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Sometimes I feel like my brain is just not organized enough for what I do. There are so many thoughts jumbling around in my head it is difficult to focus on just one thing… for any length of time. After staring at my computer for a good 15 minutes going over ideas for this weeks episode, I pray about it and decided to just start with no agenda. This episode is affectionately named the Rabbit Trail episode.

I kind of talk about anything and everything that is on my mind: from bedtime battles to parenting goals to judgement and loneliness to homeschool schedules and routines and finally my vision for how we will blend unschooling together with Charlotte Mason and also some workbooks (so mommy doesn’t go insane).

It’s not focused, it’s a conversation. A glimpse inside my busy, wild, fast-paced thought processes and I hope that it inspires you, helps you feel a little less alone, and maybe gives you some ideas in the process.

Join me for a rabbit trail in your homeschool day:

Links mentioned in today’s episode

The build your bundle sale is the biggest homeschool sale of the year (you can get some amazing resources up to 90% off) and it is ending in just 2 more days! Learn more, enter a giveaway valued at $300 for a laser printer and binding machine, get a free printable AND see my top recommendations here.

(Hint hint, nudge nudge, A Gentle Feast is in the sale and they are by far my two favourite reseources, not to mention my two brand new courses Total Time Makeover and Start a Blog for Kids/YouTube are 50% off there!)

Sign up for my newsletter for daily (or hot-mess “often as I can”) inspiration, ideas, and motivation in your inbox!

But enough about me…

What about you? Post your questions, comments, ideas below! I can’t wait to read them!

The post #50 The Rabbit Trail Episode appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Dear kids, I am tired. Tired of being the bad guy. Tired of pushing you to do what you don’t want to do and trying to convince you why you need to. I get it, I don’t like doing what people tell me either, especially when I don’t understand why. So I’m raising the white flag of surrender. Perhaps the battle, the daily struggle between us is that I need to pass the baton. To stop telling you what to do and start modelling and training you to understand the why for yourself.

Managing your time starts with understanding the value of time, with deciding what you truly value and want and how time wasters steal from the person you want to become.

Today’s podcast episode is to my kids and yours. The message of my heart and mothers everywhere. We are not your enemy kids, we dream so big for you, and all we want is for you to catch the vision of  all the amazing potential you have.

Time is valuable, precious even. Time never stops moving, it never waits for your distractions, it isn’t kind and gentle.

Time management for kids, to kids Links mentioned in today’s podcast

This podcast is rising up because I am launching a brand new course. I have been talking to my camera about time management for days and the more I talk, the more I realize this is so important for our kids! Most adults struggle with time management! What if we could give our kids these skills now? Check out my little promo video below and keep reading.

This course is 4 weeks long, video based, about 10 minutes a day with worksheets and activities, games and quizzes and more. It is a fun and engaging way to teach your kids the why and how behind time management. The course is completely self-paced and you can take as much time as you need to complete it. You can do it together as a family or have older kids complete it on their own. This course will be well worth the investment, and I believe, it will change your homeschool forever.

You can learn more about the course by clicking on the link below. There is a video with more details there, the entire course syllabus, and more information about the course along with frequently asked questions about it.

But wait!

The course officially launches Wednesday, May 15th but is available for ore-registration these next few days. I don’t want to say there might be a special introductory price announced on Wednesday, but I won’t say there won’t be either In essence, you may want to bookmark the page and check back in a few days to see if there are any changes to the price

Just sayin’

Comment Below! What do you want your kids to know about time?

Plus don’t miss entering this amazing giveaway!

The post #49 Dear Kids: Your Time is Yours appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Homeschooling is so much harder than I ever imagined it could be. Nothing could have prepared me for the amount of stretching and pressing that would occur in this homeschool environment. It is both the most challenging and most rewarding experience of my life–a wild ride.

In my line of work I get a TON of emails from people looking for answers: for their curriculum, for their routine, for their kids, etc. Through the years I have identified what I think is the root of some of this feeling of complete overwhelm and that is the topic of today’s podcast episode. The problem with homeschooling is that it brings you to the brink of who you are and forces you to grow and change and adapt. It requires all of you and sometimes you feel like a shipwreck survivor, spit up on the banks of life gasping for breath.

Today’s episode is for you: any homeschooler who has felt like they are drowning. I share some practical tips to help you get back into the boat and what kind of lifesavers are worth grabbing hold of. May it inspire you, encourage you, and motivate you to rise up and homeschool on.

Links mentioned in “The problem with Homeschooling.”

Total Time Makeover for kids: Total Time Makeover is a one-month self-paced online course for kids of all ages. It will discuss the importance of time management, identifying time wasters, various time management skills and strategies, creating realistic goals and vision casting, as well as day-to-day planning. Children will learn how to make their own planners using a simple notebook you can snag at the dollar store or a local office supply store. They will learn how to create reward systems and set their own consequences for their actions (ie. natural consequence of not being able to play with friends if they don’t get their school work done) to help them take ownership of their time and their school to help them be more successful and independent.

Lessons are delivered via a daily video with a printable PDF worksheet for them to brainstorm and take notes while they watch (available in the online course platform). There will also be challenges and motivation emailed daily. This course is designed to help youth be more aware and efficient with their time and equip them with the strategies and skills they need to be self-motivated and purposeful.

Start a Blog/YouTube for Kids: Has your child ever asked you to start a blog or a YouTube channel but you didn t know where to start or if it was safe? Blogging is an amazing way to learn simple coding, computer skills, improve their writing, and zero in on their interests. In this course, children of all ages (recommended for ages 9+) will learn how to set up a free blog, basic coding skills, graphic design, how to organize a blog post and write good articles (hello Language Arts!), blogging safety (privacy and dealing with spam), copyright, and even how to start a YouTube channel! They will learn how to make a private blog as well as a public one and can discuss with you whether or not you feel comfortable with it being live.

*PARENT BONUS: This course also features a private video for parents to discuss safety and risks associated with YouTube, Social media, and blogging for kids to help you decide whether you want it to be private or public and what rules you want to set in place.

This 1 month mini course is delivered online and has daily videos, emails, and online lessons that they can log in to and work at their own pace. They will need access to a computer for the course and ideally a phone to take pictures or videos and upload to their blog or channel. There are no other costs associated with the course and it will cover basic language arts such as using good vocabulary, how to make your writing more interesting, organizing paragraphs, coming up with a thesis statement (aka topic), as well as computer skills!

*KID BONUS: There is a private Facebook group for kids (they can use your account if they do not have their own) to ask questions, get ideas and support from other kids in the course, and more!

The post #48 The Problem with Homeschooling appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Brave Writer is so much more than just a homeschool language arts curriculum, it is a way of life! I’ll never forget the day we stumbled upon one of Julie’s videos. Her words resonated with me deeply, her approach seemed so unique, could it really be that simple? Could I really teach my children the art of communication without blanks to fill and workbooks to do?

My journey with Brave Writer has been ever-changing. I started out with just the Writer’s Jungle and now I am passionate about helping families learn how to adapt the program to work for all their children together.

One read aloud, one approach, multiple grades.

My tagline for this little movement of ours is, “What if Language Arts could be a family thing?”

I was tired of teaching 5 different spelling curricula, 5 different vocabulary curricula, 5 different writing programs, 5 different math programs, etc. And so my Brave Writer companion live course was born! I knew this course would help other people understand Brave Writer, what I didn’t expect was my own families reaction. My kids LOVE the motivation of performing for other kids, they love sharing their pictures and little videos. They love knowing they are part of a group, not just doing this on their own.

Understanding Brave Writer

Today’s podcast episode is all about Brave Writer: the curriculum, the approach, the lifestyle, the results. I share my Brave Writer story, I talk about how to shop and what to look for as well as explain what my course is all about.

I hope it gives you some direction, I hope it inspires you and gives you the courage to maybe step out into something new.

Brave Writer links

Brave Writer with me

Check out my Brave Writer live course

Shop Brave Writer

Get a bundle
Just looking for Writing Projects
Hook me up with Writing Mechanics
I just want the Writer’s Jungle

Check out Julie’s book!

The Brave Learner

Other blog posts about Brave Writer

What is Brave Writer?
What is Poetry Tea Time?

Join the Facebook group!

Keep Calm and Brave Writer On

Want help choosing? Comment below!

If you feel totally lost and want help choosing, comment below or contact me.

The post #47 Brave Writer in a Nutshell appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Today’s podcast episode is a little bit different than my regular deal because I invited my hubby to join me. I had so many good ideas for today’s podcast and couldn’t decide so we ended up doing it Q&A style and tackling a few different topics in one episode.

This post is your resource for links and additional information about each question we covered: budget, large family, high school, summer school, is homeschooling better than public school, how to tailor your child’s education, how to teach to the family, dealing with multiple ages and stages (homeschooling with babies and toddlers), my favourite homeschool books for both kids and parents, and more!

Funny, serious, and definitely quirky, this episode will at the very least provide some entertainment

Homeschooling Q&A: the episode Links and additional resources

1. Cindy’s question: Homeschooling a wide variety of ages

Homeschooling a Large Family: Homeschool Tips to Make it Work! - YouTube

What homeschooling 5 kids really looks like

2. TJ’s question: favourite read alouds or reading series for kids

Read alouds:

The One and Only Ivan
Pippi Longstocking
Sarah Plain and Tall
Little Pear (one of their FAVORITES)
The Wild Robot
Ereth’s Birthday

I also like to read a lot of poetry as well as picture books that are shorter stories and not so daunting. My kids love these as do I.

Favorite series/books for my kids to read:

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Any Usborne books (I sell them FYI, here are my favs or check out my deal going on right now here)
Wrinkle in Time
The Green Ember
Old Yeller
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Giver

Homeschooling though Highschool

5 Things You Need to Know about Homeschooling Teens

Homeschooling through the Summer

Why we homeschool (ahem, kind of) through the summer

Juggling little ones while homeschooling

Homeschooling with a Baby

Is homeschooling better than public school?

Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Why Homeschooling is worth it (podcast episode)

Tailoring your child’s education

The Learning Style Quiz

The Homeschool Style Quiz

The Curriculum Quiz

My top homeschool resource books

The Brave Learner
Teaching from Rest
A Thomas Jefferson Education
How to Get your Child off the Refrigerator and On to Learning
The Read Aloud Family

What questions do you have? Post them in the comments below!

If you have something you want to hear about in this podcast, post it below!

The post #46 Homeschooling Q&A appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Planning speaking engagements and presentations, writing curriculum and books, blog posts, live videos, responding to comments and emails, creating courses… this is my life. This is what I do into the wee hours of the morning, this is what I do when my kids are sleeping or playing outside. This is what I do instead of hanging out with friends or watching a show in the evening: I work. Thankfully I am passionate about my work and most days, I love it with all my heart. But it doesn’t change the fact that I am more than just my work. I am also the world to my 5 kids, I am the world to my husband, I am involved in ministry and I have friendships that I value and a house that is always calling my name. To say I am busy is quite simply an understatement.

But somewhere in the midst of the chaos I also have to find time to homeschool. And somewhere in the midst of all of this chaos I am re-evaluating everything. Like the midlife crisis of a middle aged man I am asking myself “why” for everything. I am digging deep within to make sure that the direction I am headed is where I want to be. I am over halfway there, time is short, what am I doing?

Today’s podcast episode is about balancing work and homeschool. I don’t talk about managing your home and cooking good meals, I just talk about priorities, limitations and choosing between your head and your heart. Some people have the luxury of doing both, moms who work do not. We have to be vicious in our decision making, cut-throat. We can’t hold onto something because we want to or because we feel obligated. Every decision has to be checked and balanced with our goals, priorities and limitations. Sometimes we need to say yes, a lot of times we need to say no.

Balancing work and homeschool (my musings) Take a peek inside my homeschool planner

I snapped a few pictures of my homeschool planner from the last few days to show you my heart on paper. We will still use curriculum, I am not sure what yet, but I want them to be tools in my belt, not something we have to do.

Big picture and tools in my belt

We want to incorporate all those amazing Charlotte Mason principles and create a feast of education, but we can’t do it all so I created a loop in a kind of artistic way to show how we can alternate some of those extra things that we don’t need to do every day. On the bottom I show what we could do more often/on our school days.

I feel compelled to find the beauty of art and journaling even for myself

Links mentioned in todays episode

It is now the next day and I honestly can’t remember what links I mentioned other than speaking. If you want to hear me speak, you can see the US conventions I am in here or come and listen to me at AHEA in Alberta!

Want to hear something on this podcast? Comment below!

I am not joking when I say I take my inspiration from you! If you have something in particular you haven’t seen on my podcast that you want to hear my thoughts on, please please please post them below. If you want to chime in on today’s podcast episode, ask a question, tell me something my 2am brain missed or anything else, post a comment!

Otherwise, until next time my friends!

The post #45 Balancing Work and Homeschool appeared first on Homeschool On.

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If you follow me on Instagram you have probably heard the melody of change. Something new is on the horizon and I am in the middle of processing what it is and what it looks like.

I feel a calling, a stirring deep within, to step out of the shallows of homeschooling into deeper waters. Let the tide pull me out where my feet leave the ground and I lose my footing and am lost in the waves, the rhyme and rhythm of the flow of our days.

Lately I feel like God is asking me to evaluate what education means to me, my vision for homeschooling and to consider something new. To break away from the pressures of bookwork and to consider a deeper, more enchanted education. It doesn’t feel like a command of obedience, it feels like a whispered invitation, a dare even: “Rebecca, can you homeschool without curriculum? Without the tests and the blanks and the “proof” that you find your security in? Can you let go of your security blanket and find TRUE homeschool freedom?”

I don’t know… can I?

This new melody is thrumming in my veins, a drum beat grounding me, propelling me to search for something new. I am not certain yet what the full song will be, but I am on an adventure into something different.

Today’s podcast episode is my musings, my ponderings on a subject that is still an infant thought in my mind. Let’s consider that education could be more than just filling in the blanks and perhaps there is another way.

I have been so inspired and at the same time thrown for a loop that I have been losing myself in art. The deadlines are piling up and yet all is ignored while I paint and sketch and doodle and write and plan and work out the message of my head vs. the message of my heart.

If you want to see my hand painted journal and travellers notebook, I made an Instagram story and pinned it to my highlights. To view it simply go to my Instagram feed and look at the little circles under my bio. Find the one that says homeschool planning.

Links mentioned in today’s episode

Book I am reading: The Brave Learner (life changing)
Learn more about Brave Writer
Check out my Brave Writer course
Start a blog with me!
Enter the giveaway!

What do you think? Can you homeschool without curriculum?

Join the conversation! Post your comments below!

The post #44 Can You Homeschool Without Curriculum? appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Homeschooling is one of the most challenging journeys I have ever embarked upon. I have been tested and stretched and pulled and tried beyond what I thought I could handle. I have learned that many of my perceived limits only exist in my mind. I have grown as a person.

In the midst of the chaos, overwhelm and monotony of the every day it is easy to miss the moments. The treasures that are a glimmer of color and sparkle in the trenches: my 5 year olds giggle, the adorable little girl sound of my 6 year old’s voice, snuggling with my 9 year old while he finally sounds out a word and grins in triumph.

I am no different than any other homeschool mom out there, I have my hard days. But the good days make it all worth it. They remind me why I am doing this and keep me going. Today’s episode starts off with an interview with my 6 year old. She shares some of her thoughts on homeschooling, what it means, a typical day, even her thoughts on socialization. I finish off with my thoughts on why we are doing this and some of the homeschool benefits I have seen along the way.

Homeschooling is worth it 10 Amazing Homeschool Benefits

Skip guide (don’t have time to listen, skip to these time codes to listen!)

#1 7:30- The Moments (I’m selfish and don’t want to miss anything)
#2 8:40- I dreamed of this (My homeschool story, why I homeschool)
#3 14:00- Relationships with my kids
#4 14:30- Success/creativity (who I am today is because I was homeschooled)
#5 15:00- I don’t have to teach my child in a box (arbitrary line of “normal”)
#6 16:30- Values/morals
#7 17:00- Education is more than facts
#8 19:00- Experience of education (it’s not about grades)
#9 21:00- I hate learning outcomes/report cards
#10 24:00- Protect their innocence

Links mentioned in today’s episode

Brave Writer course (started today but you can still join)
The curriculum quiz
Join the Brave Writer group

What homeschool benefits do you find?

Join the conversation and comment below or save the post for later!

Pin me!

The post #43 Why Homeschooling is Worth It appeared first on Homeschool On.

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Whining, fussing, crying, and general bad attitudes can be like a pin to the bubble of your homeschool day. No matter how much enthusiasm and planning you bring to the table, if your kids aren’t on board it can pop even the best of plans in no time! Today’s episode is your lifejacket in the midst of the swells of disinterest. Come and join me to learn some practical strategies and tips to help you find a way to make school more engaging and fun and productive again.

Links mentioned in today’s episode:

Homeschooling the Uncooperative Child (TONS of practical ideas to help)
Total Time Makeover for Kids (online course for time management)

Course description: Total Time Makeover is a one-month self-paced online course for kids of all ages. It will discuss the importance of time management, identifying time wasters, various time management skills and strategies, creating realistic goals and vision casting, as well as day-to-day planning. Children will learn how to make their own planners using a simple notebook you can snag at the dollar store or a local office supply store. They will learn how to create reward systems and set their own consequences for their actions (ie. natural consequence of not being able to play with friends if they don’t get their school work done) to help them take ownership of their time and their school to help them be more successful and independent.

Lessons are delivered via a daily video with a printable PDF worksheet for them to brainstorm and take notes while they watch (available in the online course platform). There will also be challenges and motivation emailed daily. This course is designed to help youth be more aware and efficient with their time and equip them with the strategies and skills they need to be self-motivated and purposeful.

The post #42 When they Don’t Want to do School appeared first on Homeschool On.

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This is the season that homeschool burnout settles in. It seeps through the cracks of our impatience, the mundane of our half-finished books, the grating of the kids whining yet again. Things are not as exciting, the passion seems to have tapered off, and we are left trying to pick up the pieces and salvage the day. But here’s the thing, I want so much more than just homeschool survival. My goal is greatness, passion, joy, excitement, and wonder. My goal is an environment and an atmosphere that we ALL want to be a part of.

Julie’s new book, The Brave Learner, is the perfect pick-me-up to a mid-year slump. The very first chapter caught me completely off guard. You can tell a good book when it makes you want to read it. You can tell if a book is great when you can’t put it down. But every once in a while, a book that is extraordinary rises to the surface. It is the book that you continually put down, you have to stop and DO. It inspires change, it propels you to action. THIS, my friend, is the gift of The Brave Learner. It is not just philosophies and ideas, it is practical tips and strategies and things to try! It can help you transform your day!

Listen to the podcast!

When I first asked Julie to be a guest on my podcast, I knew I wanted to help get the word out about her amazing new book. But I didn’t come with a planned agenda. I wanted to hear her why, her heart behind the book, and what some of the principles might look like in action. More or less, I kind of just wanted to share my morning coffee with Julie and show my listeners what an incredible source of inspiration she is. This podcast episode is such a treat for me, the privilege of sitting down and chatting about homeschooling with this amazing lady is so worth the time it takes to listen. I hope it inspires you as much as she inspires me.

Important links mentioned in today’s podcast

Learn more about Brave Writer
(the Writer’s Jungle, the homeschool alliance, and online courses)
Check out the Homeschool Alliance
Buy The Brave Learner!
Check out Julie’s Blog and podcast
Download the free Brave Learner Companion Guide

Want more help with Brave Writer and learning how it works? Come on over to my Facebook Group: Keep Calm and Brave Writer On!

Join the conversation!

Post your questions, comments, and special requests below!

Pin me!

The post #41: More than Homeschool Survival appeared first on Homeschool On.

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