T is for Time

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

T is for time. Homeschooling gives you time with your kids: time you wouldn’t have if they went to school, and time you’ll never get back.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but I can verify that children are only young for a very short time. Now that my four are adults, I cherish the memories we made over our years of homeschooling.

No, it wasn’t all easy, and there were days when I never would have believed that we’d make it all the way through high school. But looking back, I’m so glad our family was a homeschooling family, because it gave us time to enjoy being together before everyone grew up and went off on their own paths as adults.

Try a free lesson from my Bible study written for mothers and daughters: Women of the Old Testament: 14 In-Depth Bible Studies for Teens.

 

Q is for Quiet

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

Q is for quiet. When you’re with your kids all the time, the need for quiet slowly builds up in your system until one day it overwhelms you.

Instead of losing it with your kids because you’ve reached your noise and interruption limit, why not plan for specific times of quiet that will allow you to recharge? Make appointments on your calendar for regular walks by yourself, solo visits to the public library, dates with your laptop at the local coffee shop, or alone time spent on your favorite pastime (mine’s quilting).

To truly enjoy these noisy years of learning with your children, you need the balance of quiet times on your own.

 

The teen years can be great ones if you go in with your eyes open. Check out “Ten Tips for Coping with Temperamental Teens.” (PDF)

N is for Nuisances

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

N is for nuisances. When you homeschool, the nuisances of daily life become magnified, because instead of taking time away from housework or other household activities, they interrupt your work with your children. All it takes is a badly timed phone call from a long-winded friend to completely throw off your careful explanation of fractions that your child was just beginning to understand.

Try to control nuisances ahead of time by screening your calls, or by asking family and friends not to call just to chit-chat in the mornings, or the afternoons, or whenever you tend to work with your children on their studies. Hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your front door if you have to. Nuisances eat up valuable time; don’t let them!

 

Why should you teach your child to be frugal? Because it’s great preparation for the future: learn more in “Teaching Children to Be Frugal.”

Signs of Summer

Yum…nothing says summer like green beans fresh from the garden:

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Another sign of summer: tomorrow is August 1, and for many of you, that means getting ready for another year of homeschooling. It’s been six years since I finished homeschooling my youngest, but I still get that desire to buy more curriculum every August. Old habits die hard, I guess!

Back when I had the newsletter, I wrote and published a series called “The ABC’s of Homeschooling.” I think I’ll run it again, starting tomorrow, for those of you who would like a little encouragement as you start another (or maybe your first?) year of homeschooling.

ABCs of Homeschooling - Copy

When a Review is not a Review

Whenever I’m going to buy something, I like to look at the reviews of the product online first to see what people are saying about it. In general, I think word of mouth is pretty valuable because it’s usually someone’s actual opinion based on their experience, as opposed to hype or advertising from the company that made the item.

Traditionally, a product review is something the product’s creator never pays for (other than the cost of the review copy and shipping); in addition, it’s bad form to ask for a good review. The whole point is for the reviewer to give an unbiased opinion. Obviously, if the review copy were to arrive with a check payable to the reviewer, the review would be biased.

We started Cardamom Publishers, our homeschool publishing business, in 2003, and we’ve never paid for a review or asked for a good review. We just send out review copies and wait. We’ve been gratified to receive good reviews, and we want homeschooling parents to know that those reviews are unbiased.

There are many good homeschool websites and magazines that offer unbiased reviews. But apparently there are others who require creators to pay for something they call a product review, but which is actually an advertisement. I recently received an email from one such site, howtohomeschool.net. They’ve offered to review our products. Here are the details:

Removed at the request of the writer 7/11/17

There’s nothing wrong with advertising, but to claim that a paid ad is a product review is dishonest. Homeschooling parents love hearing the opinions of other parents about homeschool products; I valued that input when I homeschooled my four kids. But there’s a huge difference between an unbiased opinion and a paid ad, and I don’t think it’s fair to imply that there isn’t one, especially when your intended audience is made up of very busy homeschooling parents who have enough to do without trying to figure out when they’re being misled.