Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Brave Writer Podcast: Are you one big happy family? Homeschool advice for the frazzled!

Podcast Are you one big happy family?

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This week’s podcast episode is designed to steam the wrinkles out of your crumpled homeschool. Sit back with an ice cold glass of lemonade and exhale.

One Big Happy Family

A family is a collection of individuals and we can’t forget that. The friction of human beings living in a family space together is always going to feel a little bit like controlled chaos – and it’s totally okay if that’s the way that it is!

However, making space for everyone in your family to have some of your focused attention and some alone time or downtime is the challenge, particularly for big families. So how can we leverage the unique benefits of homeschooling to do that – and what should we avoid?

What doesn’t work:

  • Scope and sequence don’t work, no matter how many kids you have.
  • Timed lessons just don’t work in homeschool. If you have children that are a range of ages, especially if some aren’t school age yet, something is going to disrupt that schedule.
  • Forgetting about your middles. It’s easy to overly focus on the oldest and youngest and neglect the ones in the middle, so we recommend keeping track of when you spend focused time with your kids so it’s easier to distribute evenly!
  • Too much routine or too much inspiration. Set up a routine that you can always rely on, but then if inspiration strikes ditch the routine.

What does work:

  • Group projects work incredibly well for science, history, writing, and arts & crafts.
  • If you have a big family, take advantage of it! Let your children talk to each other – and encourage it! One of the most incredible tools we all have now is the ability to easily record each other digitally. It allows your child to narrate in a way that they won’t in a traditional classroom scenario.
  • Doing math as a family can be difficult, but the book Family Math is an incredible tool we recommend to make it easier!
  • Rotate one-on-one time so that everyone gets a share of your focused attention.
  • Co-ops can help or hurt. It’s great to have somewhere you can go that has other kids, especially kids at multiple age levels so that every child has someone to socialize with. However, some co-ops can feel like a ball and chain: they’re so academically oriented that you end up feeling more pressure, instead of getting some relief and time to socialize!
  • Time off for errands, play, and clean up.
  • Hire someone to help you! Someone else’s child would probably love to make a few dollars spending some time with your younger children while you have to give another child focused attention.
  • Take advantage of non-traditional hours to get everything done.
  • Create predictable storage for each kid, for library books, for writing supplies, and for all of your media. This means everyone always knows where everything will be and a lot fewer things go missing.

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: Season Four Recap

Podcast S4 Recap

Did you miss an episode from the fourth season of the Brave Writer Podcast so far? Did you want to listen to an episode again? Worry not, we’ve got you covered! Here are the episodes from season four of the podcast thus far:

Morning Routines that Support Your Homeschool & Family

55 Things I Did NOT Do as a Homeschooler

61 Things I Did RIGHT in My Homeschool

Diversity, Inclusion, & Literature ׀ Interview with Charnaie Gordon

Natural Stages of Growth as a Home Educator

The Scourge of Perfectionism

Adding Adventure, Community, & Collaboration to Your Homeschool ׀ Interview with Dachelle McVey

Back to Homeschool

Integrating Cultural & Language Learning in Your Homeschool ׀ Interview with Anne Guarnera

The Split Between Structured & Unstructured Learning

Developing Cultural Literacy & Empathy Through Books ׀ Interview with Sarita Holzmann of Sonlight

Being an Awesome Adult & Living Your Most Fulfilling Life

The Ages & Stages of Awesome Adulthood

Permission to Party School

Brain-Based Learning Part 1

Brain-Based Learning Part 2

No Silver Bullet

Family Dynamics in Your Homeschool: Roles Your Kids Play

Partnership Home Education

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Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: Partnership Home Education

Podcast Partnership Home Education

Finding Friends for You!

When all is said and done, what we really crave is connection: with our kids, with ourselves, and with each other.

It matters that you find friends to support you on this daring adventure called homeschooling. Join me as I share my ideas for how to create friendships and support for yourself that lasts.


There are a few types of friends that you’ll want to cultivate in your homeschooling life, and today we want to share principles and stories that will help you do that:

  • The first thing you want to do is forge a friendship, maybe someone who has kids around the same ages as your kids – don’t even worry about homeschooling yet. If you start with finding a friend for yourself, not just for your kids, you can start to develop a homeschool philosophy that goes together.
  • Create a regular community event, like a book club that meets once a week or once a month. You can grow and figure out homeschool together!
  • You can get some of this connection online, but there’s no substitute for in-person friendships. Sometimes we need someone to grow with, someone to hug us, someone to take over when we’re falling apart – and part of the way we get there is cultivating a vision in community.
  • We want to leave space for change and growth. So if you’re creating a community group like a co-op, your goal should be to create what you believe in, giving people the opportunity to participate without conforming to that belief.
  • You don’t have to create a new group to find new people. Instead, you can find them in existing support groups. And we think the fastest way to find out what people are like is to propose a book study – you don’t want to just ask them, “What’s your homeschool philosophy?” Because what you’re really looking for is someone willing to explore more than what they already know.
  • Sometimes what you need is a BREAK from homeschooling, so don’t be afraid to look for non-homeschooling friends!

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Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

The Homeschool Alliance

Brave Writer Podcast! Family Dynamics in Your Homeschool: Roles Your Kids Play

Brave Writer Podcast Family Dynamics in Your Homeschool

Home education depends on a healthy, vibrant family life. “Yeah right” you may be saying. I get it! Sibling rivalry, resistance to “chores,” and all that together time can make “happy family” seem impossible. Let’s fix that on today’s episode of the podcast!

The Power & Responsibility Axis

The power and responsibility axis is what creates roles in families.

The person with the most power has the most responsibility, and the person with the least power has the least responsibility. A newborn baby just has to show up and exist – it’s not fair to expect them to pay the pills, or even have a good attitude about being there!

Choice Creates Space & Freedom

So when we think about how families evolve into a healthy organism, we need to think about what level of power each individual has. On top of that, we want various roles to be adopted because there’s freedom to choose them, not because it’s the only option.

At the point that you feel the role you’re in no longer serves you, or if you start to feel hemmed in by it, that means you’re losing your choices – and this is important because you will be the most effective home educator you can be if you know it’s a choice!

Facilitating Choice

So the question becomes how can we facilitate the greatest freedom to choose given the various levels of power our children have?

A newborn has no power. They are literally dependent on your goodwill for survival, and how they will ultimately develop.

A few years later, your children start to take initiative. Your kids are starting to experiment with choices and sample their options, and part of what you’re doing is giving them input to limit or expand the choices they have and the roles they take in your family.

You want to encourage the search – you don’t want to limit their growth by developing a fixed view of who your children are.

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Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!

Brave Writer Podcast: No Silver Bullet

Podcast No Silver Bullet

We’ve all done it—we’ve spent more time shopping for homeschool programs than teaching the actual contents of the ones we buy! In this episode of the podcast, I’ll help you dial back your expectations and learn how to make peaceful progress in homeschooling your kids.


We’ve even noticed that people will read blogs, listen to podcasts, and watch YouTube videos and build in their imagination a Utopian version of homeschool.

But here’s the thing: we all bring our own personalities, family dynamics, and information to the table, and then our children – our free radicals – react to it with their own point of view, personalities, and dynamics.

Really we shouldn’t be aiming for perfection – we should be aiming for progress. Just that sense that we are doing a little bit better with each bit of new information.

So if you ever find yourself wondering why your homeschool isn’t the Utopian version you saw on Instagram or in a podcast, understand that it’s because we all have our own dynamics, and even then every single day is a little bit different.

“Give yourself permission to be unconventional! After all, you are a homeschooler. You’re already an unconventional educator, you’re already an unconventional educator. Give yourself some room to try things, to explore, to experiment, to recruit other people’s opinions into your work – and don’t expect it all to work perfectly!”

Please post a review on iTunes for us (here’s a handy guide)?
Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!