Thinking Ahead

This week I printed my own copy of The Homeschooler’s Christmas Planner and settled down to organise myself in readiness for ‘the busy season’. It’s funny pulling out  a planner that you made with others in mind and then finding it so useful for yourself.  I like the planner.  I like the way it helps me get organised and focused.  … Continue reading

Planning Your Homeschool Day with Under-Tens

When you are planning your homeschool day the age of your child or children will dictate how your day is planned.  One obvious example is that the younger the child the shorter the formal seat-work part of the day. With children up to the age of about ten, you will make many of the decisions on how your child will … Continue reading

3 Ways to Organize Your Homeschool Equipment

We often talk about the academic side of homeschooling – what style of homeschooling, which curriculum, what books and more.  But when you are at home, working with your children in a daily rhythm, there is another aspect which is equally important. And that’s the practical side of the job.  Where you sit to work, what equipment you need to … Continue reading

Thoughts on Homeschooling Success

Happy New Year! At about this time of the year most people will have given up on their New Year Resolutions, which usually consist of trying to lose weight, living more healthily, and going to bed earlier.  For homeschooling parents, we can add promising ourselves to read to our children more frequently and to shout at them less. When we … Continue reading

Unplug The Christmas Machine

Unplug the Christmas Machine  by Jo Robinson and Jean Staeheli is a comprehensive guide to managing Christmas stress and combating commercialism. It is full of ideas for making Christmas a simpler, more meaningful celebration. It’s the most useful book on Christmas on my book shelf, and it’s probably the most useful Christmas book I’ve ever read.  It really is fabulous! The book … Continue reading

An Easy Way to be Ready for Christmas

We’re in November already, with just over 50 days until Christmas.  And for us as mothers in a homeschooling family, Christmas usually means extra work.  And lots of it.  There are gifts to buy and wrap, cards to write and send, and food to buy and cook.  We’ll also want to teach the Nativity story to our children, and possibly do some … Continue reading

A Problem with List Making

… the real work is unseen. I like lists and I like ticking tasks off my to-do list as I complete them.  It improves my efficiency, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment, and I like the sense of achievement I see in children when they see tasks completed well.  But one problem with making a list is that … Continue reading

How to Improve Your Homeschooling Efficiency

Life is so busy in a homeschooling family.  Often it’s happy busy, but sometimes it’s stressful too. One way to handle the busy-ness is to make a list of things you need to do. It helps you to focus. It increases the chances of things being done. It helps prevent things being forgotten. But a to-do list needs to be … Continue reading

How I Homeschooled in a Small Space

Have you ever seen those beautiful photographs of wonderful home-school-rooms, beautiful book shelves and lots of play space?  Little desks for everyone and masses of charming pictures and shelves groaning with equipment. I find the pictures pretty scary because there is no way I can compete with that sort of setup.  In fact, when we had a big house and … Continue reading

Homeschooling with a Newborn

An interview with a homeschool mother of six. Erin Parkinson is homeschooling her six children in Auckland NZ.  We chatted when her youngest child was three months old. STEPHANIE: Hi Erin, congratulations on Jeremiah’s birth.  How old is he now? ERIN: Hi Stephanie, Jeremiah is three months old now, and our oldest is nine, so life is very busy. STEPHANIE: … Continue reading