As many reasons as there are homeschoolers, there are probably as many reasons to homeschool.

Some parents choose to homeschool their children because they believe in it. It is their preferred method of passing on their values to their children. Alternatively, customize an education program to a child’s aptitude and interests. Alternatively, they might use it to safeguard their children from potentially hazardous influences. Homeschooling is a final resort for some parents. All previous educational approaches they’ve tried have failed, so they’re trying to improve their child’s education by taking responsibility for it themselves. For convenience, some parents choose to teach their children at home. Their children compete in gymnastics, have roles in television shows, or are interested in some other time-consuming activity. And homeschooling allows you to devote more time to these activities. Circumstances drive some parents to homeschool their children. Military or missionary tasks entail frequent relocations.

Either way, your reason is, we decided to turn to homeschool experts for ideas on learning and creating the most acceptable approaches and styles to get you through this. You can turn this into an enjoyable and productive journey with a few deep breaths and preparedness.


Tips to homeschool 3 kids from different ages (preschool, elementary and middle school). How to organize or have a schedule for each?

I am currently homeschooling four children in grades 7, 3, 2, and preschool. There are several ways that I’ve learned to juggle this.

One method of homeschooling multiple ages is to teach using unit studies or to focus on a particular SUBJECT area but adapt it slightly for each age group. For example, when we studied history, I had all the kids learning the same era of history. The older girls read slightly more in-depth books on the topic and were expected to produce somewhat more complex projects (such as essays or written analysis). In comparison, the younger girls did more picture books, crafts, and read-aloud with me and weren’t expected to produce the same amount of written work.

This helps create a shared culture in your homeschool, as all the students are studying the same topic and can talk about it (say, the Canadian fur trade), even though they are each working at their grade level on that topic. You can also, if possible, plan field trips for the entire family around that topic (if you live near a historical site related to your study) or plan a family movie that everyone can enjoy together.

For the most part, once my homeschool students hit about grade 4, they work independently. Grade 3 is a transition year where the student is doing some work with me and some work alone while I provide help when needed. I provide a checklist or outline of what is to be covered each day; the student checks this list, works their way through each subject, and then checks it off when it’s complete. I go over their work and then address any missed items or areas of concern. Having the older students work independently lets me spend more time with my younger students, who need more supervision or help in reading-aloud and instruction.

Another option is to have an older student teach a younger student. My Grade 7 and Grade 3 daughters are using the same science textbook this year. They each have a different workbook based on that textbook. They read the book together, taking turns reading it aloud to each other. If there’s an area that my Grade 3 is confused about, then my Grade 7 can help explain it to her. Then they do their workbook pages together. My grade 7 has more complex assignments, such as crossword puzzles and longer essay assignments, while my grade 3 has more straightforward terms, such as coloring pages and shorter writing assignments. They are still learning the same subject and have had a lot of fun. It’s been an excellent experience for both of them to work together and has made that area of schoolwork a lot easier for me.

I don’t organize a schedule for my students. Instead, I use a planner that lays out what we want to cover each day. When they do, their schoolwork is up to them. My older students (grade 7 and 3) are pretty good about looking at the planner for the day and diligently completing their schoolwork. My grade 2 needs reminders to come back and do more schoolwork and take frequent breaks. Generally, it takes her longer to do her schoolwork even though she has fewer and easier assignments. When they are all motivated to work well, they can usually be done their schoolwork by noon or shortly afterward (including music practice).

Our general routine for each day is to start schoolwork immediately following breakfast. Generally, we are down in the schoolroom working together on various subjects. My preschooler will usually hang out with us, play his trucks or playdough, look at books, or do educational apps on his tablet. He often likes to listen to my Grade 2 daughter’s science read-aloud. Sometimes, one of us will move to another room to have quiet (for example, when my Grade 7 does her math or when I’m getting my Grade 2 to read aloud to me). At lunchtime, we’ll all take a break and eat together, and I’ll check in with them about what work they’ve gotten done and what they need to do, and remind them about any upcoming afternoon activities (like music lessons) we may need to get ready for.

-Bonnie Way from The Koala Mom


How can I teach art to my kid if I’m not that good at it?

 You don’t have to be good at art to teach art to homeschooled students. You simply need a willing heart and open schedule to allow time for learning. Homeschool parents can just follow these three simple steps.

Step 1. Understand the Concept

Art includes any of these four interest areas; music, visual art, theater, or dance. A homeschool class could focus on one or combine multiple topics. Within each category, homeschoolers have complete freedom to choose their artistic expression. Music could be classical, bluegrass, or music appreciation. Visual art could be painting, sculpting, photography, or crafting.

Step 2. Choose a Method

Each of the different artistic subjects could be taught in various ways. You could choose to learn in group situations, with the children taking art, music, dance lessons, or acting in a play. You could select hands-on learning, collect musical instruments or art supplies, and allow the student to learn while practicing. You could teach a literature-based or history-based class, where the student reads about the art or its changes over time. As the budget allowed, you could create a survey class, collecting free and fun art experiences and field trips throughout the year.

Step 3. Enjoy the Ride

Sit back and watch your children enjoy learning. Music, art, theater, and dance are meant to be practiced and appreciated. They are best taught without formal tests or evaluations. Instead, encourage each student to enjoy the work and try their best. High school credit is determined by hours spent (120-180 hours equals one high school credit). The final class grade is dependent on willing participation, cooperation, and enjoyment.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match the subject area and method of instruction. We can change the musical instrument or switch up our teaching methods throughout the year, as necessary for enjoyment. As homeschoolers, we can ensure a happy art class with fun activities, so our students can always succeed.

Grab Lee’s free eBook, “How to Put Fabulous Fun on Your Homeschool Transcript: Convert Natural Learning into High School Credit”

-Lee Binz from The HomeScholar


Benefits of STEM activities and how can we incorporate them into homeschooling?

As we know, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. At its heart, STEM is all about finding innovative ways to solve the world’s problems. In contrast, the humanities help us understand how to be better people. We need both.

But, engaging in STEM activities fosters creativity, flexible thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and critical thinking skills. All of those abilities are needed in many areas of life, not just in the emerging new landscape of work but also in relationships with others. For example, STEM thinking helps us filter through the noise we encounter in everyday life. It gives us the confidence to tackle daily problems and equips us for an ever-changing work environment.

However, the best way to learn STEM is not through books and videos. It’s through hands-on projects. I am a firm believer in relevant, project-based learning centered around kids’ interests. And, what kid isn’t interested in how their phone works or how to build their motherboard? Homeschooling provides a unique opportunity to go deep and build real machines and solve real problems inside the home.

For example, kids can build robotic arms or sound-activated toys. They can create small machines that feed the dog or water the plants. That way, they see the relevance of STEM and are excited about it. If it feels intimidating, there are tons of kits and subscription boxes out there to help. Doing these types of projects builds a child’s humanity, too. It does this by building their trust and relationship with their parents. It also does this by building their self-confidence, especially in girls.

-Julie Polanco from Julie Naturally


How important is it to have support material? How much is too much to avoid distractions?

As we know, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. At its heart, STEM is all about finding innovative ways to solve the world’s problems. In contrast, the humanities help us understand how to be better people. We need both.

But, engaging in STEM activities fosters creativity, flexible thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and critical thinking skills. All of those abilities are needed in many areas of life, not just in the emerging new landscape of work but also in relationships with others. For example, STEM thinking helps us filter through the noise we encounter in everyday life. It gives us the confidence to tackle daily problems and equips us for an ever-changing work environment. 

However, the best way to learn STEM is not through books and videos. It’s through hands-on projects. I am a firm believer in relevant, project-based learning centered around kids’ interests. And, what kid isn’t interested in how their phone works or how to build their motherboard? Homeschooling provides a unique opportunity to go deep and build real machines and solve real problems inside the home. 

When it comes to homeschooling, a quality curriculum is your best tool. I have gone with a boxed grade-level curriculum set for some years. Other years I have pieced together subject-matter unit studies on my own. You can view a couple of examples of this here and here

What to choose depends on your child’s learning style. I teach core subjects – math, writing, language arts – with boxed curriculum sets and change things up with our electives. Foreign language, science, art are convenient to gather as the children show interest in certain subjects. 

We do not go all-in for the visual aids, flashcards, and posters. I like to keep our learning space clean and clutter-free as much as possible.

I do keep some small visual aids tucked nearby in my homeschool supplies. This way, if my child needs some visual support or reminder, I can provide that as required. If it is out all the time, it tends to distract them from focusing on what we are learning at the moment.

Trying to teach everything all at the same time will create overwhelm. All subjects overlap to an extent. For example, leading science will involve some math. Teaching writing can incorporate art and creative thinking. Science will often be hands-on and tactile.

If you start to feel like you are not accomplishing enough each day, that is when you know you are trying to do too much. Slowing down has never restrained my children’s progress in our homeschool. On the contrary, it has helped them solidify knowledge and excel.

-Jaimi Erickson from The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide


3 Tips to make your kid love and enjoy reading

Give them choices and variety in their reading. Find books on topics or characters that interest them so they’ll want to read. Even if they’re going to read the same books repeatedly, it encourages a love of reading that will grow over time.

  1. Please give them a purpose for reading, along with incentives like earning stickers or small gifts. Having a sense of accomplishment will keep them going.
  2. Read aloud to them. Kids learn to love stories by hearing them first. If you read aloud to them from a young age (and even when they’re older), they’ll learn that reading is important, entertaining and that it means something to you. It will come more naturally to them if it’s part of your family culture. Don’t underestimate audiobooks, either, for the times you’re too tired to read.
  3. Share about what you’re reading with your kids and why you love it. My kids see me read all kinds of good literature and fun books, too, just because I love to read. Sharing some of your favorite books from childhood and why you loved them might help make a connection and a purpose for reading with your kids.
  4. Try something fun like comparing a book to its movie version. Many children’s books and classics have been made into movies, like Charlotte’s Web. This can start great discussions about reading, which will, in turn, encourage them to read more.

-Sara Jordan from Heart and Soul Homeschooling


How can I help my teen get better at his interest area if something is out of my knowledge?

Home education offers the freedom to follow tangents, explore, ask questions and develop a life-giving curiosity. This opportunity also means our teenagers often develop an interest in something beyond our area of expertise. Or we might even feel maxed out trying to teach the advanced levels of core subjects. Thankfully, our knowledge is not the limit for our teenagers’ opportunities to learn and be challenged.

Especially for those in a strong community, one of the first and most significant resources is the people around us. In the book, The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera, the community traded their time to educate the youth. There is a double strength to this. Teenagers get to learn in an environment where they are being mentored and taught. The ability to connect in person and develop relationships and skills is a boon to your teenagers both at the knowledge level and EQ skills.

The second and incredibly vast source of knowledge is printed and digital sources. It takes only a little time to research and help identify reliable sources and authorities on a topic and then create a list of books, podcasts, and videos to help your teenager. Many universities publish lecture series on specific projects or issues. Libraries offer free and vast stores of knowledge. More and more experts are also turning to media platforms to make short video collections to introduce and educate on sometimes obscure subjects. Documentaries also offer a good launching point and help educate the whole family. Finally, many community colleges accept dual enrolment for high school students. This is good for exceptionally motivated students who don’t mind a more rigorous academic setting.

-Emelie from The Peaceful Press 


How to prepare for topics you don’t really understand?

If your children have questions about things or school subjects you don’t know or care about, start by investigating the topic together. Ask them what’s interesting about it them. Let your children describe, ask questions, and conjecture about the issue. This will give you insights into how you can best help your child learn what interests them and help you determine what steps you can take next.

You don’t have to be the fountain of all knowledge for your children—that’s what the internet is for! But do the online search with your children alongside you, so you model how research is done. You can seek online or local classes on the topic, but you can also go beyond these conventional solutions since you’re learning at home and in your community.

  • Lean into your network: You may know someone willing to share their interest in snakes or car engines or whatever it is your child is interested in, and this person can lead to more leads and resource suggestions.
  • Use experiential learning, such as going to a zoo, talking with a car mechanic, or creating a play, movie, or animation about the topic.
  • Ask fellow homeschoolers if any of them are familiar with the topic or want to explore it with you—many clubs and classes get started from the shared interests of local homeschoolers.
  • Ask your local librarian or a friendly teacher for suggestions or browse bookstores to find materials your child might enjoy using on their own.
  • In some cases, children and teenagers may be particularly adept in certain subjects and can benefit from teachers/practitioners outside your network. You then provide logistical support—get the materials, supply transportation, and so on—and let your child learn the topic on their own, guided by mentors.

The point is you don’t need to have a degree in rocket science to help your children learn how rockets fly. You are the guide on the side, not the sage on the stage.


Patrick Farenga’s new book is Teach Your Own: The Indispensable Guide to Living and Learning with Children at Home (

-Patrick for John Holt Gws


Tips to teach music appreciation in homeschooling

Music appreciation can be such a fun addition to your homeschool adventures. The key is to keep it simple and relaxed. You have several options for making the most of this particular time.

You can naturally weave different types of music into your routine. For example, you could play a hymn, folk song, or classical music piece from the period when studying history. My boys and I love to put on music and work on fun activities for special brain breaks.

Another great way to include music in your day is to make it a part of your homeschool morning time. Read about a composer or musical era. Listen to their music and chat about your thoughts and feelings related to the music.

You don’t need to ask a bunch of questions or grill your kids on facts about the composer and the music. It’s really about exposing your children to different styles of music and encouraging them to enjoy the experience.

If you’d like to take your homeschool music appreciation to the next level, consider adding resources, like books and videos, to your collection. You can find a lot of free materials on sites and YouTube.

A music appreciation curriculum can be a more formal way to teach this subject. If you’d feel more comfortable having it all planned out for you, go for it! My boys and I loved using Zeezok Publishing’s Music Appreciation for the Elementary Grades.

The most important thing to remember about music appreciation in your homeschool is that it’s a fantastic time to relax and make learning fun for your kids (and you!).

-Amy  from Rock Your Homeschool


Will my child be ready for the real world if I homeschool?

Here’s the bottom line: Your child will be ready for the real world if they’re learning in a school choice that works well for them. Homeschooling is an excellent fit for many families and equips students well for the future.

From working in education for more than a decade, I’ve talked to countless homeschoolers and seen that families choose to homeschool for a whole host of reasons. Recently, families have been drawn to it out of a desire to select a curriculum that reflects their interests, experiences, culture, and values in a way their local school may not offer. Like many military families, other families choose the need for flexibility in schedules or locations for learning. While the choice of homeschooling is a big commitment, it also offers incredible opportunities for personalization and flexibility. ­

That customization can allow kids to dive into their passions and be themselves indeed. Many homeschoolers use the flexibility of their school choice to be more involved in their “real world” community than they otherwise could, such as by volunteering, visiting museums, and taking local classes.

The pandemic didn’t just bring a temporary surge of homeschooling across America; it also brought awareness of the resources and communities available to homeschoolers. Today, many homeschool students participate in their district’s sports team or take a local high school or junior college class. The future of education is flexible, which means that opportunities for homeschoolers to gain real-world experience in a setting of their choosing will only increase!

Do a quick Google search if you’re still wondering how homeschool students do after graduation. Homeschool students have become successful artists, inventors, civic leaders, authors, entrepreneurs, and more. 

So, if you think homeschooling is the right school choice for your student, don’t be afraid to try. As Jodi, a homeschooling mom I interviewed for my book The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School Fit for Your Child, put it, “You have to be brave in your choice. Know you’re ‘why’ and be okay with other people’s choices.”

Homeschooling is an incredible school choice that can prepare students well for their future, be sure to do your research and know your state’s requirements. You can do it!

-Andrew Campanella, President of National School Choice Week


3 Tips to Help my Child Struggling with Reading?

Comparing our child to another kid – no matter what skill – is hard for parents to resist. We may tell ourselves that we don’t see this as competition. But when we feel anxious about our child in comparison to other kids, our focus has shifted from supporting them where they are to pushing them along.

Sometimes that shift means we’re adding pressure to our parenting selves, and that can (unwittingly) spill over onto our kids. With reading, more pressure usually results in less success. Why? Because kids see themselves as “less than” and spending time with a book as punishment.

How do we change that thinking? First, take a breath and understand that your child is developing the way their brain is guiding them. Not every child is ready to read chapter books in first grade. Second, meet with your child’s teacher and/or pediatrician to make sure there are no developmental or medical issues. Third – and most important – reframe what learning to read looks like.

1.    Read audiobooks. Yes, listening is reading. From learning new vocabulary words to visualizing concepts and events … it’s all in there. For some young readers, it helps to have a print version to follow, too.

2.    Let them choose. Honest and true, it is A-OK if they want to read [book title] again. Feeling successful is the goal, and if re-reading a favorite book 57 times helps, that’s time well spent in the long term.

3.    Read aloud as a team. Books with short chapters make it easy to share reading. Start by taking turns reading at the page level. Slowly build to alternating readers at the end of a chapter. Dialogue-heavy books are great, too. Your reader can pick a character and read their “lines,” as if the story is a play.

And a bonus: enjoy the journey! Seize this chance to be your child’s biggest cheerleader. Don’t correct pronunciation, re-read or finish a sentence … cheer them on! Encouragement is the key to reading confidence, and confidence is the secret to success. You got this!

-Terry from The Reading Tub


Can a Home Educator Take a Sick Day?

Sure! Compulsory attendance is 180 days. You’re exempt from mandatory attendance at your local school when you homeschool. You are also exempt from the pace and schedule set by the public school.
Whether your state law requires you to maintain homeschool records, it’s beneficial to demonstrate an equivalent educational accomplishment for your interests. Your homeschool attendance and record-keeping are for you so that you can see your child’s progress over time. That way, you can figure out what’s working and what’s not working.
Schools allow for ten days’ absences. There are specific days set to attend school. So, if you are sick on that day, you will miss the lesson. Students still have to make up the work. And many schools also have “seat time” recovery days. Kind of like the movie The Breakfast Club when students come in on a Saturday to sit in a study hall that earns back the time they were absent during the lesson.
Since homeschoolers don’t have to follow the school’s attendance days, we can document any day as a learning day. We have 365 of them to get it done.
But, learning happens 365 days a year. You’d have to try hard to go even one day without learning SOMETHING. Even the days “off” are still teaching days. Unstructured, unscheduled days are also teaching days.
Primary caretakers are never really off-duty, though. Let your students fill their day with their interest-driven activities.
· Watch Movies or TV
· Play video games
· Listen to audiobooks
· Play outdoors
· Play board games or other toys (e.g., legos)
· Imagination play (e.g., tea party, school, house)
· Build a blanket fort
· Drawing or coloring
The activities don’t have to be overtly educational. It’s ok. Give yourself a break, whether you need a mental health day or a sick day. Take a sick day.

-Kim Andrysczyk from The South Carolina Homeschooling Connection

How much technology/internet should we use to teach our kids?

As a parent and teacher, I believe many incredible, vibrant things on the Internet can push children’s creativity and learning faster (anything visual sticks to our brains longer and easier).

I have talked with parents a lot; I see the common thing is that they allow their child to start using the Internet from 4 and independent Internet usage (from 8).

This is for your reference only; I recommend you carefully consider your baby’s current situation, like:

Will I go online with my children all the time? (when my daughter was four and now 5, I always go online with her)

Preparing mini-lessons about the ugly truths on the Internet (consider explaining what you kids can understand.

Using protecting tools to filter harmful content is not just porn, but anything that can frighten children like murder, beheadings, bloody, Valak, etc. I’m currently using CyberPurify for my daughter and my son (he’s 13) to filter all of these, and it’s free.

It is like using social media, the minimum age is 13, but it DEPENDS ON YOU. If you see your kids are not ready, don’t let them use it.

-Sally from Fast People Search


Tips to make math easy and fun to learn for elementary schoolers.

Real-life example: Engage them in a real-life problem. For example, you can ask your child to count the number of toffees in the basket when two are given to someone else and one eaten. These types of real-life examples support their understanding of bookish word problems.

Engage them in all-day activities: You can engage them in activities like shopping, cooking, etc., all that involves math. Like, while cooking, you can ask your kid to measure “250 ml of milk” with the help of a measuring jar. While shopping, you can ask them to total the price of each item. These activities keep them involved in math.

Digital learning: Sometimes, math can get a little boring for your child because there is more textbook work than a practical approach. You need to make fun for them by using various videos, graphs, and flashcards. Wide ranges of online videos are available now with clear-cut audio of the concept and animations to engage them.

-Alina from Cocodoc


Whether you choose to homeschool or not,  it’s essential to research the topic as much as possible, and hopefully, these past tips and resources help decide which way to go or how you will start as a homeschooler parent.