The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook – A Must For Homeschoolers

Parents deciding to homeschool their children often experience some anxiety about making this important decision. This is quite understandable, considering homeschooling is life-changing–for parents and children alike.

If you have thought about homeschooling without making a commitment yet, or if you are already homeschooling with a desire for greater excellence in your children’s education, Dorothy and Raymond Moore’s book, The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook: A creative and stress-free approach to homeschooling may be the resource you need.

I offer this brief review of a book that offers extensive advice with foundational research to parents who are already homeschooling, and those who are considering homeschooling. The information contained within this volume offers sage wisdom lighting the path to successful homeschooling for all families.

Success or stress?

Moore and Moore start off their book by addressing the issue of stress in schooling at home. The truth is, teaching a child at any age or grade level is incredibly challenging. This is even truer when your own child becomes your student, and you their teacher.

Although the public school system may not be ideal for your family, you must give much consideration to the reality that you will become a teacher. Just as certified teachers holding a college degree are required to constantly update their skills and qualifications to teach students in the public sector, it is as equally (if not more) important that you do the same.

Reducing and eliminating stress.

Homeschooling can absolutely be a success in your family. However, it can create a tremendous load of stress, too. It is important to be aware of this and be prepared to deal with it productively.

To maintain a healthy homeschool, there are a myriad of aspects, some of which have a tendency to be overlooked by homeschooling parents. This oversight or avoidance leads to stress. A few areas Moore and Moore discuss include (along with many others) standardized testing, socializing your children, and organization.

Tried and true.

Moore and Moore conclude their research and insight with two final parts in their book that provide encouragement and advice from fellow homeschooling families. These two sections offer wisdom from parents who have “been there, done that” in the world of homeschooling. These personal stories show just how successful and rewarding homeschooling can be for any family. Finally, the Moores close with their own offering of knowledge to help encourage parents, as well as additional information on the history of learning at home.

Tips for Homeschoolers – Start the Year Out Right

As a homeschooler starting a new school year, one of the best things you can do is make sure you start your year out right. This doesn’t mean you have to make a big production or a party. Just remember that it’s a new year and sometimes that’s a great time to make any necessary changes.

Whether your changes are big like a whole new math curriculum or small like changing your schedule, the beginning of a new school year is the best time to start. If you have decided to make some changes, determine which changes you are going to make and then decide what needs to be done to make the changes happen. Get started right away.

If you have been homeschooling for a while, you know what is working and what isn’t. But remember, just because a specific curriculum, game, or schedule worked for another child, it does not mean that it will work for all children. Be sure to make changes that appropriate for your particular child’s learning style as well as to the schedule that best suits your entire family.

Many families use the new year or the new semester as a time to try something new. Maybe you want to set new goals this year or try out a new homeschool group. Just because you make a change to something new doesn’t mean it will be the best fit and you’ll want to stick with it. Don’t be afraid to try something new, you can always change it up again if it isn’t working.

If you just find that you are in a rut and need a change – any change, try out a different teaching style. For instance, if you are a unit study family, try out a box curriculum or if you are a strict schedule person, try out a little unschooling. You might be surprised to see how your family thrives when you mix it up a little.

Maybe you need a new approach, a new attitude, or a new subject to mix things up? Consider adding an internet class or online game to change things up. Start your morning with some exercise or a nature walk. Look into a homeschool group or extra curriculum activities.

Whatever you feel your need are, and no matter when you begin your school year, remember… it’s a new year. Now is the time to make the changes you need to make your homeschool run more smoothly and effectively.

What changes will you be making this year?

Tips for Homeschoolers – Take a Break

Taking a break can be very important to a successful homeschool. I do not mean that you need to take a lengthy summer or Christmas break several times a year and I don’t mean that schooling year-round is bad. I mean, that you need to recognize when your kids, and YOU, need a break.

There are many ways to take a break so you can recharge and be ready to get back into the swing of things and your normal schedule.

  • Have an UNSCHOOL DAY – If you are a traditional homeschooler, and not an unschooler, you may wish to have an UNSCHOOl day to break from the norm. Tell your kids that you they can pick anything they want to work on and learn about today. See where the day takes you. (Don’t worry, one day won’t kill the schedule!) If you are an unschooler, maybe plan the day for the kids with worksheets and reading lists and see what happens.
  • Take an unplanned fieldtrip – Feeling like no one wants school today? Take an unplanned fieldtrip to a park, museum, library, even the shopping mall. Decide to walk around, talk about whatever you want to talk about, stop and relax (and don’t think of the schedule). Have a lunch out. Walk outside. Go to the dog park and name the types of dogs. Look at nature and talk about trees. Just get out of the house and away from the schedule for the day and see how much more focused everyone is the next day.
  • Let the kids teach – Tell the kids that today, they do not have to do school, but you need to learn. Have them teach you for the day. It’s silly but everyone will have fun and both you and the kids will be surprised how much you learn.
  • Have Game Day – Spend the entire day playing board games, cards games, and physical games. Have everyone play even if it’s a game for little ones or big ones. Help the little ones by working in pairs. Have big sister suffer through Candyland. Everyone will have fun playing games, taking turns picking what is next, and just spending time together.
  • Take Dad lunch – Need to take a break from the grind and get out of the house? Take dad lunch at work. Meet him in his lunchroom, at a park, or, if that’s not feasible, find a restaurant nearby and take him there. Enjoy talking to dad over lunch for a change. Maybe show the kids around his office. The kids will like to see dad and even dad will enjoy the break!
  • Don’t be afraid to have movie day – If you really need a total break. Head over to the library or local movie store and rent some movies. Make some popcorn and cuddle up for some movies. They can be a mix of educational and fun. Let each person in the family pick a movie. Movie day can be fun and educational.
  • Take it outside – Even in the winter months, you can take some time outside to enjoy the weather and take a break from school and chores. Got snow? Build a snowman or have a snowball fight (look at you sneaking in PE). Walk around the block and enjoy the beauty (name a few trees and you have Science). Just get out and breathe in that rejuvenating air.

How do you take a break in your school?