschooling because of the pandemic, you have a big decision ahead: Will I homeschool again next year? And actually, nearly all homeschool families revisit this decision periodically. Our kids change; circumstances change. And it's important to be sure you're still making the right choice. In this episode DeeDee explains why her son is going to private school and the mixed feelings she has about it. Listen in for food for thought as you make the decision for how to educate your children for the upcoming school year. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "... in the classroom setting, it's really survival mode. Right? How do I not get bullied? How do I not get teased? And really at home, we're teaching them true conflict resolution, true life skills, the true value of relationships." TIMESTAMPS 02:50 DeeDee explains why she's not homeschooling her son next school year. 06:41 It can take 2-3 years of homeschooling to find your groove. 12:00 Pros and cons of homeschooling. Con #1: Homeschooling takes a lot of effort and intentionality. It's hard. 17:22 Con #2: More housework because all of you are home more often. 18:51 Con # 3: It's very time consuming. It can be hard to balance the demands of homeschooling with working. 20:11 Pro #1: Flexibility and quality time. 22:09 Pro #2: A quality education. 24:04 Pro #3: Character development and socialization. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:16 Hack of the Week — use Alexa as a chore chart 10:54 Weekly Reflection —"We're so worried about leaving a better planet for our kids. How about we leave better kids for the planet?" Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
May 25, 2021
SUPER CHARGE YOUR HOMESCHOOL WITH CO-OPS, CHARTERS, & BOOKSHARK VIRTUAL
Learn how to leverage the power of the village through co-ops, hybrid learning, and virtual options. All of these learning avenues can extend your at-home experience and build a supportive community for you and for your children. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. TIMESTAMPS 02:35 Homeschool Co-ops Co-ops are great for community and for electives beyond your main curriculum. 14:08 Hybrid homeschooling Hybrid situations are great for families that want to homeschool but don't want to bear all of the responsibility alone or totally DIY. They want the co-op, but they don't want to have to put the co-op together. With a hybrid approach, you do some of your learning at home and a few days a week you meet at an in-person co-op for additional learning. 26:19 BookShark Virtual BookShark Virtual provides accountability and recordkeeping for homeschoolers who want more support. This online interface tells the student what pages to read from the books, presents the questions, and a provides place to record their work. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:00 Self-care Your Way meal planning that includes a weekly taco night and pizza night 24:42 What We’re Reading Dr. Ruth Beechick's book The Three R's Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
May 18, 2021
HOW TO MAKE SCIENCE WORK AT HOME
Shed your science insecurities and join your kids as a fellow learner! That's the main advice in this podcast hosted by Janna with special guest Amy Ratliff, curriculum designer at BookShark. Amy says that the biggest part of teaching your kids science is to engage their curiosity. Enjoy the scientific process even when things don't go exactly right. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Amy: "There's actually a million and one variables that go into every experiment ever, and if anything is slightly off, it can throw the rest of the experiment off. So I think that's one of the reasons that doing science at home can be more difficult, is because you expect it to go well, and if anything goes slightly off, you're like, 'Why is the science not working? Why is science not perfect?' And it's because there's just a million and one variables and something's changing." Janna: "So there's really not failure in science. And maybe that's what parents need to hear, is that when something doesn't have an expected outcome, it's not a failure. It's not that it didn't work. It's just a jumping off point to start again in a different way." Janna: "And I think maybe I needed to hear that I have permission to mess up while doing science experiments with my children because that really is part of the process." TIMESTAMPS 02:23 Guest Amy Ratliff, a curriculum writer at BookShark, introduces herself. 03:38 What to do when you've followed the directions to a tee, but the science experiment still failed. 06:26 Teaching children about experimentation — trial and error. 07:21 The difference between the scientific model and a scientific experiment. 11:44 Teaching science with a project-based approach. 12:45 Teaching science with unit studies. 18:59 Using living books to learn science. Some parts of science lend themselves very well to being told through a story. Amy provides the example of Mendel and his study of genetics. 23:19 Pointers for teaching science at home: 1. See what's sparking interest and capitalize on that. 24:39 2. Have perseverance, be a curious and humble learner. 25:44 Recognize that you've already taught your kids a lot of science informally simply through life and discussions! SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:13 Self-care Your Way ice cream in the bathtub every Sunday night while watching a program taking my husband grocery shopping on a Friday or Saturday afternoon, combined with lunch out and any other errands we need to do 17:53 What We’re Reading The Great Gatsby on audiobook Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
May 11, 2021
KNOW YOUR HOMESCHOOL WHY
Your homeschool why is your motivation or reason to homeschool. You might phrase it as a goal or even a vision statement. Special guest Candice Kelly from Homeschool on the Hill uses a simple list of pros and cons she can reference to affirm her choice to homeschool. It's a living document that she adds to from time to time. Join host Janna and Candice in this talk about the reasons to homeschool and how to stay motivated whether you're doing it for only one year or long term. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Candice: "... your homeschool why could change entirely or it just grows. I feel like the more homeschool moms I've spoken with, the more I hear that. I just keep finding more reasons to continue homeschooling and that's been the case for me." TIMESTAMPS 02:30 Candice's introduction. 03:21 Having a clear motivation to homeschool helps you over the long haul when homeschooling gets rough. 04:31 Candice tells the story of her false start with homeschooling and how a lack of confidence nearly sabotaged her. 05:49 Janna tells her own story of opting to homeschool. 07:20 Why more family togetherness may not work as an extended motivation to homeschool once the kids actually are around you 24-7. 08:42 Your motivation to homeschool may vary for each child. 13:54 How do outside opinions affect the choice to homeschool and the decision to keep going? 26:26 What's so important about knowing your why? 28:22 Why Candice keeps a pro/con list for public school, too. 30:31 It's okay to take the same liberties that public school teachers do: putting on a movie, going outside, etc. 31:37 How a 4-day school week tempers the drive to be all business and no fun. 32:19 What happened when Candice's son went back to public school for a semester of 9th grade. 33:50 Candice elaborates on her own personal reasons to homeschool, chief of which is time spent together as a family. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:17 Self-care Your Way Staying up late to watch TV solo. 25:04 What We’re Reading Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
May 04, 2021
WHAT DO STANDARDS MEAN FOR MY HOMESCHOOL?
When we're thinking about standards, it's common to worry our children will be behind. The good news is that it's easy to know what your state standards are because they are very clear and published online. You can compare your curriculum to the standards and reassure yourself that you're covering all the bases. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Lynn: "Again, don't be afraid of the standards, it's just a measure by which each state wants to make sure that they're doting their Is and crossing their t's so that they know that they're educating with the funds that they're given federally and state wide. That's the reason of their concern, and that's one of the things that we just need to do when you get that educationally-funded monies for your curriculum. If you're a traditional homeschool family that isn't getting any funding, of course you want to make sure your kids are being educated. So perhaps you do your testing but you really probably don't need to follow a state standard. It's those people and the families that are using that government funding that they do need to make sure that they're hitting those standards." TIMESTAMPS 03:54 Schools are accredited, but curriculum is not. 04:52 Standards are set by states. Homeschoolers really don't have to follow them in most cases. But some homeschoolers do like to follow standards. Or some families who homeschool through a charter (like in California) do have to meet standards. 09:20 You can look up your state's standards online. 10:13 Lynn shares how different BookShark programs meet California standards. 12:32 Coming in 2021, BookShark is releasing an updated Science that meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). 14:40 For parents who are temporarily homeschooling and expect to put their kids back in public school, keeping up with standards is important. 17:33 Lynn tells the story of a homeschool mom who thought she was doing a bad job, so she put her child back into public school. Turns out the child was far ahead of her peers. The mom was just filled with self-doubt and was actually doing a great job. 24:33 You actually are covering the standards as a homeschooler. You're reading and discussing and exposing your kids to all the things outlined in state standards. 32:26 If you'd like more reassurance about covering the standards, give your child a standardized test at the end of the school year. 37:26 Don't panic if your child's test scores are average or below average. 38:36 Compare your child's end of year to beginning of year instead of comparing to to other kids. Celebrate your own child's progress. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:15 Self-care Your Way making a walk with friends a priority 22:38 What We’re Reading The Great and Terrible Quest, a read-aloud from Level G Reading with History from BookShark Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
April 27, 2021
RAISE YOUR HAND FOR HELP WITH HOMESCHOOL MATH
You don't have to be math-minded to effectively homeschool your child. This common misconception has intimidated parents, diminishing their confidence to pursue math. In this episode special guest Ken Hively, homeschool dad to 6 children and creator of My Math Assistant, shares practical applications for math at home. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ken: "...if you're going to learn anything, whether it's a skill or a subject, the way you learn that is through repetition over time. And so the way that Saxon Math was really set up was you're going to review these concepts, not just for a little bit of time to pass a test, you're going to review them throughout the entire book." Ken: "I definitely recommend Saxon math. When it comes to switching curriculums, having homeschooled for like 12 years now, I think that sometimes we as parents, we are a little bit too quick to maybe blame the curriculum. If you're thinking, 'Maybe my math curriculum is not working well,' I would stop and ask some questions about why is it not working well. It could be that you're just not using it the way it was intended to be used. It could be that you don't understand it well enough. It could be character issues with your child." Ken: "We don't do all of the problems necessarily. And especially if a kid has one of those brains that picks up math really well, it's possible they really don't need that much review. But if your child has any struggles with math at all, that review is there for a reason." Ken: "Don't be afraid to slow down a little bit. You don't have to keep up with that family that's got the eight year old doing pre-calculus. We all know that family and that's great for them. You don't have to keep up with somebody else's pace. Go with the pace that your child needs to go at to really master what they're trying to learn." TIMESTAMPS 02:24 Ken tells his background as a homeschool dad. 03:21 How different ages need different approaches with math. 04:41 Helping kids begin to be independent math learners at around grade 4. 05:02 Ken explains why he loves Saxon Math and tells a bit about its approach. 06:48 About the tests in Saxon Math and how Saxon uses repetition to teach and help kids retain. 07:41 How to troubleshoot when you feel your math curriculum is not working well. 08:46 How the time of day can affect your math success. HINT: Don't put math at the end of the day. 09:36 Isn't the repetition in Saxon boring? How can you make it more interesting? The importance of repetition and practice. 12:02 How to manage daily math lessons. Ken suggests doing math year-round instead of taking a summer break. This way, you can slow down the pace. 17:29 Why memorizing math facts is a counterintuitive solution for math anxiety. 18:16 Ken tells the story of his son who isn't naturally a math whiz. And when the child would forget his math skills, Ken assumed he was being disobedient. But actually Ken realized the problem was that he wasn't that great of a math teacher, so he adjusted his methods and used games to teach. It worked! 23:03 The fear of falling behind with math. 25:22 The ongoing struggle of grading math and how My Math Assistant helps.
April 20, 2021
TEACHING MULTIPLE AGES AND STYLES: YOU CAN DO THIS!
Homeschooling a wide swath of ages and personalities means juggling multiple needs at once. Tanya has found success by combining her children as much as possible with a literature-based curriculum. She makes adjustments for each child as needed, but she doesn't create her own lesson plans. Learn why Tanya finds life skills so important and hear her tips for extracurriculars, socialization, and finding community in this encouraging episode. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Janna: "We're never really behind when we're teaching our children the love of learning." Tanya: "...each child is different. So, I cater to that, and I don't necessarily follow what schools are doing. It's not of interest to me. I do follow what the requirements for college [are for my children who] are going to college. But as far as what the public schools are doing ..., I don't pay any attention." TIMESTAMPS 02:34 Tanya introduces herself. She has five children, ages 17, 17, 16, 14, and 12. She has been homeschooling for seven years, combining all her children with a literature-based education. 3:34 How she combines so many children and what it looks like day to day. 06:52 If you teach multiple children together, won't the older ones get behind? 10:14 How can you combine so many children when they have different learning styles? 13:04 Answering questions from curious onlookers and family members. 20:43 Using curriculum that's already planned out makes homeschooling so much easier. And if your state asks what you're studying, just use the scope and sequence from the curriculum to show them. (See BookShark's scope & sequence here.) 22:30 Finding community as a homeschooler: your library, Facebook groups, local community center activities. 25:54 Extracurricular activities. 28:58 When you feel like you're behind, not on grade level, remember that homeschooling is a different approach. Testing isn't necessary. And your kids are soaking in so much knowledge that you don't realize. The process really does work! 32:47 If you are homeschooling for only a short while, be sure to take advantage of the time you have at home together to teach life skills: laundry, dishwasher loading, budgeting, organizing the basement, etc. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:00 Self-care Your Way finishing projects leaving things that don't bring pleasure 24:01 What We’re Reading Janna recently joined a book club where she's reading Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fei Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
April 13, 2021
HOMESCHOOLING HIGH SCHOOL
When you hit the high school years, yes, you need a plan, and it's best to stick with it instead of flip flopping around. But that doesn't mean you throw out all the fun! Learn how to relax through the high school years with special guest Candice Kelly who has already graduated one son. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Candice: "... when you get into high school, you really have to have a four year plan. You can't just wing it, year by year." Candice: "... before we're concerned about not hitting certain milestones, maybe we need to really look at ... well, what is our plan? And, is this plan actually a customized plan for this child?" Candice: "... the number one thing I would say to myself is just relax." TIMESTAMPS 03:40 Introduction to the guest, Candice Kelly who has a 7th grader, a 10th grader, and one graduate. Subscribe to Candice's Homeschool on the Hill YouTube channel. 05:04 Candice's story about flip flopping between homeschooling and public school with her oldest because of her fears about homeschooling high school. 06:11 Why, in many states, you really need to choose how you are going to do high school and then stick with it. 09:31 How your role changes as a homeschool mom during the high school years. 11:18 Taking the courses alongside your teen. 13:24 How Candice is using her son's online course to allow for more independence and responsibility. 16:23 How BookShark's 4-day schedule helps make high school years enjoyable. 20:47 The challenge of athletics for homeschoolers in high school. 27:07 Remember that kids can earn high school credits before they are freshmen if the course work applies. 27:45 You do not have to teach it all yourself! There are so many options for online courses, co-ops, and dual enrollment. 28:24 Your teens will spend more and more time away from home, so enjoy your final years with them. 30:13 Preparing teens for college and for life. 31:14 Help your teens towards independence. Outside accountability is good for this. 31:59 How to motivate a resistant high schooler. Candice shares how her son likes to work ahead on his lessons late at night. 33:31 It's okay to help your teens. They aren't expected to be totally independent. 35:04 Be sure your high school plan is custom for the individual teen, not based on comparisons to others. 37:27 Even when teens are working independently, be sure to have regular check-ins to discuss the work and connect emotionally. 38:59 Candice's advice to her younger self: "I would say, 'Oh my gosh, Candice Kelly, relax. It is not that big of a deal." 39:16 Making a high school transcript is not a big deal. But do talk to someone in your state who knows what's required for graduation. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:26 Self-care Your Way digital organizing: cleaning out Gmail and Google Drive accounts ear massage 25:21 What We’re Reading To Kill a Mockingbird The Red Scarf Girl The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy The Great Gatsby Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
April 06, 2021
LITERATURE-BASED LEARNING: THE NATURAL APPROACH
Literature-based learning works! It's also called the natural approach to language arts. In this episode, product specialist Lynn Woodley explains the ins and outs of how a natural lit-based education works. She also tackles the common objections to this style of homeschooling, demonstrating that it produces children and teens who can think critically and write expressively. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Janna: "And I think one of our goals is to create lifelong learners. And so as we're going through this process, I think when parents are uncomfortable with something that they don't quite understand it's a beautiful opportunity to say, you know what? I'm not quite sure. Let me look back and let me see what my instructions are. Let me see where I need to take a step back and maybe readjust how I'm explaining it to you. My children are so good at telling me that I'm not doing it right. And instead of being offended, or taken aback by that, I've really had to humble myself. I think homeschooling and humility should really be synonymous to know that you're right, I made a mistake there. I'm going to go ahead and do some research because as an adult I am still a lifelong learner." Lynn: "I would encourage all of you to remove the negative labels. Don't say that they're behind because they're not. They're just placed where they are. Nobody has to know, not even your friends, not even your family. If they can't accept it that a child is taking a little longer to read they don't have to know where they're at because you really want that approach, this natural approach to be able to just naturally move along. The natural approach really is a solid, very solid approach. You will create children who can cognitively, logically think through life, have compassion and empathy just because of the manner of the philosophy." TIMESTAMPS 04:57 Lynn shares how her son's writing blossomed with a natural approach to language arts. 06:21 A natural, literature-based approach helps children and teens think more critically and more logically. 07:50 Ruth Beechick PhD is the educator who best explained this method. 08:48 The ultimate goal of language arts is communication, especially writing. That's why the natural approach uses copywork to teach writing. 12:32 Tips for troubleshooting the child who balks at copywork or dictation. 15:26 With the natural approach, grammar is taught indirectly through examples and through the books children ingest. 19:31 What if your kids don't like to read? 20:30 The power of mimicking good role models of literature. 25:47 Reading aloud means your can provide your children with higher level academic content (like history and science) regardless of their own reading level. 30:11 Forget about negative labels. Don't even think of your child as behind. Instead embrace your child's pace as the right rate of development. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:44 Self-care Your Way Gluten free muffins at Sprouts, devoured in the parking lot! 24:48 What We’re Reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot The HeLa cell was taken from Henrietta Lacks without her knowledge in 1951, and became the most important tool in medicine vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. To date, her family has never been compensated for the gift her cells have given to the medical field. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
March 30, 2021
HOMESCHOOLING MIDDLE SCHOOL
The middle school years are a bridge between childhood and adolescence. Make the most of this quirky period with your tweens and teens because homeschooling these years can be really fun! Kids are still young enough to enjoy read-alouds and field trips but old enough to take more accountability for their studies and direct their own interest-led units. Tune in to get more tips for teaching grades 6, 7, and 8 at home. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "It's really important to remember ... you're teaching them during middle school how to be more independent. You're not letting them be fully independent just yet. There's still a lot of accountability." DeeDee: "... in this age range is when... we're going to give them more choices, but then we're going to have to let them deal with some consequences. And that can be tough." Ximena: "That's really hard for me—to let them deal with the consequences of their choices and let them quote, unquote, fail. It's hard." Ximena: "[Middle schoolers] are still kids. So be patient with them ... their brains aren't fully developed. That's actually a fact, we're not being funny. Brains aren't fully developed until they're 26 ..." TIMESTAMPS 03:10 Middle school is a time of transition when tweens and teens need less handholding and become more independent learners with more freedom. 03:27 Why middle schoolers still need accountability. 05:08 Giving middle schoolers more choice about what they are learning and doing more interest-led studies. 05:37 Ask your kids "What do you want to do?" 06:02 Taking an informal, interest-based approach to science and history in younger years helps kids be more interested in the topics for their high school years. 07:05 How lit-based learning pays off during the middle school years. [Listen to episode 2 Introduction to Lit-based Homeschooling] 09:20 Life skills take on new importance during middle school years. 10:32 Puberty! [Listen to episode 29 Homeschooling Teens & Tweens] 11:24 When middle schoolers deal with insecurity. 12:24 Middle schoolers need friends, so socialization is a priority! 13:24 Letting kids deal with consequences, letting them fail, and not jumping in to rescue them all the time. 16:44 TIP 1: Plan homeschool with your middle schoolers' input. InvolvE them in decision making and troubleshooting. 19:07 TIP 2: Keep reading aloud. 20:10 TIP 3: Prepare for high school, especially with writing and math. Use games during the summer to boost math skills that were missed. [Listen to episode 32 Gameschooling] 22:18 TIP 4: Protect their sleep and encourage good nutrition. 24:45 TIP 5: Have fun. Don't take school too seriously. Keep reading and taking field trips and being silly. 26:26 Be very intentional about and make time for positive peer experiences.
March 16, 2021
HOMESCHOOLING THE ELEMENTARY YEARS
The elementary years lay a foundation for your child's entire education and forge family memories you all can cherish. Make the elementary years a fun, pressure-free experience for your kids by letting your children set the pace with academics and letting their interests inform your choices. Because DeeDee and Ximena are already past the elementary years, they invited special guest Lindsay to help them chat about the younger years. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "... the reading, the writing, and the math — that's really what we should be focusing on ... As long as you're reading and writing and doing math constantly, they're going to grow." DeeDee: "I heard somebody say once, 'If you're trying to build a fence in the winter, you are going to expend so much more energy because the ground is hard. But if you wait until spring, you can get the fence up in a weekend.' And sometimes, our kids, developmentally, are not ready for what we're trying to get them to do. But once they are ready, man, they get it like that ... we don't have to be in a rush to get through the material. It is much more about laying that firm foundation." Ximena: "... homeschooling and parenting are not different. During parenting, you're going to deal with attitudes, and during homeschool you're going to deal with attitudes because it's part of life. It's just part of life." Lindsay: "...when you push too hard, it's very, very hard for the mom. And then you get impatient, and then it's not so fun. So just relax ... because elementary years are supposed to be fun." TIMESTAMPS 03:14 Introducing special guest Lindsay Rincon from Momma Schmooze Reviews. 04:29 Lindsay's journey from being a homeschooled teen to being a homeschool mom herself. 05:46 Lindsay's homeschool style: eclectic Charlotte Mason, lots of unit studies and literature-based learning. 06:42 Milestones to look for in the elementary years of homeschooling. 07:31 The importance of the 3Rs. 08:18 The fear of teaching your kids to read. 09:17 The beauty of a 4-day school week. READ MORE 10:47 Goals to have during the elementary school years. 12:25 Lindsay takes an organic approach to habit training, integrating it into her day. 15:04 The importance of valuing each child individually. The power of a reward system. 20:46 Let kids' passions and interests guide your homeschool. This will spark a love of learning in the early years and keep curiosity alive. READ MORE 22:42 When handling a reluctant elementary learner, remember to let the child set the pace. 24:06 How can a homeschool mom who's tired and burned out find renewal? 25:52 Homeschool hacks: Getting homeschool resources at thrift shops, having a homeschool mom-friend. 27:22 Scissor/cutting skills 28:21 A typical homeschool day for Lindsay and her two children. 30:45 One piece of advice for your past self: relax a little bit!
March 09, 2021
INSTILLING A GROWTH MINDSET IN YOUR HOMESCHOOL
Do your kids give up easily when challenged? Are they perfectionists, afraid to try something new or afraid to fail? Do they make excuses for performing poorly with cop-outs like "I'm just not good at math." If so, they need a dose of GROWTH MINDSET. Learn how to celebrate victories, no matter how small, and build a sense of persistence into your kids with positive self-talk and a focus on the process instead of the outcome. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES DeeDee: I really love that ... worksheet where you look at ... something I wanted to learn, I worked hard at it, and then I conquered it. Really seeing, "Hey, I've done that in the past. I can apply that same tenacity, that same energy, into this challenge." That's really powerful, whether it's something with art or an instrument or even a challenging math concept. Ximena: It takes getting things wrong in order to get things right. TIMESTAMPS 02:41 What is a growth mindset and what is its opposite — the fixed mindset. When students believe that they can actually get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger, therefore they put in the extra time and effort it takes to achieve that goal. So, that's the growth mindset. 03:54 Growth mindset helps kids overcome challenges. 06:08 Telling kids they are good at something is not helpful. Instead, praise their HARD WORK at overcoming challenges. 07:08 So much talent and skill goes to waste when we have a fixed mindset. 07:50 Kids who think intelligence is static tend to avoid challenges, ignore useful negative feedback and feel threatened by the success of others. They will plateau early and achieve less than their full potential. 08:48 Intelligence can be developed. A growth mindset gives people a greater sense of free will. 10:28 With a fixed mindset, you avoid anything that may show you're not smart. 15:05 Parents need a change of mindset as much as kids do. And it starts with our speech. 15:36 Examples of a fixed mindset: "It's okay, honey, math is hard." "Don't worry, I'm not much of a reader either." Relate to your kids in their weaknesses, but don't coddle their limits. We can all grow! More to read about Growth Mindset 4 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset in Your Homeschool Say This, Not That: 10 Perfect Phrases to Develop a Growth Mindset The Scoop on Negative Self-Talk in Your Homeschool 18:00 Practice and praise purposeful effort. Avoid negative self-talk because that teaches kids to talk to themselves the same way. 19:42 Find joy in the process (instead of the outcome). 22:11 Encourage reflection to evaluate and celebrate growth. 24:11 See weaknesses as an area for growth. 24:50 Learn for the sake of learning. It's fun! 25:18 Read biographies of scientists who struggled to discover or create. These are great role models for having a growth mindset. 25:29 Quick phrases that we can swap in our homeschool via @theconfidenthomeschooler.
February 23, 2021
GAMESCHOOLING: USING GAMES TO LEARN
Learn how to make games, play, and fun part of your homeschool with special guest Jessica Waldock from The Waldock Way. Jessica has a special game plan (get it?) where she chooses one academic subject each day to learn through games. If a week goes by when they haven't used games, then they have a full day of games! Gameschooling can be board and card games, but it can also be play in general like having your children jump when they answer a math problem instead of using a worksheet. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Jessica: "But as homeschool moms, we tend to never feel like we're doing enough. And playing a game definitely doesn't feel like enough. But it really is more than enough. And 9 times out of 10, even better than whatever the lesson you were going to do." Jessica: "I'm still hoping, through middle school, to hold to my one game a day for subject or scrap a whole day and play. That's the thing I'm hoping to hold myself to forever." Jessica: "...there's this hurdle to jump over, to learn a new game... 'Oh man, I have to learn this new game,' which is so funny if you think about it. And it's kind of hypocritical because we buy the games so our kids can learn. But then we won't even take the time to learn how to play the games." Jessica: "And that's the goal, right? To cultivate the relationship and to have fun doing it. And games are definitely a great way to do both." TIMESTAMPS 06:54 Jessica shares how she homeschools her way: eclectic, easy, relaxed, unit study homeschoolers. 08:05 What is gameschooling? 08:32 How to justify playing games in your homeschool. 09:37 How Yahtzee turned around Jessica's daughter's frustration with math. 11:02 How games without so-called educational value still benefit your kids: growth mindset, sportsmanship, etc. 12:41 With gameschooling, you have to be willing to trust the process. 13:49 Playing is a far more efficient way of learning something. 14:44 Games don't judge. 19:28 For preK & K, reading and playing games is definitely more than enough. Look into the Educational Insights line of games. 21:26 Professor Noggin games for elementary school. Jessica covers one subject per day via games. 23:05 Join Cait Curley's Gameschooling group on Facebook for lots of game recommendations at every age and for every subject. 24:11 Pro tips for learning new games: Search YouTube for tutorials, then make notes in the margins of the game rules. 26:06 Tips for using games with a child who's a sore loser. 26:59 Super fast games for parents who think they don't have time for playing games. Or single-player games. 27:56 Baby steps for those new to gameschooling. Start with a deck of cards or a pack of dice! 29:13 Relationship is the main thing. And games help you step back from the frustration of academics and enjoy each other through play. 30:06 What do you want your kids to remember when they look back on their years of homeschooling?
February 16, 2021
AVOIDING HOMESCHOOL BURNOUT
Burnout in homeschool is very common and it's almost inevitable if we're not intentional. Sadly, burnout is often our own fault! Learn the signs of homeschool burnout. (Do you have it?) And then find out the ways to resolve or hopefully avoid it. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "I think at the beginning, I did have burnout, at the beginning of homeschool because I was the type... I was still new to homeschooling and I was the type that had so many things planned and I wanted everything to run perfectly. And so I did run out of gas pretty easily because I was working so hard, just doing overboard stuff." Ximena: "do realize that it takes a couple of months for you to get the hang of things and to really figure out what will work for that year. So you got to give yourself that amount of time without the stress of having to have it all together because that will burn you out rather quickly." Ximena: "...feelings of burnout are not necessarily reasons why you should not homeschool, right? Because feelings come and go, and there are just maybe some minor tweaks and adjustments that you need to make in your homeschool in order to avoid [quitting]." DeeDee: "You have to say goodbye to the perfectionist that's living inside of you." DeeDee: "You're not alone. And if you're feeling burned out, it's okay to stop and reset." TIMESTAMPS 03:14 When does burnout tend to strike? 03:37 Why Ximena had burnout very quickly as a homeschooler. (She did it to herself!) 04:51 The signs of burnout. #1 A feeling of dread 06:21 #2 Procrastinating 06:38 #3 Being easily irritated or having meltdowns. 07:30 #4 Hopelessness or depression 09:06 #5 Exhaustion 09:18 Dreaming about putting the kids back into school and quitting homeschool (see ep. 28). 13:36 The main way to prevent burnout is self-care, including sleep, having time with friends/spouse, hobbies, diet/exercise. 16:06 How healthy boundaries prevent burnout. Why doing too much for your kids is bad for them and for you. 18:47 Get rid of unrealistic expectations that are causing you stress. Say goodbye to the perfectionist inside you. 19:54 Avoid comparisons — to other children, to other families, to other parents. 20:41 But don't avoid community! You need friends. Isolation is detrimental to your mental and physical health. 22:42 Change your homeschool routine if being in a rut is contributing to your burnout. Cut out the extras if that will give you more margin. Take a field trip or have a reset day. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 00:57 Self-care Your Way designed a capsule wardrobe bought a nice loungewear set to wear this winter 24:01 What We’re Reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, the prequel of the Hunger Games trilogy Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
February 09, 2021
HOW TO CHOOSE CURRICULUM
One of the most difficult decisions a homeschooler makes is which curriculum to use. For the most part, your choice will carry you through an entire school year, so you want your curriculum pretty close to being the perfect fit. You can always tweak a program to suit you though. It's a lot like buying a formal dress. You may expect to make small alterations to the fit to make is suit your body better, but overall you love the dress. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES DeeDee: "Every curriculum has a plan laid out. So sometimes you do have to just stick with something for a while to see it work." DeeDee: "And then once you try it, give it a fair chance. Commit to keeping that curriculum going for at least one year." Ximena: "... you always can tweak it ... Don't use what you don't like about the curriculum and use what you like." Ximena: "So you definitely do have to do your research. But also know that not everything is set in stone and you kind of have to have a freedom mindset when you're choosing [curriculum] so that you don't get stressed out about it." TIMESTAMPS 04:15 An overview of the different kinds of curriculum: online or computer-based, literature-based (like BookShark), Charlotte Mason style, classical style, unit studies, workbooks, textbook-based, all-in-one program, subscription boxes as supplements, DIY style, eclectic. 13:20 Questions to ask yourself before you buy a curriculum. These are to help you narrow it down to two or three possibilities before you make your final selection. 13:36: Question #1 What homeschool style do you want? 14:39 Why grade levels don't matter much with homeschooling. 15:30 Question #2 How will you be assessing progress? 18:06 Question #3 How involved do you want to be as the parent? 19:54 Question #4 Is it challenging enough for your kids? 21:50 Question #5 Is it enjoyable? 23:14 Question#6 How much money do you want to spend? 24:02 Once your choices are narrowed down, read curriculum reviews online. Cathy Duffy's site is a great resource, and so is YouTube. SPECIAL SEGMENTS 01:04 Self-care Your Way brunch date with girlfriends getting hair done with a purple streak 12:08 What We’re Reading The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore, about the fight between Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla over the patent for the light bulb. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
February 02, 2021
HOMESCHOOLING TEENS AND TWEENS
Little kids are cute, but they are also a ton of work! And that's why homeschooling tweens and teens (even with all the emotions, insecurities, and headphone isolation) is so rewarding! You get to shift in your role and see them blossom in independence. Parenting and homeschooling gets better every year! Tune in to hear what you have to look forward to in the tween/teen years. If you're already there, you will relate to these common frustrations but also the profound joy of raising teens. ★★★ LISTENER COUPON CODE Request your coupon code to use on any purchase at bookshark.com. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com. QUOTABLES Ximena: "Just when you think that you have parenting down, which I don't think we ever get there to where we think we have parenting down, but just when you have like a routine down, or phase, then life just comes at you and they grow up. How dare they?" DeeDee: "Right. You get a good rhythm and routine, and then every year they change, and you have to find the new rhythm." DeeDee: "In elementary school, it's me teaching them, more hands-on, us learning something together. And now, they can learn stuff on their own." Ximena: "I've really enjoyed my kids during this phase. I mean, I've enjoyed them in every phase, but I feel like we laugh so much together now." DeeDee: "I don't think I enjoyed my children as much when they were little. It was so much work all the time." Ximena: "I think it's really important to stay relatable, and don't act like you never went through that insecurity, or you didn't try to defy your parents or whatever. So, I just really try to remember that when I am talking to them, and it's really, really helped." DeeDee: "[Teen years are] when, really, the kids need their parents. I think that is one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling, is just being there." TIMESTAMPS 04:30 The whirlwind of changes when kids hit the tween years: crying, neediness, drama and exaggeration. 06:02 The hygiene issues and (lack of) neatness. 07:18 The insecurities about image. 08:31 Headphone isolation! 09:31 The difficulty of managing screen time. 10:05 And just time management in general. 10:32 When parenting/homeschooling teens, you become more of a coach and let kids become more independent. 12:49 Teens begin to see connections. They can think abstractly, so school gets more interesting. 13:36 Life skills become essential at this stage. 14:54 Let teens have more and more say in their own homeschool experience: courses to take, how to do it, etc. 18:59 Tips for homeschooling middle school and high school. 20:05 Why teens need a little bit of risk or adventure in their lives and how to safely provide that. 21:47 Why teens still need play and creative school activities. 25:04 Keeping the lines of communication open! 29:45 Make room for quality time with your teens. 32:17 Allowing our kids to make more decisions, to mess up, to take on more responsibility. Thanks to show sponsor BookShark. Request a homeschool curriculum catalog or download samples at bookshark.com.
January 26, 2021