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My key takeaway from the fabulous book Essentialism is that you can only have one priority.

“Priority” is a singular word.

I simply cannot say that both my wife and my work are my priority. That’s a cop-out. It leads to me typing on my laptop while I try to have a conversation with her. Both will suffer when I don’t make a choice.

Leaders must make a choice.

The purpose of setting a priority is to make decisions really easy: this thing is the focus, so everything else has to get out of the way. My wife is home, so work goes away. No thinking required.

Personally, when I decided that Byrdseed.TV was my priority, it meant that I had to shut down my speaking career as quickly as possible. I couldn’t possibly do both well.

There was a feeling of burning my boats. I couldn’t turn back. I couldn’t hide behind four other priorities. We should be truly committed when we set our priority. At the end of the week, I have either made progress or not on my priority.

Too many districts have five “priorities.” That’s impossible. How can you make headway in five directions at once? How do you know what to do when two priorities conflict?

And it’s a communication nightmare. Your teachers won’t know what’s important if they’re asked to focus on five things.

So that’s really the test: ask the folks you lead what your priority is. Send it out in a personal email to each person: “I’m wondering, what do you think my priority is with our program this year?”

You’ll know very quickly if you’ve established a clear priority or not!

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An administrator once said to me, after I finished leading a workshop:

It’s so nice for our teachers to hear from someone who actually went through a gifted program…

This has always struck me as such a strange thing to say. Certainly, it isn’t too hard to find grown-up gifted students, right? Especially if you run a gifted program?

It made me wonder, do gifted programs keep in touch with their alumni? If not, consider reaching out to your past students. Ask them how your program helped them. What did you miss? You’ll also get to see what your kids have gone on to do.

Interviewing past students would be a phenomenal (and cheap) way to fine-tune your program’s focus.

This doesn’t mean tracking down 40-year-olds. Ask your high school students what elementary school was like for them. Ask first-year college students how well their K-12 experiences prepared them. Invite these students back to speak at parent nights or to address teachers.

My pal Lisa has been interviewing gifted kids (of all ages) and the results are, frankly, stunning. It’s a shame we’re not doing more of this. Your former students are a gold mine of information about the effectiveness of your program. Use them! Many of them would love to talk to you about this topic.

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4 Reasons Never to Stop Reading Aloud to Your Children

I cannot express how great my excitement was when my children began reading their own bedtime stories. Don’t get me wrong...I loved those precious memories of storytime, but on the other hand, my kids wanted to hear Goodnight Train exactly 19 times before bed every single night. After a long day, it was pretty exhausting by the time we got around to the seventh nightly reading. 

It’s easy to push for that transition when children can read to themselves without your help. Believe me, I get it.

Yet reading aloud is still valuable, even in the older grades. Perhaps I should even say especially in the older grades. Here are a few reasons we need to keep reading aloud to our children even after they have become independent readers.

1. Reading Aloud Develops Fluency

The best readers are often the readers who were read aloud to the most.

There is something about hearing the English language read fluently that registers in our child’s brain and allows them to perfect their fluency as well. Most children are not necessarily fluent readers by the time they are able to read independently. You might be surprised to hear your independent reader skip punctuation and get hung up on a few words.

Just because a child can read solo doesn’t necessarily mean they are reading fluently

Continuing to read aloud to them bridges the gap between reading independently and reading fluently. The more they hear your pauses and emotion, the more they will begin to work pause and emotion into their reading. The benefit to fluency is that fluency helps them comprehend what they are reading. Comprehension is our goal. 

2. Reading Aloud Develops Vocabulary

Did you know that most readers tend to skip words that they don’t know? Don’t believe me?

When was the last time you paused to look up a word in the dictionary as you were reading?

Don’t worry, I can’t remember either! We are generally content with skipping a word rather than digging in to figure out the meaning. 

However, when we read aloud to our kids, we are consciously reminding ourselves to look for vocabulary building opportunities. We are inviting our children to begin a conversation about words and ideas.

“What does that word mean?” are sweet words to the reading-aloud homeschool parent. Those words are the cue for us to pull out the big dictionary or ask Google. Those words invite us to store that word in our vocabulary bank and use it another day. Reading aloud is a tool to develop vocabulary.

3. Reading Aloud Models Good Comprehension Skills

I used to devour book series. I read the Ramona series as fast as lightning. I can tell you that I rarely stopped to think about whether I was comprehending the storyline, and I am sure that the author’s purpose for writing the books never crossed my mind. While I still loved my experience reading the Ramona books without thinking very deeply about them, I also wish that had thought about them a little more.

I realize now that Beverly Cleary was making a case for a child’s perspective on life. She was giving us a glimpse into the mind of a child and showing us the world through Ramona’s eyes. It was funny, because after I read Ramona the Pest as an adult, I found myself being much more patient with my children when they inevitably made mistakes. There is almost always more to books than meets the eye, and it is our job to dig into the goodness of author’s purpose, prediction, plot, and the many other facets of literacy. 

Reading aloud gives us the chance to model excellent reading techniques.

While we read aloud, we stop every so often and discuss the books. This is something we don’t really do very often when we are reading independently. While we may not need these skills quite as much in series reading, be assured that our kids will need them as they get older and begin higher level literature courses.

4. Reading Aloud Builds Bonds

As a mother of four children, I have plenty to do, so I tend to multitask during family movie night. During those nights in the living room when I'm trying to merge family time with productivity, one of my children will turn to me and excitedly say, “Mom, did you see that? It was so cool how he just….”

And I am stuck, not having a clue what they are talking about. I missed out on a moment to connect through movies, and it always makes me sad.

Books connect us too, possibly even more than movies do. When we read books together, we find ourselves laughing together, crying together, and even travelling together.

It is a marvelous thing. Reading aloud builds bonds

So when do we stop reading aloud? 

Never.

I often think about how in the old days, families would sit around the fireplace and listen to the father read aloud from the Bible. This continued forever, even when the children were out of the house and on their own, simply because there was likely only one copy of the Bible.

There is something special about connecting over literature, and there is no age limit to those precious opportunities for connection. I believe that reading aloud can be enjoyed by all ages, anytime. So don’t stop. Keep reading aloud as long as you can.

Request a Catalog

We'd love to send you a free catalog, full of great books you can read aloud with your children. Request yours here.

The post 4 Reasons Never to Stop Reading Aloud to Your Children appeared first on Sonlight Homeschooling Blog.

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Can you relate to these common homeschool fears?

I got an email from a worried mother recently. Can you relate to her?

I want to homeschool. Did it for one year, yet I struggle with fear ... what my parents will think of me? (They think I am nuts, and think I will ruin my children's social skills and life.) My fear about how my children will navigate social difficulties if I protect them from it. Fear that my kids will end up with no friends and I will have to be their companion and playmate all day long! Not getting any free time myself! Fear that my husband and I will have very little time together. I know fear doesn't come from God, but the fear comes and makes me feel anxious in my body, and I tire of fighting it.

Fear can haunt every aspect of parenting; the decision to homeschool is no exception. But here's what I say to that mom:

I think most moms deal with these fears. You are not alone.

I'm Afraid of Disappointing the Grandparents

We value our parents' thoughts and approval. But homeschooling is counter-cultural and therefore many grandparents are unfamiliar with it and worry for their grandchildren. It can help to remember that homeschooling today doesn't look like it did when your parents were raising you. It's much more common and there are so many great resources and homeschool groups out there to help.

If you haven't already, take time to talk with your parents. Share your goals, your reasons, and your plans. You might show them your Sonlight curriculum, if you already have it, so they can see their grandchildren will be using a proven and robust curriculum.

Be transparent. Share how they can be involved if they want. Many grandparents patiently listen to children learning to read, or help with Read-Alouds either in person or over video-conferencing.

Then, before God, act as you believe He's calling you.

If our parents disapprove, we homeschool and trust that they will come to see the fruits of our labor. Many, many homeschoolers can testify that their parents came to applaud their work. (Read Jill's personal story in When family disapproves.) But even if your own parents never approve, you will see the fruit of the time you invest in your children, and will be able to move beyond the critique of parents.

I'm Afraid My Kids Will Lack Social Opportunities

Regarding social skills, most homeschoolers find plenty of opportunities to interact with others in both formal and informal settings. Of course, the 2020 coronavirus has made it much more challenging, but with creativity and a positive outlook, you can avoid any long lasting harm for your children.

From sibling time to playground friends to soccer teams and homeschool co-ops, the possibilities are endless (sans pandemic). For example, my children

  • swam on a team
  • played in an honor band
  • studied karate
  • attended activities with their church groups
  • participated in Awana

Nowadays, homeschoolers have even more options for outside activities. These experiences broaden our children's exposure to their peers and other adults. And a major benefit of homeschool scocialization is that kids learn to interact comfortably with children and adults of all ages, not just their immediate peers.

I'm Afraid I'll Have No Time for Myself

As an introvert, my biggest fear was the idea of having my children around me all the time. When I first started homeschooling, my children did stay nearby, but as we found our groove, they got to the point where when we finished our schooling time together, they were happy to go off to play.

I believe homeschooling trains our children to work quickly and efficiently (good life skills) by giving them the freedom to do what interests them once they finish their day's work.

I'm Afraid of What Homeschooling will Do to My Marriage

When it comes to time with your spouse, fear not. When I first started, my husband found a babysitter for us to leave the home once a week. He knew I'd need a break. That could be an option for you as well.

But homeschooling also presents an opportunity for an exciting joint venture together with your husband. You get to work together towards the shared goal of educating your children. My husband began reading to the children every evening —a precious heritage they remember with joy to this day.

And remember, homeschooling has worked for thousands of families. Many statistics that show that homeschoolers test significantly higher than their private or public schooled peers. There are many reasons for this: the tutoring model of homeschooling keeps kids from falling through the cracks, the home is a safe and calm place to learn, kids do better without being taught to the test, and so on.

Fear not, mom. Resist the lies the Enemy brings. Bring all of this before the Lord in prayer. Homeschooling is not the only good way for children to learn, but it is a tried, true, and wonderful option! Commit to one more year and evaluate at the end of it. I believe you can do it.

If you ever want more personalized help overcoming one of the fears above, or with anything else in your homeschool, contact a Sonlight Homeschool Advisor at no charge.


.email-signup-form { margin: 16px auto; max-width: 500px; text-align: left; } .email-signup-form .indicates-required { font-size: .9em; } .email-signup-form .asterisk { color: red; } .email-signup-form .field-group { display: block; margin: 16px 0 0 0; width: 90%; } .email-signup-form .field-group label { display: block; margin: 0 0 4px 0; } .email-signup-form .field-group input { display: block; } .email-signup-form .field-group input[type="text"], .email-signup-form .field-group input[type="email"] { border-radius: 3px; padding: 6px; border: 1px solid #777; width: 100%; } .email-signup-form .consent { font-size: .8em; margin: 16px 0 0 0; } .email-signup-form .consent label { display: block; } .email-signup-form .error { margin: 0 auto; max-width: 600px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #fff; background: url('https://www.sonlight.com/style/images/icons/icon-alert.svg') 10px 50% no-repeat #d73300; background-size: 20px 20px; padding: 10px 20px 10px 50px; } .email-signup-form .success { margin: 0 auto; max-width: 600px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #fff; background: url('https://www.sonlight.com/style/images/icons/icon-success.svg') 10px 50% no-repeat lightgreen; background-size: 20px 20px; padding: 10px 20px 10px 50px; } $(function() { $('body').on('click', 'a.email-signup-form-submit', function() { var f = $(this).closest('.email-signup-form'); if (!f.length) { alert('There has been an error with form submission (code 01).'); return false; } var message = f.find('.message'); var email = f.find('.f_email'); var fname = f.find('.f_first_name'); var lname = f.find('.f_last_name'); var optin = f.find('.f_optin'); var data = f.find('.data'); message.html(''); if (!email.length || !fname.length || !lname.length || !optin.length) { message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 03).
'); return false; } var groups = data.data('groups').split(','); if (!groups) { message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 04).
'); return false; } var emailAddress = email.val().trim(); if (!emailAddress) { message.html('
Missing email address (required field).
'); return false; } var regexEmail = /^S+@S+.S+$/; if (!emailAddress.match(regexEmail)) { message.html('
Invalid email address.
'); return false; } var firstName = fname.val().trim(); if (!firstName || firstName == '') { message.html('
Missing first name (required field).
'); return false; } var lastName = lname.val().trim(); var optin_ok = optin.is(':checked'); if (!optin_ok) { message.html('
Please agree to the terms (click the checkbox).
'); return false; } // SUBMIT TO API var postData = { 'email': emailAddress, 'first_name': firstName, 'last_name': lastName, 'groups': groups.join(',') }; $.post('https://api.sonlight.com/email/set_contact', postData).done(function(data, statusText, xhr) { var status = xhr.status; if (status !== 200 || typeof data.email_address === 'undefined') { console.log(data); message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 05).
'); return false; } else { message.html('
Thank you!
'); f.find('.form-body').hide(); } }).fail(function(d) { console.log(d); message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 05).
'); return false; }); }); });

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The post Can you relate to these common homeschool fears? appeared first on Sonlight Homeschooling Blog.

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7 creative learning station ideasLearning stations for homeschooling can often accommodate students of varying levels—activity prompts and supplies can encompass different abilities. Your learning stations can be focused on themes and subjects from the curriculum (such as animal habitats or creative writing), or your spaces could be more freestyle. These ideas for 7 different learning stations will help you to offer space for children to create, explore, and enjoy. Continue reading »

The post Homeschool Classroom Setup: Using Learning Stations for Experiential Learning appeared first on TheHomeSchoolMom.

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happy girl with clay on hands and text Pursue interest-led learning with rabbit trailsHomeschooling is boring, your child is resistant, the curriculum seems “complete” but moves on quickly and without depth. You can improve this kind of homeschool experience by opening yourself to following the rabbit trails. What are rabbit trails? They are the paths you make as you help your child follow an interest or a question from one resource to the next. Continue reading »

The post Help Your Homeschool with Rabbit Trails appeared first on TheHomeSchoolMom.

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I love preparing fall activities, even though I now live in a climate with very mild winters. So, it’s time for a fall unit! I have lots of great fall resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers of preschoolers through first graders. I also have a new Montessori-inspired fall pack for our newsletter subscribers’ resource library!...

Read More »

The post Free Fall Printables and Montessori-Inspired Fall Activities appeared first on Living Montessori Now.

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We have a new printable pack … an animal-themed, editable name and word tracing pack~ The animal images and personalized names add interest to the task of name recognition and writing.  The pack can be used for any words or numbers, too! There’s a way to personalize the pack for cursive tracing. For toddlers and...

Read More »

The post Animal-Themed, Editable Name and Word Tracing Pack appeared first on Living Montessori Now.

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Money-Mini-Book-for-Kids

Help kids learn what the us money looks like and is worth with this fun-to-make and handy money booklet. This free printable covers the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar with a visual of how many you need to make 100. This teaching money to kids is great math resource for preschool, pre […]

The post Money Booklet Printable appeared first on 123 Homeschool 4 Me.

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Children will love learning about these fascinating animals from around the world that are sadly endangered animals. Grab these free printable Endangered Animals Worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students to make learning about animals fun and easy!  

Children will love learning about these fascinating animals from around the world that are sadly endangered animals. Grab these free printable Endangered Animals Worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students to make learning about animals fun and easy! Endangered Animals Worksheets Sadly there are many wonderful […]

The post Endangered Animals Worksheets appeared first on 123 Homeschool 4 Me.

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My key takeaway from the fabulous book Essentialism is that you can only have one priority.

“Priority” is a singular word.

I simply cannot say that both my wife and my work are my priority. That’s a cop-out. It leads to me typing on my laptop while I try to have a conversation with her. Both will suffer when I don’t make a choice.

Leaders must make a choice.

The purpose of setting a priority is to make decisions really easy: this thing is the focus, so everything else has to get out of the way. My wife is home, so work goes away. No thinking required.

Personally, when I decided that Byrdseed.TV was my priority, it meant that I had to shut down my speaking career as quickly as possible. I couldn’t possibly do both well.

There was a feeling of burning my boats. I couldn’t turn back. I couldn’t hide behind four other priorities. We should be truly committed when we set our priority. At the end of the week, I have either made progress or not on my priority.

Too many districts have five “priorities.” That’s impossible. How can you make headway in five directions at once? How do you know what to do when two priorities conflict?

And it’s a communication nightmare. Your teachers won’t know what’s important if they’re asked to focus on five things.

So that’s really the test: ask the folks you lead what your priority is. Send it out in a personal email to each person: “I’m wondering, what do you think my priority is with our program this year?”

You’ll know very quickly if you’ve established a clear priority or not!

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An administrator once said to me, after I finished leading a workshop:

It’s so nice for our teachers to hear from someone who actually went through a gifted program…

This has always struck me as such a strange thing to say. Certainly, it isn’t too hard to find grown-up gifted students, right? Especially if you run a gifted program?

It made me wonder, do gifted programs keep in touch with their alumni? If not, consider reaching out to your past students. Ask them how your program helped them. What did you miss? You’ll also get to see what your kids have gone on to do.

Interviewing past students would be a phenomenal (and cheap) way to fine-tune your program’s focus.

This doesn’t mean tracking down 40-year-olds. Ask your high school students what elementary school was like for them. Ask first-year college students how well their K-12 experiences prepared them. Invite these students back to speak at parent nights or to address teachers.

My pal Lisa has been interviewing gifted kids (of all ages) and the results are, frankly, stunning. It’s a shame we’re not doing more of this. Your former students are a gold mine of information about the effectiveness of your program. Use them! Many of them would love to talk to you about this topic.

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4 Reasons Never to Stop Reading Aloud to Your Children

I cannot express how great my excitement was when my children began reading their own bedtime stories. Don’t get me wrong...I loved those precious memories of storytime, but on the other hand, my kids wanted to hear Goodnight Train exactly 19 times before bed every single night. After a long day, it was pretty exhausting by the time we got around to the seventh nightly reading. 

It’s easy to push for that transition when children can read to themselves without your help. Believe me, I get it.

Yet reading aloud is still valuable, even in the older grades. Perhaps I should even say especially in the older grades. Here are a few reasons we need to keep reading aloud to our children even after they have become independent readers.

1. Reading Aloud Develops Fluency

The best readers are often the readers who were read aloud to the most.

There is something about hearing the English language read fluently that registers in our child’s brain and allows them to perfect their fluency as well. Most children are not necessarily fluent readers by the time they are able to read independently. You might be surprised to hear your independent reader skip punctuation and get hung up on a few words.

Just because a child can read solo doesn’t necessarily mean they are reading fluently

Continuing to read aloud to them bridges the gap between reading independently and reading fluently. The more they hear your pauses and emotion, the more they will begin to work pause and emotion into their reading. The benefit to fluency is that fluency helps them comprehend what they are reading. Comprehension is our goal. 

2. Reading Aloud Develops Vocabulary

Did you know that most readers tend to skip words that they don’t know? Don’t believe me?

When was the last time you paused to look up a word in the dictionary as you were reading?

Don’t worry, I can’t remember either! We are generally content with skipping a word rather than digging in to figure out the meaning. 

However, when we read aloud to our kids, we are consciously reminding ourselves to look for vocabulary building opportunities. We are inviting our children to begin a conversation about words and ideas.

“What does that word mean?” are sweet words to the reading-aloud homeschool parent. Those words are the cue for us to pull out the big dictionary or ask Google. Those words invite us to store that word in our vocabulary bank and use it another day. Reading aloud is a tool to develop vocabulary.

3. Reading Aloud Models Good Comprehension Skills

I used to devour book series. I read the Ramona series as fast as lightning. I can tell you that I rarely stopped to think about whether I was comprehending the storyline, and I am sure that the author’s purpose for writing the books never crossed my mind. While I still loved my experience reading the Ramona books without thinking very deeply about them, I also wish that had thought about them a little more.

I realize now that Beverly Cleary was making a case for a child’s perspective on life. She was giving us a glimpse into the mind of a child and showing us the world through Ramona’s eyes. It was funny, because after I read Ramona the Pest as an adult, I found myself being much more patient with my children when they inevitably made mistakes. There is almost always more to books than meets the eye, and it is our job to dig into the goodness of author’s purpose, prediction, plot, and the many other facets of literacy. 

Reading aloud gives us the chance to model excellent reading techniques.

While we read aloud, we stop every so often and discuss the books. This is something we don’t really do very often when we are reading independently. While we may not need these skills quite as much in series reading, be assured that our kids will need them as they get older and begin higher level literature courses.

4. Reading Aloud Builds Bonds

As a mother of four children, I have plenty to do, so I tend to multitask during family movie night. During those nights in the living room when I'm trying to merge family time with productivity, one of my children will turn to me and excitedly say, “Mom, did you see that? It was so cool how he just….”

And I am stuck, not having a clue what they are talking about. I missed out on a moment to connect through movies, and it always makes me sad.

Books connect us too, possibly even more than movies do. When we read books together, we find ourselves laughing together, crying together, and even travelling together.

It is a marvelous thing. Reading aloud builds bonds

So when do we stop reading aloud? 

Never.

I often think about how in the old days, families would sit around the fireplace and listen to the father read aloud from the Bible. This continued forever, even when the children were out of the house and on their own, simply because there was likely only one copy of the Bible.

There is something special about connecting over literature, and there is no age limit to those precious opportunities for connection. I believe that reading aloud can be enjoyed by all ages, anytime. So don’t stop. Keep reading aloud as long as you can.

Request a Catalog

We'd love to send you a free catalog, full of great books you can read aloud with your children. Request yours here.

The post 4 Reasons Never to Stop Reading Aloud to Your Children appeared first on Sonlight Homeschooling Blog.

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Can you relate to these common homeschool fears?

I got an email from a worried mother recently. Can you relate to her?

I want to homeschool. Did it for one year, yet I struggle with fear ... what my parents will think of me? (They think I am nuts, and think I will ruin my children's social skills and life.) My fear about how my children will navigate social difficulties if I protect them from it. Fear that my kids will end up with no friends and I will have to be their companion and playmate all day long! Not getting any free time myself! Fear that my husband and I will have very little time together. I know fear doesn't come from God, but the fear comes and makes me feel anxious in my body, and I tire of fighting it.

Fear can haunt every aspect of parenting; the decision to homeschool is no exception. But here's what I say to that mom:

I think most moms deal with these fears. You are not alone.

I'm Afraid of Disappointing the Grandparents

We value our parents' thoughts and approval. But homeschooling is counter-cultural and therefore many grandparents are unfamiliar with it and worry for their grandchildren. It can help to remember that homeschooling today doesn't look like it did when your parents were raising you. It's much more common and there are so many great resources and homeschool groups out there to help.

If you haven't already, take time to talk with your parents. Share your goals, your reasons, and your plans. You might show them your Sonlight curriculum, if you already have it, so they can see their grandchildren will be using a proven and robust curriculum.

Be transparent. Share how they can be involved if they want. Many grandparents patiently listen to children learning to read, or help with Read-Alouds either in person or over video-conferencing.

Then, before God, act as you believe He's calling you.

If our parents disapprove, we homeschool and trust that they will come to see the fruits of our labor. Many, many homeschoolers can testify that their parents came to applaud their work. (Read Jill's personal story in When family disapproves.) But even if your own parents never approve, you will see the fruit of the time you invest in your children, and will be able to move beyond the critique of parents.

I'm Afraid My Kids Will Lack Social Opportunities

Regarding social skills, most homeschoolers find plenty of opportunities to interact with others in both formal and informal settings. Of course, the 2020 coronavirus has made it much more challenging, but with creativity and a positive outlook, you can avoid any long lasting harm for your children.

From sibling time to playground friends to soccer teams and homeschool co-ops, the possibilities are endless (sans pandemic). For example, my children

  • swam on a team
  • played in an honor band
  • studied karate
  • attended activities with their church groups
  • participated in Awana

Nowadays, homeschoolers have even more options for outside activities. These experiences broaden our children's exposure to their peers and other adults. And a major benefit of homeschool scocialization is that kids learn to interact comfortably with children and adults of all ages, not just their immediate peers.

I'm Afraid I'll Have No Time for Myself

As an introvert, my biggest fear was the idea of having my children around me all the time. When I first started homeschooling, my children did stay nearby, but as we found our groove, they got to the point where when we finished our schooling time together, they were happy to go off to play.

I believe homeschooling trains our children to work quickly and efficiently (good life skills) by giving them the freedom to do what interests them once they finish their day's work.

I'm Afraid of What Homeschooling will Do to My Marriage

When it comes to time with your spouse, fear not. When I first started, my husband found a babysitter for us to leave the home once a week. He knew I'd need a break. That could be an option for you as well.

But homeschooling also presents an opportunity for an exciting joint venture together with your husband. You get to work together towards the shared goal of educating your children. My husband began reading to the children every evening —a precious heritage they remember with joy to this day.

And remember, homeschooling has worked for thousands of families. Many statistics that show that homeschoolers test significantly higher than their private or public schooled peers. There are many reasons for this: the tutoring model of homeschooling keeps kids from falling through the cracks, the home is a safe and calm place to learn, kids do better without being taught to the test, and so on.

Fear not, mom. Resist the lies the Enemy brings. Bring all of this before the Lord in prayer. Homeschooling is not the only good way for children to learn, but it is a tried, true, and wonderful option! Commit to one more year and evaluate at the end of it. I believe you can do it.

If you ever want more personalized help overcoming one of the fears above, or with anything else in your homeschool, contact a Sonlight Homeschool Advisor at no charge.


.email-signup-form { margin: 16px auto; max-width: 500px; text-align: left; } .email-signup-form .indicates-required { font-size: .9em; } .email-signup-form .asterisk { color: red; } .email-signup-form .field-group { display: block; margin: 16px 0 0 0; width: 90%; } .email-signup-form .field-group label { display: block; margin: 0 0 4px 0; } .email-signup-form .field-group input { display: block; } .email-signup-form .field-group input[type="text"], .email-signup-form .field-group input[type="email"] { border-radius: 3px; padding: 6px; border: 1px solid #777; width: 100%; } .email-signup-form .consent { font-size: .8em; margin: 16px 0 0 0; } .email-signup-form .consent label { display: block; } .email-signup-form .error { margin: 0 auto; max-width: 600px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #fff; background: url('https://www.sonlight.com/style/images/icons/icon-alert.svg') 10px 50% no-repeat #d73300; background-size: 20px 20px; padding: 10px 20px 10px 50px; } .email-signup-form .success { margin: 0 auto; max-width: 600px; box-sizing: border-box; color: #fff; background: url('https://www.sonlight.com/style/images/icons/icon-success.svg') 10px 50% no-repeat lightgreen; background-size: 20px 20px; padding: 10px 20px 10px 50px; } $(function() { $('body').on('click', 'a.email-signup-form-submit', function() { var f = $(this).closest('.email-signup-form'); if (!f.length) { alert('There has been an error with form submission (code 01).'); return false; } var message = f.find('.message'); var email = f.find('.f_email'); var fname = f.find('.f_first_name'); var lname = f.find('.f_last_name'); var optin = f.find('.f_optin'); var data = f.find('.data'); message.html(''); if (!email.length || !fname.length || !lname.length || !optin.length) { message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 03).
'); return false; } var groups = data.data('groups').split(','); if (!groups) { message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 04).
'); return false; } var emailAddress = email.val().trim(); if (!emailAddress) { message.html('
Missing email address (required field).
'); return false; } var regexEmail = /^S+@S+.S+$/; if (!emailAddress.match(regexEmail)) { message.html('
Invalid email address.
'); return false; } var firstName = fname.val().trim(); if (!firstName || firstName == '') { message.html('
Missing first name (required field).
'); return false; } var lastName = lname.val().trim(); var optin_ok = optin.is(':checked'); if (!optin_ok) { message.html('
Please agree to the terms (click the checkbox).
'); return false; } // SUBMIT TO API var postData = { 'email': emailAddress, 'first_name': firstName, 'last_name': lastName, 'groups': groups.join(',') }; $.post('https://api.sonlight.com/email/set_contact', postData).done(function(data, statusText, xhr) { var status = xhr.status; if (status !== 200 || typeof data.email_address === 'undefined') { console.log(data); message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 05).
'); return false; } else { message.html('
Thank you!
'); f.find('.form-body').hide(); } }).fail(function(d) { console.log(d); message.html('
There has been an error with form submission (code 05).
'); return false; }); }); });

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The post Can you relate to these common homeschool fears? appeared first on Sonlight Homeschooling Blog.

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7 creative learning station ideasLearning stations for homeschooling can often accommodate students of varying levels—activity prompts and supplies can encompass different abilities. Your learning stations can be focused on themes and subjects from the curriculum (such as animal habitats or creative writing), or your spaces could be more freestyle. These ideas for 7 different learning stations will help you to offer space for children to create, explore, and enjoy. Continue reading »

The post Homeschool Classroom Setup: Using Learning Stations for Experiential Learning appeared first on TheHomeSchoolMom.

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happy girl with clay on hands and text Pursue interest-led learning with rabbit trailsHomeschooling is boring, your child is resistant, the curriculum seems “complete” but moves on quickly and without depth. You can improve this kind of homeschool experience by opening yourself to following the rabbit trails. What are rabbit trails? They are the paths you make as you help your child follow an interest or a question from one resource to the next. Continue reading »

The post Help Your Homeschool with Rabbit Trails appeared first on TheHomeSchoolMom.

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I love preparing fall activities, even though I now live in a climate with very mild winters. So, it’s time for a fall unit! I have lots of great fall resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers of preschoolers through first graders. I also have a new Montessori-inspired fall pack for our newsletter subscribers’ resource library!...

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The post Free Fall Printables and Montessori-Inspired Fall Activities appeared first on Living Montessori Now.

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We have a new printable pack … an animal-themed, editable name and word tracing pack~ The animal images and personalized names add interest to the task of name recognition and writing.  The pack can be used for any words or numbers, too! There’s a way to personalize the pack for cursive tracing. For toddlers and...

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The post Animal-Themed, Editable Name and Word Tracing Pack appeared first on Living Montessori Now.

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Money-Mini-Book-for-Kids

Help kids learn what the us money looks like and is worth with this fun-to-make and handy money booklet. This free printable covers the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar with a visual of how many you need to make 100. This teaching money to kids is great math resource for preschool, pre […]

The post Money Booklet Printable appeared first on 123 Homeschool 4 Me.

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Children will love learning about these fascinating animals from around the world that are sadly endangered animals. Grab these free printable Endangered Animals Worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students to make learning about animals fun and easy!  

Children will love learning about these fascinating animals from around the world that are sadly endangered animals. Grab these free printable Endangered Animals Worksheets for kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students to make learning about animals fun and easy! Endangered Animals Worksheets Sadly there are many wonderful […]

The post Endangered Animals Worksheets appeared first on 123 Homeschool 4 Me.