Archive for the ‘The Homeschool Alliance’ Category

Grow as a Home Educator with The Homeschool Alliance

Coaching Community: The Homeschool Alliance

“It is literally neurobiologically impossible to build memories, engage complex thoughts, or make meaningful decisions without emotion…Put succinctly, we only think about things we care about.”

“Even in academic subjects that are traditionally considered unemotional, such as physics, engineering, or math, deep understanding depends on making emotional connections between concepts.”

This month in The Homeschool Alliance, we are looking at the relationship of emotion to learning. Just how important is it to foster connection through joy, curiosity, caring, and connection? Apparently it is critical!

December will be a retrospective where we’ll look at the most popular discussions that we’ve had over the last two years, so that new people will have a chance to catch up and get the “juice” out of the Alliance.

In January, we’ll dive right in and talk about motivation, yours and your children’s. How do we stay motivated? What creates motivation? What is counter to it?

The Alliance is a fantastic way to grow as a home educator in all the ways you really care about—deeper engagement with learning, membership in a community of like-hearted home educators, and meaningful material to read. I also provide audio lectures and coaching for your homeschooling needs as you post your concerns and stories.

You can join for a year at only $15.00/month!

Want to know more? Let me introduce you to The Homeschool Alliance—the website, the monthly practices, and the philosophy.

In the following video I answer questions like:

  • What kind of coaching do you provide?
  • How much time will it take to participate?
  • Can I ask questions about my family specifically?
  • Do you, Julie, give personal feedback?

We cover it all!

Join The Homeschool Alliance!

Tailor-Made Homeschool

The Homeschool Alliance
Plan your upcoming school year with The Homeschool Alliance!

No more “One-Size Fits All” homeschool programs. During the month of July we’ll create a tailor-made routine that fits you and your family.

Join in July and

  • receive guidance from a veteran homeschool coach (me!)
  • learn how to apply your educational philosophy to your routine
  • create a workable plan you can actually carry out
  • maximize your strengths and gifts
  • capitalize on each child’s individuality, natural aptitudes, and passions
  • gain the confidence to ease up, to retool, and to adapt

Take advantage of my support and input as you work through materials designed to help you know your family better, and to plan concrete practices and projects that will be good for all of you. And it’s all done in a safe space where you are encouraged to take risks.

You can cancel any time!

Sign up now for The Homeschool Alliance to make progress in your homeschool all year. It’s $24.95 a month or sign up for a year for $179.00 and save $10.00 per month on the cost!

The Homeschool Alliance

The Sweet Spot

Balance blog

In the Homeschool Alliance this month, we’re talking about “planning.” How do you make a plan for your kids that takes into account their creativity, imaginations, interests, and quirky personalities, all while hitting academic objectives?

The traditional model of school is tempting and many of us attempt to bring it home (calendars, time slots, lesson planners). The toddlers are less amenable to the schedule and often times the flu or carpet cleaning or pregnancy messes with the schedule anyway!

The flip side is our wish to see learning flourish without our heavy-handed directing—children learning in a pool of light by the window. An “unschooling” vision of learning—as if by magic!

Somewhere between these two approaches to home education is the “sweet spot.” Most parents prefer some evidence they can measure that learning is happening and most kids prefer to pursue their interests (any interests) without interference.

The goal, then, is a homeschool routine—practices that repeat, that highlight or feature particular subject areas, that allow for incremental progress in specific skill sets (like math and reading), and a daily rhythm that everyone comes to know as “daily life together.”

Within the routine is space for flights of fancy, charging down a path to a new insight or experiment, becoming absorbed in a particular line of inquiry for an indefinite amount of time, trips to the zoo and art museum, and time to do nothing but play!

The “Sweet Spot” in homeschool is to toggle between flexibility and structure—but holding both loosely—not gripping either one too tightly as though they will save you from educational shipwreck. Some seasons call for more structure (even outside classes!) and other seasons call for more freedom to explore, unwind, recover, or deeply dive.

You don’t have to balance these two poles perfectly each day or even each week. Being aware of the possibilities that each one offers is enough—and then adjusting your expectations and choices accordingly.

Image by dierk schaefer (cc cropped, text added for pinterest)

Plan your routine now!

Plan your homeschool routine now

The Homeschool Alliance is about to spend all of July planning your coming school year. The emphasis of our work together will be different than your traditional “day planner” and “curriculum schedule.” Though we’ll look at your days, weeks, and months, we’ll do it from a different space that mere logistics (how to fit it all in). We’ll:

  • investigate who your kids are (each one) and what their natural aspirations and talents are.
  • examine the planned subject areas you intend to cover during the year.
  • discuss pace and routine, how to accommodate the busy extra-curricular life you have as well as your need for solid blocks of time to cover in depth studies.

Not only that, but we’ll take YOU into account as well! None of this works unless we have a realistic appraisal of your unique, important personality and parenting style. I’ll give feedback to all who post and help you make the necessary adjustments to get the routine that feels right to you. I’ll also provide resources or advice, if they are appropriate, to help you articulate and develop a plan.

By the end of July, you will have a solid sense of how to implement the tailor-made routine that takes all of you into account!

In addition to the month-long planning session, I’ll be available to Alliance Members for one-on-one Skype sessions for consultations (additional expense).

All of this for $24.95! You can sign up for just the one month, if you like, and read back through the last year’s worth of material and posts, too, to give yourself a big boost of energy as you enter the fall!

Join the 200+ parents who are already members! Find out why the Homeschool Alliance has become an essential source of support to their family lives and homeschool efforts.

I look forward to getting to know you!


Need help to take new home education risks?

Need help to take new home education risks?

Do you wish you had companionship as you take new home education risks? Are you looking for input so that you can reframe your experience, add new tools to your tool kit, and find the personalized support you crave for your family?

The Homeschool Alliance is where I give audio lectures, readings, and personal reply support to our community of homeschooling parents. One of our parents wrote the following post (with permission to share) and I thought many of you might relate.

SIGN UP for less than $25/month

Alliance member, Erin, writes:

I KNOW what I’m doing, I just don’t have confidence in myself to make the decision and stick with it. I doubt and second-guess constantly. I research things to death, make a decision, and then something else catches my eye, and so I research that to death and change my decision again.

I need to just go with my gut here. My gut tells me that your BWL philosophy is what I want for our family, it’s what I envisioned years ago when I was in grad school for elementary education, when I first decided I wanted to home school (nothing like spending a few years working INSIDE the school system to make you want to keep your kids OUT! LOL).

But why do I feel so unequipped? Maybe it’s not that I feel unequipped…maybe it’s just that what was engrained into my mind in school – the how/why/when to teach is just taking up too much space in my mind.

I have never felt like I understood science. I hated school growing up because it was boring, uninspiring, and dull. I didn’t want to do what the teachers wanted me to do…but because I worry so much that I’m in the wrong on what school should look like, I keep falling back to the very same thing I hated as a child.

But, after reading this first article, watching your first webinar, journaling, and reading all the above responses and comments, I’m realizing something.

I also hated history growing up, and never found it interesting at all. But last year, I embarked on teaching US History to my kids. I spent time gathering books….LOTS of books….about 150 to be exact. We got some used, got many from the library, and we curled up on the couch and read them together. We discussed them, sometimes we wrote about them or drew a picture, or completed a project I’d found on Pinterest….but the main ingredient, the thing that made it so successful, was that I was interested, curious, and driven to learn it myself. I took a topic that I had little interest in and I discovered value in learning it for myself, and THAT became the drive to teach it to them. It wasn’t to check off a box on some curriculum paper, or to appease some school system. It was because I decided that I wanted to learn about it in depth, and I drew my kids in….and they LOVED it! It was amazing!

I need to take that very same drive, curiosity, excitement, passion, and OBSESSIVENESS when it comes to other things I want us to cover. And not use such broad catagories (sic). I get overwhelmed with the idea of teaching branches of science – biology, earth and space, etc….so instead, I need to focus on smaller, more attainable goals….like learning about rocks and minerals. Spend a month or so immersing myself and the kids in books, projects, videos, etc about single topics….ones that don’t overwhelm me, ones that don’t require a year-long commitment (though it could very well go on that long if there is interest!). If I hear them talking about a topic they are interested in, I need to allow THAT topic to become what I focus/invest/perseverate on, instead of schedules or curricula. If my daughter says “I want to learn about rocks”, I would typically spend the next few weeks devouring all I could about which curriculum is the best one to use to teach about rocks…but that is really stupid and a waste of time.

My time would be so much better spent saying, “Absolutely! let’s go to the library today or tomorrow, and get some books about rocks!” and then immediately start finding some videos, and maybe see if we can come up with some project and/or experiments…to focus on HER and the thing she is interested in, instead of wasting hours chasing after the “perfect curriculum” that will teach it to her. It’s more fun for her and for me if we simply learn about things together. And you know what? One thing I’ve learned about myself since Grad school is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to research and learn. It excites me and gives me energy in the morning. I love to figure things out and to be able to find answers to my own questions…THAT makes learning fun…and THAT is how I need to look at our home learning…a quest to take with my kids, for us to pave our own way and find our own path…for us to dig into topics together, and to stop worrying that we will miss something! I always think that if we do that method, that somewhere along the line, I will not know to teach that ONE thing that would have made a difference in their future lives!

But I do realize that that is simply ridiculous. One fact about rocks, or one experiment about the human body or whatever, is not going to damage them if we skip it. What’s more important anyway? Learning 53 facts about the human body, or developing a love of learning and teaching them HOW TO FIND ANSWERS! I need to teach them to enjoy the process….learning is and should be looked at as a process, not a means to an end. But in our society, it’s viewed as a means to an end…when you turn 18 and graduate from high school, you are “educated”….even though we all know that’s not what makes a person educated…lol!

Thank you again (I’m feeling like that’s going to be something I say to you every day!)…you have rekindled my love of teaching and learning…and given me a resource to help me set up my track to run the race. I feel like I’ve run in circles, and been bumping into obstacles constantly, and I look up and I’ve lost my way….but I’m realizing that I need to learn to be more accepting of myself and my kids, and to just trust that 10 years is a LONG ENOUGH time to teach the things that I think matter!

And…sorry this is so long…but I wanted to share. I did our first Freewrite last night…my husband and I and our 3 kids all sat down and wrote about what kind of candy we wished would fall from the sky, and then we all read them aloud. The kids LOVED it and my middle daughter (who usually takes FOREVER to write anything), couldn’t wait to get into bed last night and work on another one! She filled up a front and back of a paper in no time and was all giggles and smiles! Just in the last 3 days, I have felt such a fresh wind blow through our home, and it’s all because of the wisdom I have gained from 2 of your webinars and some of your blog posts and The Writer’s Jungle! Thank you for all you do to support us moms who are still in the trenches! I think that this Homeschool Alliance may be the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT thing I’ve done for our homeschool so far….it’s helping me to really think about and process what I value and what I think is important, and to really think about what I want our life to look like…I cannot wait to read and learn more! Thanks!