High School through Preschool: How We Manage Multiple Ages

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High School through Preschool: How We Manage Multiple Ages {A Guest Post from Alicia Hutchinson, Founder of Learning Well Community} | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Written by Alicia Hutchinson of Learning Well Community

I homeschool a freshman in high school. I also homeschool a preschooler. People ask me all the time how we homeschool multiple ages.

Hahahahahaha! I have no idea.

We just do. And somehow, the one-room schoolhouse thing actually works. I’m just going to be honest and tell you that we had a total groove thang going on with my then 11, 8, and 5 year old. But I went and threw another baby into the mix and yes, it’s been a little challenging learning how to mesh all these people.

High School Through Preschool {Guest Post by Alicia Hutchinson of the Learning Well Community} | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Now, we have a 15-, 11- (will be 12 this summer), 9-, and 4-year-old residing in the Hutchinson Academy of Learning and yes! It can be done!

I’m not going to say it’s easy, because it’s probably been the hardest part of homeschooling since my youngest was two or so. But I’ve also been at this homeschooling gig for long enough to know that each year is different and current circumstances don’t mean forever circumstances. And choosing to press forward rather than throw in the towel has it’s rewards.

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Summer School for Homeschool Moms

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Summer School for Homeschool Moms | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

I’m sending myself to summer school this year, you guys.

First, allow me to back up a bit…

Last week, Kara and I had a chat about what I like to call Poolside Professional Development.

Before I was a homeschool mom, I was a school psychologist in Boston… and I loved professional development days. I always returned home feeling rejuvenated and inspired.

The problem is, homeschool moms don’t get professional development days. No one is going to pay for me to attend a conference in the big city.

But homeschool mamas need time to plan and feel inspired and rejuvenated too.

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Homeschooling Essentialism: Make Things Simple Again

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Written by Kara S. Anderson.

Cait and I post sometimes over at a place called Simple Homeschool. We both love it over there – we love the community Jamie has created, and the mission behind Simple Homeschool.

Still, sometimes I make homeschooling more complicated than it needs to be. I’ll see something another homeschooling family is doing, and think we need to do that too. I will forget about our particular strengths and weaknesses, and try to do something that isn’t our thing.

Or I’ll just try to do too much. I’ll set my expectations really high, and then get frustrated when we inevitably crash and burn.

And so recently, I picked up my worn copy of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, and I decided to read it specifically as a homeschooling mom.

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Easy Summer Learning for Homeschoolers, After-Schoolers, and Lifelong Learners

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Easy Summer Learning for Homeschoolers, After-Schoolers, & Lifelong Learners | The Homeschool Sisters Podcast

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

We are year-round homeschoolers. We didn’t plan to homeschool year-round, but the again we never planned to homeschool.

Year-round homeschooling works for our family for several reasons:

  • Philosophy- I believe that we are learning all the time
  • Maternal anxiety reduction- I second-guess myself less often when we learn in the summer months
  • Cooperation levels- I have learned, time and time again, that my children do not transition easily from no structure to more structure. It backfires every time.

And although we homeschool year-round, our homeschool routine goes through seasons. 

Summer is just… lighter. Our summer homeschool routine is flexible. We can school on the patio, at the lake, by the pool, in the car. Continue reading

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.

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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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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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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

What is Your Homeschool Hell Yes?

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What is Your Homeschool Hell Yes?

Written by Caitlin Fitzpatrick Curley of My Little Poppies

I’ve lived in New England my entire life, and I’d rather be outdoors than inside, but somehow I never learned to ski.

When my husband and I were first married, he bought me ski lessons.

It was the perfect gift, really. I had always wanted to learn. My husband is an avid skier and this would be another outdoor activity we could enjoy together.

I wanted to love it.

I tried really, really hard to love it.  Continue reading