Homeschool Helps

Spotlighting Resources that Help You Homeschool

Jamie from SimpleHomeschool.Net

posted Dec 11, 2018, 8:13 AM by DanandBecky Kee

Jamie Martin does it all over at
Reading about her multinational family, her homeschool curriculum, and her successful blogging/writing career can make her seem unrealistically perfect.  Then she comes out with this statement right here:
(Note to readers: I still can be found, on challenging days, researching public and private school options in my area. Superwoman does not live in my house, just a mama in the trenches like you.)

Just a mama in the trenches like you. There is wisdom to be found here, friends. For subscribing to her email list, you can get her free ebook Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom.  But even as an anonymous stalker reader, you can find gobs of ideas for everything from (international!) field trip ideas and curricula, educational philosophies, help and advice on deciding whether to even homeschool and how to start, and a little comfort for those days when you question everything you've ever done.

In the spirit of one year coming to a close, and planning for the coming year, I'll share a post from Jamie that I've found particularly helpful:

10 ways you’re making your homeschool day harder than it needs to be

April 27, 2015 //  by Jamie Martin//  77 Comments

10 ways you're making your homeschool day harder

In her article, Jamie gives such amazing suggestions as... 
Be willing to put down the curriculum you're using in favor of one that will actually work for your family. Go outside when the weather is good.  Look for tasks you're doing that could be delegated to the kids.  Reevaluate the atmosphere if you might be pushing them too hard.  Do today today.  Do what you love and bring your kids along with you.  Declutter.  Teach your child, not your child's grade.  Focus on your child's progress instead of comparisons.  Evaluate your priorities and then focus on the important things. 

She gives great explanations, so click on over to and check out all the resources she has for you.  Then go forth and homeschool in confidence!


About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.  

Gentle Christian Mothers

posted Sep 18, 2018, 11:34 PM by DanandBecky Kee

HomeHomeOur BlogArticles and ResourcesMessage BoardContactAbout GCM - Statement of Beliefs, How we began, About the AdminsTestimonialsMembership

Community is a wonderful thing, and finding your tribe can help you understand yourself a little more.   I was recently reminded of a community that I was very much a part of as a new mother, and I want to share it with you all this week.  

Gentle Christian Mothers is an online community of moms from around the world with a few basic tenets.  They are Christians, they seek to parent mindfully and gently, and they support each other in doing so. 

Many of these moms homeschool, and many do not, but learning is valued in a way that you just don't find in mainstream communities.  These women love the Lord and believe He calls us to parent our children as true treasures, to remember that children are real people and we are uniquely gifted to meet their needs.  They do not spank, but they are not permissive with their children or judgmental of other parents.  You will find in the pages of this community real support and solutions for real life parenting with the goal of being and raising respectful productive members of society.

Concepts like GOYB parenting (where parents get off our butts and become consistent instead of resorting to pleading, yelling or spanking), bean dip (a great way to change the subject when not-so-well-meaning questions come your way, and the five steps (a helpful way to gently and consistently teach your children discipline) are just some of the things you'll learn over on the GCM message boards.  

Tons of articles on all kinds of parenting topics, including homeschooling, contain gobs of information for you.  But the real meat is in the message boards, where you can ask, "Ok, then, what do I do when my toddler runs out in the road?  How am I going to teach him how dangerous that is if I'm not spanking him?" and "What about spare the rod, spoil the child?" or any of the other burning questions you may have.  

The only downside is that once you get lost in the forums of GCM, dinner may never get cooked again!

Year Round Homeschooling

posted Jul 31, 2018, 1:02 PM by DanandBecky Kee   [ updated Jul 31, 2018, 4:05 PM ]

     At the beginning of August, I start to feel that familiar tug.  Summer is waning. Many of our beach days and vacation plans are now memories.  Back to school sales are in full swing.  FOMO is hitting hard.  Was that really it?  Was that the whole summer?  Wait! 

     But, I remind myself, it is only August.  There is a whole 'nother month to go before School Starts.  And even then, here in the Commonwealth, we venerate the commerce of Labor Day Weekend, so it'll be practically mid-September before we're really in the swing of things.

     And in our house, there is one more buffer:  we don't Start School with everyone else.  Sure, our co-op starts on the public school schedule, and so there is still a sense of ritual to this time of year.  Our daily routine, though, doesn't change significantly from what it was in August.  We homeschool year round, and even as I write this, my kids are working through the daily list of schoolwork and chores that governs most of our week days throughout the year.

What does it look like for us?

    In our house, we have Regular School Days and... days with other titles :)  Sometimes before bed I'll tell the kids, "Tomorrow is a beach day, so when you get up, be ready to get dressed and leave early!" or "Tomorrow we're going to help Grandma at the shop, so pack your school things in backpacks."

    But any weekday where there isn't something out of the ordinary planned, we have a list of schoolwork and chores that each child is expected to accomplish.  My oldest, who is entering 7th grade this fall (see how it still sounds completely ordinary?) has a list that includes cleaning the kitchen, doing a math lesson, a writing assignment, a reading assignment, a spanish lesson, a keyboarding drill, and a set of math drills.  

    These are the basics that get done every day of the year, no matter what new curriculum we're trying, what other subjects she's studying or what we're doing together as a family.  The other kids have similar age appropriate lists, even the 5 year old, and the lists are posted on the wall or fridge so they are easy to check off.  (Pre-literate kids get pictures to go with the words).  We revamp the lists from time to time, often in September, January, and May.  (again, still very conventional) 

Why do we homeschool all year?

    Having that basic list of schoolwork and chores, for our family, helps keep us sane.  

    That's really it.  It's nothing groundbreaking.  It's just what works for us.  My kids know that in the absence of other instructions, they have a baseline amount of taking care of the world around them that needs to be done.  This gives my the freedom to get some rest after a night shift (I also work a paid full time job), or the freedom to spend one-on-one time with a kid who needs it, or simply go from child to child helping with specific subjects, knowing that everyone else is still moving forward.

    It also gives us the ability to take breaks.  I find the holidays to be a hectic time.  To me, it's freeing to know that the basics are being taken care of regularly through the year.  When Thanksgiving rolls around and we have parties, travel, and special events multiple times a week for a month and a half, we break for that whole time.  We don't do anything that is specifically "school" from Thanksgiving to the first week of January.

    At other times of the year, if Daddy has a day off, you can bet no school is happening that day.  We're free to take vacations or do family projects that put regular school on hold for a week here and there.  In July, we take our annual vacation.  A few days before, we're busy cleaning house and packing.  No school.  But the week after vacation?  Daddy's gone to work, vacation is over, and we're back to work.  

    This fall we'll be starting construction on our new home (Woohoo!), and I fully anticipate there will be many days of checking out the construction site and running errands to make things go smoothly for the planning and execution of the house.  School will fall behind the house on our priority list for a short time.   Knowing this, I have taken comfort in the fact that schooling all year means I have the wiggle room to see how much education I can squeak out of this experience for them, and not be worried that anyone is falling behind.  

    For us, year round homeschooling means we have vacation time "saved up" in a sense.  We don't sweat the unexpected days of interruption, and we get to look forward to leisurely holidays without the stress of doing schoolwork at the same time.

This post is already way too long.  However, I still want to highlight a blogger who also schools year round.  Her name is Misty and she write extensively at

To hear her perspective and get some tips on how to transition your family to year round homeschooling, read her post:

Easy Peasy - An All-in-One Homeschool Curriculum

posted Jul 31, 2018, 12:04 PM by DanandBecky Kee   [ updated Jul 31, 2018, 12:08 PM ]

Easy Peasy - All-in-One Homeschool Curriculum
Easy Peasy - An All-in-One Homeschool Curriculum
Have you been waiting for an amazing resource to fall in your lap???  Here it is!

This homeschool mom, Lee, and her husband were overseas missionaries when they began homeschooling.  They now earn a living through  In the course of teaching her own children, Lee began picking and choosing lessons from many different sources, and organized her children's curricula in a wordpress blog.  She has been convicted by God to offer those resources for free to anyone who would like to use them.  

That means, my friend, that you can homeschool your child, from K through 12, for FREE.

On her site, she explains a little about her educational philosophy, why she has chosen the lessons she has, and how to use them.  There is a facebook group for Easy Peasy users, and apparently hundreds more facebook groups for specific types of Easy Peasy users! (see for a complete list)

Using this curriculum is as simple as clicking on your child's grade level, and starting at Day 1.  It's not a school, or something you have to register for, so you can work at your own pace.  Take a few days to browse around and see how it might fit into your family's dynamic, and start your kid where you feel it's most appropriate.  

You can choose to use a grade level as whole, or you can work through individual subjects.   I'm personally happy with most of what my kids are doing right now, but there are a few subjects where it would be nice to have this structured, independent, day-by-day set up, so we'll be trying just a few subjects in our house this summer.  

There are a few Treasure families who use some or all of this curriculum in their own homes, so ask on the Loop or at the next park day if you'd like to hear more about it.

How to Use Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool

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