Archive for the ‘Homeschool Advice’ Category

Your New Homeschool “Perspectacles”

Your New Homeschool "Perspectacles"

You’ve stepped away, decided to try something new, rescue your child from a crushing educational situation.

Now, big breath, drop these school words from your vocabulary:

  • keeping up,
  • falling behind,
  • meeting standards,
  • getting ready to go back to school.

Ditch em, bury em.

Okay, new vocabulary set coming:

  • heal relationships,
  • tune in to my child,
  • engage curiosity,
  • explore interests.

Ready? Got your new homeschool perspectacles on? Now, let’s go…

Consider your child going back to school like being a transfer student. Kids transfer into new schools every day. These kids may be behind in some areas, ahead in others, because no two curriculums for fourth grade are exactly alike.

For instance, your new school might be studying Ancient China and your kid spent last quarter on the American Revolution. So, for your new school, your child is “behind.”

Yet that isn’t a crisis. Schools will do what they do—bring your child up to speed, excuse him from some of the less essential stuff. They fold him in to what’s happening.

It’s a little awkward for a time. But imagine if you spent time helping your child

  • learn how to learn,
  • grow curiosity,
  • express the thoughts that live inside

I think such a child would be well equipped to transfer into her new school, whether it’s a few miles away or at your kitchen table.


Brave Learner Home

That’s a Big Feeling

That's a Big Feeling

I don’t know about you, but big feelings are everywhere right now. Big sadness, big longing, big frustration, big fear, big anger.

Our children have been taught they are most acceptable when their feelings don’t inconvenience adults, when they stay small and friendly. They:

  • shouldn’t look angry,
  • shouldn’t get crabby,
  • shouldn’t cry too hard,
  • shouldn’t wallow in self pity,
  • shouldn’t show irritation.

You know, all the things adults do pretty freely around children.

We all need a release—a lifting of the ban on big feelings. If your child shows a sullen face, instead of cheering her up, ask her what she’s feeling. Then ask her to measure her feelings: “How big? This big?” Hold up your hands ten inches apart. Then move them another two feet apart “Or this big? Or bigger? Can you show me?” Works especially well with littler kids.

You can also model bigness by stomping feet lightly. Then harder/louder. Then REALLY BIG STOMPS.

You might use a mildly cranky voice, then annoyed, then full out petulant. Ask him to pick which matches how he’s feeling. Use that voice for the next ten minutes—really getting into it. The play-acting is a great release. You can even join a tantrum and ask: “Am I doing it right? Angry enough?”

For teens, you can say: “How big? Like a cup of coffee big or half a pizza big? Or is this time for death metal turned all the way up?” In other words, even just naming the scale gives permission and allows your child/teen to be seen/known. Oh and death metal is really big so fair warning.


This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!

Help Your Kids Develop Motivation

The Self-Driven Child

We are over the moon around here!

Keep reading to see why.

A couple years ago, our community studied the book The Self-Driven Child. The members were blown away by the simple, practical steps they could take to help their kids get motivated and stay motivated in learning.

Here’s a snippet to entice you:

We can only drive our kids so far. At some point, they have to take the wheel. Those who have never been allowed to make meaningful decisions until later in life are likely to flounder. The Self-Driven Child will give you the tools you need to help your child navigate life with confidence and find his or her own path.

As we thought about our fall line-up, Jeanne and I put our heads together to consider what topics would be most useful during this unusual time of COVID 19 and the changes in schooling and work patterns.

It became clear quickly that parents are especially struggling with how to motivate their kids to perform their school tasks without the usual parental nagging and haranguing.

So we asked a bold question:

Could we get this best-selling, top-dollar author to come speak to the Brave Learner Home membership?

We looked at Dr. Stixrud’s fee schedule and blanched. Still, we pressed forward hoping that the appeal of our large homeschool community would be enough to persuade him to join us.

And that is exactly what happened! He said yes!

Dr. William Stixrud is excited to get to know us and we can’t wait to learn more from him.

Will you join us? I hope so. Save the date on your calendar now.

Inner Drive: How to Help Your Kids Develop Motivation
with Dr. William Stixrud
Thursday, October 8th at 7:00 pm (Eastern)

Replays go up 48 hours after the live event in the Brave Learner Home (our membership community) and live there forever!

All Brave Learner Home webinars are free for members.

If you aren’t yet a member, join now! Learn how to get a lifetime membership free!

Brave Learner Home Special Offer

Nearly 6000 of you are participating already in our incredible community of homeschool coaching and Brave Writer program support and cheerleading.

I hope you’ll jump in with us in October! This webinar will be especially worthwhile!

Learn more about Dr. Stixrud:

Right Now is a Great Time

Now is a Great Time

The easiest way to avoid disrupting your flow of thoughts, activities, and plans is to put off your children’s ideas for fun. Inevitably they seem

  • impractical,
  • expensive,
  • messy,
  • exhausting,
  • time-consuming,
  • and off-task.

We don’t want to seem “mean” so instead of saying “No,” we fudge: “That sounds fun. Maybe later.” Then later never comes, and pretty soon your kids run out of good ideas. When you ask them to fill time, they say they’re bored and can’t think of anything to do.

The habit of creativity is cultivated when we say yes and believe in the possibility (no matter how outlandish).

Your child will say: “Can we build a tree house right now?” And you imagine nails and blueprints and danger. Yet NOW is the moment of greatest commitment to the project. NOW is when your child is the most likely to problem-solve and imagine.

The best way to say yes and show your child you take her seriously is to say “Right now is a great time.” Right now when it’s inconvenient, hard to do, difficult to imagine. Perfect! That means your child will lead the way!

When my kids wanted to build a tree house, we gave them hammers, nails, boards we had collected in our basement, and pointed to a tree. It was no Disney Channel tree house. But the joy of boards to climb to get up a little higher and the thought process that guided the decisions and the hammer swinging and collaboration was worth those several days of creative hard inconvenient work.

Start small. Say “Right now is a great time” to the board game suggestion or baking cookies or turning on the sprinklers to run through them. Stop your plans for a fairy house project or making a blanket fort or learning calligraphy. Right now is a great time to peel the wallpaper so you can paint your room honey. Yes!

Begin dropping everything for a child’s idea once a day (or if you’re super type A, baby steps—once this week). Simply try it once. What would happen if you stopped pushing the day along, and found yourself doing origami tutorials right now instead?

Right now is a great time to find out.


This post is originally from Instagram and @juliebravewriter is my account there so come follow along for more conversations like this one!


Brave Learner Home

Welcome to the Homeschool Way of Life

Welcome to the Homeschool Way of Life

Homeschooling is a way of life. We don’t master a way of life, we practice it. There are good days and hard days and pleasant days and sad days.

Each day has a lesson—whether fractions or how to play nicely with a terrorizing toddler.

Each day offers a chance to grow—whether a garden of vegetables or patience.

We learn and live, as a family. We don’t master parenting or marriage either. We can, however, become more skillful, more in tune, more aware of how to create a beautiful life together. That’s what a way of life offers—a context for becoming.

We discover more about the homeschool way of life day by day. The finish line may appear to be the end of high school, but even that marker is artificial in home education. Not all kids choose a traditional high school path. And for children who leave home at 18 for college, you’ll notice that your homeschool way of life continues

  • in conversations,
  • on holiday breaks,
  • and well into adulthood.

Trust me on this. It’s gorgeous.

Education becomes embedded in the details of your relationships—the currency of family intimacy and love.

Rest easier. Be more curious about how you learn and grow together and less concerned with getting enough done or mastering a method.

Welcome to the homeschool way of life.


Brave Learner Home