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Showing posts with label Advice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advice. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don't be scared, homie

This goes out to you my fellow homeschoolers.  If you are homeschooling, you have probably realized that you are in for the fight of your life.  It is you against the world. Your friends will argue with you or turn on you.  Your parents will very likely disapprove.  You may even have a sibling call children services and report you for bad parenting.  You are truly in for a fight against their misconceptions and prejudices, but don't let the fear make you run.  Stand up tall and prepare to fight.

This video is for you.

But how do you fight?

You can join the Home School Legal Defense Association.  I know I did.  Paying this organization $100 or so dollars a year, just in case I had to fight someone in court, gave me a bit of a sense of security... until I realized what I was funding.   Why I won't be HSLDA's Pansy  I feel like HSLDA is

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Best Kept Homeschool Secret Ever

I don't know if people are really ready to hear this.

In all the years I have homeschooled, I have formulated one well-kept gem.

It is the tool that every successful homeschooler I know (and I know a lot) has relied on.  It has saved many a homeschool disaster and re-railed a lot of  derailed trains.

It is simple.


It's not that serious.  Sit down, put your feet up, let your kids put their feet up too.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Homeschool flip-flopping

True Story:

Friend decides to try homeschooling and puts very desperate sounding messages on FaceBook, so I contact them.  They are at their wits end.  They need help.  They've been homeschooling for just a few months and they are struggling.

I set a lunch date and spend hours upon hours putting together information that I think will be useful to them, and show up at the designated time and place.  We sit down and have the niceties and person informs me that kids are back in school. She gave up.  I'm fine with that, but I am not fine that she wasted my time.  I would have gladly still kept the lunch date, but I wouldn't have spent time preparing

Friday, October 19, 2012

Getting them to learn independently

I recently wrote about 5 homeschool battles I have stopped fighting. One of these battles was trying to teach teenagers.  I mentioned that it was important to teach them a love of learning before they turned 13, because if you did, they would take over their own instruction.

Since I received a request for more information on this point, I thought I would oblige.

Developing a love for learning is a wonderful thing.  It means that your kids can't wait to open their books when they get up in the morning, and are avid researchers who like to report their findings back to you.  I think the key is not so much to develop this love for learning but to not squash it. Children are naturally curious and enthusiastic learners.  We as adults then to have them put aside what they want to learn in order to steer them toward what we think they should learn.  This makes them begin to resent learning and they will rebel against it.

Of course, not all of us want to be unschoolers allowing the children to lead their own education.  There are things we feel they should learn, and it is our job to make sure they learn it. But we can find compromise and balance that will get us what we want and give them what they want.

For my own children, what I did was have them learn from my checklist in the morning, and after lunch, gave them 3 to 4 uninterrupted hours to explore their own interests. They taught themselves to cook.  They played games.  They researched random things on the internet. They read voraciously, and my son taught himself to build computer and create websites... all this happened before the age of 13.

By allowing them to learn on their own, and observing how they learn, I was better able to formulate their high school curriculum to fit how they seemed to learn and their interests.  I was able to gather their curriculum, and create a syllabus with daily checklists so they stayed on task.  They were allowed to move faster if they pleased.  They were allowed to slow down if they needed it as well, and they were encouraged to ask me for help.  They rarely did.  I also allowed them (within reason) to let me know when something wasn't working, and we would find another approach to learning the subject matter we were attempting.

For the most part, this really worked. I let them explore in their younger years to make them eager learners, and they rewarded me by continuing to be eager learners.  However, we did have our hiccups. Sometimes they would proverbially pat me on my head and say "sure mom, I'll get you that term paper right away", or they would just try to skip over whole chapters because they found it boring.  It was my job then to push back, and offer consequences and rewards as appropriate to get the work done.

In addition to the philosophy that I have laid out above, I also kept a bag of one-liners that I used to encourage them and/or keep them in check.

~ Only boring people get bored.  Find the excitement in it.
~ The only person who will get hurt by you not trying your hardest is you.
~ I already graduated high school and went to college.  If you take my advice, you can do it too.
~Do I look like Google?  Look it up.
~You are awesome
~I love you.

I hope that helped.  if this needs any more explaining, please ask. Sometimes I assume that you already know the stuff that is in my head.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homeschooling and money

So how much does homeschooling cost anyway?
Do you need to spend a lot of money to homeschool?
What can I do to lower the cost of homeschooling?

Find these answers in this video


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Teens who want to homeschool should take charge

This is in response to questions on "how do I get my parents to let me homeschool"... it is basically advice to teens.


Hello, this is A. Hermitt, and today I want to address teenagers deciding they want to start homeschooling, and I am going to go ahead and read from an article that I wrote some time ago on this subject.

Excerpt:  I like to peruse questions and answer boards on homeschooling. I also get lots of emails from

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Getting over the first impression of homeschooling

 So before I even get started, I am going to say go read this blog post, then come back.  In the aforementioned post at Hip Homeschool Moms, the writer recounts her very first introduction to homeschooling.  She said something innocently, and was greeted with cutting sarcasm.  I think this happens a lot.  Are we all just so jaded that we can't tell an innocent question from a stupid remark.

 When I think back to some of my earliest introductions to homeschooling, I shudder. 

First there was the family that accosted us as a pool party, all happy, and shiny, and educated, and tried to convince me to homeschool Rambo style. 

Then there was the time I tried to inquire into a homeschool group when I lived in New Orleans.  After describing myself to someone who agreed to meet with me, she almost abruptly hung up the phone.  We were having such a great conversation until I described myself as African American with braids...then it got weird. (This was over a decade ago and in an interesting part of the country).  It was a few years before I looked into homeschooling again.

I am still amazed that I shrugged off the first homeschool co-op meeting I went to where everyone gave a testimony that God told them to homeschool and then practically broke out into a brawl over math curriculum options.  I only went to one homeschool group meeting after that... in 10 years.

So I just want to echo what was said at the aforementioned blog.  That is, if you really care to help new people who may desire to homeschool, be nice.  Don't assume they are an idiot, or wrong for homeschooling.  Be encouraging and kind.... mKay?

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Teaching science and social studies in elementary homeschool

I had a conversation with a new homeschooler today asking about teaching science and social studies to homeschoolers.  She is planning to use Time4learning, and wants to supplement those two subjects.  I followed up our conversation with an email to give her links to specific materials I had mentioned.  Here is the bulk of the email: 

Here are the main books I used for History and science in elementary school grades... and I am still using them!

The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
The Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia

We used Artios Academies classes (one day a week classes) for History through the Arts. Another option is to use the reference books and create a time-line teaching them a different time period each year.  This is very popular with Classical homeschooling methods.

A newer series for teaching history to young ones is The Story of the World series which allows you to teach history in the order it happened.  It reads like a story which children will find fascinating.

For science, I lingered on scientific happenings for the time period the kids were studying as well as using the time4learning science.  We also did some experiments.  My favorite science supplement books for young ones are:

Developing Critical Thinking Through Science Grade 1-3
Developing Critical Thinking through science grade 4-6

These are great for once a week use. 

WalletPop Contributor

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How much does it cost to homeschool? What we pay

Mrs C. asks what you're spending on education stuff and shows off her list.  In 2 parts... part 1 and part 2.  Read it and then come back... I'll wait.

OK now...

I am going to preface my list pay saying, "the cost of the materials and programs I use are not typical of the average homeschool experience, but are unique to the needs to the particular homeschool children in question and the resources the parents have opted to use for their homeschooling needs and pleasure". 

With that said, here goes:

2 Children, grades 10&11, both in a fine arts school for homeschoolers for 12 hours on Tuesdays, and doing mostly AP level work the other 4 days of the week.

  • $24.00 on required T-shirts for arts program. 
  • $40.00 on new dance (jazz) shoes, Leotards, and tights for Daughters Tuesday Dance class. (got great deals on eBay and Amazon.)
  • $50.00 on a film camera for my son's film photography class.  (I got off easy this year.  Last year he took digital photography, and the camera cost over $300... he still uses it.)
  • $50.00 on a case of film for said camera
  • $100 on lab fees for developing film
  • $140 on supplies for son's graphic design class.
  • $5.00 on back to school sale fillers for binders (son's being re-used).
  • $20.00 splurge on daughter Hello Kitty organization folder. (if a 14 year old asks for hello kitty and bats her eyes, momma's gonna buy it for her.
  • $10.00 splurge for daughters Hello Kitty lunch box which will be used once a week.
Tuition for Electives and special classes
  • $4000.00 tuition and fees for 2 homescoolers to take 6 classes each including dance, private music lessons, drama club, & etc.  Each class is only $320 a year which works out pretty cheaply.  I paid more the year I ran all over town doing electives at many different places.  I used to pay $1500 for private piano lessons alone.  (we make monthly payments)
  • $0 daughter's math curriculum (*free online program)
  • $0 son's math curriculum (*free online)
  • $20.00 suggested calculus book to accompany free curriculum (purchased from Amazon)
  • $0  son and daughter's biology (*free online)
  • $10.00 suggested biology book to accompany free curriculum (Amazon)
  • $0  Spanish (using Rosetta stone, purchased 3 years ago for son, and *free online program for daughter)
  • $5.00 suggested Spanish textbook to accompany online program.
  • $70.00 Language arts (For Such A Time As This series)
  • $0.00 History *free online program
  • $0.00 Chinese online curriculum (*free)
  • $10.00 Chinese character book for daughter 
  • $10.00 supplemental historical novels. 
  • $0.00 for additional literature as we used public domain and paperback swap to trade books already read.
Total:   $4564

Per child, roughly $2282...   Compare that to the cost of educating a child in public school which on average us just shy of $10,000
(Without the optional arts classes and related supplies it would only be about $65.00 per child, so you can see that you don't need to have money to homeschool.  You can even form groups and create your own electives, or trade services for elective classes. )

1. I justify spending so much on electives for two reasons.  The kids love it and the girls is especially talented... the boy is shy and this helps him be more outgoing.... I like to think.  Plus he does love it.

2.  I make use of as much free curriculum as possible, so I can spend the homeschool budget on extras.

(ps. in previous and more prosperous years, the kids also took academic classes out of the home one day a week, so they were in classes two days a week and home 3 days doing assignments.  That costs roughly $3500 per child... still far less than what public schools pay and probably near the top of what a homeschooler might pay.)

*See the tab (2010-2011 Curriculum Choices ) at the top of the page for the exact curriculum and books we have settled on.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Quite an influx of homeschoolers this fall

I can hardly believe how many people have informed me that they intend to start homeschooling in the fall. Just this week it must have been five families. All of these families have small kids below grade 4. I am very excited for them.

I have share my favorite homeschool book

I have shared my favorite curricula for young kids, and shared a few homeschool email lists too.

If there are any other new homeschoolers out there, don't be afraid to ask questions and advice from people who have homeschooled for a while and don't be afraid. Before long you will be an old pro too.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Why I wouldn't Use Scholastic for Homeschooling

I noticed some time ago that the Scholastic website had featured articles with homeschooling advice. I found this advice cursory at best as a way to make homeschoolers, who were also their clients, feel a little warm and fuzzy.

Today I came across and article that cemented my feelings about the level on insincerity of Scholastic's dedication to homeschoolers. I find the article Why Homeschooling Isn't Right for Us by Carole Moore just as surface and insincere as many of their other articles like 8 Steps to homeschooling which includes watching for common pitfalls like lack of socialization for parents and kids.

I could go on, but you get the point.... you won't catch me purchasing homeschooling materials from a company that doesn't respect homeschooling enough to write articles that lack any depth at all and continues to perpetuate stereotypes about homeschooling.

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Someone close to you sabotaging your efforts?

Have you ever felt like someone was trying to sabotage your homeschooling efforts? Have people done things that make you wonder if they are just pretending to be agreeable while their actions say otherwise? Do you find that some people have a bad habit of interrupting your homeschool day? If you suspect someone is trying to sabotage your homeschool efforts, you need to take action. read more at

Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How to Prevent Homeschool Sabotage

Here is my latest homeschooling article written for

Have you ever felt like someone was trying to sabotage your homeschooling
efforts? Have people done things that make you wonder if they are just
pretending to be agreeable while their actions say otherwise?


Read more Notes From a Homeschooling Mom

Friday, October 05, 2007