online classes

What’s happening at home | school | life

Our secular homeschool podcast, online classes, book club, new bloggers, and more--a little update from HSL

We’ve been so busy this summer, I thought it might be a good idea to round up all the cool things that have been happening here at home | school | life into one post, in case you’ve missed anything while you were busy with your own summer adventures.

We have a podcast! (It was Suzanne’s idea.) The Podcast with Suzanne and Amy is a fortnightly podcast about the places where home, school, and life intersect, plus lots and lots of book talk. We’ve recorded five episodes so far; you can listen to them here or on iTunes.

We offer a smart, eclectic mix of online classes for late middle school/high school students. We set up these classes to be interest-driven and intellectually rigorous—two things I know I’m always looking for as the parent of a newbie high schooler. I’d love to see them all fill up with awesome kids — for us, these classes are as much about community as about learning about Hamilton. (Not that we’d ever knock our five-dollar Founding Father!)

And speaking of community, we’re pretty thrilled to introduce home | school | life reads, a middle grades book club led by our resident Book Nerd Suzanne Rezelman with optional weekly assignments and a monthly online meeting. We’re kicking things off with The Westing Game as our September read—you should join us!

We’re making a small change to our group subscriptions deal: You can still get a subscription to home | school | life magazine for $10 per person when you subscribe with a group of at least 20 people, but we’ll only be offering the group subscription option in September and January.

We've been adding new stuff to the subscribers’ library all summer. If you’re a subscriber, when you log in, scroll down past the current issue to see what else is available for free download. (And if you’re not a subscriber, you can become one right here.)

You may have noticed that we’ve added some terrific new writers to our blogging team. If you’re catching up on posts, start with the ones from Molly, Carrie, and Cate. (And of course Shelli, Rebecca, and I are still posting, too.)

Because we recognize that we may overstuff your library list now and again, we’ve added a little section to the site where we can let you know when books we’ve recommended on the blog or in the magazine are on sale. We’ll only be posting book deals for books we’ve actually recommended, so it’s not just a willy-nilly books-on-sale list. (Though we appreciate those, too!)

We’re also in the process of updating our Best Cities for Homeschool Families list for 2017—and we’d love your input. Nominate your favorite homeschool city here.

And, of course, we're also hard at work on the most important thing we do here at home | school | life: We're well into work on the fall issue of HSL and look forward to sharing it with our awesome readers in October.

And finally—want to know whenever a new post goes up on the home | school | life website? We've set up a Bloglovin feed that will shoot you an email when we post something new on the blog. There's a sign-up link in the right sidebar, and you can also sign up right here:

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The Scoop on Our Online Classes

home/school/life :: online homeschool classes for high school students

Back when we first started homeschooling, I interviewed a woman named Andrea Hermitt for an article I was writing about homeschool budgeting, and her words have stuck with me: “You should spend money on what inspires your kids’ passions,” she said. “Scrimp and save in the subjects that don’t get them excited.”

Because, really, isn’t this the whole point of homeschooling—the ability to go where our passions lead us and to dig in, as deep and as long as we want to? There’s learning for learning’s sake and learning for passion’s sake—and I know which side of that equation I want to end up on.

So when we decided this winter that we wanted to think about offering online classes through home|school|life, passion was our byword. Like so many of our homeschooling projects, this one started a little selfishly: My daughter starts high school in the fall, and researching classes wasn’t turning up anything interesting. Classes were either core-curriculum-generic topics (British literature, U.S. history) that would be easier and more fun to do at home together, or super-casual academic-lite classes that are fun for meeting people and getting an overview of something but not really very dig-in-able. So we thought about what kind of classes we wanted for our daughter’s high school experience: smart, fun, rigorous, obsession-worthy. And we decided, what the hey, let’s build some. Maybe we’re not the only ones wishing for these kinds of classes. Maybe our daughter won’t just find the opportunity to explore topics she’s fascinated by under the leadership of amazing teachers. Maybe she’ll also extend her circle of friends to include people who share those passions. 

So that’s the idea that launched home|school|life passion projects—our online course offerings that you won’t find in any traditional class catalogs. We’ve teamed up with some incredibly knowledgeable, incredibly passionate people to bring these classes to life—and really, not just classes but a whole online community where students can interact with their teachers and each other between scheduled class sessions. Over the next weeks, we’ll be sharing more details about our summer lineup—which we view as a fun sampler of offerings that will give you a taste of what you can look forward to in our semester-long classes this fall. Feel free to chime in with questions and ideas for future classes!