Homeschooling An Introvert

homeschooling the introverted child

I am the parent of six introverts.  I am strongly introverted so it’s no surprise that my kids are too.   Homeschooling an introvert is, in general, easier than homeschooling extroverts.  This is because two of the hallmarks of introverts are quietness and a desire to be at home.  Your extroverted children may clamor to go to school for the social life, but your introverted children will probably be much more content with the homeschool lifestyle.  Still there are a few pitfalls of this personality type that the homeschooling parent should watch for. What is an Introvert? An introvert needs quiet, alone time to recharge and feel comfortable and content.  Too much stimulus from their environment and they are going stir-crazy.  It’s like the opposite of cabin fever. Introverts are not necessarily shy.  Shyness is a fear of what other people think and say about you (or what you think they … click to read more

Planning Your Homeschool Year

Before you even begin a homeschool year, the very best gift you can give yourself (and your kids) is a plan.  Whether you are hyper-organized or totally laid back, a basic homeschooling plan will make everything go more smoothly.  My plan gives me overall inspiration, enthusiasm, and an I-can-tackle-it mentality, and also keeps me on track when my inspiration and enthusiasm wane.  Read on to learn about how planning your homeschool year in advance will make all the difference. Set Goals Goals must come first or else planning your homeschool year won’t have any real substance. My plan is all based around the goals I start with at the beginning of each homeschool year.  My goals help direct everything we do.  They are big picture goals, but because I have taken the time to write them down and really think about them, they infiltrate every one of our school days. … click to read more

Building a Rhythm Into Your School Day Schedule

To make our school day flow more smoothly, with less fussing from the kids, I carefully build a rhythm into our school day schedule.  This means spacing out the breaks, alternating harder subjects with easier ones and group subjects with individual subjects.  I also incorporate motivation right into the day. I’ll walk you though our school day schedule and why we do it the way we do it. Begin With A Group Lesson We start with a group subject, in our case memory work, grammar, and then spelling.  This helps us all begin the day together at the same time and means the first subject of the day is interactive and interesting without too much demanded of the student.  It’s a nice way to break into the day.  But it’s also academic and tells them we’re really learning today and demanding things will be expected of you. Next Is A … click to read more

Ten Habits of Happy Homeschoolers

I’ve been around the homeschooling block.  I often think back to my first few years and the things that I worried over incessantly.  The nights that I stayed up lesson planning and scrutinizing my every decision.  I still worry a bit I suppose, but after many years we are into a rhythm that works for us.  Homeschooling has just become so much a part of our home that I wouldn’t even know who I am without it.  It certainly doesn’t cost me any more sleepless nights. That got me thinking – what has changed?  Is it just that I’m more relaxed?  Am I just better at it now?  Truthfully, I am better at it.  I’ve developed habits that have made us happier homeschoolers and that have made me a better mama. So . . . ta da!  I present to you, my Ten Habits of Happy Homeschoolers. Ten Habits of … click to read more

Layers of Learning Homeschool Geography Curriculum-Tuesday

Tuesday is Geography.  This week we’re learning about Australia and New Zealand as part of the Layers of Learning homeschool curriculum. I’ve looked through the Layers pdf for this unit and decided to do a map of each country and look at a few links that lead us to aboriginal art and a link or two to listen to the didgeridoo, a native Australian instrument, being played.  So I print a map for each kid from the printables at the end of the Layers unit. We looked at our globe and our wall map of the world and found Australia and New Zealand.  I told each of the kids they could color and label their maps however they want. Usually we have a specific assignment with the map work, but this time I just wanted them pouring over the atlases while I led them in a discussion about Australia and … click to read more

Depth Versus Breadth in Education – A Lesson From a Japanese Monkey

Depth versus breadth in education is constantly debated.  And both are important, but neither should be taken at the expense of the other. There was a time when I believed in order to educate children I had to touch on everything. . . all the facets of every subject. What if I missed something? What if there were holes in their education? The pressure on me at the beginning of my home school journey felt immense and almost unbearable. As I meticulously mapped out our yearly curriculum I had an important moment of realization.  I was listing all of the things I had to cover within the topic of Asian geography when it occurred to me that I graduated from an amazing university without knowing much about Asian geography beyond where to find Asia on a map (Okay, my knowledge may have been a bit more extensive than that, but … click to read more

Unscheduled School

I recently spoke with a woman who was having a lot of difficulty teaching her children.  She has three kids and felt torn between them.  She couldn’t divide her time satisfactorily to teach all of them as much as she felt they needed.  She was trying to cram everything into their “school day” as fast as they could so they could get on with real life. I approach things quite differently.  We have plenty of unscheduled school.  We make learning happen all the time, not just while school is in session.  Like her, I’m a planner.  I map out what we will learn and do constantly.  I have high goals, hopes, and expectations for my kids and their educations.  The difference is that I don’t try to cram it all into school time.  I read to the kids after lunch and at bedtime.  They read to me at various times … click to read more

Homeschool Structure

I am constantly asked about what our homeschool is like, especially by people who are considering homeschooling themselves.  They want to know how it’s done.  They wonder what our schedule and homeschool structure are like.  (Interestingly enough, they rarely ask about what I teach, what books we read, or the terrific resources I use.)  The truth is, there are as many ways to teach as there are teachers. Everyone has a different style.  Everyone has a different schedule.  Today I thought I’d tell you a little about mine since it’s probably my most asked question I get. My Style Is Structured I am a pretty structured homeschooler.  I enjoy the planning as much as I enjoy the teaching.  I have a school room in my basement, a notebook of my lesson plans,a file cabinet full of ideas sorted by topic, and shelves full of my favorite books.  I have discovered … click to read more

Teaching Stuff You Don’t Know

People often come up to me and say, I don’t know how you teach your kids at home, I could never do algebra, or art, or history, or foreign language because I don’t know those things well enough myself to teach them.  Yeah, pretty much I’m an expert on every possible subject K through 12.  No big, that’s me, the expert . . . Right.  Truth is, teaching stuff you don’t know is just part of the territory when you’re a homeschool mom. Actually, I don’t know that stuff either.  At the begining I didn’t even know basic stuff like how to teach a child to read or how to guide a child in writing a simple research paper.  And as for art and music, let’s just say I’m challenged.  But I am a fairly decent reader and I can follow directions.  Therefore I can teach my child nearly anything, with a … click to read more