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From Transcript Intimidation to Confident Excitement in Just One Hour

From Transcript Intimidation to Confident Excitement in Just One Hour
They call me the "Homeschool consultant who won't make you cry." When I gave my free class on transcripts last month, I said the class was a "No-Transcript-Shaming Zone" for parents who were uneasy about transcripts. And Johanna agrees! Read this! ​"...
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Homeschooled Olympians Go For the Gold

Homeschooled Olympians Go For the Gold

Homeschooled Olympians Go for the Gold

Years ago, I heard an Olympics commentator mention that many of the USA gymnasts are homeschooled because they have to practice for so many hours each day. I had never thought about it before. Each one of these kids has a gift. Their parents found the gift, fed the flames, and encouraged their children's unique specialization. And they ended up in the Olympics! How proud their parents must be!

Did you notice these homeschooled Olympians at the 2016 Olympics?

Steele Johnson - Diving

"Steele worked his way to the top of the junior, and then senior, national diving ranks, pulling out of Carmel Clay Schools to homeschool so he could have the flexibility to train at IUPUI ... Steele took high school classes online through Laurel Springs School, then went to Purdue on a diving scholarship. He competed on the team as a freshman and red-shirted this past year to focus on Olympic training."
Article at Current in Carmel.
Kathleen Baker - Swimming

"The road to Rio began more than four years ago, when Baker, now 19, left Forsyth Country Day School to pursue her dream, training with elite teammates and coaches at SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte. That meant her family renting an apartment in the area, with her mother and father splitting time between home in Winston-Salem and staying with her in Charlotte. That meant switching to a homeschool plan, finding the time to finish her schoolwork around workouts and practices that took up half of her days."
Article at Journal Now.
Michael Phelps - Swimming

Michael has ADHD – did you know that? His mother was able to take what could have been a detriment and turn it into a huge advantage. I love this article, ADHD Parenting Advice from Michael Phelps' Mom. “Behind almost every ADHD success story is a devoted parent (or two).”

Simone Biles - Gymnastics

"Biles recounted how she had to leave normal high school and her friends when she was 13, The Undefeated reported. At a time when her peers enjoy prom and after-school activities, Biles was undergoing intensive training to get to the top of her league. Her competition schedule and rigorous training made it hard for her to maintain a traditional high school education. If she's away on competitions, Biles had to be absent from school for a month and she had to bring her schoolwork with her."
Simone won four Olympic gold medals and is the most decorated gymnast in history. Check out the article, Simone Biles’ Rio Olympic Games 2016 Victory: How Homeschooling Propelled Teen To Remarkable Success.

Gabby Douglas – Gymnastics

“Being homeschooled gives me the freedom not to be confined to just a classroom for learning. I’m learning everywhere, everyday. My classroom really is the world! I travel to competitions in countries all over the world and we use that as part of my studies. I work at my own pace which allows me to follow my gymnastics dreams. Being homeschooled also helps build my self-discipline and time management. I have to balance priorities and school is definitely a very important one to me.”
Article at

Other homeschooled Olympians at the 2016 Olympics included: Arielle Martin (Cycling), Dana Vollmer (Swimming), John Orozco, McKayla Maroney, and Danell Levya (Gymnastics), David Boudia (Diving), Kayla Harrison (Judo).

I bet you work as hard as parents of Olympians. Each child is unique and homeschooling is a joy, but it’s never easy. It’s hard work! Keep the goal in mind. It may not be Olympic gold, but you still want your child to find their passion and pursue it. As homeschoolers, we are free to encourage our children in their areas of specialization.

Find the Superhero within your own child! Include delight directed learning in your homeschool!

What is your child's passion? Please share!

Click Here to Join my Newsletter!
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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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After-Christmas Kindle-Filling Party

After-Christmas Kindle-Filling Party

It's an After Christmas Kindle-Filling Party and you're invited!

The HomeScholar is having a party, a Kindle-filling party! Did you get a Kindle for Christmas? We can help you start filling it! For
FOUR DAYS ONLY, All Coffee Break Books are only $1 each! Choose from titles that give you practical tips and encouragement,
and will help with those New Year's Resolutions:

* Creating Homeschool Balance
* Scheduling - The Secret to Homeschool Sanity
* Beyond Academics: Preparation for College and for Life
* Graduate Your Homeschooler in Style

Click here for the full selection!

If you don't have a Kindle, you can buy one with some of that Christmas money now!  Kindles are fantastic for homeschooling families: hundreds of books in one place and no overflowing shelves! Books you need for your curriculum are available at the click of a button or tap of a screen! You will save SO much money on books with a Kindle filled with free or discounted books!

Act now - don't miss this sale on our Kindle books - $1 each December 25-28th until midnight only!

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Transcripts in 45 Minutes!

Transcripts in 45 Minutes!

Shirley Solis had a lot to say about creating transcripts for her son!

"Homeschool transcripts can be overwhelming if you don't know what you are doing! I am going to share my experience of how I created my son's transcript in 45 minutes!

I have an expert friend who helped me create a transcript for my son. She has been doing this for years and teaches step by step how to gather the information and make this a painless process.

I don't know about you, but I didn't want to spend too much time creating a transcript! I have other things to do and just the idea of it, made me so overwhelmed! Today, I can say "it wasn't that bad!" I think the fact that I used my expert friend's knowledge and advise REALLY helped me!!

I started from scratch...I needed to gather data in regards to credits, grades, classes he took, extracurricular activities and more. The goal was to make a high school transcript that made him look awesome in front of the college admission advisers. (All true, of course)!

My experience today is that creating a high school transcript is EASY, FAST and PAINLESS."

~ Shirley Solis, Homeschooling mother of six, and owner of Lifetime Books and Gifts

Visit Shirley's blog to find out more

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The HomeScholar Coffee Break Books

The HomeScholar Coffee Break Books
Have you tried The HomeScholar Coffee Break Books on Kindle?

Please share some encouragement and leave a review on Amazon. It doesn't need to be a long review, just give some stars and let people know what you thought in a sentence or two.  It would really mean the world to me!

"Coffee Break Books" series is designed especially for parents who don’t want to spend hours and hours reading a 400-page book on homeschooling high school.  This series combines a practical and friendly approach with detailed, but easy-to-digest information, perfect to read over a cup of coffee at your favorite coffee shop!

Never overwhelming, always accessible and manageable, each Kindle book in this series will give parents the tools they need to tackle the tasks of homeschooling high school, one warm sip at a time.

Within each book, you will find a special bonus, intended to provide further help with the topic of the book.  Sometimes it is a free e-course, and sometimes a free webinar video.  When I have a similar class on, the special bonus is a coupon so you can get the companion class for only one penny. A 1¢ A la Carte Class is a great deal!

By the way, I've heard you can use a Kindle book even if you don't have a Kindle. Just download the free Kindle App for your PC, Mac, iPhone, Android, iPod, iPad, tablet, etc here:

Check out my new Coffee Break Books.  We will be adding more regularly!

Planning High School Courses: Charting the Course Toward High School Graduation

Delight Directed Learning: Guide Your Homeschooler Toward Passionate Learning

Creating Transcripts for Your Unique Child: Help Your Homeschool Graduate Stand Out from the Crowd

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Homeschool Magazine

Homeschool Magazine
One of my favorite homeschool magazines, The Old Schoolhouse, has just come out with their new 2013 Annual Print Book, which is full of great homeschooling articles on pretty much every topic you can imagine.

I’m especially excited that my article, “The Homeschool High School Motto”, is included in this edition! You can access the digital version of the magazine at year long.

The best part is that YOU can access both my article and the entire magazine for FREE!!  No charge for the whole 277-page print book!  Wow!  How often does that happen?  Make sure you check out my article on page 163 here, The Homeschool Motto: Always Be Prepared.

For those of you who prefer to do your reading on a mobile device, you can download The Old Schoolhouse’s free apps, and read the whole edition at your leisure, as well as over 15 back issues!  Get some great encouragement and great information, all at your fingertips.

I hope you enjoy my article, and I’m here to support you as you homeschool high school!

Learn how to homeschool with complete confidence using my DVD, Preparing to Homeschool High School.  

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Homeschooling - How Do I Teach High School?

Homeschooling - How Do I Teach High School?
Watch this YouTube Tip of the Week to feel encouraged in your pursuit to homeschool high school.

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Coffee is the key to homeschool happiness

Coffee is the key to homeschool happiness
Coffee is the key to homeschool happiness, and I can prove it. It doesn't have to be coffee, of course, any refreshment will do. But I do LOVE a nice cup of coffee!

1. Coffee can help you have your morning meeting with your kids
When you meet with your children each day and go over your expectations for them, the whole day will go more smoothly. A quick daily check-in is often all it takes. It reminds me a lot of having a quiet time, actually. In fact...

2. Coffee can help you have your morning meeting with God
When you meet with the Lord each day and He goes over His expectations for you, then your hold day will go more smoothly. A quick daily check-in with the Bible can be just the encouragement you need to stay on course.

3. Coffee can encourage you to take care of yourself
If you engage in some self-care, you'll be much more capable of other-care. We do so much for others all day long; a little bit of "me time" can start the day off right. It doesn't have to be coffee, it can be tea or a warm meal, but taking care of yourself is the first step toward taking care of others. Remember what the airlines say, "first put on your own oxygen mask."

4. Coffee can encourage budding friendships
Having coffee with another homeschool mom while the kids play can increase the chances of adult friendship, too. Instead of dropping them off, stay and enjoy fellowship with others. We crave the company of someone other than our children and sharing a coffee can encourage sharing our feelings.

5. Coffee can encourage understanding of others
The best support system I had was my weekly cup of coffee with my best friend. She shared her struggles with learning disabilities and I shared my woes about my own children. We both ended up with a better appreciation for the struggles others face.

6. Coffee can ensure you have margin
Everyone needs time in their day when nothing is planned. The margin of your day is like the margin in a book. Book margins make a book readable, and life margins make life liveable. If you don't have time to sit down and have a cup of coffee, that means you don't have enough margin in your life. Take a moment. Sip. Breathe. It's therapy.

7. Coffee makes wonderful memories
Coffee can make a lasting, warm memory of friendship. I remember going to Starbucks once a week, while my son Kevin taught chess. It was just me and Alex in the coffee shop; he was studying and I was sipping my peppermint mocha learning about homeschooling high school. Good memories; memories to last a lifetime.

Is coffee part of your morning routine? Please share in the comments!

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Considering Homeschooling?

Considering Homeschooling?
What advice would you give to a mom who is considering homeschooling?  These are comments from my Facebook friends.  What do YOU tell someone who is thinking about homeschooling for the first time?

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Help! Homeschool High School!!

Help!  Homeschool High School!!
At times in life we are asked to do things which seem impossible.  You may feel like homeschooling high school is one of those things.  I promise that it's NOT impossible, and many homeschoolers have gone before you, but God's promise has a little more weight behind it.
Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;

do not be dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you and help you;

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

We can do things that seem impossible - even homeschool high school.  Don't be afraid.  Fear is being anxious or apprehensive about a possible event in the future.  But what can happen after you homeschool high school?  You could end up with a well educated child, well mannered, faith filled and hard working.

During the years of homeschooling high school, you can find the support and strength you need.  You can be strengthened through prayer, and occasionally calling out to God for help!  Parents often call out to the Lord for help - parenting is difficult business, after all.  Keep that strategy, and you don't need to be afraid of homeschooling high school.

Sign up to get my latest newsletter here.  The feature article is about college planning.
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Homeschooling High School - Strengthen What Remains!

Homeschooling High School - Strengthen What Remains!
Revelation 3:1-2
I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up! Strengthen what remains.... Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard.

This scripture is written to the church in Sardis, but the advice is still helpful for homeschoolers.  If you feel like you're dead to homeschooling right now, you aren't alone.  This can be a difficult time of year for parents.  It's hard to keep school new, fresh and fun.  If you feel dead, look at the exhortation.

First, wake up!
You need to recognize that most teachers struggle at this time of year.  Many parents feel like the thrill has worn off, and they wish the year was done and next year would start.  Wake up to the fact that this is normal, and the grass is decidedly NOT greener on the other side.  Wake up the love you have for your children with kindness and thoughtfulness.

We are well aware of our children's shortcomings, because we live with them.  Don't lose sight of their wonderful characteristics!  In our family, I often resorted to brownies to provide that lovingkindness.  When the children were good, I would say, "Brownie points for you!" and we would celebrate with a pan of warm brownies.  That's not always a perfect strategy (I go to weight watchers now) but the children seemed to appreciate hearing some positive feedback.

Second, strengthen what remains.
Now is no time to ignore your homeschool momentum.  Buy a book, take a class, or plan to go to a convention.  I know that not everyone has support groups available, and that some support groups rarely discuss high school issues and concerns.  You can look at video courses that will speak to issues that you care about.  And you can consider my "Convention at Home Kit" which is guaranteed to fit into your schedule. My Gold Care Club is like a support group every day, and it ALWAYS has video and audio courses about homeschooling high school. Video courses are great for parents that are visual learners themselves.  Why are we sometimes so careful about buying curriculum to fit the learning style of our children, but forget our own learning style?   If you do best with books, I have a book on homeschool transcripts and a book on course descriptions.  Do something that will improve your attitude and your homeschool.

Third, remember what you have received and heard.
Don't wait for someone else to handle this for you.  Strengthen what remains.  Don't wait for a person to make you strong, and don't let it die.  The joy of the Lord is our strength.  Strengthen yourself with the joy of the Lord.  Focus on having a daily quiet time (that alone can make a huge difference in your homeschool!)  But in addition, after you take the continuing education courses in the book, class, or convention, remember to act on what you have heard.  Put into practice the help you have received.

Become a fan of The HomeScholar on Squidoo.  I have web pages on:

You will find loads of great information here!
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Homeschool Transcript Not Necessary?

Homeschool Transcript Not Necessary?

finished the entire ebook, and I LOVED IT!!!  Thank you so, so much for all that you are doing.  I have needed support like you offer for a number of years now.  Most people I know are just putting their kids in high school because the task is overwhelming to them.  We have felt that homeschool tK-12th grade is the path for our family.  After talking to many parents who are done raising their children who agree that parents can do this, I feel even more resolute in our decision.

Sadly, I've been told more times than I can count that to keep a transcript is not necessary.  That the colleges and universities will not look at it. They advised to just submit ACT and SAT test scores.  We followed this advice for our first child with results we are not pleased with.  You have completely changed my mind on this issue.  I feel empowered.  Our next child will be armed with a transcript so he can apply for scholarships just like any other applicant.  Our eldest son scored a 32 on the ACT and was quite advanced in all of his studies; but without the transcript no one would consider him for scholarships.  He had no trouble getting into college, where he is doing great getting top scores.  Getting in is not the problem.  It is the cost of higher education that is the problem.  I am convinced if I had had a coach like you while I educated him through high school, he would have received a scholarship or two.  Creating a transcript for our second son has empowered me even more with knowledge that we can do this.  We know where we are going.

It has felt like we've been going on to the end all alone.  Now I feel supported.  I am just nervous to call or email you for help.  One of these days I will be brave.  Thank you, again.  You are one of my heroes.


Stacie in Utah

Thank you, Stacie!  You know, the people who call me tell me I'm not scary at all, so please don't hesitate!

If you are like Stacie and need a little help with your homeschool transcripts, discover "The Easy Truth About Homeschool Transcripts."   My e-book comes with one month free in my Gold Care Club, which will give you priority email support and extended weekly office hours.  How can you go wrong!!
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Give Yourself Away!

Give Yourself Away!
Toward the end of homeschooling, you start to wonder about the next stage of life.  What will you do when you aren't homeschooling?

I can suggest what NOT to do.  I saw a woman at the store who was talking about how bored she was with her life.  She had attended FOUR weight watchers meetings during the week, not because she was overweight, but because she was BORED!  Although I'm a big fan of weight watchers, I wondered about that.  Is that all there is to life?

When it's your turn, don't be bored!  Give yourself away, instead!

The first thing I did was become a Board Member of our state homeschool group. That's a busy job that really benefits a lot of homeschoolers!  I also began helping other homeschoolers with my business, beginning almost immediately with my newsletter.  How can YOU support other homeschoolers?  What can you do to make it easier for the next mother who is stressed out about homeschooling high school?

Give yourself away in new ways, too!  I began volunteering regularly at our local clothing bank.  It's a wonderful feeling to do something so concrete and physical that will help truly needy people.  And there is nothing that can take your mind away from your own problems more than helping people with even BIGGER troubles!

Have the fun you have always wished for!

When I was homeschooling, so many times I had to say "No" to fun things.  I had kids at home, I had to get dinner on the table, and there were 13 soccer practices to attend each week!  When the kids are gone, now is your time to say "YES!" to the fun things you have put off!  My husband and I started singing in our church choir.  Evening practices aren't a hassle at all when you don't have to find a babysitter!

If you are ending your homeschool career soon, start making a list!

List all the things you wish you could have done over the past few years, because your turn is coming soon.  Make a list of things volunteer positions that sound like fun.  Make a list of homeschool organizations that you would like to help.  Make a list of fun ways you would like to serve your community and your church.  After years of serving your family, soon it will be your turn to take care of yourself.

Exercise and Aesthetics

Do you have a box of photos and no time for scrapbooking?  Clutter around the house, with no time to organize?  Think of all the great crafts you'll have time for!  And when you retire from homeschooling, you can take care of yourself and finally be able to exercise.  Just think, you can take a walk AND stop to smell the roses!  Here in Seattle, it doesn't rain all day long, just some of the day.  Now I'm able to take walks between raindrops, when it fits my schedule.

Avoid post-high school heartache!

You hear about the empty nest feeling when your children go to college.  It's true - and it's probably unavoidable.  But you can lessen the affects by being active in your community, and giving yourself away!   Soon it will be your turn to volunteer, serve, and have fun!

Junior and Senior year of high school are extremely busy times.  When you get frustrated, start writing your list.  Because your turn is coming, and you can make the best of it!

Well, we are still in 3rd place for Best Business blog in the 2008 Homeschool Blog Awards, but it is a much more competitive 3rd place.  We have really gained ground!  Keep the love coming people!!

We are still in 7th place for Best Encourager but we aren't really languishing there.  It's more like we're lounging - a BIG improvement!

Can we win??

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I'd Like to Thank the Academy...

I'd Like to Thank the Academy...
Hi everyone,

Matt here (Mr. HomeScholar). I was Twittering today and discovered that we are in the nomination period for (drumroll...) The 2008 Homeschool Blog Awards.  Being ever humble, I didn't feel right about nominating The HomeScholar blog, but thought it be acceptable if I let y'all know in case you were so inclined.  Here is a link to the categories.  Unfortunately, there are no categories for "Homeschool High School" or even "Best Husband in a Supporting Role." There were, however, categories for "Best Encourager" and "Best Business Blog."

If you have a moment, I know Lee would appreciate being nominated.  She puts a lot into blogging each day.  Here is the nomination page.

While your out there, make sure to nominate your other favorite blogs!

Thanks for your support!


In order to say thanks, I included one of our wedding videos (or at least, I WISH it was one of our wedding videos!)  What a hoot! (fast forward to about 1:30)

Evolution of a Wedding Dance
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