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Why Homeschooling Works

Why Homeschooling Works
Why Homeschooling Works What does homeschooling look like in your home??  In my home it looked like a boy reading a book and laying on a dog. Calm. Safe. Peaceful. Core literacy plus academics.  That's why homeschooling works.  Homesch...
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Scripture Study for Today with Your Teens

Scripture Study for Today with Your Teens

Scripture Study for Today with Your Teens

It's a confusing time. Today is a great day to spend time in the Word with your kids.

What do we know?

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

It's all gonna be ok.

What do we say?

"Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone."  Titus 3:1-2

Remind friends to respect government.

How should we act?

"Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor." 1 Peter 2:13-17

We are told to personally submit.

Why is this for our good?

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full-time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."  Romans 13:1-7

This explains the "why."

It's a tough time to be a Christian parent.  Calm discussion time with your children will not be wasted.




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Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year! No year will feel complete without a little self-reflection and commitment to improve in the coming year.

1. Lose Weight
Eliminate homeschool clutter.  No resolution appears more consistently on every list than losing weight.

2. Get in Shape
Get your transcript done. Getting in shape and losing weight always seem to go together.

3. Break a Bad Habit
Cover the core consistently.  Even acknowledging you have a bad habit to break can be embarrassing.

4. Get Organized
Keep homeschool records. Lots of resolutions seem to revolve around the broader topic of self-discipline.

5. Save Money
Earn grants and scholarships for college. One of the big motivations to keep great high school records is the financial reward.

6. Focus on Your Kids
Include delight directed learning. Homeschoolers are good at fulfilling this New Year's Resolution, and pouring their love into their children.

7. Find a New Home
Adapt your school choices. Moving is not a yearly resolution for most people, but when it does come up it can be very stressful.

8. Find Love
Search for a college that loves your child. It’s the topic of movies, and books; the eternal struggle to find a true love.

9. Travel More
Visit colleges in person. It is important to travel to the colleges you are considering.

10. Find a New Job
Prepare yourself for the empty nest. When your kids are grown and gone, your pets won’t need homeschooling and your husband may not be responsive to unit studies.

Starting the new year with a strong set of resolutions can keep you focused and on track for success!  Commit to doing those things that will bring you and your family health and happiness.  Happy New Year!


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Newbies Make EXCELLENT Homeschool Parents

Newbies Make EXCELLENT Homeschool Parents

Newbies Make EXCELLENT Homeschool Parents

Parents new to homeschooling, listen up! You and your spouse can be EXCELLENT homeschool parents, regardless of your skills, because you LOVE your child. That's what ensures your success. You want them to do well, and if you have a weak area, you can find resources for that. But because you love your child, you will be motivated to find those resources. A school teacher might not be as motivated to see an individual child succeed, because they have to focus on the entire group of children.

Christian parents, consider scriptural reasons why you can be an EXCELLENT homeschool parent.
Psalm 139:13-16 - Your child was given to you and was made for your family, so God knows you are the perfect person for this job.

Philippians 4:13 - You are capable. You can do ALL THINGS, even this.

1 Peter 4:8 - Love covers a multitude of sins. Even when things go wrong (and it will) your child will still be OK.

John 2:7-8 - Jesus gives step-by-step instructions for doing hard things. He doesn't command the end results (He will take care of that) but gives us nice, small, manageable steps.

Your abilities will not necessarily limit your ability to homeschool. Homeschoolers can be successful regardless of their culture or academic background. If you want to see statistics, and scientific reasons why this is true, you may want to look at this free class.

 Homeschooling - Why Homeschool Works with Dr. Jay Wile

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Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

Cyber Monday with The HomeScholar!

My Cyber Monday sale is geared to helping you!  Finding the Faith to Homeschool High School will give you a refreshing perspective on homeschooling.

When you homeschool high school, sometimes the only thing separating success from failure is faith and a friend. This book will give you both! Imagine sitting across the table with a dear friend at your favorite coffee shop, sharing struggles and scriptures with each other. Let Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, be that dear friend who can lift you up with scriptural hope and encouragement.

Order your print or Kindle version today!  Finding The Faith to Homeschool High School

This BRAND NEW book is on sale in print format and in Kindle format.  Order your copy today and be encouraged each day of your homeschool journey!  A devotional that you can read over and over, each time gleaning a new perspective on God's word and the important tasks you are facing.

This weekly devotional covers the challenges parents face while homeschooling high school. Finding the Faith will support and encourage you along the way, throughout the year!

Let me help you "Find the Faith" as you work your way through your daily homeschooling journey.

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You are Not Alone! Homeschool Growth Infographic

You are Not Alone! Homeschool Growth Infographic
Homeschooling is a normal, natural method of education, not some strange or foreign concept. Educating children at home is now a common choice for parents to make. Homeschooling has grown so much since the 70's, and now approximately 3 percent of the school-age population was homeschooled in  2011–12. And since it's growing like crazy, there must be so many more now. So you see? You are NOT alone!

This infographic covers a history of home-schooling beginning in 1977 and discussing trends along the timeline to present. It says that 3.4 percent of school aged children are now homeschooled which has doubled from 1.7 percent in 1999. It illustrates state by state percentages of homes-schooled children, and shows why so many parents have chosen to homeschool. Not surprising, now the most frequent reason being that they are concerned about the environment of schools.

“Home Is Where the School Is: Understanding Homeschooling in the United States”



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[Free E-book] It Was Worth it! Real Stories to Inspire Your Homeschool Journey

[Free E-book] It Was Worth it! Real Stories to Inspire Your Homeschool Journey

[Free E-book] It Was Worth it! Real Stories to Inspire Your Homeschool Journey

I LOVE FREE BOOKS, and Sonlight Curriculum has published a free online book for you! Would you like some summer encouragement from moms who have been there, and done that? This book is for you!

Ever feel overwhelmed and wonder if homeschooling is worth it? Want reassurance that it’s the right thing to do for your family? It Was Worth It! Real Stories to Inspire Your Homeschool Journey, sponsored by Sonlight Curriculum, is a must-read for parents who want to give their children the best education ever.

Whether you’re a new homeschooler, a veteran or simply homeschool-curious, you’ll learn from and be encouraged by families who’ve gone before you. Get the inside scoop from a host of homeschoolers who accepted the challenge, stayed the course and lived to (joyfully) tell about it!

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Calendar Reminders for Summer

Calendar Reminders for Summer

Some of my Gold Care Club members want me to give them direction and ask me regularly, "What should I be doing right now?" Well, here are my calendar reminders for summer suggestions for what you can all be doing all summer long.


Fill summer with Delight Directed Learning, and provide time for kids to pursue their own interests.  It's the best thing that you can do to prepare them for college - and life! Learn more: Encouraging Delight Directed Learning at the High School Level

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Convention Season in Real Life

Convention Season in Real Life

Convention Season in Real Life

Homeschool Conventions are great fun for the whole family!

Most conventions will have some fun activities for families. At the Washington convention, they had a huge chess demonstration, so of course my son came to play. He played blindfolded chess with a national chess master – his former employer at Chess4Life.  In case you needed to know, blindfold chess is when the player can’t see the board, and the moves are spoken aloud. The goal is to remember where all the pieces are moving throughout the entire game. Can you imagine? As usual, my husband was the person most anxious during the game.

Homeschool Conventions Happen During a Busy Time of Year

Convention season is always such a busy season – and this year was even busier for our family! During one Convention, we actually celebrated my son’s graduation from the Masters Program at the University of Washington. YUP! Kevin’s got a Master's Degree in Computer Science now!

We attended his graduation on Friday evening, and I was supposed to speak at 9:00 the following morning – Yikes, it’s so hard for me to stay up late! But it was so worth it! ! I was just glad the convention was close enough so I could attend the event! Funny story about getting a Master’s degree – the gown has a hood that hangs in a funny way, and it looks a little like the back of a dinosaur. Especially with the purple color of the University of Washington,it reminded us a bit of Barney the Purple Dinosaur!

Another convention took place over Father’s Day weekend. While conventions are fun, they are also pretty tiring, but we made a Herculean effort, and celebrated Father’s Day in two different states. First Father’s Day was with my older son and his wife in Oregon. We celebrated with my husband’s extended family at the Sassy Onion in Salem.

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OCEAN Conference Top Notch Encouragement

OCEAN Conference Top Notch Encouragement

 OCEAN Conference Top Notch Encouragement

The OCEAN Conference in Oregon was SUCH an encouragement to me! I loved getting together with like-minded parents, trying their best to homeschool through high school with confidence.  A homeschool conference is an important part of your homeschool year too. Even if you can’t attend one, do something to refresh and encourage yourself during the off-season, so you can start fresh next year.

The first day our winner was Allison, a 9th grader who was talking to me about high school. She is thinking about becoming a nurse, and I’m an RN, so we had a lot to talk about.  She was so thrilled because the beach towel she won looked EXACTLY like her cell phone cover! Same colors, same stripes… it was totally meant to be!

The second day our winner was Jennifer. She stopped by my booth to say she was so thankful for all the free help she received over the years. She said her 12th grader was successful with college admission and scholarships thanks to using all the free resources on my website, and taking my free online classes!

During that weekend, I gave 6 presentations. Would you like to treat yourself to this convention experience?

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Washington State Convention Super Fun!

Washington State Convention Super Fun!

Washington State Convention Super Fun!

The Washington Homeschool Convention was SUPER fun!  Did you go to a homeschool convention this year?

Homeschool conferences are a great investment in your continuing education as a homeschool parent, and I really do encourage you to go to a conference each year.

At the Washington Homeschool Organization Convention, I had the opportunity to meet one of my Gold Care Club members in person! It was awesome to meet Rene!

Our first winner was Carissa, and she was thrilled to win! She is 12-years-old, and has just completed her very first year of homeschooling!  Are you nervous about your first year? This article may help: A New Beginning: Homeschooling High School for Freaked Parents.

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Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Need ideas for filling the time with your kids this summer?  Summer fun comes down to 4 easy categories I've listed below; sure to entertain young and old alike!

Start with a Celebration

Orange You Glad it's Summer? {GIFT IDEA!}

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4 Key Ideas for Entertaining the Littles While Homeschooling the Bigs

4 Key Ideas for Entertaining the Littles While Homeschooling the Bigs

4 Key Ideas for Entertaining the Littles While Homeschooling the Bigs

Here are four fresh idea for parents with little ones at home. These ideas may be new to you, or ideas you have used before and need to dust-off and use again. I know it can be difficult when you are homeschooling with little ones, or have a large family. It's important to find ways to keep your sanity and make the family run smoothly. Spend a few moments reading about how to make life easier for you!

1. Make Fresh Playdough

The first plan might be to make fresh playdough today, to keep those little hands busy now! In my family, fresh playdough was always my ticket to instant peace at home.
Homemade Playdough recipe Or a Gluten-free playdough recipe option.

2. Create Busy Boxes

While they are occupied, spend some time creating busy boxes - it will be worth it! Make at least 5 boxes, so they have one each day of the week. If possible, make more, so you can spread out those activities even farther. The less frequent the activity, the more fun and special it is for the child. Busy boxes can be collected in plastic shoeboxes, old cardboard boxes, or even paper bags. By rotating them, you are providing a new-to-them experience that will give you about 30 minutes of sanity-saving time for older children or for yourself.

Ideas for Busy Boxes

25 Low Prep Busy Boxes or Busy Bags Activities

Quiet Time Boxes

12 Fun Busy Bag Ideas

DIY Quiet Time Busy Boxes

8 Busy Box Ideas

Why I Use Busy Boxes for My Toddler and Baby

DIY Naptime Boxes

Busy Box Organization

3. Create Older-Younger Sibling Partnerships

Pair your younger children with an older sibling to play. You can be proactive, and give ideas for an activity they can play together (like suggesting Legos, or Hot Wheels) or you can treat this as a 1/2 hour of free babysitting, where the older child is simply responsible for the younger one. You can be specific about the time, say 10:00-10:30 each morning, older Suzie is responsible for younger Sammy. It might be a good idea to encourage  "recess" where the two can go outside for fresh air for a while, hunting bugs, riding bikes, or picking flowers. Going outside together is great for sibling bonding, but it also can help children learn more when they have been outside and active for a while! This partnership might be for just 1/2 hour a day, but every half-hour of peace is worth the price of admission.

4. Read More Tips

If you are struggling with little ones today, or trying to homeschool a large family, or just trying to figure out a schedule that works for you, it might be a good time to read this book! “Managers of Their Homes” by Teri Maxwell.

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Seek Individuality and Capitalize on Strengths

Seek Individuality and Capitalize on Strengths
How can you ensure long-term success when you are homeschooling unique children and preparing for unknown plans in their college or career future?

Seek Individuality and Capitalize on Strengths

Seek individuality, don't hid from it. And capitalize on strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses. Read Mary's story for some real encouragement today!

It’s not About Me, It’s About Them
by Mary in NC, mother of 3
Stunt actor, criminal justice student, and flutist – what do they all have in common? They’re my kids, and they are all K-12 graduates of our home school. Homeschooling those children was a privilege and a joy, especially as I learned to relax and let them be who they are rather than let my fears and anxiety about my turning out three little academic wonders take over our goal of preparing our children for their futures.

We are an adoptive family, with three children each two years apart, none related genetically to each other. So I was already well aware that surprises were in store as we grew together in our family, seeing each others personalities emerge. But that’s no different from any other family, biologically related or not, as every mom knows. The trick for me was getting the knowledge from my head to my heart that these kids were not so much a reflection of me and my homeschooling efforts as they were unique individuals needing to have their passions and strengths supported and affirmed, and their weaknesses accepted and helped.

My oldest, an action man, loved to listen to, make up, act out, even write and illustrate - stories. Like many boys, he wasn’t “reading by the time he was three” as so many of my friends bragged of their girls. He was doing just fine in his schoolwork, and I had heard much in the home school community about letting boys be boys, allowing them to progress at their own pace. Thankfully for me, he was my first student. All was cool. He was easy.

My middle child was not easy. As the years went on, we realized that my daughter had perceptual problems that were interfering with her ability to retain what she had previously learned – auditory processing disorder, they call it. It’s often very difficult to diagnose, much less to correct, as these children are usually very bright “picture-thinkers,” who can score ridiculously high on standardized tests, but have problems ranging from dyslexia to carrying out simple instructions. I learned that this wasn’t about me, but about helping her to succeed.

I was spending so much effort and time focusing on helping this child, that I had to remind myself to give time to my youngest, who quietly did her work, hesitating to call on busy Mom, whether she needed my help with her lessons or not. Academics came easily to her: she worked hard, wrote beautifully, tested well – but her gifts and passion were music. Learning to support both her academic and musical gifts became the focus for this child

They each are now pursuing their passions. My son left his film studies in an exclusive arts college after his first year in order to pursue stunt acting. Peek into the wild life of a stuntman on his website. Scary for Mom and Dad? Yes, but his reasons were based on his understanding of the field. Is he struggling? Yes, and we pray for him every day. Does he love what he is doing? Yes. Will he succeed? Time will tell.

My second is pursuing criminal justice studies in forensics at the local community college. She takes a somewhat lighter load than the typical 5-course load, works hard, and made the Dean’s List this past fall, her first semester in college. How do I feel about her pursuing this area? Nervous that my tiny, sweet daughter is going into such a field, and yet, admiration for her hard work and dedication.

My youngest is studying flute performance at the school of her choice after being offered scholarships from four very fine conservatories. Making music with others is her passion and her joy. Will she be able to make a living doing this? I hope so, and I am very proud of her.

As these kids were going through their high school years, my homeschool mentor, Lee Binz, helped me realize that seeing their individuality and capitalizing on this as well as their strengths and passions was the ticket to helping each of them gain entry into their next chapter of life. I am so thankful for the instruction, solid support, and mentorship that the HomeScholar provided to me as I went through the process of ensuring that their high school years were college preparatory for each of them, as well as preparing unique and beautiful homeschool records for each as they sought college entry. Lee made a potentially overwhelming task totally do-able. I will never regret the last twenty or so years of watching three precious ones become adults. The next twenty should be interesting.

Preparing your children for college will prepare them for anything, from acting to community college, to university and beyond. You don't know what the future holds, and where they will end up in years to come, but homeschooling can provide a solid foundation for every child.

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Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

Transcripts & Applying to College Can Be a Breeze!

It's that time of year again, when my Gold Care Club members are graduating their children. I love hearing about their successes, and I feel their uncertainty about facing the empty nest after years of homeschooling. I got this sweet note from Jennifer recently. Check it out!
With a heavy heart I am writing you an email to say goodbye.  My last home schooled child is graduating in two weeks.  I have learned so much from you and your millions of resources.  O.K., maybe not millions, but your newsletter, website, and books.  Then the added bonus of meeting you when our family had just moved to the Seattle area.   You were a lifesaver then and your advice and amazing tutelage for transcripts was far beyond any type of  thank you I could give in return.

I have and will continue to tell friends and family, who are interested in home schooling about your site. You are kind and full of grace to offer this invaluable service.  You made applying to colleges and sending transcripts a breeze.  You prepared me for what our family was in store for with college admissions from the time my son was a freshman in high school.  It was a bit tedious to write a page about each class, but boy it was worth it not to wait until the kids were seniors to tackle the transcript mess.

What a relief when the application process began.  All I had to do as a counselor was reach into the home school transcript drawer and fax the information over to the various colleges. Let me add the colleges were VERY impressed.

When someone has such a large impact on your family, you need to let them know.  I met you when were at the home school college fair.  I cannot remember the date or location. Yet you saved me from making a huge mistake and I really appreciate you redirecting my thinking. My prayers go to you and your business.  You are invaluable!

Thank you again!  Keep up the good work!
Forever in your debt,

If you are graduating a student and would like to share your successes, I'd love to share your story too!

If you are still in the thick of it, how can I help?
My millions of resources: Homeschool Freebies
My newsletter: The HomeScholar Record
My books:

If you are still early in the high school years, please take Jennifer's advice - it's worth it not to wait until your children are seniors to tackle everything. Start early, so all you have to do is reach into your homeschool drawer and send colleges the information they need.

Are you feeling confident? Or do you feel like you need some help in the coming year?

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