Homeschooling IRL

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Discussing the topics that you might not find covered at your local homeschooling convention, veteran homeschooling parents and bloggers, Andy and Kendra Fletcher, use humor and honesty to pull the veil back on Christian homeschooling.

 “Andy and Kendra Fletcher bring a healthy dose of reality to the Christian homeschooling community. They share their personal successes and failures with humor and humility. I look forward to every episode” – John Wilkerson, The Wired Homeschool

These witty podcasters like to poke sticks at the conventional and with heaps of grace they will confront a few of the sacred cows that Christian homeschoolers like to worship. Their love for the Gospel will remind their listeners on every episode of the freedom that Christ pours out in generous amounts. Grace Wins!

“Love Love Kendra and Fletch! They are such a down-to-earth couple that love the Lord. Their podcast definitely reflects it’s name – Homeschooling in real life. Very Real! Very Encouraging! And Very Funny!” – Teriann, iTunes Review


 

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Join Fletch (from theMangoTimes) and Kendra (from Preschoolers and Peace) every week as they interview guests and talk through some of the goofiness they have experienced in nearly two decades of Homeschooling In Real Life.


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LISTEN ONLINE: Every one of our shows can be found listed below. Just click on the show title and you will find the sound file of the show available in a simple click.

UPCOMING SHOWS: Want to know what episodes are coming up next? Click through to the Show Calendar and see what Fletch and Kendra are working

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Homeschooling IRL Episodes

I Love Homeschooling, But I Hate Teaching Science – HIRL Episode112

Most of us have at least one subject we don’t love to teach, and that’s a tricky thing to reconcile when we’re in charge of all the subjects. So what’s a homeschooler to do when there are core subjects that must be covered but mom or dad either aren’t motivated to get that subject done every […]

Classroom Teachers Who Homeschool – HIRL Episode 111

What happens when classroom teachers decide to homeschool their own children? How do they make the transition from classroom management to managing the personalities around their kitchen table?  If you are a classroom teacher considering homeschooling your own kids, you’ll appreciate this episode and the conversation with former classroom teacher Jolanthe Erb, who brings ten years of […]

Talking With Kids About Tragedy – HIRL Episode 110

Tragedy. In terms of media and social media, tragedy has become a staple of our daily diet. The world seems to be going crazy and the news is full of stories that are difficult for kids to process and understand. How do we talk to our children about race issues, murder, terrorism, and other tragic current events?  […]

Beloved Mess – HIRL Episode 109

Tired of trying to make your family seem as if you’ve got it all together? Exhausted by external standards that seem unreachable or even crushing?  The Christian life is not about being less of a mess. It’s about admitting that we need to be saved from trying to clean ourselves up. Guest Kimm Crandall frees you to […]

Quick Announcement – HIRL June 2016

Kendra is on the road this week, leaving Fletch home to run the 1970’s summer adventure with a handful of Fletcher kids. In between sugar cereal, grilled cheese and episodes of Scooby Doo, Fletch popped into the HomeschoolingIRL studio to make an executive decision and a quick announcement about what’s happening this week at Homeschooling In […]

Homeschooling Multiple Ages – HIRL Episode 108

How does a homeschooling parent possibly educate older kids while at the same time juggling preschoolers, toddlers, and babies? Is it even realistic to think we could do a good job while spinning so many homeschool plates? On this episode of Homeschooling in Real Life, Fletch and Kendra talk about how they’ve managed to homeschool 8 kids, […]

Give Your Child The World – HIRL Episode 107

Is there a way to give our kids a global perspective and a heart for people living very different lives all across the globe? Author and homeschooling mom Jamie Martin not only believes so, she’s written the guide! Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Children One Book at a Time is the ultimate book list […]

Art, Films, Naked Statues and Hitler – HIRL Episode 106

Is there a role for art in the curriculum for every homeschool family? What should you do if your strength is not art or art education? We know that art most often reflects the current state of culture, so how do we decided what sort of art to expose our kids to?  On this episode of Homeschooling […]

College Admissions and the Helicopter Parent – HIRL Episode 105

Have you ever heard that sound? The rhythmic whirring of blades as they chop through the air? That is the sound of a helicopter parent hovering over their homeschooled child getting ready for college. That’s right, we are back at it again with an interview and discussion about college admissions and the need to keep […]

Dads Who Homeschool – HIRL Episode 104

On this episode of the HomeschoolingIRL podcast, we answer a question from a listener who wants to know about switching roles. What happens when circumstances dictate that mom is the primary breadwinner. What does it look like when dads choose to stay home and do the homeschooling? Fletch and Kendra interview two homeschool dads who […]

Unrealistic Expectations – HIRL Episode 103

Join us for this week’s episode as we chat with Kathy Lee, mom of many and co-author of The Homegrown Preschooler. Kathy is a child development specialist who has homeschooled and raised kids and now speaks all over the country to parents (often with several of her kids in tow!) We discuss the growing trend […]

Homeschooling The Struggling Learner – HIRL Episode 102

Are you homeschooling a struggling learner? Fletch and Kendra share three practical ideas for you as you consider homeschooling a child who struggles. Join us for this week’s episode as we answer a listener’s question about how to give a struggling learner the time and attention they need. EPISODE TIMELINE :50 Fluff – shout out to John […]

Homeschooling In Alaska -HIRL Episode 101

Have you ever wanted to pack up your kids and take them on the road for a homeschooling adventure? On this episode we interview a family who spent 3 months on the road adventuring in Alaska. Corey and Jessica Hulen and their 4 children drove from their home in California and spent the summer traveling the Alaska […]

Celebrating 100! – HIRL Episode 100

Welcome to the 100th episode of Homeschooling In Real Life! Did you know that most podcasters lose steam and stop at 7 episodes? Not only have we kept going, but we have shows planned that will push us past the century mark! Thanks for joining us as we hit this symbolic landmark in podcasting. On this episode […]

Finances and Hope Shifting – HIRL Episode 99

In this final installment of our three-part series on financial fear, we’re returning to our roots and discussing how hope shifting can factor into our fear when it comes to finances. More regularly described as idolatry, “hope shifting” simply means that we’re putting our hope in something other than God for our well-being and care, […]

Affording College – HIRL Episode 98

Part two of our series on financial fear, Affording College hits the topics we’re all nervous about if we have a student who is eyeing a college career: How do we help them pay for four years of schooling? What things can we do to assist with the application process? And finally, should every kid […]

The Homeschool Budget – HIRL Episode 97

The Homeschool Budget is part one of a series of three podcast episodes dealing with the topic of financial fear. With a family of 8 kids, Fletch and Kendra know that homeschooling can get expensive. On this episode, they share tips and tricks they have used over the years to save money and homeschool well within a […]

Extracurricular Overkill – HIRL Episode 96

When is enough too much? On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, Fletch and Kendra answer a letter from a listener who is wondering how to filter extracurricular activities into your homeschool. When should you say yes? When should you say no? We invite good friends Nate and Ali Miller into the studio to talk through the topic […]

Traveling With Kids – HIRL Episode 95

Join us on this episode of Homeschooling in Real Life as we talk about the ins and outs of traveling with kids. On this episode we are NOT talking about vacation planning. Instead we are talking about giving your family a love for travel, a love for God’s world and a love for taking your love for Jesus […]

When My Convictions Aren’t Your Convictions – HIRL Episode 94

Homeschooling. Health food. Small church. Mom stays home. KJV only. Dresses. Youth group. Public school. No TV. Our convictions, or the things we strongly about, can drive so much of our lives and end up being the choices by which we define ourselves. They can bring like-minded believers together and set the tone for our families […]

Homeschooling For The Short Term – HIRL Episode 93

Are you homeschooling for the short term? Committing to a brief season of educating your children at home? This episode, encouraged by an email we received from a Homeschooling in Real Life listener, is just for you. Don’t let the short title fool you, though. We quickly get into quite a lively discussion and face some mighty large homeschooling […]

Moms and Teen Boys – HIRL Episode 92

Moms of teen boys, this episode was made for you! What happens to those boys when they become teenagers and why are they so hard for moms to manage? Fletch and Kendra have raised three teen boys so far and they have lived to tell the tale . . . Fletch pokes a few sticks at […]

Is “Me Time” Necessary? – HIRL Episode 91

Do you ever feel like there just isn’t enough time in your life to take care of yourself? In the midst of your life do you fail to remember to do the things you want to do? Do the demands of parenting and homeschooling make you feel guilty if you take time for yourself? We think this is […]

Spiritual Abuse, Part 2 – HIRL Episode 90

On last week’s episode, we sat down with Dale and Jonalyn Fincher from Soulation/Freedom Builders to begin an important discussion on the topic of spiritual abuse. We just scratched the surface of the discussion by talking about how homeschoolers are prime targets for “movements.” On this episode, we continue the conversation, but we focus on the practical issues surrounding the topic of spiritual […]

Spiritual Abuse, Part 1 – HIRL Episode 89

Spiritual Abuse. It doesn’t just happen in South American cults. If we are not careful, we can find ourselves involved in movements where the focus quickly turns to behavior modification or blind obedience to personalities and personas. On this episode of the podcast, we sit down with Dale and Jonalyn Fincher from Soulation/Freedom Builders to discuss spiritual […]

What Is Homeschooling In Real Life? – HIRL Episode 88

The season break is over! We are kicking things off with an episode that answers the question: Just what is Homeschooling in Real Life? We have noticed over the years that new listeners come to our show wanting us to answer practical questions about homeschooling. Once they listen to an episode, most of our listeners realize […]

Rebroadcast – Losing Our Religion – HIRL Episode 87

The HomeschoolingIRL team is taking a break between seasons to prepare and produce new shows. In the meantime, we are rebroadcasting our most popular and most downloaded episodes. On this week’s episode, we are replaying our 2nd most downloaded episode. This is our story. It is very personal, but very important to share. We discuss how our family […]

Rebroadcast – How The Gospel Makes Us Unoffendable – HIRL Episode 86

The HomeschoolingIRL team is taking a break between seasons to prepare and produce new shows. In the meantime, we are rebroadcasting our most popular and most downloaded episodes. On this week’s episode, we are replaying our interview with radio personality and author, Brant Hansen. Brant is the author of Unoffendable, where he discusses how the gospel takes the fuel out […]

Rebroadcast – Black Sheep Homeschoolers – HIRL Episode 85

The HomeschoolingIRL team is taking a break between seasons to prepare and produce new shows. In the meantime, we are rebroadcasting our most popular and most downloaded episodes. On this week’s episode, we are replaying our discussion about Black Sheep Homeschoolers.  What do you do when you have ‘that kid.’ You know, the one that just doesn’t fit in with […]

Rebroadcast – Christ in the Chaos – HIRL Episode 84

The HomeschoolingIRL team is taking a break between seasons to prepare and produce new shows. In the meantime, we are rebroadcasting our most popular and most downloaded episodes. Join us this week as we replay our interview with Kimm Crandall,  author of the book Christ in the Chaos.  Kimm walks us through her story and reminds the listener what happens when we […]

Homeschooling is a Buzzkill Remix – Episode 83

Wait! This is NOT a rebroadcast of an old episode! Homeschooling is a Buzzkill has been one of our most popular downloads, so we decided to sit down and record a completely new episode. After more than two years of podcasting, it was time to discuss again one of our favorite topics: how homeschooling can be a […]

Stocking Stuffer – HIRL Episode 82

Are you stuck in holiday traffic? Are you locking yourself in the bathroom at your family get-together to avoid Crazy Uncle Larry? Are you sick of hearing Christmas music? This quick episode is just for you! Merry Christmas HIRLers! Join Fletch and Kendra on this short and fun episode as we share some Christmas laughs with […]

Hope Shifting – HIRL Episode 81

After 80 episodes, we are finally returning to the topic that has defined this podcast since the very beginning. Join Fletch and Kendra as they sit down in the studio with Jim Applegate to discuss the topic of Hope Shifting. Jim is the lead pastor at Redeemer Church in Modesto, CA and the author of […]

Raising Kids, Losing Yourself – HIRL Episode 80

On this episode, HIRLer Chris calls in and asks us: “How can I be a good homeschooling parent raising kids and still take time for the things that feed my soul and bring me joy?” We jumped on this topic, because we love to remind homeschoolers not to “lose themselves”in the midst of schooling the family. […]

Jesus vs. Santa – HIRL Episode 79

Does Santa have any place in the celebration of Christmas? If you listen to some homeschoolers talk about it, event the mention of Santa Claus associated with Christmas will land you in the “loner’s corner” of your co-op. Yet, others celebrate good ol’ jolly Santa Claus right next to the baby Jesus. There is also […]

Devotions For The Real Family – HIRL Episode 78

We are talking about Family Devotions for the Real Family on this podcast. You know REAL family devotions. The families with the toddler hijacking the deep discussion, and the teens are daydreaming, and mom is falling asleep because it’s been a long, long homeschooling day. Can you relate to family worship that looks like this? Family worship […]

Spread Too Thin – HIRL Episode 77

This is our final installment in our mini-series of episodes called: Surviving the Holidays. This episode is all about being spread too thin during the holidays. We begin the discussion talking about the unique aspect that holidays can bring to a homeschooling mom. You are already dealing with a full plate and often the holiday season is […]

Family Feud – HIRL Episode 76

We are in the middle of producing a mini-series of episodes called: Surviving the Holidays. What happens when you are forced to spend time during the holidays with a tricky family situation. On this episode, we focus on what to do when your family does not accept your choices or you struggle with the choices they have […]

Financial Strain – HIRL Episode 75

For the next few weeks, we are producing a mini-series of episodes called: Surviving the Holidays. On this first episode, we are focusing on the financial strain the holidays can cause. How do we look at our holiday spending in light of the gospel? How do we communicate as a family the importance of the […]

Homeschooling Gifted Kids – HIRL Episode 74

On this episode, we discuss the topic of homeschooling gifted kids. Do you think your child might be gifted? Off the charts? An outlier? We are going to jump into the discussion on this episode together. Join Fletch and Kendra as they sit down with educator and homeschooling mom of exceptional kids, Colleen Kessler, for a conversation that […]

Raising Adults – HIRL Episode 73

When is the right time to start giving your kids freedom in the area of their finances? At what age should they have a checking account? What about a credit card? And when should we trust them with the internet, social media, and a smart phone? Hal and Melanie Young, authors of Raising Real Men […]

Teens And Social Media – HIRL Episode 72

We are beyond the days of speculating about whether social media will last. Instead social media continues to morph and reinvent itself into new platforms with new target audiences. Whether it focuses on 140 characters of shared data or photos or just modified chatting with friends, social media is invasive. Are you wondering how to […]

Homeschooling With Dyslexia – HIRL Episode 71

Do you think you are homeschooling a child with dyslexia? Join Fletch and Kendra as they interview Maryann Sunderland. Maryann is the author of Dyslexia 101 and an expert at the subject of homeschooling with dyslexia. She is a homeschool mom of 7 kids (and 6 of them have been diagnosed with dyslexia).  This is a great discussion […]

Let’s Talk About Sexual Abuse – HIRL Episode 70

The statistics say it all, 1 in 5 children will be sexually abused before the age 18. A child is much more likely to be abused by a trusted adult than a stranger. We teach our kids fire safety. We teach them about water safety. We teach them about traffic safety.  Somehow the conversation about personal […]

Courtship In Crisis – HIRL Episode 69

On this episode, we welcome back a favorite guest on this podcast. Thomas Umstaatd, Jr. joined us on Episode 26 when we discussed his viral blog post: Is Courtship Fundamentally Flawed?  On this episode, we return to the topic and discuss again if courtship is better than dating? Are families who practice courtship instead of dating out […]

Girls, Again – HIRL Episode 68

This is not the first time we have tackled the topic of girls on the podcast. On Episode 10, we talked about many of the common pitfalls we have observed in homeschool families raising daughters. From restrictive environments to preventing any access to higher education, we dove into tough topics. On this episode, we are getting […]

Boys, Again – HIRL Episode 67

Back in Episode 9, we sat down with our friends and fellow podcasters, Hal and Melanie Young from Making Biblical Family Life Practical, to discuss the topic of boys. We talked about how these rambunctious little piles of energy can completely undo the unprepared homeschool mom. From peeing on the carpet to falling from the […]

What Josh Duggar Forgot – HIRL Episode 66

Our discussion on this episode comes right out of the current headlines. Homeschool graduate and reality TV star, Josh Duggar, has fallen from the spotlight due to his confessions of struggling with adultery, pornography and a history of molestation. We jump into to discuss the frequent failures we have seen by men in the homeschooling movement. […]

Adoption and the Homeschool Family, Part 2 – HIRL Episode 65

On the last episode we sat down with our good friends Jeremy and Michele White to have a serious discussion about adoption. We discussed the beginning of their homeschool journey, why they chose to adopt and the changes that happened as a homeschool family. On this podcast we dig just a little bit deeper. The White’s second […]

Adoption and the Homeschool Family, Part 1 – HIRL Episode 64

We have had several listeners ask us to address the topic of adoption, and while it would be really easy for us to produce a podcast explaining how to adopt and the benefits involved when a family adopts, we wanted to tackle all of the issues a family might be experiencing when bringing a child into the home. […]

I Love Homeschooling But My Kids Don’t – HIRL Episode 63

So, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the best option for your kids this year, but the response from your kids has been less than positive. You want to follow God’s calling, but your kids are threatening a mutiny. What do you do now? Fletch and Kendra dive right into this discussion, because it is very […]

Can We Afford To Homeschool? – HIRL Episode 62

Can you afford to homeschoool? What if your budget is already at its max, and you feel you’re barely scraping by just to provide the basics for your family? Join Fletch and Kendra as we sit down with our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network colleague and CPA Carol Topp for a lively and quick discussion of how […]

Organizing Your Homeschool – HIRL Episode 61

As we head into another homeschool year, it is so easy for many of us to get behind before we even get started. If we are not careful, we can get buried in the details and never get our heads above water. On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, we dive into the discussion about organizing your homeschool. You know that […]

Depression and the Homeschooling Mom – HIRL Episode 60

As homeschooling moms, some subjects are very difficult to talk about, especially if we are feeling pressure to put on a facade that our lives are polished and life at home is picture-perfect. Struggling with depression in the homeschooling community can very quickly lead to shame and loneliness. Let’s face it folks, the pressure to have everything all […]

My Spouse Doesn’t Want Me To Homeschool – HIRL Episode 59

We love to sit down in the studio and discuss the questions sent in from listeners. On this episode of Homeschooling in Real Life, Fletch and Kendra we respond to a listener who asked how she can homeschool when her non-supportive spouse is skeptical and negative about her efforts. Here’s the deal: we don’t have the answers […]

How To Deal With Homeschool Burnout – HIRL Episode 58

This is our second stab at the topic of homeschool burnout. Back in Episode 39, we interviewed four homeschool moms and discussed the topic: I Love Homeschooling, But I’m Totally Burned Out.  On that episode we verified that homeschooling moms burn out often and regularly. Our listener Anna, wrote in and asked if we would expand the […]

Launching Your High Schooler Into Life – HIRL Episode 57

Back in Episode 25, we talked about launching your kid into college. During that discussion, we explained how we have chosen to launch our kids during their senior year of high school, which allows them the freedom to begin making life decisions before they even leave our home. One of our listeners wrote in and asked if […]

The Quiet Fight Between Women – HIRL Episode 56

There is a quiet fight going on under the surface in homeschooling for a long time. “Let’s face it. The quiet fight between women in homeschooling often comes down to pride.” – Angie Tolpin We dive back into familiar waters on this episode and tackle the issue of competition and pride that we see generally among […]

When Mom Loses Control Of Her Mouth – HIRL Episode 55

Spicy words? Uncontrolled tongues? What do you do when Mom is the one to lose control of her mouth and damages the ones she loves with sharp words? One of our faithful HIRLers called in asking us to answer these questions, so we dove right in. Join us as we open up about our own […]

Why The Rise In African American Homeschooling, Part 2 – HIRL Episode 54

This is the second installment in our two-part series, Why the Rise in African American Homeschooling? In part one we sat down for a rich discussion with Dr. Ama Mazama to discuss the  issues of racism in our school system and why so many African American families were choosing to leave the public school system to begin homeschooling. […]

What To Do About Sibling Relationships? – HIRL Episode 53

We received a message on the HomeschoolingIRL Facebook page that said, “Please, please, please do an episode on siblings fighting. Thanks!” Sibling relationships. Sibling rivalries. Siblings fighting. We put out the question to our listeners and they responded with story after story of siblings who know how to tease, fight and use sarcasm like professionals. On […]

Why The Rise In African American Homeschooling, Part 1 – HIRL Episode 52

Last month, Fletch read an interesting article in The Washington Post called, Racism in Schools is Pushing More Black Families to Homeschool Their Children. The title alone was enough to get him interested, but in the article the writer discussed why there has been such a sharp rise in African American Homeschooling. We thought this was […]

Celebrating 50 Episodes – HIRL Episode 51

Whether it’s burnout or lack of content, the average “brand new” podcast will not survive beyond 7 episodes. At Homeschooling In Real Life, we are NOT average. That is why we are celebrating the past 50 episodes of our podcast with you! You have to join us for this fast paced run down memory lane. […]

How The Gospel Makes Us Unoffendable – HIRL Episode 50

What if someone told you that you had no right to be angry? What if you could live a life that was defined as unoffendable? What would it look like to not be offended by the things people say and do, or by the way they treat you? And what if you could smile and relax, […]

Homeschooling With Special Needs – HIRL Episode 49

Homeschooling your special needs child can be tricky and challenging. It can also be one of the biggest hidden blessings in your family. Are you homeschooling a child who has special needs? Guess what? So are Fletch and Kendra. Join us on they episode as we get on the phone with Wendy Hilton of Hip Homeschool […]

The Real Marriage Podcast – HIRL Episode 48

As homeschoolers, many of us do a great job taking care of our children, their schoolwork and all of their curriculum, but often we miss taking care of our own marriages. That is where Barrett and Jenifer Johnson come in. We know the Johnsons from their ministry at I.N.F.O for Families and their past visits on the HomeschoolingIRL podcast. Now […]

Transparent Parenting – HIRL Episode 47

How important is it for us to practice transparent parenting with our children? What should you do when your children ask you questions that are just too personal or too painful to answer? If we do practice transparency, will our kids simply follow our example? In this episode, we sit down with marriage and family therapist, Chris Oneth, […]

Top 10 Lessons From TV Dads, Part 2 – HIRL Episode 46

Join Fletch once again as he travels back into television history and shares the second half of his top 10 lessons he has learned from the TV dads he was raised with. In the middle of getting their home ready to sell, Fletch heads back into the studio alone for this episode (don’t worry, Kendra pops in to say hello!). […]

Losing Our Religion – HIRL Episode 45

On the HomeschoolingIRL podcast, we have spent 44 episodes  telling stories of other homeschooling  families. We continue to share one major theme: Live in the gospel and stop shifting your hope onto the world or religion. On this episode, we shift gears and finally share our own story of losing our religion and our recovery from “gospel […]

Top 10 Lessons From TV Dads, Part 1 – HIRL Episode 44

Top 10 lessons from TV dads? What could we possibly learn from a bunch of characters on television? Join Fletch as he takes a trip into television history and shares his top 10 lessons he has learned from the TV dads he was raised with. This episode was recorded straight from the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention in […]

I Love Homeschooling, But I Hate Homeschool Conventions – HIRL Episode 43

What comes to mind when you think of homeschool conventions? Most people either love them or hate them! In the span of a few days at a homeschooling convention, you can easily get overwhelmed by the huge vender halls and rows upon rows of curriculum choices. The workshops span topics all over the homeschooling spectrum, not to […]

Answering Homeschool Critics – HIRL Episode 42

Homeschool critics seem to be everywhere and some of us have had our share of uncomfortable conversations about our choice to homeschool, how we’re going about it, whether or not we’re qualified to teach our own kids, and even what they’re learning. Learning how to answer homeschool critics, especially those who are close to us, sometimes requires […]

Some Dads Have All The Fun – HIRL Episode 41

It’s very common for homeschooling moms to feel as if we spend all day telling the kids what they have to do, and then at the end of the day, dad swoops in and saves the day! And while we love that our kids are excited to see dad (or mom, if it’s reversed in […]

Ask Us Anything You Want, Again – HIRL Episode 40

Fletch and Kendra are back in the hot-seat for another round of questions. On this 40th episode of Homeschooling In Real Life, we are answering questions from our listening audience again. Questions we tackle in this episode include: What do you do with the college kids that live in your home and interrupt your homeschool life? Any […]

I Love Homeschooling…But I’m Totally Burned Out – HIRL Episode 39

Let’s be real folks! It’s February and the mid-year homeschooling doldrums can hit any of us. One of our listeners sent us a great email with five questions all about homeschool challenges and wanting to throw in the towel. As we read through the questions he asked, we decided to combine all of them into one podcast […]

Balancing Home Business and Homeschool – HIRL Episode 38

We were contacted a few weeks ago by HIRLer Derek Anderson who asked: Could you talk about the challenges of owning a home business as a homeschooler?  For many homeschoolers, owning a home business is the dream. The idea that small business ownership provides the ultimate in freedom and flexibility for a homeschool family is sought by […]

Can We Be Friends With Our Kids – HIRL Episode 37

We are talking about relationships and asking the question, “Is it possible to be friends with our homeschool kids?” Most homeschooling families seem to have a good understanding of curriculum to use with their kids. Conventions and conferences often address how to teach math, writing and language. As parents we also have a natural understanding for […]

How Do I Make Homeschooling Fun? – HIRL Episode 36

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! We love to surprise our listeners with fun stuff! We are super excited to announce that Homeschooling In Real Life has become a WEEKLY podcast. That’s right! Each and every week we plan on releasing a brand new show for you. But here’s the deal: great content and interviews take a lot of time and we are […]

Black Sheep Homeschoolers – HIRL Episode 35

Sometimes our listeners ask tough questions of us, and then our most meaningful episodes are created.  On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, Fletch and Kendra respond to listener Cindy, who asked, “What if your child is the black sheep of the homeschool group, the one the kids won’t play with?” It’s a tender topic, and one that […]

Christ in the Chaos – HIRL Episode 34

Kimm Crandall was the perfect homeschooling mom: she had her curriculum chosen carefully, her children lined up quietly and obediently in the church pew, and her home-ground wheat bread delivered piping hot from her oven. She was doing everything “right”. Still, God seemed angry with her, and she felt as if nothing she did would make Him […]

I Love Homeschooling, But I’m Not A Good Teacher – HIRL Episode 33

So you don’t have a teaching credential and you’ve never been to college. Does this make you unqualified to teach your kids at home? Continuing our series of “I Love Homeschooling But…”, we get real with the idea of feeling inadequate to teach your children and discuss, “I Love Homeschooling, But I’m Not A Good Teacher.” Join us […]

I Love Homeschooling But I Am Totally Disorganized – HIRL Episode 32

So you love the idea of homeschooling, but you are totally disorganized? Is this a deal killer? Should you pack up your kids and send them off to the local school house where they will be kept on track by rigid teaching plans that maintain scope and sequence? It’s time for us all to get […]

I Love Homeschooling But I Hate Teaching Math – HIRL Episode 31

And I hate teaching science. And writing. Or . . . Let’s get real homeschoolers, most of us have at least one subject we don’t enjoy teaching. What? That is difficult to justify when we are the ones in charge of teaching all the subjects. So what is a homeschooling parent supposed to do when there are core subjects that must be covered […]

I Love Homeschooling But My Kids Are With Me All the Time – HIRL Episode 30

On this episode of the HomeschoolingIRL podcast, Fletch and Kendra begin a new series called, “I Love Homeschooling But…” and discuss the topic of having your kids with you All. The. Time. We really do love this aspect of homeschooling, and many of us want to spend the best hours of our kids’ days with […]

All The Single Ladies – HIRL Episode 29

Homeschooling can be a difficult choice for families to make. It takes time, planning and hard work when you decide to school your children at home. That decision is made even more difficult when you are doing it alone. LaToya Edwards and Mary Jo Tate are single homeschooling moms who have successfully learned how to keep their children home […]

The Internet In Real Life – HIRL Episode 28

What are the best tools for technology in your homeschool? Has the internet become any safer for your kids to surf? What precautions should you take to guard your kids from life online? On this episode of Homeschooling In Real Life, Fletch and Kendra sit down with John Wilkerson from The Wired Homeschool Podcast and Blog to […]

Can Your Homeschooler Go To College – HIRL Episode 27

The answer to this question is obvious: we all know that homeschoolers can go to college! On this episode of Homeschooling In Real Life, Fletch and Kendra get real and challenge their listeners to join them in a difficult discussion about fear and trusting God as they contemplate sending their children onto higher education. Along the way, they sit […]

Is Courtship Fundamentally Flawed – HIRL Episode 26

On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, Fletch and Kendra tackle the topic of courtship and dating in the homeschool family. They interview Thomas Umstattd, Jr. to discuss his popular viral blog post:  Why Courtship Is Fundamentally Flawed. Timeline for this episode: 13:45 – Thomas talks about his blogpost and why he wrote it. 26:38 – Fletch […]

Launching Your Kid to College – HIRL Episode 25

Do you have a student whose dream is to head to college? How do you know if she’s ready? Have you imparted everything you wanted to teach him before he heads off to work on a degree, live on campus, and make all of his own choices? Join Fletch and Kendra on this episode as […]

5 Ways To Rock Your Homeschool – HIRL Episode 24

      Need some motivation? Encouragement? Tips? Join us for 5 Ways to Rock Your Homeschool! We originally titled this one “The Practical Episode”,  and that is exactly what we’re talking about. Let’s go back to school with some tips that will hopefully bring you some freedom and joy this year! After 17 years of homeschooling, we’ve picked […]

Homeschooling in New York City – HIRL Episode 23

Have you ever watched a TV sitcom where the characters live in a cool New York City apartment? Have you ever dreamed of walking down Park Avenue or strolling leisurely through Central Park? Has the thought ever crossed your mind about living and homeschooling in a big city? On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, Fletch and Kendra […]

Homeschooling Through Hard Times – HIRL Episode 22

Hard times! As much as we might like it to be, life is not all ponies, rainbows, and watercolor daisies. On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL we discuss the issue of homeschooling when life gets hard. Difficulties can look different in every family – marital stress, tragedies, health challenges, financial loss – and we’ll consider how each […]

Let’s Talk Sex…Again – HIRL Episode 21

It seems that we can’t stop talking about sex! This week’s episode is our response to Episode 16: How Do I Talk to My Kids About Sex?, where we heard from several young adults who shared how their parents failed or succeeded in teaching them about sex. This time we also respond to a few […]

Ask Us Anything You Want – HIRL Episode 20

HomeschoolingIRL is celebrating our 20th episode! We’ve interviewed, asked questions, listened, discussed, and laughed a lot along with you. Now it’s your turn — if you could ask Fletch and Kendra anything you want, what would you ask? Join us for Episode 20: Ask Us Anything You Want for questions our listeners sent in and answers that […]

What Homeschooling Dads Wish Their Wives Knew – HIRL Episode 19

It’s time for an episode that’s all about the men.     On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, Fletch talks with three other homeschooling dads about what they wish their wives knew . They discuss the trap of micro-managing, the pressure to perform that their wives feel acutely, and what they really think about making curriculum choices and attending […]

Homeschool Grads Tell All – HIRL Episode 18

What are you doing to prepare your homeschool graduates for life in the real world? A listener called into the podcast and shared a story of how his son had his homeschooled eyes opened at his first job. World views, coarse language, sexual innuendo were all present in abundance.   In a world full of […]

What Homeschooling Does To A Marriage – HIRL Episode 17

You are going to want to grab your spouse for this episode! Fletch and Kendra dive right into the middle of the topic and discuss how the stress of homeschooling can leak into your marriage relationship. Throughout this episode you will hear live interviews conducted with couples on the floor of the Teach Them Diligently Conference […]

How Do I Talk To My Kids About Sex? – HIRL Episode 16

Sex. The one topic that seems to leave us questioning our parenting, pushing a lot of us into an embarrassing presentation of the basics with our kids. We’ve discovered that so many of us don’t like the way our own parents talked to us about sex, or we feel like they gave us no boundaries […]

I Love Homeschooling, But I’ll Tell You Its Flaws – HIRL Episode 15

On this episode of Homeschooling In Real Life, Fletch and Kendra discuss what it’s like when your homeschool student abandons your family’s faith and lifestyle. How can this happen in a Christian home where you have created a sheltered homeschool environment? Christian homeschooling is designed to protect our kids. Shouldn’t our children turn out perfect? […]

Love In The House – HIRL Episode 14

What happens when a family goes from relying on rules and rigidity to understanding what it means when Jesus tells us that the grandest commandment is love? Chris and Wendy Jeub are raising (or have raised) 16 children in a home that has seen both the letter of the law and the sweetness of grace and […]

How to Raise A Pagan Kid In A Christian Home – HIRL Episode 13

Last fall, Barrett Johnson wrote a viral sensation entitled, How to Raise a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home. Writing from his heart on a topic he was keenly aware of in the church, he never expected the speedy response he received from parents in the broader Christian community, many of whom were replying with a […]

Give Them Grace – HIRL Episode 12

Tune into this light and serious, fun and deep discussion about grace and raising kids with author Jessica Thompson. You won’t want to miss this episode! Great advice and practical suggestions are offered on this episode when we discuss: What do we do when a child seems unrepentant, or when we feel all of our […]

Start A Rock Band With Your Daughter – HIRL Episode 11

Put on your crazy wigs and plug your favorite electric guitar into your amp, because  this show is all about rock and roll.   On this episode, Fletch and Kendra interview Brian Tompkins, an old friend from their days in college (and fraternity brother of Fletch).   Brian is a single father and one half […]

GIRLS! – HIRL Episode 10

On the last episode we talked about boys. This week it’s all about the girls! We love our girls and we love homeschooling them. On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, we’re talking all about girls. How does homeschooling girls differ than boys? Does college and career planning look the same? Should girls have a “fall back” plan, […]

BOYS! – HIRL Episode 9

BOYS. Do you have them in your home? We do, too! On this episode of HomeschoolingIRL, we’re talking boys and boy stuff and the funny antics that come with raising boys and the difficult topics, too. You know us: we won’t skirt the trickier subjects. Hal and Melanie Young, authors of Raising Real Men, join us for today’s […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 8 – Homeschooling With Exchange Students

Live on location in Paris, France! One of our very favorite episodes to record, because in this show we record straight from the streets of Paris, France as we interview our former exchange student about life in the home of a large homeschooling family. Tune in as we talk about homeschooling with exchange students and […]

HomescholingIRL Episode 7 – Christmas Party!

Merry Christmas from Homeschooling In Real Life! On this very fun episode, Fletch and Kendra discuss the real life issues of holiday stress and how to avoid Christmas burnout. They also get into the Christmas spirit by handing out several gifts to their listeners. Gift #1 – A New Website We are so excited to […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 6: I’m Thinking About Homeschooling, But…

Thinking about homeschooling? Have a friend who is?  Are you thinking about homeschooling? On this episode of Homeschooling IRL, we’ll answer your burning questions about homeschooling, such as, “Will my kids have to raise their hands to ask to go to the bathroom?”, “What about the prom?”, and “Who gets to be the lunch lady?” […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 5: Homeschooling Will Save Your Kids, Part Two

Money. Sex. Popularity. Cars. Perfect bodies. Homeschooling. Wait. Homeschooling? When we look to something like money or sex to provide us with a sense of worth or value, if we’re hoping that our popularity will make us feel more loved, if we’re striving for sex appeal, and yes, even if we’re placing our hope in homeschooling, […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 4: Homeschooling Will Save Your Kids, Part One

Homeschooling Will Save Your Kids? Most of us won’t say outright that we think homeschooling will save your kids, but many of us pack this idea in the back of our minds: if we only do it right, our kids will turn out to be good, godly adults. Is that true? Can we trust that […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 3: Homeschooling, Halloween and Harry Potter

Homeschooling, Halloween, and Harry Potter Homeschooling, Halloween, and Harry Potter? Are we nuts? Well, yes, but that didn’t stop us from tackling two hot-potato topics that homeschoolers traditionally love to argue over. You, too? In this episode, Fletch and Kendra talk about Halloween and the opportunity to love the places where God has put our […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 2: Homeschooling is a Buzzkill

HomeschoolingIRL Homeschooling Is A Buzzkill On this episode of Homeschooling In Real Life, Fletch and Kendra introduce you to one of the  phrases used often around their home: Homeschooling Is A Buzzkill! Listen in as they discuss what happens when expectations do not match reality. Follow Kendra into their schoolroom as she gives you a […]

HomeschoolingIRL Episode 1: What is Homeschooling IRL?

On this first episode of HomeschoolingIRL, Fletch and Kendra introduce you to their podcast and provide a glimpse into the types of discussions you can expect to hear in upcoming podcasts. Join them on this episode as they talk about what it means to Homeschool in Real Life. For more information about this podcast or to […]

Homeschooling IRL

  Discussing the topics that you might not find covered at your local homeschooling convention, veteran homeschooling parents and bloggers, Andy and Kendra Fletcher, use humor and honesty to pull the veil back on Christian homeschooling.  “Andy and Kendra Fletcher bring a healthy dose of reality to the Christian homeschooling community. They share their personal […]

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