This blog is dedicated to meeting the needs of new homeschoolers. Why is our program and support different? Because we have personally spent many years conducting workshops, speaking to new homeschoolers and supporting them through our program.

You are not just getting support based on our experience but on the unique experiences of the many, many new homeschoolers we have helped throughout the years.

The blog pace here is designed to SLOW you down by spreading out our articles. Exhale, sit back and enjoy the slow relaxing pace of our articles.

And as always, be sure you have watched the free 2 hour web workshop and look at our other workshops. The main way we help new homeschoolers is through our program.

Tina also blogs at Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus. You can follow both blogs.

When you don't know where to begin.......We Do!!!

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Note: This blog use to be the place Tina shared for both new and seasoned homeschoolers. She has a new blog at WordPress where she shares for ALL homeschoolers at Tina's Dynamic Homeschool Plus.

This blog now is the place both Kelley & Tina share JUST for new homeschoolers.

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New Homeschooler Turned Pro the First Week of Homeschooling

Posted on August 10, 2014 at 8:10 AM

New homeschooler turned pro the first week of homeschooling is not hype if you know which tips to adopt in your first week.

Preserving your sanity is a must. And so I want to whittle down a list, to just 3 easy tips, that will make your first week of homeschooling worth remembering.

New Homeschooler Turned Pro the First Week of Homeschooling

How To Ease Homeschool Anxiety

1. Cut Back Your Assignments by Half. A pro homeschooler knows that after many years of homeschooling that only about half of what is planned actually gets done during that first week.

The reason is not normally because too much material was assigned, but because new curriculum, new teacher’s manual, and new supplies takes time to manipulate. New is new any year you homeschool. As a new or veteran homeschooler, time is needed to feel comfortable with new curriculum. One teacher tip is for you to get familiar with curriculum before you present it to your children.

No, I don’t mean pulling it out of the package and flipping through it. There is a difference between glancing over the first few days and actually reading ahead for the semester.

I read way ahead if I am using laid out curriculum and look at the student assignments also to see if I can predict any future problems with my kids. You don't have to be a seasoned veteran to know if your kids have a phobia to writing or sitting still for any length of time.

Head off potential problems by jotting down notes in the side margin ahead of time that remind you to shave off 10 minutes or so from a lesson or to substitute a writing topic that you think would work better.

Just remember, your children have not had time to get familiar with the new curriculum, so leave them plenty of time to read over and get familiar with the lesson planning too during the first week. Cutting back when you begin means getting ahead as you hit your stride.

2. Post Your Homeschool Schedule In Plain View. It’s nice to have my schedule in my lesson planner and my kids class schedule in their student planner as reference, but that does not do you any good as a group.

Organization is simply visual communication. If you want your day to flow a certain way, then post your homeschool schedule for all to see. Visually communicate your expectations, because if you fail to clearly articulate them, your children will not become frustrated with your "newness". Too, when the Mr. sees your schedule he knows the ebb and flow of your day.

Most husbands are a huge source of strength when it comes to staying on task. They want to be included and should be. Involve dad even though he may not be doing much teaching, he can still be head taskmaster. You are not doing this alone.

My caveat about your schedule, as most pro homeschoolers know, is that in the first weeks of homeschooling it is a goal or target to shoot for. The first few weeks should be about finding your family’s rhythm. That means it may take longer to do some subjects or a shorter amount of time on other subjects.

Adjust the schedule, NOT your kids when you find that rhythm.

3. Crockpot = Comfort, Survival, And No Guesswork. When I first started homeschooling, my use for crockpots was very minimal. Unlike seasoned homeschoolers who recognized that a full time teaching job like home educator requires extra help, I struggled at the end of a school day to prepare a good meal when my brain was mentally zapped.

Remember that though you are not leaving the house, you are still embarking on a full time teaching position. If you have ever worked outside of the home or maybe you do now, you know that when it comes to running your household, things have to be done differently. It requires a bit more organization and that means having the right curriculum is not the only tool you need.

I would encourage you to buy two or three crockpots because it is just as easy to prep one meal as it is two or three. Many days I had 3 crockpots going so I could prepare easy, but nutritional meals.

As homeschool moms we have to stretch outside of what we think is normal even when it comes to cooking.

One more tip I also did and still follow to this day is to have a couple of meals put back in my freezer to use for “emergency cases”.

Why do we think we only need to do this when we are pregnant or are due with the next child? Focus on prepping meals and having things easy to cook your first month or so of homeschooling and your first week of homeschooling will be less stressful. I encourage 30 day meal planning so your mind is free for starting your new school year. Grab a 30 day meal planning form here.

Look at some of these links that will help you.

365Crockpot Meals

Menu Planning – A Lifesaver

Am I Suppose to Clean the House While I Homeschool?

Things Seasoned Homeschoolers Know

Grocery Shopping, Cooking, Laundry Oh My!


Also, I am so excited to tell you about a new book that just came out that I am a co-author on. The Big Book of Homeschool Ideas was written by 55 Homeschool moms who share 103 topics. The two chapters I wrote are Encouraging a Love of History and Lapbooking. Check it out!

New Homeschooler - How To Do the Curriculum and Still Have Fun?

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM

I love getting your questions and try to answer each of them personally as I can, but some answers are really beneficial to share with others.

Today, I wanted to share a question from Shelli because I think you may feel this way too.

Here is Shelli’s question:

How do you do the curriculum but also play and have fun? How do you not stress about what needs to get done and not get behind? I am lacking in this area. I want my kids to enjoy school AND grow in my relationship with them. Appreciate your help! New Homeschooler How to Do the Curriculum and Still Have Fun | New Bee Homeschooler Adopting three steps that I will share in just a minute, I hope you see that it’s important from the beginning to understand that you are not running a mini business. That thought didn’t even cross my mind when I started homeschooling but my approach to our new journey was more businesslike than mommy like.

Yes homeschooling is a career change, but more than that it is an investment in your family that can return great dividends. Focusing so much on the schedule, deadlines and getting behind left very little energy for the new teacher in me.

Look at these 3 easy steps to keep in mind as you embark on your journey or if you get midway and feel like stopping.

Learning To Let Go. Learning to let go of the mind-set that being a demanding and serious teacher is equal to accomplishing your goals for the day is not easy to do. But if you don’t, you may be setting yourself up for a huge fall.

Abandoning this mind-set does not mean giving up your schedule or any goals that you want to accomplish this year, but it means that you will embrace the mommy in you. Let your heart guide you to tender teaching moments.

After all you want your kids to still recognize you once you start homeschooling. I say this half-joking because my little kids weren’t quite sure who showed up each morning for school because I seem to change into tyrant Nazi Mommy when I started homeschooling.

Children learn very easily when the environment is full of love and relaxed days. Tell dad that relaxed does not mean lazy. It does mean the day flows to your family’s rhythm and not to the beat of the public school. For example, there is no need to start school at 8:00 a.m. when you have been up all night sleep deprived. On the other hand, if your children are older, sometimes starting early in the day allows less time for them to fight be side-tracked.

You Are the Teacher Now. This statement is more true than you can possibly absorb right now, but I sure am going to try to help you embrace the full meaning because your very success depends on it.

This is an empowering statement because you will now determine the schedule and the curriculum. More importantly though it is up to YOU and not your children as to the mood set in your school.

Leaving it up to your children to dictate the mood each day can be a scary ride. Your positive and loving hand each day sets the mood for learning.

Too, when something is not working or when there are tears for the day and you know why, like your child may not have slept well the night before or he is just not understanding a concept, you can put the curriculum aside.

On the flip side, there is nothing wrong with doing 2 or 3 math lessons or 2 or 3 science lessons for the day when all is good at your home.

As you can see you set the pace for learning. Too, in a regular public school day, there are just a few short hours of actual school in between recess, breaks and lunch. Most homeschoolers are finished by lunch (some of this depends on the ages of your children). This leaves a LOT of wiggle room in your schedule to catch up.

Adopt Flexibility. Hard I Know, But It's a Must. As you can tell there are many things you will have control over. Things will get done because you set your hand to them.

Most new homeschoolers and seasoned homeschoolers are conscientious. They don’t have to be reminded to educate their children. If anything, we need reminders to relax our minds because we know that each day we will do our jobs and educate our children to the best of our ability.

However, things will come along that you have no control over but that is life. How do you deal with those things in your life now?

For example, if a family member or grandma is sick do you just skip along like nothing happened? What are you teaching your children? Family in ICU

(My boys together with my sister's girls, which I helped to take care of while she was in ICU, learned that year about family ties and a caring attitude for the sick and weak. My kind of lesson plan.)

I have been pregnant, had a sister in ICU, had a husband in ICU, had several house moves and have had sick parents. From all of this my sons have learned lessons about compassion, giving, and the fragility of precious life. My sons and I have found an inner strength and dogged determination to not give up what we are fond of.

Try to look at moments where you feel you are behind in curriculum as moments to teach life’s lessons. We never stop learning even we are not using our curriculum.

Being behind is a natural part of life and it is a part of homeschooling. Guess what? You will get behind sometime. Your attitude and how you deal with it are more important than the worry about your child not doing a math problem. Math problems can be made up.

Of course, it’s quite different to over plan and set unrealistic goals, but we can talk about that too this year. Incredible Field Trips with others Adding in a weekly visit to the museum with others, field trips, craft class or park day will keep the fun in your week and keep you balanced.

Sometimes too when I need a break, we choose to just stay at home and have a relaxed day by switching our routine. Playing games all day or have an all day reading day have become part of the switch to our routine we need at times. I have started the day off by a read aloud, then the kids read on their own and then we may play a board game.

You will do the curriculum because you are in charge now. Keeping homeschool fun is more about refusing to follow negative views that children should not have fun while learning. And it is about staying balanced too because not all things in life or learning have to be fun. Self-discipline is needed to sprinkle throughout a relaxing day.

Relationships grow like small buds. They are not drowned and forced with information, but are gently watered, cared for and nourished over a period of time.

Keeping those three things in mind as you begin to homeschool, I know your first year and beyond will be extraordinary.

Hugs and love ya,

 2012Tinasignature Teaching Handwriting When Homeschooling the Early Years Part 2

Want to read some more?

Be sure to go through My 31 Day Free Boot Camp for Homeschool

Check out my Ultimate Guide for New Homeschoolers

The A, B, C's of Picking Curriculum Part 1

Are You Qualified to Teach Your Children Part 1?

New Homeschooler - How To Start Homeschooling Kindergarten Part 1

Posted on June 28, 2014 at 8:45 PM

When sharing the how-to’s of homeschooling I tend to start at the beginning or how to start homeschooling kindergarten.

Oh sure we start educating our children from the time they are born but homeschooling kindergarten is really the grade we think of as formal homeschooling. New Homeschooler How to Start Homeschooling Kindergarten Even if you are not homeschooling kindergarten, stick around, because I will slowly eventually get to the grades you’re homeschooling. Plus, you know I can’t ever do short posts here so you may pick up a tip or two about something you may want to go back over.

How NOT to start Homeschooling Kindergarten

Because Kindergarten looked different with each one of my sons as my teaching ability morphed from new to seasoned, I think it’s better to first share something that I wished I would have done differently.

  • Avoid Using Your Strengths To Sabotage Your First Year.

You may be wondering, “Why or how would anybody ever do that?” Well, they certainly don’t do it intentionally. Taking a more realistic view of what you can accomplish or what your strengths are can head off frustration and tears by both you and your child when you set the bar too high. I know because I did it. Eating humble pie here, I knew my strengths were organization so I just assumed (and oh how wrong I was) that I could organize all of my son’s learning themes for early childhood. How hard could it be, right? After all, fussing was just for unorganized folks was my thinking. Ouch, so ugly! About 30 binders later of junk fluff, a burned out printer, a couple hundred dollars of print cartridges, one husband who was ready to sign up Mr. Senior 2013 for public school himself and stress so paralyzing that I was hardly able to move, I was ready to quit for good when I just got started. Guess what? I almost did because I sent Mr. Senior 2013 to public school for part of Kindergarten.

Are You Making These Mistakes in Teaching Kindergarten?

While I was attempting to be an overachiever in kindergarten, let me tell you what I changed and did right with the other two kids.

  • Don’t worry about whether you use a boxed curriculum or not. It is not really important at this stage to do what your best friend who has been homeschooling umpteen years is doing. Do what is best for your circumstance. I wished now that I would have taken time to read more about homeschooling and educating myself and less time “teaching”. I should have bought something laid out so that I could be freed up to learn about how to homeschool, how to teach young children and research curriculum.
I learned that curriculum is not going to teach ANYTHING, I was!

I was so worried that Mr. Senior 2013 would get behind in kindergarten, never mind the fact that he was already reading beginning chapter books, that I focused on the wrong thing. Later at public school, the teacher told me that he was ahead of grade level. Restraining my tears until I got to the car, I cried my heart out because of the peril I put my family through the first year. Horrible, just horrible. Please, do not do that!!

  • If you use a boxed curriculum, please remember that learning takes place for this age through PLAY. It does not happen while you make them write on lines or color in lines or drill more math facts.

Learning happens through natural play. It is hard to think that learning should be so much fun because my view of learning was limited for sure. I am a fan of the Montessori method in the early years though I practiced the Nazi method not so gentle method on Mr. Senior 2013. I did make up though with my next two sons.

  • A globe, puzzles, learning apps, lots of crafts and paints, music time and dance ended up being valuable parts of our homeschool day.

With our short experience in public school, I learned a few things like adding what was called “opening” to our kindergarten day. Beginning the Day When Homeschooling Kindergarten Though the beginning to my homeschooling kindergarten day wasn’t exactly like the public school, it taught me the valuable habit of forming a routine. Then, I recorded all the music that I had purchased and arranged it in a way that we could learn and move throughout the day. By the way, I promise I am not dinosaur old but putting music on CDs was the only way we recorded music then. Even the younger ones joined in every day as we learned the ABCs, recited the shapes, and I extended my opening to memorization of the continents and other facts. It certainly was easier teaching the next two kindergarten because they had a head start. Though time has gone by, Dr. Jean's music and the music of Greg and Steve are two time tested providers of music that you can’t just keep sitting still when you hear. I love the tone of Dr. Jean’s clear voice for young learners and the fact the music and words are just catchy. Look at some of the videos by Dr. Jean and Greg and Steve that we listened to every day. I am telling you, you have to get up and MOVE to learn!

Young children learn through moving not sitting for long stretches of time. It is like feeding them when they were babies. One or two bites of solid food and they turn away to play because something else caught their attention. Learning needs to be served up the same way at this age.

I have had some moms tell me, “But my kid is different, she wants to sit there and learn for hours.”

In Part 2 of this post, I will share why the thinking that kindergarteners should sit for hours could be harmful, share some curriculum options for teaching kindergarten and time tested tips like scheduling, setting up a learning area and the basics of teaching. Okay, okay, this might expand into part 3 and 4.

Too, don’t forget if you have questions you can share them at the Google Plus Page.  Are you ready to start kindergarten?

Hugs and love ya, 

2012Tinasignature Homeschooling Middle School Doesnt Always Mean Middle Way

Check out these other articles!

New Homeschooler - Are You Qualified to Teach Your Children? Part 1.

New Homeschooler - Are You Qualified to Teach Your Children? Part 2.

New Bee Homeschooler - Blessed are the Flexible

New Homeschooler - How Will You Remember Your First Day of Homeschool?

Posted on June 23, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Let me guess what you're doing right now?  While most other homeschoolers are trying to soak up some lazy summer days, you are doing a sprint to plan your first day of homeschool.

You may be planning stressing over which subjects to teach which kids and telling the Mr. that you think you can homeschool. Guess what? YOU CAN! New Homeschooler  How Will You Remember Your First Day of Homeschool Today though and before I starting spewing out posts about the how-to’s because they are coming, I want to gently give you a nudge to think about your first day of homeschool from a different mind-set.

Sharing my mistakes on many of my first days of homeschool from a place deep down inside, I am hoping you won’t make the same mistakes. I know you are wanting to prove to the world or maybe to just yourself that you can do this. Or you may be thinking about stocking up on school supplies, prepping a homeschool room and stalking curriculum vendors.

But instead of cracking open all those books on the first day of homeschool, I want you to take time to plan how your new homeschool year will start each year. I am talking to the mommy in you because I know the teacher mommy is rip roaring to go. New Homeschooler Homeschool Years Pass Quickly Celebrate Them First In the beginning, I regret not planning more special time and moments. I am glad that I had the sense to do some things special, but it never crossed my insane mind to even make the first week of school special. Again, I was too focused on curriculum and should have stepped back, taken a deep breath and realized that I was going to be at this for a LONGGG time.

Take time to make your first day and even your first week extraordinary and you will have started down your homeschool path in a way that you won’t easily forget or give up.

9 Ways to Make Your First Day of Homeschool Into Memorable Moments

Check out some of these way to make your first day of homeschool special, memorable and out of the ordinary.

1.) Adopt a tradition for your first homeschool day. Mine has changed each year, but I missed a few years because I was too focused on proving I could homeschool instead of cherishing the fleeting time. Time passes by quickly, so grab all those precious footprints, handprints and thumbprints by creating something memorable. I did my sons’ handprints in the early years. We now take a field trip on the first day of school. When the kids were real little, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to the park. Doing something like this always felt liberating to me and sets the mood for school.

2.) You may want to make a special breakfast and then spend time taking pictures of everybody.

3.) Create special photo props or make a photo booth.

4.) Some years, we planned a field trip with our homeschool co-op group. If you are not part of a group you can still make it special by planning a trip to some of your children’s favorite places depending on their age.

5.) As my kids grew older and were preteens, we headed to the bowling alley one year and the movies the next year.

6.) Since we live a few hours from the beach, we planned a trip to the beach one year and enjoyed eating seafood on the pier.

7.) I presented lunch boxes to my boys on the first day of school. I knew they loved things like that and we used them when we went to field trips. They didn’t miss out on any of the fun back to school supplies.

8.) The Mr. may want to know what progress you have made the first week. But try to remember homeschooling is a lifestyle change and you want your kids and the hubby to embrace it. That starts now by changing even the way you begin “school”. Celebrate the week!! If there is one thing I could redo in the first four years of my journey, it would be to have a week long celebration of activities. Do some things that your kids know about and then surprise them too. It could be surprising them with a special series of books they love to read. For me, it was about presenting my little guys with lunch boxes because they thought they couldn't have them because we were at home.

9.) For your big guys, there is nothing wrong with telling them when they get up in the morning that it’s time to start school by heading to the movies. Believe me, eyes will be popping instead of rolling like teens can do. Let your kids rest (you too) and bathe in the thought that school will be relaxed now.

School is not always about being tied to a desk, schedule, routine and checking off a list. This is not easy to learn when you are a routine, scheduled, stay by the book person and I have had to learn the hard way.

As it gets closer to school starting, I will share some printables and free things to make your first day and first week of homeschool memorable. Take time to celebrate your new beginnings each year and by doing this you will get off the public school treadmill.

Do you have any ideas now of how you want to spend your first week of homeschool? I will also be sharing some tips soon on how to survive that first week of homeschool.

Hugs and love ya, 


Want to read some more?

Have you been through my 31 Free Bootcamp for New Homeschoolers Yet?

New Homeschooler - Are You Qualified to Teach Your Children? Part 1.

New Homeschooler - Are You Qualified to Teach Your Children? Part 2.

Things Seasoned Homeschoolers Know

Don't forget to scoot by and post your questions and comments on our New Google Plus Page!!  I would love to hear from you there!

All of our Pinterest board are new too! Are you missing some great pins? Follow All!

Did you already check out our New Bee Homeschooler program too?

New Homeschooler - What's New at New Bee Homeschooler?

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Tina and I are so excited to share with you some updates and changes we are making over here at New Bee Homeschooler.

Each year Tina and I look back over the last year and then look at our present circumstances to see if there are any changes we want/need to make for the present year. Some years bring lots of change and others just a few tweaks.

This year will be one of both. With Tina preparing for her move and both of us schooling teens, we both saw areas that needed tweaking or changing in order for us to focus on the needs of our families and continue to help new homeschoolers as they begin their homeschool journey.

We even worked in some new things that we wanted to implement in order to provide even more support to new homeschoolers.

Our Move from Facebook to Google+.

If you were following us on Facebook then you know that we have completed our move over to Google+. This was a decision that we spent much time pondering over and wasn’t one we made lightly.

I have to say that I was the one dragging my heels on this decision. Tina had been using Google+ for a while now and saw the true benefits the move would mean, not only for us, but for our followers as well. For me it was something new and well I just don’t like change when it comes to something I’m not knowledgeable about.

But am I ever so happy that we made that move. Google+ has been a breath of fresh air. Now all of our posts are being received by those following us. Our work posting means so much more now. No more hit and miss as to who is seeing our posts as was happening on Facebook. What a welcome change.

Here is the link to our New Bee Homeschooler Google+ Page in case you haven’t started following us there yet:

Tina and I have some new things that we are adding to our New Bee Homeschooler Google + page as a means of additional support for new homeschoolers and are so excited about them.

We have our new “Confession Session” where we discuss topics, questions and concerns that many new homeschoolers have asked us over the past years and we have found to be high on a New Bees list of need/want to know. We feel this is another way that we can provide support in addition to our New Bee Program and give New Bees a place to share their thoughts and concerns about homeschooling.

Something else new is our “Theme of the Week”.

We know that homeschooling requires organization and planning so we wanted to add something to help our New Bees when it comes to planning unit studies. We LOVE unit studies and encourage all of our New Bees to give them a try. They are well worth the effort.

Our first theme was “Spring”. This past week we have posted things related to spring for all ages and for several subjects. We posted not only the arts and craft things that come right to mind when you think about Spring, but language arts, science and even some math. Be sure and take a look when you head on over there and see if you find something to inspire you for a Spring Unit Study.

We also have added our “Question of the Week” to our New Bee Homeschooler Google+ page. For this we will be discussing a question for the whole week.

This week we are asking our followers for their questions. If you have any questions or concerns that you would like to have discussed then click on this link and post your questions there.

Tina has a new blog post coming.

I know Tina is getting ready to post Part 2 of New Homeschooler - Are You Qualified to Teach Your Children?

Did you get a chance to read part 1 yet? If not, take a look here:

We have a few more changes that we are implementing and will be sharing with you soon.

Enjoy your week and we look forward to seeing you over on our Google+ page too.