Posts Tagged ‘Homeschool Sanity’

Homeschool Sanity: Principle Four

Real life intrudes.

Principle Four

Real Life Intrudes

“Cancer, pregnancy, foreclosure, hurricanes and fires, elderly parents, death, special needs, divorce, job transfers, military deployments… There’s no escape. The years when crisis hits, homeschool takes a back seat. (Don’t worry—it’s flexible enough to accommodate)” (The Brave Learner, 203). Trust that the challenge will ease and more energy can be redirected to homeschooling again.

What I’ve noticed is that parents who are in crisis sometimes become even more fixated on what feels like a failing homeschool. If you’re experiencing a lot of struggle in home education, turn around and do a quick inventory of the rest of your life.

What is draining your energy? This year, it’s COVID-19 whether you test positive or negative. We’re all dealing with this crisis and that impacts our ability to be as present to home education.

The good news? You can still keep it going. Reading aloud, playing board games, getting outside, talking about current events and how they relate to history, the science of a disease, math by worksheet if you must, using technology in new ways…

Hard times don’t mean the end of learning. Often they mean learning something new:

  • systemic injustice,
  • the kindness of a stranger,
  • how to be healthy,
  • how to grieve,
  • rebuilding a better life,
  • caring for family,
  • protecting self from harm,
  • disrupting dysfunction,
  • being a loving long distance family member.

We don’t bring school home. Home education is bringing learning to all of life—trusting the process, trusting our families, trusting ourselves.

If you’re in an additional crisis to the global pandemic, sending extra support today.


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


The Brave Learner

Homeschool Sanity: Principle Three

You can't solve homeschooling

Principle Three

You can’t solve homeschooling.

“There’s no philosophy or practice you can adopt perfectly enough to end your quest to get it right. You’ll reexamine and adapt every year” (The Brave Learner, 203). Similar to the idea that no two years are the same is the awareness that there is no one right way to homeschool.

Your unique environment, your interpretation of the ideas, your time in history, your own educational background, the personalities of your modern children—these all impact what kind of Charlotte Mason or classical or Waldorf or unschooled or [fill in the blank] education you give your kids.

Yes, that’s true of the #bravewriterlifestyle too.

Education is not a “right or wrong way” proposition.

Your drive to not make mistakes will ruin homeschooling for you.

Let me say it another way: It’s totally fine to change your mind regularly about how you create learning opportunities for your kids! And you will—because you’re learning and growing too.

Don’t wreck your homeschool trying to solve it.

  • Get curious.
  • Be brave.
  • Try try again.

See Other Principles


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


The Brave Learner

Homeschool Sanity: Principle Two

You get bored.

Principle Two

You get bored.

“Just because a curriculum is effective doesn’t mean you must keep using it. If you’re ‘sick to death’ of the reading program, find a new one for the next child. Years pile up—what you loved doing in year three may feel like overkill in year seven” (The Brave Learner, 203). In fact, boredom is a great sign that it’s time to mix it up.

How do you know when to quit or switch?

First: read the program text and teacher notes. Learn how to use the program; try it yourself first. It’s okay to use the middle of the day to get comfortable with the program before introducing it to your kids. Give a new program a full try from full understanding, first.

Then the next day, clear the decks and take a chance—implement with your kids. It’s okay to experiment, to adapt it to the child.

Give a program you were excited about a six week try.

If you’re still bored and find the program uninspiring, ditch it! No guilt. Chalk up the expense to research and development. It takes spending some money and a lot of experimentation to know what works best.

So no guilt: if you need to toss a curriculum, just because you find it tedious, you get to! You have one life. Don’t waste it on duty and drudgery. There are so many amazing reaources out there. Go find what works for you!

ETA: We lived on $29K w 7 people in southern CA and this was still my philosophy. Made me rely more on the public library, magazines (pre-Internet), co-ops with friends. The idea is: boredom = tedious experience of learning. Switch it up—however you can.

See Other Principles


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


The Brave Learner

Homeschool Sanity: Principle One

Principle One

No two years of homeschooling are ever the same.

Your children get older and change grades. Each child has a unique personality. What worked with one won’t necessarily work with the next (The Brave Learner, 203).

As you think about the coming year, think less about mastery and more about fine-tuning and tweaking. How can you meet the needs of these children who are new again this year?

It’s easy to think: Hey, I already know my children. I know what they like and don’t like.

What do we do with the surprises?

  • Your quiet child may have a sudden burst of extroversion.
  • Maybe the literature-lover decides she wants to be a dolphin trainer.
  • Perhaps the one who hated math is obsessed with sewing.

Be a student again—discover who this child is this year. New opportunities for learning are here. Allow yourself to be surprised. Make adjustments as you go.

I recommend not buying all the curriculum in the summer. Get to know your children’s needs again in the fall. Make some purchases in December or January that reflect what you’ve learned about your kids during the early months.

Remember: even though a system or schedule feels reassuring to you, it may be overkill, may be too centered on what you need to feel comfortable, or may not grow with the child.

Lead with confidence, but embrace the surprises along the way. See them as a chance to enhance homeschool not as invalidations of your plan.

See Other Principles


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


The Brave Learner