Worthy Reads



**Attention Georgia Homeschoolers: No more attendance forms for Georgia homeschoolers – Examiner.com – Whoot!

This One’s For the Homeschool Moms: Mercy’s Story – Homeschoolers Anonymous – An important read for all homeschooling moms.

Just the Facts: The Pros and Cons of Homeschooling – CBS Sacramento

Why I Homeschool – Scholastic.com – A great article that my friend sent to me. I think many of us must feel this way! It’s a secret you only realize once you start homeschooling.

THE REGULARS: Growing number of Americans choose to homeschool – Sioux City Journal

Homeschooling Resources

The Making of a Wizard & The Crafty Side of Math – Blog, She Wrote – A very good post about using math while doing project-based homeschooling.

How to Practice Spelling with Kinesthetic Learners – Smallgood Hearth


How to get the most from MOOCs – Money Magazine via CNN Schools of Thought

Teachers in Their Own Words: “Learning is Natural. School is Optional.” – Kids in the system

Only 150 of 3500 U.S. Colleges Are Worth the Investment: Former Secretary of Education – Yahoo Finance


Kids of Tiger Moms Are Worse Off – Yahoo! Shine

Have American Parents Got It All Backwards? – Huffington Post

A Bit of News & Worthy Reads

boys at harris homestead

My Own Worthy Read

I’m excited to share with you the news that I have an article and photographs published in the Spring 2013 issue of Georgia Backroads magazine.  If you’re a local Georgia homeschooler, you may be interested in picking up a copy because my article is a good lesson in Georgia and American history.  Titled “Rogues Road Landmark:  The William Harris Homestead,” I give readers a glimpse into the history of the beautiful William Harris Homestead (pictured above) in Monroe, Georgia.  If you haven’t visited the homestead and you want to, don’t hesitate to e-mail me and ask about it!


My worthy reads are rather skimpy because we’ve had some illnesses in the house, and I’m plum tired of reading about homeschooling in the media. It’s so much of the same stuff. But I have found some great blog posts and a few other worthy reads to share with you.


Psychology: Homeschooling offers viable option for many – CapitalGazzette.com – Happy to see this positive and detailed article about homeschooling.

Old Earth, Young Minds: Evangelical Homeschoolers Embrace Evolution – The Atlantic

Ask The Taxgirl: Do Homeschooling Expenses Qualify As An Educator Expense – Forbes – Short answer, no.

Homeschool Writing with Patricia Zaballos – FIMBY – Two of my favorite homeschooling bloggers bundled together in one post! Seriously, this is a good overview of Patricia’s advice about writing, and if you like it, you may want to see her new series on her blog, Become a Writing Mentor to Your Child, Part 1

Science and Inquiry – Avant Parenting

German Homeschoolers fight for asylum in U.S. – Aljazeera

Homeschooling Resource

Mazes, Free Printables, Easy to Hard – krazydad – My boys have been into mazes lately, and my husband found this great resource for finding mazes for all levels.


My daughter realized I’m going to die – The Cultivated Mother – Kimberly is a homeschooling mom, but I felt this very moving post fit under parenting.

Finding the true path to happiness – Project Based Homeschooling

Educating and Raising Boys

How to Help Boys – Blogging ‘Bout Boys

Worthy Reads

I’m going through my photo archives, and I came across this old favorite. “Playing with (throwing) leaves and dirt”


The Importance of Realigning Priorities – Interest-Led Learning

Highly Inappropriate, then and now – Avant Parenting

It’s not enough to be smart – Project-based Homeschooling

German Homeschool Case May Impact U.S. Homeschool Freedom – HSLDA – Worth being aware of. Ever since the HSLDA posted this, there has been many spin-off articles.  I’m just posting a couple of extra below:

Mainstream television features kids growing up without school – Innovative Educator

Waco: As Texas Weighs School Safety Options, Local Couple Advocates Home Schooling – Our Town Texas

Homeschooling, community college aided high-achieving Moorestown family – philly.com


How Do We Prepare Our Children for What’s Next? – Mindshift – Excellent article!

Why Inquiry Learning is Worth the Trouble – Mindshift

Has Kindergarten Become Too Academic? – Anne Murphy Paul

A warning to college profs from a high school teacher – The Washington Post – Someone posted this on a local homeschool list. Thank you!

Best Paying College Majors Are Mostly In Engineering – Huffington Post

A 15-year-old student’s ed reform plan: Self-directed learning – The Washington Post

Why introverts shouldn’t be forced to talk in class – The Washington Post

Obama touts preschools in Georgia: ‘This isn’t baby-sitting’ – CNN.com – I have mixed feelings about this.  I do think good free preschool should be available to all families who need it. It does seem to be beneficial in certain cases, especially when parents don’t have the time to devote to their children because of economic hardship, but ideally, children should be at home bonding with their parents, playing, exploring, learning for fun, and being kids!  They don’t need more school.  They need good parents.

How Free Play Can Define Kids’ Success – Mindshift

Worthy Reads


Why Homeschooling is Becoming Hipster – townhall.com

School Choice Week: Why Homeschool Is the Best School – patheos.com

Happier Homeschooling – About.com – I thought this was a good, succinct article about making homeschooling less stressful. I definitely agree it should make your life easier, not harder!

Take me to Your Dungeon Master – FIMBY – A must read for anyone who is doing interest-led learning. What happens when your children want to learn about something you’re not interested in?

Stress and Learning – Avant Parenting – Excellent information for homeschoolers about brain research and how we learn.


Three Trends That Will Shape the Future of Curriculum – Mindshift – I saw Patricia Zaballos tweet this, and I agree with her when she said, “Homeschoolers, we’re so far ahead of the game!”


8 Mindful Practices for Parents – Mindful

Tear Down the Swing Sets – Slate – Thanks to Jennifer L.W. Fink for sharing this on Twitter!

Raising and Educating Boys (Don’t forget I add all of these to my comprehensive page Worthy Reads about Raising and Educating Boys.)

Building Strong Boys – Not Just Cute – This looks to be a promising series about boys, risk factors and the positive things they need.

Worthy Reads


*NOTE GEORGIA HOMESCHOOLERS: New bills affecting homeschooling in Georgia – Atlanta Homeschooling Examiner

How home schooling threatens monopoly education – USA Today

Homeschooling — Another Name for Helicopter Parenting? – Huffpost Students

The Microcosm of Homeschooling – Huffpost Teen

A Home-Schooling Pioneer Looks to the Future – NYTimes.com

The Messy Side of Interest-Led Learning – Interest-Led Learning

Learning to use the time you have – Project-Based Homeschooling

Homeschool Reflection: I’m Ambivalent – Patheos


Online courses need human element to educate – CNN Schools of Thought

Raising and Educating Boys

Guns don’t kill people – our sons do – USA Today – Very provocative column, and I have to agree with it.

Boys, Bullying & Guns – Blogging ‘Bout Boys

Homeschooling for Safety Reasons

Note: This column was printed in the Barrow Journal on January 2, 2013.

It troubles me to see a surge of interest in homeschooling after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary.  I love homeschooling my family, and I have to admit that after the tragedy, I was glad my children weren’t attending school that following Monday. But is this a reason to homeschool?  Not if it’s the only reason you have for homeschooling.

While only 4% of U.S. children are homeschooled, this is a fast-growing movement. Of course, I am an advocate of homeschooling. I love to talk to people who are thinking about it for their own family.  At the same time, I don’t think everybody has to do it. It should depend on your child’s needs and also the needs and desires of the parents.

People should understand that homeschooling isn’t just “school at home.”  Homeschooling is a lifestyle. Your whole family is in it together, and you are going to be together all the time. If you have extended family or extra resources to help, that’s great, but it’s still a lot of togetherness. Even for the most patient parents, it can be tough.

Friends and family have commented that I have a lot of patience, and I often chuckle and think to myself that they don’t really know me. I suppose I am more patient than some, but I’m also introverted, and I like a lot of time to myself. I try to balance my love of my children and this lifestyle with my needs, but that’s not always possible. I accept that.

I like to tell people that yes, you can homeschool, if you want to, but there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to. The only thing that is wrong is not being heavily involved in your child’s education.  Someone once told me that she was going to supplement homeschool with public school. I wish more parents took that attitude.

Statistics are proving that homeschoolers tend to outscore traditionally schooled children on standardized tests, and most agree that the concern about socialization is unfounded.  But as I read about how more families are choosing homeschooling, I can’t help but wonder if we’ll see more problems arise with it.  It seems inevitable that as any population grows more challenges will arise within it. I hope I’m wrong.

I read about a family whose mother pulled her children out of school and told a homeschooling friend she didn’t need any advice…she knew exactly what she was going to do. Well, the children were back in school before the year was out. Apparently she was determined that her kids would learn A, B and C by a certain time, much like they were supposed to learn it in school.

Guess what?  Kids all learn differently, and they each have their own time frame.  Most homeschoolers recognize this, and this is why they are homeschooling in the first place.  The biggest benefit of homeschooling is being able to tailor your child’s education to fit his needs and interests. I don’t understand homeschoolers who don’t take advantage of this. This is why I call homeschooling a lifestyle too.

While I do have what I call “school time” with my boys in the mornings, I don’t stress lessons, and I rarely use worksheets. Instead, I have tried to cultivate an atmosphere where all questions are valued and learning is just part of our lives. My son asks to watch nature documentaries, and we watch together as a family. We have conversations, go on field trips, take community classes and make time for playing, creating and exploring.

When I’m trying to teach something specific, I have learned that I might have to try various resources before I find one that works for my son. I have done much research on various homeschooling methods, and my work has only just started.

I don’t blame parents who want to homeschool after the recent tragic events, but I hope they will consider all the variables when they pull their children out of school. Tragic events happen everywhere – not just in schools – but, yes, you do have more control and flexibility while homeschooling.  You get to spend quality time with your children, and you get to make sure they have the kind of childhood you want them to.

Homeschooling can be the best thing that ever happened to you, but if you go into it with a fixed idea on what it should look like for your family, you may be in for a rude awakening. Think about it. Maybe try it. Above all, be flexible.

What do you think about all the interest in homeschooling after the recent tragedy? Do you think it’s a good idea for parents to consider homeschooling for this reason? Or maybe for other reasons?

Worthy Reads


December & Christmas Activities with Small Children – Mama of Letters – This is the post I wrote last year about our December traditions, which is slim & stress-free, and except for a few exceptions, this year isn’t going to look much different.

So, how do you homeschool? – Simple Homeschool

Homeschooling gets good grades for pupils – Spirit Of Jefferson (West Virginia)

Home is Where the School is: An Argument for Homeschooling Children – Political Fiber


Do Students Really Have Different Learning Styles? – Mindshift

Are We Wringing the Creativity Out of Kids? – Mindshift – Gives some good information about when and why, exactly, children might start to consider themselves not creative.  I think as homeschoolers we have a good advantage of watching our children closely and combating this.  Children need to learn that failure is okay (next article is a good one on this topic).  They don’t have to be perfect.  In fact, all artists do many “rough drafts” before they are satisfied with their work….this is what I tell my son.

STEM Students Must Be Taught to Fail – US News and World Report – Yes, and ALL students need to be taught to fail.

How Design Can Get Kids On the Path to Tech Careers – Co.Design

My View: When it comes to a longer school day, something’s got to give – CNN Schools of Thought – Longer school days do not sound good to a homeschooler. We homeschool because we want our kids to have the freedom to play, explore, daydream and really be kids while they’re able to be kids.  The real school work can be done in such a shorter time.  Still, I recognize that for some kids, a longer school day might be a blessing. They may be safer at school than at home or on the street. They may need the extra time studying.  I hope, as this gentleman writes, that schools use the time wisely and not simply to push more drill and memorization on kids.

The looming crisis of student loan debt – CNN Schools of Thought


Attachment and Success – Avant Parenting

Why You’re Never Failing as a Mother – Pregnant Chicken

An Awesome Way to Make Kids Less Self-Absorbed – Greater Good

Please add your worthy reads in the comments.

Worthy Reads


The Value in Mistakes – Interest-Led Learning

What About Socialization? – Homeschool.com

Homeschooling works – the star online

Homeschooling a better choice for some – Franklin Park Herald, Chicago Sun-Times

Nova Scotia would be ‘worst place in Canada’ for homeschoolers if gvmt heeds new report – LifeSiteNews.com

Kenya to outlaw homeschooling? – One News Now


Want to succeed in STEM? Listen to the experts! – Innovative Educator

ECE (Preschool) is no good for 4, 5 and possibly 6 year olds, expert says – Home Education Foundation – In some ways, I agree with this.  I think children benefit more from being at home with their parents during their early years, if their parents provide them with a stimulating, loving environment.  I don’t think kids need the kind of “socialization” that many people think they need at such a young age. Forming bonds with their family and possibly a close network of extended family and friends is ideal. However, I have read that preschool does benefit children from lower income families or families who cannot provide the a loving, engaging environment.  And I think shunning preschool altogether can hurt many families who have no other choice but to put more energy into their work than in their family life in order to survive.  What we need is to get our society to walk the walk and not just talk the talk about promoting family values!

Homework: It fails our students and undermines American education – SmartBlogs – I agree!  Kids are in school all day, and they have to do homework at night. When are they supposed to play?!

Schools Are Ruining Our Kids – Vanity Fair – Perhaps a little extreme, but it’s thought-provoking.


Giving a Child Permission to Be Miserable – Motherload Blog, NYTimes.com

Four Hours of Screen Time? No Problem – Motherload Blog, NYTimes.com

Limit children’s screen time, expert urges – BBC News – I have already written about our T.V. viewing, but this makes me tempted to write a another post. I think many good parents read these kinds of articles and then freak out about their kids having any screen time.  But in reality, these articles are for the parents who aren’t involved enough in their kids’ education and individual interests.  Do you read books to your kids? Do you have conversations with them? Are your kids involved in activities outside the home? Are you doing projects together? Getting out into nature?  What kinds of programming are your kids really watching? I doubt it’s harming them.

Educating Boys

Educating Boys – ABC Sydney – Australian Broadcasting Corporation – Though this sounds like a good school, I don’t agree with the statement that boys are different because we nurture them differently. They are just different!  And we nurture each child according to his/her needs.

Why You Should Care About International Men’s Day – Blogging ‘Bout Boys


30 Storytelling Tips for Educators: How to Capture Your Student’s Attention – InformED – I was asked to share this article with you, and while I think it’s great, I also think it may overwhelm the novice storyteller!  Remember, to tell stories, all you have to do is begin… I am planning to write much more about storytelling for parents.  Trying to find the time….!  I hope you’ll bear with me.

Worthy Reads


In Berlin, Global Homeschooling Leaders Unveil Historic Declaration – The New American

Home-school proponent (Susan Bauer) well-versed in controversy – The Norman Transcript

a few rules for homeschooling and life, the marvel edition – Wonder Farm

The Year I Went to School and Why I Left – Huffington Post Teen – a very down-to-earth commentary from a 16-year-old homeschooled student

Am I Living it Right? (is the wrong question) – FIMBY – An inspiring post for any homeschooler.


My View: Ten myths about gifted students and programs for gifted – CNN Schools of Thought

Harvard Wants to Know: How Does the Act of Making Shape Kids’ Brains? – Mindshift

My View: An open letter to George Lucas – we need your independent vision – CNN Schools of Thought

Why Are Finland’s Schools Successful? – Smithsonian.com

Revolt against high-stakes standardized testing spreads – Washington Post Answer Sheet

My view: Kindergarten redshirting different for each child – CNN Schools of Thought – I would have held my son back for Kindergarten if we were not homeschooling, but as this writer notes, it is not necessarily the right thing to do for every child. I am glad I’m homeschooling so that I don’t have to worry about it because surely there would be pros and cons to doing it.

Historian David McCullough: No ‘professional teacher should major in education’ – Washington Post Answer Sheet

Why ‘Googling It’ Is Not Enough – Mindshift


How Children Learn: Portraits of Classrooms Around the World – Brain Pickings – I e-mailed this to the six-year-old, and we enjoyed looking at our globe while looking at these photos.

Why Daydreaming Isn’t a Waste of Time – Mindshift

Worthy Reads

Homeschooling in the media

Rural Homeschooling on the Rise – Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural

The Last Radicals – National Review Online

Homeschooling an option for some – Geneva Republican

To Be Young, Gifted and Bored, Part 2 – GPB Blogs

Success requires balancing being right with being nice – Penelope Trunk


Homeschooling Resources

http://www.primarilyreading.com – Welcome to Primarily Reading where you will find free materials for beginning readers and later learners.

“most of what you think you know about writing is useless” – Wonder Farm – This is becoming one of my favorite blogs to follow too.

Critique with children – Project Based Homeschooling – I need to hang this up on my wall.

9 Creative Storytelling Tools That Will Make You Wish You Were A Student Again – THE Journal



A Is for Apps for Education – PCMag.com

Worst College Majors for Your Career – Yahoo! Finance

Helping kids cross the digital divide – CNN Radio News

My view: America’s students can benefit from Singapore math – CNN Schools of Thought – Does anyone use Singapore Math in your homeschool?  Do you like it? I’m thinking of looking into other math programs for us, so I’d like to hear comments.

How to Help Your Kinesthetic Learner Do Better in School – NannyPro.com

My View: The future of credentials – CNN Schools of Thought

My View: Should I know where I’ll be in 10 years? – CNN Schools of Thought

The rigor (?) of kindergarten! – The Innovative Educator – Yep, one of the reasons we’re homeschooling right now.

Attention Disorder or Not, Children Prescribed Pills to Help in School – NYTimes.com

Teaching What You Don’t Know – The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Teaching as a content novice, you are more likely to set realistic expectations for learners, to notice when they are breaking down and experiencing problems, and to pause and make adjustments in response—instead of marching dutifully from one end of the syllabus to the other, covering everything on your ambitious agenda.”



How to be a calm parent – Awesomely Awake – Great post by Shawn Ledington Fink. I think I need to hang it on my wall too.



How to Advance in the Workforce, Even if you’re a Stay at Home Mom – A Successful Woman

Dealing with Naysayers & Negativity – written by one of my favorite bloggers, Renee Tougas – outsideways – Excellent commentary for anyone who is dealing with criticism about their choice to homeschool!


I can’t possibly list all the articles on homeschooling that are popping up the media these days, and I can’t list all the interesting education articles, or parenting or other resources….so I leave it up to now: Please share any worthy reads YOU have found (or written) recently.  Thank you!