Finishing Strong with your Homeschool

Hang in there! You are so close to finishing the school year. This last couple of weeks can be some of the toughest as you near the end of school. The finish line is in sight, just keep going!

You may be seeing that you have more textbook to finish than school days. Don’t panic. Here is something to consider: Will some of these topics be covered again next year? They most likely are since the first couple of lessons typically review previous concepts. If not, then concentrate on teaching this. You can also start your school year with things you didn’t finish this year if they are foundational. Many times you will see that the lessons towards the end of the year are review of what has been learned.

Switch up your schedule. Routine can get b-o-r-i-n-g. What about instead of doing math first you start with a read aloud or a baking lesson? I like the baking lesson because you can be learning about measurement, some chemistry, and fixing breakfast. 🙂

Reflect with your son/daughter what they have accomplished this year. Did they learn to read? Was division hard for them and now it is easier?

Countdown! Make a tear away calendar so that you and your child can count down the number of days you have left. It’s motivating to see there are fewer days and a break is in sight.

Celebrate with your child! Once you finish have one big We Did It day. Pack a picnic lunch, go to the park, and finish it off with a favorite dessert. Or, do whatever is fun for your family.

I am celebrating with you! Congratulations as you complete this school year. While assessments have been waived this year, I am still meeting virtually with families. If you are interested you can sign up by going to

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

The History of Homeschooling in Ohio

My good friend, Becky, and I were talking about the history of how homeschooling was legalized in Ohio. I believe it is worth sharing because the opportunity and privilege to homeschool is something that I treasure and it makes it all the more special when you learn how it happened. My information is taken from a fantastic 142 page book that I wish every homeschool family could have as a reference. In it, Diana Fessler shares her story and explains every point of Ohio’s homeschool laws and the Home Education Notification Form. Sadly, it is out of print, but I hope someone will reprint it and update the few details that have changed since it was printed. If you ever come across the book, you should purchase it. Home Education : Answers for Ohio Parents by Diana Fessler.

It all began as a seed of an idea in 1982 when Diana Fessler and her husband, Bob, were considering pre-registering their son for kindergarten while at the same time being introduced to the idea of schooling their own children. They decided to homeschool their four children for several years without notifying the superintendent. When they did choose to do so, they sent their philosophy of education, a daily schedule, curriculum overview, and test results. The test results for all of the children were in the 90-99th percentile range. Mrs. Fessler presumed that the superintendent would excuse her children from compulsory attendance. However, contrary to this belief they received “twenty-one pages of documents”.

The superintendent requested copies of her and her husband’s transcripts and teaching certificates. They only submitted Mr. Fessler’s transcript (they didn’t have teaching certificates) to the superintendent as well as seventy-five pages of information that included things such as their background, assessment plans, and resource materials. They submitted an additional one hundred thirty pages after the superintendent had said it was a “good start” and they needed to supply details of all the courses in every subject they were teaching for each of their four children. The Fessler’s agreed to send in weekly and monthly reports and permit school officials to “visit” their home. They also were asked to have a notarized statement that absolved the school of any educational and social growth of their children.

It seemed that no matter how much information they sent, there was always a request for additional information. The Fesslers drew the line when the request for psychological testing was issued. With help from Representative Monahan, their superintendent excused their children (in December) from compulsory attendance.

In 1988 the Fesslers were invited to share their testimony before the House Education Committee. A State Board of Education advisory committee began a year long process of developing home education regulations and Diane represented the home educators. In July 1989, the State Board of Education adopted these regulations without amendment, and they became codified as OAC 3301-34.

I am thankful for the Fesslers and other parents who had the conviction and fortitude to home educate their children and make it possible for us to do the same. May we be diligent in teaching our children and as Diana states the reason for writing the book was that “people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” but “the truth will set you free.”

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Delight Directed Schooling

I heard the term “delight directed studies” years ago from Sonja Harris and it stuck with me. For you who already teach this way, please feel free to comment about ideas or topics you have done that have worked for your family. You may teach using all textbooks, which is fantastic! But, I am giving you permission to also add some topics that are not planned. Topics your son/daughter has shown interest in.

This might look like a study of __________ (dinosaurs, the planets and stars, cooking or baking). You can study whatever your daughter/ son has shown an interest in. Things you could do to capture that interest would be to order books online from the library, purchase a science kit, watch a video about the topic, go to a museum, do a unit study, (Homeschool Share) etc. My granddaughter loves cake pops and I am going to go over to her house to make them. We will measure, mix, pour, bake, and decorate cake pops. You see, there is math, science, and art all covered in this one special activity. I think I am just as excited as I know she will be in making them. Look for things that are fun for your child and if you like it, that’s a bonus too!

Step out, don’t be afraid to try. It might be scary to deviate from the curriculum, but trust me, it will be fine. In fact, you might like it so much you find it hard to return to your textbooks. 🙂 One , two, even three units is fine to add to your school year if you have curriculum you are using. I found that by adding something that my boys wanted to learn they were more willing to do the rest of their work to pursue what they were interested in learning.

There can be failure, but don’t give up! Yes, you might prepare all of these great resources and activities and your daughter turns up her nose or your son lets you know he just mentioned it, he didn’t want to study more about it. Go through with the topic of study because s/he might just come back and say they liked it. Yes, I got excited about a topic and thought the boys would like it too, only to discover their interest had fizzled out. Well, you can either finish the study or drop it. It’s up to you. But, I wouldn’t set a precedent that if they complain you stop. (Pick your battles. 🙂 )

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

Fighting Isolation

I am sure I am not the only person feeling isolated in this corona virus induced climate we are in at present. Yes, you are homeschooling and therefore have your child(ren) with you, but it just isn’t the same as smiling at a person in line at the grocery store or hugging a friend. So, how can we beat this feeling of isolation?

Call a friend or relative. Better still, if they can video text do that! You can set up a time to “meet”. You can even get dressed up!

Change up your schedule. What about starting the day with your kid(s) by playing a “happy song” or reading a funny short story, poem, a cartoon or favorite movie?

Do something for someone else. Do you know your neighbors? Acts of kindness go a long way to let your light shine. The amazing unexplained benefit is you will feel better! Can you shovel your neighbor’s drive; bring their garbage cans close to the house on a windy day, put a chocolate bar in their mailbox? The possibilities are endless. 🙂

Do something that brings you joy. It doesn’t have to cost money for you to find joy. You can work on a project, soak in a bubble bath, read a book, paint your nails, or snuggle with your kid(s).

Have a great week! ~Lisa~

This is my happy song!

Homeshooling: You’ve Got This

I was very confident when we decided to homeschool. It wasn’t until I started sharing with my family and friends that I started to second-guess myself. Could I do this? Can you do this? With much thought, discussion, prayer, and seeking wise counsel of veteran homeschoolers I realized I could do this, not just for one year, but for as long as my husband I felt we should do it. Can you do it? Absolutely! Here are some questions that were frequently asked, I bet you have heard some of these before too. 🙂

What about socialization? If I had a dollar for every time I heard that, I think I would be a wealthy woman. (haha) In this age of Corona virus people are wanting children to keep their distance, eat lunch six feet apart, not play on the playground, etc. I don’t see socializing happening much at school. There are community programs and activities that you can take your son/ daughter to that can provide experiences to interact with others. We were involved in co-ops, PE and art classes, park programs, play dates, and all kinds of things where the boys could make friends.

Was I the best teacher for my child? I realized that I was the best simply because I knew my son better than anyone else. I knew what he liked, what he didn’t like and I could adjust things as needed for optimum learning, whether that was curricula, schedules, or interests.

How could I teach multiple children? (This question came later since my kids were three years apart.) I knew I could teach some subjects together (social studies, science, Bible, health, and safety). I figured out a schedule and system for me to teach language arts and math separately because of ability. Here is something to consider: your teacher to student ratio is better than if your child was in a traditional classroom.

Have a great week! ~Lisa~