Monday, May 11, 2015

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy - A Review

Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review
I was a little apprehensive about taking an online course on how to succeed in homeschooling.  After all, I have been a homeschool mom for 18 years.  Really?  18 years?  It sounds impossible when I say it out loud, but it is the truth nonetheless.  I pondered the idea of taking the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course and ultimately decided I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Despite our status as a homeschooling family for almost two decades our family makeup, and therefor our school makeup, is ever changing and not remotely ordinary.

When we graduated our last homeschooler into independence nearly four years ago we were adjusting to life with a newborn.  I was actually considering church school for the little guy.  Homeschooling high school can be a little intense, especially three at a time, and this mama needed to know she had options.  Well, the baby turned into a toddler, my life as a high school home educator ended, and I became a new mom all over again.  It just seemed natural to continue with homeschooling.  At that point we realized that we ARE a homeschooling family.

Enter the next big change.  Two of our granddaughters came to live with us full-time, and life was a little shall we say hectic for a time.  The oldest one was school age, and big decisions had to be made.  She came home at Christmas break, and we never looked back.  I share this with you in relation to this review simply to illustrate that all of our journeys are a little different.  Our realities may have similarities, but the subtle (and not so subtle) nuances of each of our families are what make us unique.  We have different needs at different times.  That's what's wonderful about the Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Course.  It meets all of us right where we are at the moment.

My first thought in reviewing this course is how much I would have LOVED to have had something like this at the beginning of my journey all those years ago.  What a tremendous blessing it would have been.  I tend to shoot in the dark and jump in the deep end without looking.  That just seems to be the way my life flows.  BUT - what if - what if I had this at the beginning?  This course is SO SIMPLE and SO EASY to follow.  I look forward to receiving the email each week with the new lesson.  It arrives as a downloadable PDF which I can read on my laptop or print and put in a binder.  It really doesn't take much time to work through.  Some weeks may require a little more effort, like when you're ironing out your schedule, but for the most part we're talking 20 minutes or so.  I love the way Stephanie suggests making a special time just for you to relax and focus on the lesson with a beverage of your choice.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to make this aspect of it work for me at the moment, but I have not given up hope.

Having worked through the first nine lessons (of the 26 total) as well as two bonus lessons, a nice little perk Stephanie throws in here and there, I know this is going to help me greatly as we transition into this next phase of homeschooling.  Currently we are moving from a full-time, year-round approach to a more relaxed spring/summer and more intense fall/winter approach.  Our family is getting deeper into homesteading.  This year we plan to grow more of our own food as well as add livestock to the picture.  This means we need more time in the spring and summer months to work our land and prepare for the fall and winter months.  I guess in this sense we are taking a more traditional approach beginning now as far as scheduling goes.  It has been MANY A YEAR since we took a break from academics in the summer, and the transition feels a tad awkward at times; just as much as it seems a natural fit.  Utilizing the guidance throughout the lessons helps me take a step back, evaluate our needs as well as our desires, and refresh my memory on the goals of just why it is we live like we live.  I think we all need to remind ourselves of that from time to time.

Successful Homeschooling Made Simple in my opinion would be most beneficial for those stepping into homeschooling for the first time and those, like me, that are looking to make a big transition in how they "do school."  It's also a wonderful resource for taking a little me time to walk through the lessons as a sort of self-evaluation as to how things are going within your own homeschool, or with a specific area that you'd like to improve.  The determining factor for me deciding to take the course was looking forward to the lesson on housekeeping!  Are there any of us out there that don't fret over the limited amount of time we have to pull off everything?  As a homeschooling mom it can often feel like we work a few full-time jobs.  Working through this course forces us to step back, gather our thoughts, and move forward with a more purposeful and simple approach.

Each lesson is presented in a simple, inviting, and easy to follow format.  There is always a preface to let you know what to expect within the lesson followed by the lesson itself.  Stephanie has sprinkled inspiring quotes throughout the course which I really enjoy.  There is also suggested reading in relation to the lesson.  The books are not required as part of the course, rather they are suggested as a way for you to get even more out of your experience with the course and within your homeschooling journey.  The lessons end with a summary, and assignment, and a little glimpse into the following week.  Yes, it really is simple!

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Successful Homeschooling Made Easy Review
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