Five-Step Formula For Homeschool Success




Apart from all other concerns of parents who are considering homeschool, succeeding is probably at the top of the list.

It comes as no surprise for parents to acknowledge significantly and be in favor of homeschooling since it has been one of the increasingly popular modes of education for this generation. Parents who have concluded to create a schooling environment inside their homes have recognized the advantages of the alternative educational method. Aside from being personalized, homeschooling is in-depth and more flexible. “Understanding how to successfully use these strategies can be life-changing for anyone tackling challenging academic material,” says Jessica Koehler Ph.D.

However, there are specific issues concerning homeschooling that parents are overly aware of that might overcomplicate and hinder the essential aspects of learning. Therefore, apart from the technical elements of homeschooling, parents must consider this five-step formula to have a more meaningful and fruitful home-based learning system.


Step 1 – Be Realistic


Choose a curriculum and a schedule that would be suitable for you and your children. Parents must learn to take into consideration the different factors in life that might affect their homeschooling plans. When creating a schedule, make sure that it won’t interfere with your responsibilities as a parent and, if you’re working, as an employee.

On the other hand, when choosing a study method, make sure that the course would apply to your children’s capabilities and level of understanding. “Some parents augment their teaching with online learning; others work collaboratively with other parents and community groups to create educational, social, and extracurricular activities for their kids,” according to Dona Matthews Ph.D. Do not get upset when your three-year-old is unable to read while others already can. Remember the main reason why you decided to homeschool your children. More often than not, that reason falls under the special needs category.


Step 2 –Fix Your Schedule


Overscheduling and under-scheduling are one of the main reasons why homeschooling becomes a burden. With overscheduling, parents go beyond what they or their children can handle. Homeschool should make your children feel relaxed not stressed and pressured. Limit subjects taught and activities done for a day.

Under-scheduling is restraining your children to do more. Whatever the reason is for under-scheduling, particular consequences may arise in the future. One is not being able to enjoy activities that can contribute to your children’s growth and development, above all else. Kids require a variety of endeavors that will open up opportunities for them to interact with other homeschoolers. Therefore, outdoor activities like going to museums, support groups, historical sites, and the like, should always be incorporated.


Step 3 –Maintain Organization

Adhering to the plan and going with the schedule is one way of being organized. By creating a smooth flow of events, parents can make their children’s homeschooling experience a more enjoyable, educational, and worthwhile one. Before the school-at-home starts, make sure that you have set the room with specified learning agenda and the inclusion of outdoor activities. More so, always involve your children in organizing their homeschool supplies and environment.


Step 4 –Opt For Breaks

Do not tire yourself to the point of burnout. Always insert breaks in your schedule; breathers that will give you time to refresh and provide your kids their much-deserved resting period before the next subject begins. Aside from quick breaks in between learning sessions, you should also have that one day off where you just enjoy the day with the family without mention of homeschooling and whatnot. By doing so, you are strengthening your bond with your children while recharging yourself for the next homeschool schedule.




Step 5 –Be Open For Change

Accepting the reality that there will be terrible days will keep you open for change regarding schedule, subject, or method. Kids can quickly get distracted, especially those who require special needs. Therefore, do not rely on the curriculum entirely. Besides, it is there to serve as a guide that you can choose to follow in a non-restricting way. You always have to observe if your child is appropriately adapting to the teaching method and if there is a need to remodel or change the concept entirely.

Roadblocks are expected most especially if you’ve never done homeschooling before. There are no uncomplicated ways to handle and foresee everything. Also, you have to recognize that while something might work for one family, it may not work for you.

Success does not happen overnight. It requires complete faith and commitment to the task. More importantly, always listen and observe for cues coming from your children. After all, your kids will primarily determine if the current educational method is working or not.

“A child’s ability to overcome daily challenges are best met when parents, educators, and mental health providers are on the same page,” says Annabella Hagen, LCSW, RPT-S.

Taught At Home: Learning Methods To Consider




There is more than one option to demonstrate homeschool learning to your kids at home. Choosing an appropriate philosophy to follow is possible as well. “Of course every situation is different: the child, the public and private school options, and your ability and motivation to home-school,” says Marty Nemko Ph.D.

The majority of homeschoolers contemplate on the method of learning as comprehensive. Due to flexibility, families have the option to blend and choose various plans that would fit the needs of their children at different stages of their development. For this reason, it’s quite rare for families to conform within the confines of particular learning philosophy. “Homeschooling is not the best option for every family, but there are many benefits to this approach, and it can work very well in some situations,” says child psychologist Dona Matthews Ph.D.

If you are considering homeschooling your children but don’t have any idea of what the learning methods are, here are some of the most common preferences:


The Classical Method

Also called the Socratic Method, the classical learning method is derived from the Trivium. The Trivium is a type of teaching method that follows children’s cognitive developmental phases. These phases consist of an abstract, concrete, and analytical thinking. The majority of the framework focuses on the Latin and Greek languages with the inclusion of literary and philosophical classical pieces.


Stages of the classical method:

 Grammar stage – the first stage that lets children focus on the figures and facts

  • Logic stage – the second stage that teaches the correlation between specific events along with the cause-effect theory
  • Rhetoric stage – the final phase that focuses on students freely expressing their unique thoughts on particular topics through writing and speech




The Traditional Method

Following the concept and structure of a conventional learning system, the traditional method is executed with parents utilizing workbooks, textbooks, and exams to teach and track children’s improvement. A defined area inside the house is mainly designed and dedicated to homeschool hours. Though this may be the first option that a lot of parents might consider since they wanted to emulate a regular school type of environment, homeschooling was created to mainly take the kids from a traditional surroundings to a more personalized one.


The Unschooling Method

Unschooling is the homeschooling equivalent of “I can do whatever I want but in an educational kind of way.” This method of home-based educational philosophy and approach advocates student-preferred activities as the primary basis for learning. Parents who’ve chosen unschooling demonstrate profound trust in their children to acquire morale from day to day experiences without utilizing the formal classes and school itinerary. Children who are unschooled learn science, history, reading, and math by pursuing their curiosities and interests.

While unschooling allows children the liberty of researching abilities and uncovering skills to achieve expertise in their chosen areas, children may find it difficult to cope with assessments if parents have decided to enroll them in a typical school.




The Charlotte Mason Method

Developed by Charlotte Mason in the 1800s, this homeschooling method believes that students are not merely vessels who need to be stuffed with information but are human beings that reserve their right in being respected regarding learning and acquiring knowledge. Mason reiterated that children must be allowed to create, play, and get involved in different real-life scenarios where they can learn and comprehend.

Instead of sticking with textbooks, students who adapt to the Charlotte Mason method are immersed in historical places like art museums where they can get in contact with the actual historical, literary pieces and manuscripts. Students are also introduced to nature by taking hikes and are taught about the universe by going to planetariums.

Homeschooling is not just a home-based replication of a traditional school system because, unlike regular schools, homeschooling can be patented from different sources and materials that parents can use to mold and educate their children. According to Jessica Koehler Ph.D., “Based on decades of scientific studies, we know there are only a handful of techniques that you need to understand to enhance learning in multiple subject areas.” Aside from the abovementioned methods, there are still tons of popular ones that parents can consider. They just need to find what’s the most suitable mode of learning for their kids.


Coping Strategies to Beat Homeschool Education Burnout

Homeschooling, like parenthood, can be one of two things: a stimulating experience to enhance the mother and child bond, or it could be a stressful undertaking that depletes one’s energy and happiness. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “More and more parents are choosing to educate their child at home, or to join with other parents who don’t want to send their children to the local schools.” Either way, homeschooling is a rewarding attempt to educate your children while safeguarding them inside the home.



Read moreCoping Strategies to Beat Homeschool Education Burnout

Tools and Techniques to Help and Educate a Dyslexic Child

Does your child have a hard time to write, read, or spell? Do you notice that comprehending subjects like math have always been a struggle? Your child might be struggling with a learning disorder known as dyslexia.

“Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that affects one in every 10 to 20 people, impacting their ability to read and spell words but not affecting their general intelligence. The new finding expands knowledge of the brain mechanisms underlying the condition,” according to Rick Nauert PhD.


Read moreTools and Techniques to Help and Educate a Dyslexic Child

How To Homeschool An ADHD Kid



Conventional schooling, at first glance, seems to be a bad idea for a child struggling with ADHD – long periods in class; no time allotted to “let loose;” homework that doesn’t accommodate to the child’s learning style; a few break times; long hours of just sitting down; and without much reprieves. Most of the time, that first glance would be correct. “Some parents augment their teaching with online learning; others work collaboratively with other parents and community groups to create educational, social, and extracurricular activities for their kids,” said Dona Matthews Ph.D. The question that beleaguers the parents the most, in regards to homeschooling, is “How do I cater to my ADHD child or children while providing the quality of an actual school?”

Read moreHow To Homeschool An ADHD Kid

How To Make Homeschooling A Fun Experience For Your Child

There are numerous perks and benefits of homeschooling. One would be not having to wake up early to prepare for the school bus to experiencing no worries as to the whereabouts of your child. As parents, it is your responsibility to raise your child to be good citizens. But for some parents, it may be difficult to enroll your child into a regular school as there may be limitations such as frequent travel that disables them from committing their children to regular schools. But with homeschooling, your child can now learn basic maths to mastering high school psychology in your home.


Fortunately, homeschooling is a valid and accepted means of giving your child education. According to J. Richard Gentry Ph.D., “Rather than believing that children who read early are exceptional outliers, experts are now recognizing that early reading may really be the norm if parents know what to do and have a few easy tools.” Through homeschooling, your child can still get his or her diploma from the same curriculum with the benefit of conducting classes in the comforts of your home. If you currently homeschool your child, or if you are considering homeschooling your kid, you should be aware of the pros and cons in this kind of set-up. You should know that homeschooling comes with its challenges.

Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a dull and ordinary experience for your beloved children. There are a lot of things you can incorporate in your ‘child’s homeschooling to make the experience a novel one. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “You can take advantage of learning opportunities as they become available, and you can choose the teaching approach that works best for you and your child.” Here are seven ways on how you can make homeschooling a fun experience for your child.

Figure Out Your Kid’s Learning Style

Since you are going to conduct your ‘child’s lessons at home, it is essential to observe and be aware of your ‘child’s learning style. Each person has his or her learning style. Your child’s preferred learning style allows him or her to understand the lessons better. Try to utilize your child’s learning style as much as you can, but also incorporate different learning styles to challenge your kid.

Don’t Hinder Your Child From Meeting New People

One major disadvantage of homeschooling is the hindrances to your child’s social skill development. Since your child doesn’t have much exposure to people, he or she has reduced social interaction, which may affect your ‘kid’s social skills. ‘Don’t stop your child from meeting and interacting with other people. There are many alternative ways of how you can aid in developing your ‘child’s social skills.

Take Your Kid Out On Field Trips

Field trips pose many educational benefits. Aside from aiding your child to learn lessons first-hand, this is also an alternative way of developing your child’s social skills. If you feel like your child is getting bored from your home set-up, it may be time to schedule a field trip for a change of scenery and to excite your child to the prospect of learning.


Invite A Teacher Over

You can also increase your ‘child’s interactions by inviting a teacher over. You can request a music teacher so that your child can expand his or her skill set. Another thing you can do is to ask an art teacher once a week to create fun activities for your kid. Inviting a teacher to teach your child can also assure you that an expert in handling your ‘child’s education.

Create A Reward System

Give your child something to be excited for and look forward to by creating a reward system. It can significantly motivate your kid to finish his or her lessons. Reward or give your child a prize for a job well done. For younger children, you can let them pick from candies, stickers, and toys. For older children,  you can extend their bedtime, buy them new clothes, or take them to see a new movie.

Incorporate Games Into Your Daily Lessons

Make your lessons more fun and unique by incorporating little games into your lessons. Sitting all day can be annoying for your kid. Try to make your lessons entertaining by using toys when counting in math lessons. You can also use online videos as part of the experience, or allowing your child to act out a scene from your history lessons.


Occasionally Give Your Child The Choice

One great way of making homeschooling fun is sometimes to let your child pick a subject of his or her interest. You can do this by having your child pick out which book to read or figure out which topic to write about. It can encourage your ‘child’s learning because they have the freedom to choose. But ‘don’t forget only to do this occasionally, so your child learns the importance of discipline.

These are just seven out of countless ways to make homeschooling fun. You can always experiment with which techniques will be useful for your kid. “Based on decades of scientific studies, we know there are only a handful of techniques that you need to understand to enhance learning in multiple subject areas,” according to Jessica Koehler Ph.D. As your child ages, his or her interests also change. Remember to pick up and be aware of your ‘child’s preferences. You can incorporate those likes into your daily lessons to make homeschooling a fun experience.

Home Schooled Children And Depression

A recent study shows that children with less interaction with people have a high chance of becoming introvert? The same study reveals that young individuals who are not able to connect with other persons are at risk for suffering from a major depressive disorder. Dr. Andre Sourander, a professor of child psychiatry at the University of Turku in Finland, reported that “children who are bullied in early childhood have an increased risk of depressive disorders and need psychiatric treatment later in life.” This fact can be problematic on your part especially if you have already decided to choose home-schooling for your beloved child.




Remember that the moment you start to homeschool, your kid will have a lesser opportunity to meet other children who are of the same age. At the same time, they may also find it difficult to relate to others because they feel isolated at home. For this reason, you have to be more careful when it comes to dealing with someone who is currently homeschooling. Below are some of the tips and tricks that you must remember now that you have chosen this kind of academic life for your child:


Always Ask About His Day


Do not forget to inquire how your child’s day went after he has completed all the assigned lessons. According to Jessica Koehler, a school psychologist, “Suggest that your kids continually ask about the how’s and why’s of why things work as related to whatever they are studying at the time.” Feel free to ask questions that will make him open up so that you can maintain effective communication at all times. Let him know that he can always talk to you at any time of the day. Never make the mistake of shutting him down whenever he starts to open up as it can make him feel rejected. If this continues to happen, he may become depressed. Keep your questions simple and avoid asking those that are intimidating or difficult to understand.




Be Patient And Understanding


Many arrangements can be possible when it comes to homeschooling. In case you have decided to become the teacher to your child, the first thing that you must learn is to set limits during the class. Treat your kid as a student, which means that you have to be objective so that he can get the lessons. As a teacher, you also need to increase your patience and understanding. Do not easily get mad if he has a hard time learning. Just like a regular academic teacher, be fair in dealing with him.


Observe His Actions


Another important thing that you need to do is to look at the way he acts so that you will know if something is wrong. It does not mean that you have to be paranoid. Otherwise, it can only make the situation worse. What is essential at this point is for you to start noticing whenever there are some changes in his behavioral patterns. Try to discover the factors that can affect his behavior and personality. In so doing, it will be easier on your part to know whether or not he already has depression. Nonetheless, remember that you can never make the diagnosis yourself. Look for a professional who can do it.


Encourage Him To Exercise


Homeschooling can promote a sedentary lifestyle for your kid. Unfortunately, it is not good for him, and it is the primary reason why you must encourage him to become physically active. Teach him the various home exercises that he can do before or after his studies. Inspire him to get fit while he is still young. Take note that the body releases happy hormones during and after an exercise. As such, he has a good chance of fighting depression if he will continue engaging in physical activities. You can also exercise with him to keep him motivated.


Call A Therapist


If you believe that your child’s condition is starting to get worse, the next step that you must do is to get in touch with a mental health expert. Call a therapist who can assist the case of your child. Let this professional handle the different ways on how to attend to the needs of your depressed kid. Keep in mind that it is essential to listen to the advice of the therapist. Make sure to take notes during the sessions so that you will know the progress that your child is making every day. Do not be afraid to ask questions from the therapist during the meetings with you and the child.




Feed Him Well


According to another new research, diet can also affect the mental condition or psychological behavior of a particular person. According to Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP, “Scientific research shows that eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life.”  For this reason, you must see to it that your kid does not miss any meal for a given day. Remember that his food intake can dictate the way he acts and talks. If he lacks the proper nutrients, then he has a high tendency of acting cranky. If this continues to take place, he may start losing interest in his studies as well as in connecting with some of his friends. The goal is to ensure that your kid can eat three meals a day.


Homeschooling is not a bad thing, but because of a different setup, you must learn how to do it the right way.


2014 Los Angeles Depression Workshop: Practical Tips On Overcoming The Disorder

Looking back, the panelists at the 2014 Los Angeles Depression Workshop did not mince with words when they said that the disorder is incurable. It is true – no matter how much you spend on anti-depressants, they cannot save you from depression. According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “Depression is an insidious, isolating disorder, which can sabotage relationships.” Instead of feeling down about it, though, you should know that many individuals got to overcome the illness without drugs.

Below are a few practical tips on how to beat depression on your own.

1. Face Your Issues


The first thing you need to do is to deal with whatever makes you feel hopeless. “Remember, hope is one of the things that leaves when a person is depressed. But hope can be reignited through small successes along the way, reinvigorating the memory of better times — times that can be just around the corner as you begin to win the battle over depression,” said psychologist Jane Framingham, Ph.D. There is genuinely no other way around it. Even if you consult the best psychologist or psychiatrist, they will likely tell you that your healing will be based on your openness to accept your new reality. Otherwise, you may not be able to move forward.

2. Contradict Negative Thoughts About Yourself

Say, you developed depression because the man or woman you devoted many years to left you for someone else abruptly. Ideas about not being good enough for that person or being unlovable may then try to enter your brain. Considering you want to overcome your condition, though, you should contradict every negative thought that comes to mind. You are fantastic; you deserve love as much as anyone. It’s time you remind yourself of that.

3. Don’t Be Scared To Ask For Help


The problem with some depressed folks is that they choose not to call for help even during their gloomiest moments. The reason is not always the same, but the most common one is that they fear of getting turned down by their loved ones who don’t understand their issues. “The biggest misconception patients have is that their depressed feelings, fatigue, irritability, inability to concentrate and loss of interest will last forever; that there is no relief in sight”, said Rosalind S. Dorlen, Psy.D, ABPP, New Jersey clinical psychologist. Nevertheless, you ought to remember that the people who genuinely care for you won’t throw questions before lending a hand. They will do it the other way and wait until you are ready to speak up.


Do yourself a favor, will you? Keep these things in mind whenever you feel depression creeping back in your life. Good luck!

Finding Success In Therapy And Homeschooling For Special Kids

When you know that your little angel has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and other neurological issues, the therapy becomes your main priority. Although there is no cure for such conditions, you want to help the child at least handle the symptoms and triggers on his or her own. You cannot be around the kid 24/7, as ideal as it may be.

Another priority that almost ties with that is giving your child with special needs a taste of normalcy. You put her in school, assuming that being around same-aged kids might be good for daughter. At times, she will get ready without a fuss. Other times, the child throws tantrums all the way to the classroom.


In reality, if your little boy or girl does not seem to get any better in a school filled with many kids, you can try homeschooling him or her. The lack of strict teaching methods may allow your child to learn better. Furthermore, you can work closely with the therapist. “Many parents of gifted learners are choosing to homeschool their kids in order to ensure a better match between the child’s learning needs and the curriculum being offered,” says Dona Matthews Ph.D.

Here’s what you can do to find success in both homeschooling AND therapy.

Know How To Prioritize

Consider how you want your child’s 24 hours to pass. What subjects will you tackle in the morning? When can a teacher come? When should your kid go to therapy?

The thing is, you cannot reprimand anyone with special needs to follow the timetable you made just because you are the parent. You can create the schedule as a guide, yet you still need to figure out what they want to do at a specific hour. This way, the kid will not retreat in their own world and pay you no mind.


Understand What Scheme Works Best For The Child

What’s great about homeschooling is that you are free to decide on the times when various subjects should be taught. You will receive a copy of the curriculum and essential learning materials, but it is up to you how you prefer to divide the lessons.

That gives you the freedom to teach several subjects to your child every quarter. It goes in line with the therapist’s belief that children with development disability understand things better once you allow them to do the same stuff for a while.

Think Of Their Behavioral Improvements

“Parents inherently worry about their children and parents of kids with special needs have additional reasons to worry,” said Dan Peters Ph.D. Kids with special needs honestly require more time than any non-disabled child to understand school lessons. Instead of focusing on that, you should consider how much progress your little one makes outside of the educational setting.

For instance, does your constant presence enable the child to respond whenever they hear your voice? Are there fewer meltdowns now? Can he or she play with other kids already? These are the kinds of improvement that can – and should – make you proud as a parent.


“Research from cognitive psychology provides a wealth of information regarding how to improve learning,” said psychologist Jessica Koehler Ph.D.


When homeschooling a child who has special needs, your best helpers are not only the SPED teachers but also a therapist. The former may know how to educate your kid, yet the latter can help develop their behavior through therapy. Make no mistake about that.