Thinking About Homeschooling – How We Decided – MBFLP 264-1

One of the unexpected results of the COVID-19 pandemic is an explosion of interest in homeschooling.  Researchers say the number of homeschooling families doubled between April and October of 2020, and at least 1.3 million students didn’t return to the public school system in the fall. Are you a new homeschooler? Or are you thinking about trying it for the first time this year? This episode, Hal and Melanie are talking about how they made that decision – maybe for the same reasons you are!


“In the first week (April 23-May 5, 2020) of Phase 1 of the Household Pulse Survey, about 5.4% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported homeschooling .

By fall, 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling (Sept. 30-Oct. 12, 2020).  A clarification was added to the school enrollment question to make sure households were reporting true homeschooling rather than virtual learning through a public or private school.

That change represents an increase of 5.6 percentage points and a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the prior year.”

America’s public school system lost almost 1.3 million students this year, according to an Education Week analysis of state data. The loss was spread out across the nation, touching almost every demographic group and concentrated in lower grades. It will likely have academic, financial and staffing repercussions for years to come.”

Are you in eastern Tennessee or northern Georgia?

We’ll be speaking and exhibiting at the Chattanooga Home School Expo at Camp Jordan, East Ridge, Tennessee – July 16-17, 2021 – sponsored by the Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Educators Association.

This is a live event but registration is online – CLICK HERE for more information! We hope to see you there!

Getting Kids On Board With Your New Homeschool – MBFLP 252

New to homeschooling, and maybe your kid's not thrilled yet?

Are you starting homeschooling this fall? Was it always your plan, or did the pandemic make this an unexpected “best option”? Either way, are your kids on board with the decision?

Parents have the responsibility and the perspective to make this choice for their family, but sometimes the children aren’t thrilled. Even if it’s the best thing for them, it’s always more pleasant if everyone’s in accord about the plan. What can you do to help your kids understand and accept the lifestyle change you’re making? How is it different for young kids, middle schoolers, and teens? This episode, we’re talking about working toward harmony with your new homeschooling project!

An Avalanche of New Homeschoolers

The sudden shutdown of practically all public education in March, and the prospects of very restricted school reopening this fall, have prompted a lot of families to reconsider homeschooling as an option. How many? Several states are reporting double-digit increases in new homeschools, and when North Carolina opened its website for new homeschool filings in July, the rush crashed the site for an entire week. In June, researchers at the University of Michigan surveyed 1200 families in Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio, and found 12% already planned to keep at least one child at home this fall. Another survey of 2000 families by OnePoll found that 43% are “seriously considering the option of homeschooling” this year. Vermont had a 75% increase already!

With so many new families beginning homeschooling, a large percentage are taking children out of classroom schools. Their kids have already had some experience of school culture, developed friendships at school, and formed relationships with teachers. The change in school approach is going to be more disruptive for them than their pre-school and kindergarten-age siblings. That means you’ll need to approach the idea differently with the older kids. Even elementary school kids may complain, “I haven’t seen my friends in for-e-ver,” — though to be honest, that’s been heard in homeschooling families, too, during the lockdown!

So it’s important to acknowledge that your kids’ fears, concerns, preferences, and objections do matter, even if the decision has been made already. Take the time to listen and engage them on their levels–you’ll be glad you invested in the relationship. This episode, we’re talking about practical ways to address some of those concerns. Not incidentally, we’re also addressing some concerns you might be having as an unexpected homeschool parent, yourself–like socialization, your qualification to teach, and college prospects at the end! So join us —

Skeptical young girl thinking about her parents' idea

Articles Dealing With This Explosive Growth

[Side note: Many of the news reports on this subject have misread or misrepresented the actual findings; for once, they tend to overestimate how many people are choosing homeschooling. Some media reported the UofM findings, for instance, as “A third of parents may homeschool,” but the actual study says 12% plan to homeschool, and 21% were undecided. That’s a different picture. Still, 12% is a huge increase over the 3-to-4% homeschooling rate nationwide last year.]

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Goals and Devotions: Homeschooling, the First Year

Hey, homeschoolers! I had the best birthday thanks to many of you. I appreciate your encouragement more than you know. This week I had the chance to catch up with our new homeschoolers. It was a fun conversation. The topic of the month is achieving goals with help.

Goals First Year Homeschooling Podcast

Read the blog post

Before we get to our interview, I want to invite you to join the HomeschoolScopes.TV community. Whether you’re a new or experienced homeschooler, I know you’ll love the friendship and support there. Click to join and you’ll be approved.

Teaching Tip of the Week

Prepare your young learner with an excellent phonics and handwriting program. This is the foundation for all future language arts learning, including Grammar Galaxy, my elementary language arts curriculum. Misty Leasy of Year Round Homeschooling has created a two-year phonics and handwriting curriculum that fills that need. It’s fun and comes with free activities via email that correspond to the letters and sounds you’re learning. Join me and Misty on Facebook on August 8th at 4E/3C/2M/1P or catch the replay to learn how to prepare young learners for reading and writing.

preschool phonics, prek phonics, phonics curriculum

Goals and Devotions Challenges

I got to catch up with Mai Lynn, Courtney, Erica, and Jolene this week about chores and meal planning. Jeannette caught up with me via email.

Chores went pretty well. Instead of going ahead and doing it because it was bothering me, I assigned jobs and they accomplished a lot most days. lol I didnt really get a hold of laundry yet. Meal planning did get a little better. knowing what I was going to make made dinner less stressful. I started cutting things and freezing it to prepare for meals.

Some goals are to relax more and remember they are still young. We will focus on reading and character.

My faith goes up and down daily. One day I’m sure God will provide and I remind myself of all He’s done so far. Then other days I see no way and I wonder how it will all happen. But this journey so far definitely has given me more faith-filled days.


The Organized Homeschool Life

Instant Pot

Sidetracked Home Executives

Last month’s homework

Routines in Your First Homeschool Year

I am so excited about this week’s episode of The Homeschool Sanity Show. I have been wanting to interview new homeschoolers for a long time and have my listeners take the journey with them. It’s finally happening! I will get introduce you to the five women who are going to be joining me each month in a bit, but first I’d love to have you write a review of this podcast. I have no reviews on Stitcher, so I would especially love for you to write one there. Reviews are how homeschoolers find the show and decide to give it a try. It does take a few minutes of your time, so as a thank you, I will read a review or two and give you a shout out on the show.

Need for Routines: Homeschooling, the First Year Podcast

  Read the Blog Post

Thank you so much to Apologia for sponsoring this podcast. Their quality Christian materials for planning, science, Bible, and literature are perfect for new and experienced homeschoolers alike. Find them at

Teaching Tip of the Week

The teaching tip of the week is to use turn-key curriculum. I’m a creative person. I love to come up with my own unit studies and I’ve even written my own language arts curriculum. But I’m also a very busy person. I still have four kids at home and the two in college take a surprising amount of my time. I have no doubt you’re busy too. Save your creative passion for the subjects you really love and find a ready-to-go curriculum for the subjects you don’t.

An excellent turn-key curriculum is Debra Bell’s Readers and Writers in Residence from Apologia. I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Bell on Facebook Live about homeschool planning. I know you’ll be impressed by her credentials and homeschooling experience. This curriculum is incredibly thorough and is directed to the student, 4th grade and up. Your teaching time is minimal. The combined student text and notebooks are beautiful! Your child will love using them. You can promote independent learning and know that your students are getting a quality foundation in language arts. Get an inside look, a discount code, and a chance to win these two curricula on Tuesday, June 27th at 4 E/3C/2M/1P on Facebook Live at

The Need for Routines in the First Year of Homeschooling

Now for this week’s topic. I interviewed four new homeschoolers about why they began homeschooling, what they’ve done to get ready to homeschool, and what routines look like in their home. If you’re an experienced homeschooler, you’ll enjoy hearing what Courtney had to say. We had some technical difficulties with her interview, so I’ll be sharing her responses to my questions. You’ll want to stay tuned for this month’s assignment for homeschool sanity as well.


FLYLady one editable chore checklist here and a new Chore Game printable for subscribers.

the Konmari folding approach,

Do Less

Free meal planning ebook

First Year Homeschoolers Homework for Routines

If you’d like to follow along with our new homeschoolers, here is your homework assignment:

I’m looking forward to checking in with our new homeschoolers (and you too) in August.

IAHE F.A.Q.s for New Homeschool Families – Part Two

New homeschool parents are full of questions!

We’re back for a second episode featuring some of the IAHE’s most Frequently Asked Questions.

Special Guest

Stacy Hanaway is a homeschool mom and IAHE volunteer. Stacy is part of a volunteer team of moms across the state of Indiana that answer phone calls to help new parents find their way. Stacy and her husband Jason also serve as Regional Representatives and serve homeschool families in their own community in NE Indiana.

Some of the issues we’re talking about in today’s episode include:

  • What do Regional Representatives do?
  • What are the different learning styles?
  • How do I find a support group?
  • Are there studies that show the success of homeschooling?
  • When do I become a homeschool expert?

Do you have questions? Leave us a comment below!

Helpful Links

Do you have questions about starting homeschooling?
Leave us a comment and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming show.

IAHE F.A.Q.s for New Homeschool Families – Part One

New homeschool families have a lot of questions!Informer Podcast SHOW PIN_edited-5

As a state organization, the Indiana Association of Home Educators fields hundreds of phone calls each year from parents wondering how to get started. Most families have a lot of the same questions:

  • Do I have to register with the state?
  • Do I have to turn in schoolwork?
  • Where do I get curriculum?
  • How do I issue a diploma?
  • Will I mess everything up?

Special Guest

Stacy Hanaway is a homeschool mom and IAHE volunteer. Stacy is part of a volunteer team of moms across the state of Indiana that answer phone calls to help new parents find their way. Stacy and her husband Jason also serve as Regional Representatives and serve homeschool families in their own community in NE Indiana.

Helpful Links

Do you have questions about starting homeschooling?
Leave us a comment and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming show.

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

HIRL-Episode-6 Thinking About HomeschoolingThinking 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?”
Just kiddin’. We’ve polled moms and dads who are thinking about homeschooling and asked them what concerns them most. We didn’t prompt or suggest their comments, and you just might find yourself relating to what they have to say.
When told they fear burnout, kids who turn out wacky, and their own academic shortcomings, we responded with honesty and transparency with some good old fashioned humor and self-deprecation mixed in. This is the stuff of real life!

Show Notes:

On this episode, Fletch recommends Kean Coffee

Kendra recommends Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Original Tea


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