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Each homeschooling home is unique. That is one of the beauties of homeschooling. We have the opportunity to adapt curriculum, schedules, calendars, and various other things to fit the needs of our home and family. One of the adaptations that I made for our home and family was to our school calendar. The traditional school calendar did not necessarily fit our needs, so my husband and I decided that we would opt for a year-round school schedule.
 
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Samuel was three before we finally knew his delayed language was due to a moderate hearing loss. I was already homeschooling a five and seven-year-old, so continuing to homeschool was an easy decision. Many mornings of our early homeschool journey began like this.

“Good morning, Samuel. Do you have your ‘ears’ in?”
“Huh?”
“Samuel, go put in your hearing aids.”
 
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I have four children. I know families who have more, so to me, four doesn’t seem like a lot. But when we go out in public, I always get “looks”. Some are disapproving, some are just amused. At the grocery store is always the best, though, because we are shopping in the middle of the school day, so the girls always get the question “Shouldn’t you be in school?” Usually, it is older women who give me smiles and relate their own experience with motherhood – “I remember those days. They go so fast. Enjoy!” or “I used to wait for my husband to come home so I could shop because I just needed a little quiet!” My favorite was the woman who patiently waited as we trooped around the end corner of an aisle, smiled at us, told me that my family was beautiful, my children were so well-behaved and that she had raised 6, and they had all been teenagers at once. And then she said, “They all moved out, one right after the other, and now my house is too quiet.” That statement got me thinking about the time of life in which I currently find myself.
 
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I get asked this question all the time. Is my child ready for kindergarten? As parents, we are so excited to get our kids started in school. We think they should start school as soon as they can say their alphabet. “Oh, they must be ready,” we say. I have heard this many times from anxious parents. I like to remind parents that just because their child knows his alphabet and shapes doesn’t make him ready for kindergarten. Being ready for kindergarten requires some other things. Can your child focus on the task ahead of him? Will he pay attention and soak in what you are teaching him? Is he able to follow directions?
 
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“Why Do YOU homeschool?” If I were to ask this question in a group, I’d get answers as varied as the homeschoolers.
Some would be duty-centered.
“God says to train our children.”
“I was homeschooled, and I feel my kids deserve the same from me.”
 
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Most folks have heard by now that a HomeWorks by Precept Consultant represents BJU Press Homeschool and offers free consultation and advice year-round. Some know that they can save money by having an HWP Consultant place their order, but at this time of year when conventions and events are available, how can they find the best deal on BJU Press materials?
 
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In Defeating Homeschool Burnout Part 1, we looked at 12 ways to help better DEFEAT the ugly burn that is caused by what I call "Homeschool Burnout". We're going to jump right in, and look at 11 more ways to help any of us finding ourselves trying to overcome the sting.
 
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Homeschool Burnout: [ hōm′sko͞ol bern´out ]
emotional and physical exhaustion resulting from a combination of exposure to environmental and internal stressors that involve teaching (one's children) at home, while simultaneously keeping house, washing mountain loads of laundry, cooking dinner, wiping noses, carrying a baby on a hip, keeping a toddler entertained and being a good helper to a husband. In addition to signs of exhaustion, this type of burnout exhibits an increasingly negative attitude toward the choice to homeschool in the first place, low self-esteem, and personal devaluation. Second guessing and threats of putting kids on a bus are often associated with homeschool burnout
 
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Has this ever happened to you? You had a really good school day. Your kids listened and actually seemed to be learning the information. You were able to explain the concepts to them in a way they understood. It was a good day. They are progressing along, doing great. Then all of a sudden, someone calls you on the phone. It’s your friend. You begin to tell her how well your day went, and she beings to tell you about hers. However, somewhere in the middle of it all, the comparison game starts. It creeps in. No longer are you just sharing your day, you both begin to compare what your children are learning, what they can and cannot do, how far along you are in the curriculum. Suddenly, your good day doesn’t look so good anymore. You start to worry. Doubt sets in about how you are homeschooling, what you are covering, how far along you are. All of a sudden, discontentment rears its ugly head.
 
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Each year, I am always looking for what my children are learning beyond specific content. I am constantly assessing growth in their values, faith journey, and life skills. I know that I am teaching them specific subjects, but firmly believe I am teaching them to become lifelong learners who are able to ask questions and seek answers. This week, I’ve been reflecting on their growth related to critical thinking skills.
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It is nice to have help with placing our order so that we get the best price possible using any discounts/specials that are available. I know that if I ever have any questions, I can contact my consultant and she will be able to help. // Kelley H - Springfield, Tennessee
 

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