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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!

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3 Big Ideas That Save Money on Gifts

3 Big Ideas That Save Money on Gifts

You can save money on gifts for the holidays!

Several great ways to save money on gifts included: buying things that are useful AND are things you will eventually need to buy anyway.  Buying gifts that improve your chances of receiving really great scholarships saves you money in the long run, too! Here are three HUGE ideas to help you save money on gifts this holiday season.

 1. Buy Great Books 

Many homeschoolers love great books and reading! Quality literature can improve the chance of college admission and scholarships. How does that work? Simple! High quality literature can improve SAT or ACT test scores by improving reading, analysis, vocabulary, and other English skills. Even remedial learners can improve test scores by reading, as long as you choose books carefully. Check out my College Bound Reading List for great ideas for books that will perfectly fit your child.

2. Buy Necessities for College

When your children get ready to leave for college, there are things you're just going to have to buy. They will need an alarm clock that they know how to use. They'll need their own personal laptop for their school work. You can save money by giving your teenager some of these things now, for Christmas, so you have less to buy in the spring when they graduate. You can also purchase some comfort items now, like a cozy blanket that they might find familiar when they first face homesickness. Check out my College Packing List for great ideas on what you will need to be shopping for.

3. Buy Gifts That Earn Scholarships

Colleges love "passion" in applicants. We homeschoolers call that "delight-directed learning." So when you buy things that fuel their passionate pursuits, whether that is music, mushrooms, chess or chemistry, you are actually investing in "passion." That passion could be rewarded with college admission and scholarships. Yes, a computer or microscope can seem expensive now, but it could be an investment in the future. Check out my list suggestions "Giving Gifts that Pay for College."

For more ideas on staying sane and saving money, you might like this short coffee break book filled with tips and suggestions!

Homeschooling the Holidays: Sanity Saving Strategies and Gift Giving Ideas 

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The HomeScholar Online Christmas Party

The HomeScholar Online Christmas Party

Join me for fun and games, laughter and friendship, giveaways and prizes!

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Last Minute Gift Ideas

Last Minute Gift Ideas
After eight year of homeschooling, my frantic homeschool life suddenly slowed dramatically, when my children began college.  My children are busy studying for finals.  My house is clean for the first time in over a decade.

It's funny, because I remember how difficult that time was, but now I miss it so much! When I was homeschooling, every year, and especially every Christmas, was filled with activities - and STRESS!  But you know, this is just a season of your life.  Try to enjoy it!  In the meantime, let me help you think through the gifts, and encourage you.   I hope you find some practical ideas you can use this holiday season!

Here is an article about some ideas for educational gifts that you can think about
The HomeScholar Recommends...Gifts!

Here is an article to help you find Christmas gifts can pay for college!
Christmas Presents that Pay for College

I also have my Easy Truth about Homeschool Transcripts available on Kindle.  Get it here.

I am now the Seattle Homeschool Examiner.  You can read my homeschool articles here.
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Understanding Their Gifts

Understanding Their Gifts
We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.  If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. (Romans 12: 6-8 NIV)

Finding your child's area of specialization is an important part of our job as homeschooling parents.  Everyone has their own unique gifts, and some are easier to spot than others.  For whatever reason, I notice that sometimes parents can see their child's faults easier than they see their strengths.  A gift is something that children will do repeatedly, over and over..... to the point of annoyance!  Check yourself, the next time you feel annoyed at your children.  As yourself, are you looking at their gifts?  Is it annoying and do they do it so much, because that is the way they are wired?  Is this what they are meant to do?

I'm not saying that all mothers will get annoyed at their children, but I sure did!  Look at the things they do that annoy you, and see if it might be because they have different gifts then you.  Then ask yourself:  how can I encourage this gift in my child?

Do this and you will be helping your child understand their gifts and calling.

I have a lot more to say about discovering your children's gifts in my 5 part mini-course, 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School.“  I know it will bless your family.
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