One of the hardest things about homeschooling is that there’s no report card at the end of year telling you how you’re doing. We tend to chalk up our successes to good luck or fortuitous timing and to take all the blame for every challenge we run into. But chances are, you’re doing better with this whole homeschool thing than you think you are. These six signs are all indicators that you’re on the right track—and we think that’s something you should celebrate with pride.
You’re happy to start your day.
One of the best signs that you’re doing just fine as a homeschooler is that you like doing it. Sure, there are bad days—but if for the most part, you’re upbeat, energetic, and excited about the prospect of a new homeschool day, there’s a good chance your homeschooling reflects that.
You’re always surprised by lunchtime.
Time drags when things are hard, but the hours seem to fly by when everything is going well. If lunchtime manages to get the jump on your and your kids most days, that’s a sign that you’re all really engaged in what you’re doing—which is a sign that your homeschool is a productive, positive place.
You’ve gotten comfortable with moving past mistakes, wrong turns, and things that just aren’t working.
You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to try curriculum materials that don’t work, classes that feel like curses, and being too strict about something that turns out to be not all that important. When you’ve hit your stride as a homeschooler, you’ll be able to recognize your mistakes, own them, and move on, a little wiser.
You find yourself taking a new homeschooler under your wing.
A sure sign you feel confident about how you’re doing as a homeschooler: You’re willing to share your experiences and insight with other people. When this happens, you’ve become an expert—maybe not in homeschooling in general but certainly in your particular homeschool.
It’s sometimes hard to plan your days—not because you don’t know what to do but because there are so many things you want to do that you don’t know where to start.
When your to-do list is so exciting that it’s actually a pleasure, you know you’ve figured out a system that’s really working for you. Yes, it may turn out that you can’t actually do all the things you’d like to—but that’s a much happier challenge than feeling like there’s nothing you want to do.
You don’t feel the need to defend homeschooling every time someone makes a rude comment about it.
It’s very human to feel defensive when you’re still figuring things out—and some comments deserve a reasoned rebuttal. But as you grow more confident as a homeschooler, you’ll realize that you don’t have to engage with every misinformed stranger you meet. Sometimes, you just smile and walk away.
AMY SHARONY is the founder and editor-in-chief of home | school | life magazine. She's a pretty nice person until someone starts pluralizing things with apostrophes, but then all bets are off.
Want to raise critical thinkers? Showing them — out loud — how you think critically is a good place to start.
Maggie has some great ideas for giving your student’s writing a boost with a combination of project-based learning and community service.
Shelli shares the resources she’s been using in her own homeschool this year.
You can always start with the collected works of Plato, but these movies help introduce big philosophical ideas that may feel more accessible on the screen than on the page.
Truly, the biggest hurdle to cobbling my own history curriculum together has been organizing the resources in such a way that I know where they are, I remember all of the ideas that I had, and I don’t leave anything out.
Thinking beyond a single learning style can open up the possibilities in your homeschool. Maggie explains how it works for her.
Don’t dread higher math! Get inspired with these resources that will give you confidence and ideas for middle and high school math in your homeschool.
By the time our official planning starts, we already have a good idea of what we want from our homeschool in the coming year.
As many as one in every five people may have some kind of dyslexia — here’s what you need to know to be an ally and advocate for dyslexic homeschoolers in your circles.
As kids get older, the structure and scope of your homeschool changes with them. On the whole, that’s pretty wonderful.
Amy wrote a homeschool planner, and here’s what you’ll find inside.
The secret to transitioning to high school isn't so secret: Just keep doing what you've been doing, and trust that you've gotten to know your kid's academic abilities.
The hero’s journey is so prevalent in film and books that it makes a great jumping off point for a comparative literature study, and these texts are a great place to begin.
Understanding the rules of grammar is great, but knowing how to put them to use is what is really important.
When you hit a plateau, you don't always need to look for a way to hurry ahead to the next thing. Sometimes homeschooling is all about slowing down.
We used Studio Ghibli's film adaptations of beloved children's books for a high school introduction to comparative literature. Here's how we did it — and how you can, too, no curriculum required.
When early readers feel overwhelmed, there are practical things you can do in your homeschool to help them build their reading confidence.
When you use writing as a form of punishment, every writing assignment can make kids feel like they're in the homeschool version of detention.
Easy volunteer projects your family can do together make community service part of your everyday homeschool life.
Documentaries for Black History Month, a saucy Jane Austen adaptation, ideas for family movie nights, and more stuff that might be fun to watch with your homeschoolers this month.
The halfway point of your homeschool year is a great time to check in with your kids about what's working — and what isn't.
Our culture needs the lessons of great literature like never before. In 2018, let’s resolve to elevate literature back to its position in the humanities.
These fun extras (all less than $30!) will add a little oomph to your everyday homeschool routine and help ease you over the midwinter slump — without busting your budget.
If you want your students to care about writing, give them writing projects that actually matter.