Blogging, Business, and Homeschooling: Chatting with Alicia Hutchinson

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Blogging, Business, and Homeschooling: Chatting with Alicia Hutchinson

{EPISODE 21}

Blogging, Business, and Homeschooling

 

Are you a blogger, or working mama? Or, are you just curious how the business of blogging works behind the scenes?

The sisters are joined this week by one of their very favorite bloggers and owner of the Learning Well Community, Alicia Hutchinson!

Listen in as they chat about the myth of “balance,” and how Alicia and the sisters tackle homeschooling, work, parenting and homemaking without losing their minds.

Plus, learn why you shouldn’t blog for money. At least, not at first!

If you’re a working mama or interested in working from home, this episode is a great place to start!

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I’m not homeschooling AT YOU

Written by Kara S. Anderson

I’m lucky to Iive in a pretty terrible school district. Lucky, as in – people don’t really question our decision to homeschool.

“Oh,” they say nodding, “of course. The schools here …”

And sometimes, for the sake of peace and quiet, I don’t tell them that my son went to a small church preschool that was adorable, and then we tried a private Montessori-based school that was amazing, but that it was also expensive and would have changed our lives entirely if we had decided to send him there full-time.

We never tried public schools, because at that point something was telling me that schools were not for this kid.

Any school. Anywhere.

But still, I am lucky that people don’t really question it, and so only a few times have people truly challenged our choice home educate.

That doesn’t mean that we never get questions though:

  • How long are you going to do that?
  • Just in grade school, right?
  • Isn’t it hard? I could never do that.
  • How can you teach every subject?
  • What about college?

Usually, I think these questions are born of genuine curiosity, or perhaps a little worry. A sweet friend of my mom’s once stopped me in Target to tell me that she prayed for me all the time.

“You’re just taking so much on yourself,” she said.

She right, but it’s usually good, I said. I wanted to explain that I don’t do what teachers do – homeschooling is different – and our life is very blended.

My work involves homeschooling, and we simply live our lives together.

All of us keep learning.

But that wasn’t what she needed to hear, and so instead I said something I say a lot, that’s “it’s good FOR NOW.”

The “for now” will get a lot of people off your back – the loving, worried ones and the ones who maybe feel that you are homeschooling at them.

The latter are a tricky beast – they are the folks who feel like your homeschooling is an indictment of their choice not to.

You can usually spot them by the following:

  • sudden and extreme school pride – Go Tigers!
  • an explanation of how homeschooling could NEVER work for them
  • defensiveness about their job or unique life situation
  • doubt that homeschooling works
  • questions that are really judgements: “I noticed you’re still tying Trudy’s shoes – doesn’t it worry you that because you homeschool she’ll never be a functional member of society?”

Sometimes, they come armed. They have read a book or article. Or they met a homeschooling family and those kids were weird.

They want you to know that you are really bothering them with your life choices.

Or sometimes, they want you to know that they would homeschool, but they can’t. They have a very real reason – an unsupportive spouse, the need for two full-time incomes, an illness …

And so do you understand? Do you? Really? That they just CAN’T homeschool, OK? And it’s great that you do – really. But everyone CAN’T, so I just hope you get that.

This is such hot water, sisters.

But I want to remind you that you probably didn’t do anything to get yourself into it.

It’s true that just as I met a man once who challenged our choice to homeschool after crashing my mom’s birthday party, there are people who are homeschooling at the world.

They want everyone to know that they have it figured out – that this is not only right, but that everything else is wrong. If you look at their Facebook page, it’s ALL memes about how schools are prisons and Candy Crush rankings. That’s it.

But that’s not most of us.

So what can we do when people get defensive about our choice to homeschool?

  1. We can listen. We can let them say what they need to say.

2. We can affirm their choices.

“Well, Sharona is thriving!” you can say.

“Your school sounds like a perfect fit for your guys,” you can add.

“If we were looking for a school, that’s exactly what we would want,” you can pledge.

3. We can gently assert that homeschooling works for us, “for now.”

This is powerful because we are saying we don’t feel like we have it all figured out – but right now? Right now we’re all good.

Hopefully, this will be enough. Hopefully, this kind approach will send the message, “Really, I’m not homeschooling at you.”

And if it doesn’t, you can always ask them to “please pass the pie.”

NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN. TELL US: WHat do you say to people who get confrontational about homeschooling? SHARE HERE!

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Queries and Quandaries: What You’re Asking The Sisters [Part 1]

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Queries and Quandaries: What You’re Asking The Sisters [Part 1]

{EPISODE 20}

Queries and Quandaries: What You're Asking The Sisters [Part 1] | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

The sisters are answering your questions in this episode- from dads who distract (often with plans that are more fun!), to testing, to weekly homeschool planning.

They also chat about homeschooling kids with special needs and how organizational systems save their bacon. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, and listen in as Cait and Kara share their ideas.

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Screens- Monsters or Manageable? with Mary from Not Before 7

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Screens: Monsters or Manageable? with Mary

{EPISODE 19}

Screens- Monsters or Manageable? with Mary from Not Before 7 | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

The sisters get questions about screens all the time! So in this episode, they’re phoning a friend- The amazing Mary Wilson from Not Before 7!

Mary has a great strategy in her home and she has found peace with this topic, so you’re going to love hearing what she has to say.

Cait and Kara chat with Mary about all the most common screen questions they receive: How much is too much How do you find balance between “learning” screen time and “play” screen time? Is technology a monster? Or manageable?

And finally, is homeschooling moving more toward technology? If so, how can we embrace that?

There is so much wisdom from Mary in this episode! It’s like a deep breath for worried parents!

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We make the rules: How we get it right

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Written by Kara S. Anderson.

When I was in second grade, I was in a split classroom with third graders.

Our school did this sometimes, and I try to imagine now how the teacher handled it. But at the time, I just knew that it allowed me to make friends with the coolest girl in school. Her name was Emily, she was 9, and she had blonde, curly hair that fell in waves down her back.

And she had her ears pierced.

She would wear tiny ice cream cone earrings, or dainty hoops; tiny gold stars, or fluorescent dots, and man – did I ever want to be just like her.

I asked my parents again and again if I could pierce my ears, and they told me “not until you’re older,” and “later,” and so I waited and while I should have been memorizing multiplication tables, I instead memorized the shape of Emily’s earlobes and her collection of tiny animal and rhinestone stud earrings, and I wondered if part of the reason Emily was so cool was because her parents clearly let her do whatever she wanted.

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Strengths, Weaknesses, and Homeschooling

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Strengths, Weaknesses, and Homeschooling

{Episode 18}

Strengths, Weaknesses, and Homeschooling {Episode 17} | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Is it normal for your homeschooler to have strengths and weaknesses in certain subjects? How much should you worry about keeping your child at grade level? Is there a way to know what your child “should” be learning?

This week, the homeschool sisters dive into these questions and offer up some thoughts about the “standards,” plus how to keep from worrying all the time.

They chat about kid quirks, dealing with state requirements, grandma doubts and dad concerns. And mostly, they remind you that all kids naturally develop on their own timelines, so don’t fret- you’ve got this!

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February Didn’t Break Me This Year: How We Survived the Longest-Shortest Month

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February Didn't Break Me This Year: How We Survived the Longest-Shortest Month | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

February didn’t break me this year. 

There were moments when I felt like February was winning but, in the end, I came out ahead.

Today, I thought I’d share what helped just in case the Februaries are lingering in your home…

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Ladies’ Holiday: Hold On To Your Hat!

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Ladies’ Holiday: Hold On To Your Hat!

{Episode 17}

Ladies' Holiday:  Hold On To Your Hat!

Cait and Kara have been joking about this episode for months and finally made it happen. Warning: This episode might not be appropriate for tiny children, sensitive spouses, grandparents, pastors… Also, there is some giggling.

Because the sisters are getting REAL about being a woman, and how that can affect homeschooling. From cramps to PMS to whether or not being bloated and angry should earn you a sick day from co-op, the gals hope you’ll be able to relate to this episode.

And that you don’t run away screaming.

Because there are 16 other episodes where they don’t mention this stuff.

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Homeschool sisters; homeschool support (we’re on the Brave Writer Podcast!)

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Written by Kara Stephenson Anderson.

More than a year ago, when Cait and I had the crazy idea to start a podcast, the first person to reach out to us was Julie Bogart from Brave Writer.

In case you ever find yourself needing to put that in terms non-homeschoolers (i.e. my husband) would understand, I would say it’s about on par with announcing that you are going to make a small, independent film, and getting an email from Julia Roberts saying, “Way to go you two – let me know how I can help.” Continue reading