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What to Do When Your 11 Year Old Can’t Read

What to Do When Your 11 Year Old Can’t Read

Is your kid struggling to learn how to read? Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night thinking, “My kid can’t read … what am I going to do???”

If so, I totally get it! Of my four children, three of them took forever to learn to read. 

My daughters were both over eight before they could read. And my youngest son was ELEVEN before he started reading independently.

And during those years, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to help a child with reading difficulties. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing anything … and that I was doing everything that I could.

Turns out there are several things you can do to help a struggling reader … and there’s also a part that requires you to just “wait and see.”

Finding the balance between the two of those can be tricky. So today I’m sharing five tips I recommend if your child can’t read or you’re trying to teach reading to a struggling reader.

And in this video, I share some of my favorite resources that I found along the way.

Check out this post to learn more about what I recommend for dyslexia.

Check out this review of my FAVORITE chapter book series for teaching kids to read.

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

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Hello, my name is ToriAnn Perky and from my homeschool to your homeschool today I want to talk about what should you do if your 11 year old is still not reading. And actually the content we're going to talk about today applies to your kid no matter what age they are. If you think they should be reading and they're not. Now this as a homeschooler can be a really kind of scary topic.

You get all excited, you're teaching your kid to read and you're not making progress and then you're looking all around and everyone around you, their kids are learning to read and suddenly they're reading these big books and suddenly they're, they're reading, you know, full length novels and series and your kid is still stuck on sounding out cat. You're thinking, what am I doing wrong? What is this? What's wrong with my kid?

You know, what do you do? Well, let me just give you a little bit of background on why I feel like I have a lot to offer here. And then we'll talk about exactly what it is that I recommend. So first of all, what you need to know is that three of my four kids, I've been homeschooling for over 15 years. I have four kids. Three of my four kids were really late readers. And by really late readers, I mean that I had one that learned to read fluently on her own at eight another was eight and a half and my youngest son was over 11. Eleven!

I can't even begin to tell you how scary that can be. I thought, what is wrong with this kid? But fortunately he was my last kid. And so by then I had some experience and I put in place the things that I'm going to talk about today and it helped a ton.

Now one of the things to keep in mind about reading is that it's a really interesting expectation that we all have in our culture. Not only should kids be able to read, but that they should be able to read well. And as a homeschooler you may actually feel really good about delaying teaching to read, which is totally fine. So a lot of homeschoolers and a lot of philosophy out there that actually shows that kids benefit from waiting until they're a little bit older to read unless they're asking for it. And that is absolutely an acceptable way to look at that.

But even someone who had kind of bought into that, and that was, that was where I was coming from. When my kids would start to get to eight, I would start to get nervous. And certainly with my son, by the time he was nine and 10 I was feeling that nerves. And the reason is that our culture expects that kids will be able to read at a certain time. And even though my kids don't go to public school, he was going to church classes where he was being asked to read. He was going to family functions where the fact that he couldn't read started to come up. And even though I would explain that we were working with him and that he was figuring it out and we were doing different things, it was really hard for him because as he was asked to read, he'd be embarrassed and he would have to figure out ways to hide the fact that he couldn't read or he'd have to admit that he couldn't read. And so socially it started to become a problem and it was hard for him and therefore it was hard for me and I was trying to help him through all of this.

So no matter where your kid is and how old they are, I want to acknowledge that if your kid is significantly older and still struggling with reading, this is not easy. And because they start to feel bad about themselves, potentially it starts to affect how they feel and see themselves as a scholar, as a reader, as someone who can do well in school and well with academic subjects. This is a really important thing to address. So let's go through this. I actually have five different things that I recommend you do. If you have a late reader, someone who isn't reading yet, and I found that we actually did all of these things with more than one of my children.

Get Eyes Checked

So if your child is significantly older and we're saying eight, nine, 10, and they're still really struggling with reading, the first thing I recommend is go get their eyes checked. It turns out that there are often vision issues related to reading that have nothing to do with being able to see far, you know, the blurry idea of "I can't see without my glasses." There's a lot of vision issues that can affect reading.

And with my son, it turned out that was one of the issues. He had trouble focusing with his eyes. The muscles were weak and because the muscles were weak, when he looked at the page, it was blurry. So we got his eyes tested. We went to a specific doctor that had a more specific training on how to help with this kind of a reading issue. And I know where they are in my area, but depending on where you are living, I recommend you ask in your homeschool community, maybe online about specific eye doctors that might be able to help with vision issues that relate to reading and it made a big difference. We got him some glasses, he did some exercises and that definitely accelerated his ability to learn. I saw a huge improvement.


The second thing I recommend is definitely look into dyslexia. Dyslexia may actually have been one of the first things you start to think about when it comes to your kid not being able to read. And it turns out that three of my four kids, all of the children that had a hard time learning how to read turns out that dyslexia was part of the picture. Doesn't mean they can't learn how to read, but it does mean that you're going to need to approach it in a different way. You're going to need to be more patient and you may need to take advantage of other resources that are specifically geared towards learning how to read.

Now I actually have one of my favorite, favorite, favorite books and a bunch of other resources all related to dyslexia. I made another video about this. I'm going to put the link down below so you can check that out if you are interested in learning more about dyslexia resources that can help with your homeschool. So that's the second thing I recommend is definitely learn some more about that and how you can potentially incorporate that into your homeschool.

Don’t Stress

The third thing that I recommend is continue to work together but don't stress about it. So by continuing to work together, what I mean is you're going to be sitting and you're going to teach your kid to read. You're going to be going slowly and you're going to approach it differently. For us. What I found worked is that we would sit one on one, we would read together, we would go and that was part of our special time together and it meant that we delayed some of the other academic things that I might've had him do in order to focus more on reading and that was true for all my kids, but particularly my child who was 11 before he really learned how to read.

One of the things I really, really like to do is start them into chapter books. I have a specific chapter book series that I love. I will also leave a link down to my review of that series. But what we would do is I would start with, I would read a paragraph and he would read a paragraph and then it got to the point where when I would read a page and he would read a page because the reading was so taxing on his mind and his eyes that we needed to slow down the pace that he was required to put effort into the reading, but speed up the pace at which he was getting the story.

Because there comes a point where the child no longer wants to read those really, really early readers. So we would start to read the harder books, but we would do it in a way that still allowed him to be supported as he was learning how to read himself. So check out that link. I have a specific series, a chapter series book that I love, love, love. If you are just at that beginning stage and it works particularly well with older kids because it's funny and even adults enjoy it, but it still is at a reading level that works for these early kids.

Trust the Process

The fourth thing I recommend if you are trying to help an older kid learn how to read is be patient and trust that they are going to figure it out. There are so many elements to reading that require brain development, that require patience, they've required dedication, and depending on what's going on with your kid, it may be a really slow long process. So you want to be consistent, but you want to keep your personal mindset in a place where you're going to feel hopeful, where you're going to believe that it can happen because it will happen.

I believe that if you put all the right pieces in place, every child, just about every, child can learn to read and if your child is one who isn't going to learn to read, you're already aware of that because there are such severe other special needs that you're dealing with and so trust the process. Trust that if you're getting the right things in place, it's going to work out.

Check your Expectations

The last thing I want to recommend, and this is an interesting one, is that you may have to adjust your expectations. You may actually have to step back and embrace the idea that your kid may never be a lover of reading. And the reason I put this here is because I love to read. I actually learned how to read when I was really, really little, like age three, and I read constantly as a kid in elementary school and then into junior high, high school.

And now as an adult I read all the time the idea that I could have a kid who doesn't want to read or one doesn't want to read a lot. Part of, a little part of me kind of dies inside because it's such a huge part of who I am. But the truth is that I have unique kids with unique gifts and unique skills and unique challenges. And some of my kids love to read and some love to do other things and that doesn't make them any worse. And it certainly doesn't mean that they can't get a good education, that they aren't going to be successful adults and they can't be happy and fulfilled and well educated. It simply means that the route they're going to take to get there is going to be different. So I've had to adjust how we talk about learning in our home.

I've had to adjust the resources that I put in front of my children and provide for them. I've had to adjust my expectations of how they're going to acquire knowledge. And as I've done that, I've been able to calm down. They're able to still move forward and our entire homeschool experience has been magnified and de-stressed because I've adjusted my expectations. So that's my fifth recommendation is you may have to change how you see learning in your home.

If you have a kid who really struggles to read, doesn't mean they can't learn to read, but they never, they may never be a, you know, just a vacuum cleaner when it comes to reading. So that is my recommendation. That is what I recommend those steps. If you have a kid who is struggling with reading, definitely take advantage of all those different ideas and I know that you're going to figure out the best avenue to help your child accomplish this really important and basic skill when it comes to your homeschool. My name is ToriAnn Perkey and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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What to Do When Your 11 Year Old Can’t Read
What to Do When Your 11 Year Old Can’t Read
What to Do When Your 11 Year Old Can’t Read
Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?

Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?

How can homeschooled kids be prepared for college?

Have you ever found yourself asking that question?

OR are your kids getting older, and now you’re asking yourself, “Is my homeschooled child ready for college?”

That’s the position I was in just a few months ago!

I was sending my oldest off to college. She’d been homeschooled since she was 3, and I thought we had done a pretty good job.

(There were moments that I wondered … but I had this homeschool trick to keep me going.)

But even after all those years, I didn’t KNOW if she would be okay in college.

Sure - I had done a lot to help her be ready to apply for college. I talk about some of that in this post about making applying for college easier.

And I knew she didn’t need an accredited high school transcript, so we hadn’t worried about that.

But I still worried she hadn’t learned enough or she didn’t have the right life skills.

Would she be able to cook enough to feed herself well every day?

Would she get along with her roommates?

Would she know how to take a test?!? 

(Yep! I realized other than the ACT, she had never taken an actual test. I don’t know how I missed that one -- but our schooling focused on other ways to assess learning! Whoops!)

Then I found this AMAZING book called The Self-Driven Child.

I was reading it for other reasons -- learning more about how motivation in children works and how you can increase motivation in your homeschool.

(I created an entire course all about motivating your kids to want to learn that you can check out here!)

And tucked away in the back of the book was the BEST list of questions to ask yourself to see if your child is ready for college.

I recommend the entire book, but in today’s video, I’m sharing the list of questions with you!

This list of questions will help you fully answer the question -- “How do I know if my homeschooled child is ready for college?”

As for us, once I read through I felt MUCH better. 

And it turns out I didn’t need to worry. A few months in, and she’s doing great. And she DOES know how to take tests!

Turns out I didn’t need to worry so much after all.

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

Simplify preparing college applications (no matter how old your kid is)

Download my Master College Application List Template


Hello. This is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about how you can know whether your homeschooled kid is ready for college. I mean, how do you know, especially if they have not done a lot outside of your little homeschool community? Maybe they have taken a couple of classes, maybe they have even taken a class at the high school. You know it depends on your situation, but how do you know if your kid is ready to leave home, fly the nest, and actually tackle that college thing?

Well, today we are going to talk about those, a list of things that you can kind of run down to know whether or not your kid is ready for college. Now, what I am going to tell you is some of these things that I am going to talk about I actually made other videos for. So if you are watching this somewhere other than my blog, feel free to click on the link and check out the link to the actual blog posts. You can see the videos that go along with some of these topics.

Also, I just want to mention that this is a really interesting time period for a homeschool mom and the reason is you have kept your kids close right, and intentionally. A lot of us homeschool because we want to be more involved in our children's lives. We want to be more involved in the education. We want to be a part of the journey and we want to instill our values. We want to help them grow up to be successful adults in an environment that nurtures and respects them.

Regardless of all the reasons that you chose to homeschool, at some point you have to let your kids grow beyond the walls of your home. And that can be a really different experience because you have kept them close. It may be the very first time they've been gone for a long period of time, whether it is just a day by day thing, or they actually move away and go somewhere else.

And so when you start to think about this, it can bring up a lot of emotions, a lot of experience, a lot of thoughts about have I prepared them? Did I do a good job? Have I failed them? You know? And so what we want to do is help our children be prepared and be as successful as possible. We want them to be ready to leave as much as we have worked to keep them close. So what I want to do is just go down a series of questions you can ask yourself.

And all of these questions were listed in a book called "The Self-Driven Child." And I will leave a link to that, you know, down below or up above or wherever you are watching this video. It will also be on my blog. And that book had a whole chapter on your child's readiness for college. Absolutely recommend the book. It is fabulous for lots of reasons, but I loved this chapter in particular. I marked it. I actually found myself calling everyone I know and saying, you are not going to believe what I just found out. There is so much good information here. I wish I had had this years ago.

I am one of those people. So if you have a friend like that, I am sorry because we just get so excited when we find new things that we want to share. So I am excited to share this with you today. 

Okay, so lets talk about this. This is all about readiness and there is about one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight,nine questions, some sub questions that you are going to ask yourself. So bear with me. We are going to go through these one by one.

1. Does your child understand themselves?

Okay. So number one first question, does your child understand themselves and how they do things best? Do they understand how they go about moving through their day? Do they understand what they are good at and what they need help with? Do they understand themselves? Do they have a sense of self awareness? That is question number one.

2. Can your child self-regulate?

Question number two, can your child self regulate? And what they mean what this book and this list means by self regulate is, are they able to make decisions independent of the people around them, that will be good for them? So particularly, are they able to self regulate against their peers? So if they have a friend who calls them up and says, "Hey, let's go to the restaurant at midnight", and they know that they need to go to bed cause they have a big test the next day. Are they able to say no because they know what is best for them? Are they able to regulate their own environment and be in control of themselves?

3. Is your child self-motivated?

Number three, is your child adequately self-motivated? Who makes their choices about school? So does your child know how to get things done themselves? Do they know how to pick their own classes? Do they know how to know what they want to take? Do they know how to track themselves and plan themselves? Are they able to make decisions about their education independent of you? Now, this does not mean that you completely are not involved. All it means is that they are able to take the lead and you are playing a supporting role. Because if they can not take the lead, then when they are out on their own, they will be lost. Because they will not be able to make those day to day educational choices that are so important in the college environment. Okay, so that was number three.

4. Can your child manage day-to-day living?

Number four, can they manage day to day living independently? Independently means can they do their own laundry? Do they know how to cook? Do they know how to take care of a vehicle if they are going to take a car to college. You are looking at, do they have the life skills to live on their own? And it is unfortunate how many kids go to college who do not have this. Now I do not think this is as much an issue in the homeschool community.

I think that my experience has been that in the homeschool community at large, we are really, really focused on making sure our kids have life skills. And we have the benefit that they have been home to learn those life skills while they are also getting an education. But I do think it is a good thing to ask yourself, do they know how to make doctor's appointments? Do they know how to, you know, get themselves to a doctor's appointment, have a conversation if they need to figure out information, all of that. Okay, so that's number four.

5. Can your child manage stress?

Number five, does your child have a healthy way to manage stress? College is stressful, life is stressful. And how does your child manage themselves when they get stressful? Do they do it in healthy ways? Like go for a bike ride or a walk or exercise? Do they do some kind of calming exercise, whether that's meditation or playing a musical instrument or reading or you know, anything that they do that is a really healthy way to calm down as opposed to watching television, eating, playing video games. There are some really unhealthy ways to manage stress that will not serve them well in the college environment. So just kind of being aware of your child and where are they with their ability to manage stress

6. Is your child burned out?

Okay. Number six is, is your kid burned out? This is a really honest question to ask. We can get in the mindset of, well, my kid is done with high school. It's time to go to college or whatever age they are and just think it is the next step to hit without taking a step back and saying, would they benefit from some time off? Would they benefit from that gap year that happens outside of the United States. Where they go out and they work or they do an internship unpaid or they travel or they do something else.

That allows them to just explore other aspects of their personality and who they are that is not educational. Do they just need a break where they go to work and they come home? How has their educational experience been so far and would they benefit from some time off? So number six is, is your kid burned out? I think it is a really great question to ask and sometimes the answer might be a little hard to come to terms with, but it is a great question to ask.

7. Does your child have adequate academic skills?

Okay, number seven, does your child have the skills they need to do the academic work? Now, hopefully in your homeschool you have been able to somehow navigate them to the place where they are ready to do college work. But you know what? Maybe you haven't, maybe you haven't. Maybe your kid has special needs. Maybe your family has been focused on other things. Maybe you have decided to homeschool in a really alternative way and your kid has a really great education, but maybe does not have some of the skills that are needed in a college level environment.

For example, reading large quantities or listening to large quantities of information. You know, really fast pace because college moves really fast. Do they know how to write at a college level or at a beginning college level? It is easy to track based on your experience at the end of college, so it is at the beginning college level. Do they know how to study for a big exam. These are skills, these are not knowledge. But if they do not have those skills, it might be beneficial to either do some remedial work, remedial when you are going to college, it is not going to feel remedial. But finding ways for them to pick up some of those skills before they start. If you sense that learning those skills on the fly is going to be kind of hard for them. So that is number seven. Do they have the skills to do the academic work required in the college environment?

8. Does your child know how to get support?

Number eight, we are almost done. Does your child know how to ask for support, academic or emotional if they need it? And do they know where to go to get that support? Do they know how to create that support around themselves? A lot of kids struggle in college if they do not know how to get to the academic advisement center. And it is called different things in different universities or colleges, but where they get support for disabilities of any kind. Do they know how to go find for that support and are they willing to ask for it?

Do they know how to recognize when they are struggling in a situation and ask for help from a tutor to take advantage of the writing lab? Schools nowadays provide a plethora of opportunities and support, but the kid has to know how to take it and they have to want to actually go get help. The kids who get help are very successful in college, almost across the board. The ones that do not often struggle. So does your kid know what they need and do they know how to find that? Do they? That is number eight.

9. Can your child manage complex social environments?

Number nine, can your child manage a social environment that is complex? College is a complicated social environment, even more than a high school environment. And if your child has been homeschooled, this may be an area where they have less experience than their peers. Do they know how to handle a large group of people that are all the same age who are jockeying for social position? Do they know how to socially interact and have conversations about topics that are outside of the academic arena?

Do they know how to handle, the romantic relationships that are inevitably going to start happening once they are in a college environment? Do they know how to date? Do they know how to say yes? Do they know how to say no? Do they know how to protect themselves? Do they know how to put themselves in safe places versus unsafe places? These are things that we maybe do not think about when we think about going to college. We think about the academic side. But is your child socially prepared to go? And if they are not, how can you help them prepare? And I think that, in the end, is the real question.

If you see a deficit in any of these areas, what can you do to help improve your child's chances of success? And that may mean taking a break before they actually start the college experience. And only you and they are going together to know how to do that. Now remember, it doesn't have to be perfect. You do not have to say a hundred percent a hundred percent a hundred percent for your kid to be able to go.

My oldest daughter just went to college. We could not say 100% on all of these, but I felt confident enough and I am going to say "enough" because there were moments where I was like, I do not know. I hope she is going to be okay, but she is thriving. She is thriving, and it turns out that she is okay that she is navigating these. The social thing has been a little bit trickier for her. The academic one, she is doing great. I am actually surprised because some of the academic skills that she is doing in college are not the ones that I thought we had practiced at home, but it turns out she had picked them up along the way.

But we had done life skills, we had worked on emotional regulation. We had worked on a lot of this even if we were not at 100%. The other thing is, and I have said this a couple of times, but I am going to say it again. Do not push your kid if they are not ready. That is the number one recipe for failure in college and you do not want that for your kid. Nobody has to go to school at 18 there are so many routes to success.

Some take you through college, some do not. And if you head through college, not everybody has to go to college right out of high school. Not everybody has to do college early. Some people do college at 20, 21, 22 after they have done something else for a couple of years and that is okay. That is okay. As homeschoolers, we are used to tracking differently, taking all different alternate paths. Do not let yourself get trapped in this idea that now that you have done this alternate path up to 18 or whatever age your kid is, now you are going to just jump into the normal rhythm. You have so many choices.

So this is the list. I love this list because it is so comprehensive. It is so much bigger than just, can your kid do a certain type of schoolwork? It is a holistic approach to how do you launch a child into adulthood, into a supportive environment where hopefully they can thrive. 

I hope this list has been helpful. If you want to check out more videos about different aspects of this, then go ahead and make sure that you head over to my blog if you are not there already. Watch those other videos. 

And I have other resources that are available for you as a homeschool mom, no matter what age your kids are, and I make these videos every week because I want you to be confident. I want you to be successful, and that is why I make those resources. I am ToriAnn Perkey. Thanks for joining me. We will see you next week.

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Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?
Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?
Will your homeschooled kid be ready for college?
5 simple ways to do homeschool record keeping

5 Simple Ways to Record Your Homeschool

Homeschool record keeping … you know you should do it.

But after the homeschool planning and the homeschool doing, finding the time and the energy to remember and want to record what actually happened can feel exhausting and overwhelming.

And no matter how many free homeschool record keeping templates you download, you never quite get around to really making them work.

Never fear! There is hope.

While I’ve never been perfect at documenting our homeschool, I will say that over the years, I have been fairly successful at capturing the overall picture of what we have done.

I’m really lucky to live in a state where I don’t have to submit any kind of records, so the record keeping is purely for me. But I still think keep track of what we’re doing in our homeschool is important.

So today I’m sharing 5 simple ways you can create records for your homeschool. I’ve done all of these methods during the last 15 years, and I don’t necessarily have a favorite.

But I’m so so so glad that I took the time to keep track of what we did along the way. Now that my kids are older, I love reminiscing and remembering our homeschool over the years … from when we were first starting out and I had mostly toddlers and babies, to just last year when I had everyone still at home and they were all teenagers.

Seriously … even if you are super disorganized or overwhelmed, one of these 5 ways can work for you!

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

Ready to feel Confident and Successful as you homeschool?

Register below to watch my FREE CLASS

Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hello, this is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about 5 simple ways that you can record your homeschool.

So there's a lot of conversation in the homeschool world about planning, about deciding what you're going to do, getting all set up. I don't know that we spend quite as much time talking about recording. And depending on where you live, you may or may not be required to record. And if you're not required to record, then it is something that is easy to not get around to because you're so busy actually doing the homeschool thing.

And so today I want to talk about 5 simple ways to do it. And the reason I'm making this video and I'm talking about this is because recording your homeschool can be really important for a couple of reasons.

Now, first of all, you may live in a state where you do actually have to keep records and turn those in. And if that's the case, then you're going to need probably a more extensive system than something that I'm going to talk about today. But there's a lot of places where that is not required. 

Why It's Important to Keep Records in Your Homeschool

So why else would you record your homeschool? Well, first of all, when you record your homeschool, it gives you a place to go back and look on those days -- or even those weeks -- when you're thinking, Why am I doing this? Why am I putting myself through the stress and the struggle and the frustration and ... ? Or you're thinking, I'm failing at this. I'm not doing well. We're not making any progress.

When you're feeling like that, if you have a record, you can go back and you can look at it and you can remember the high points. You can remember that, Oh yeah, it used to be that my child couldn't read and now they can read. Or it used to be that we were struggling and struggling and struggling to learn how to do, you know, long addition. And now my kid is way past that. You know, whatever it is that you have progressed through, a record helps you remember. Because we as human beings are really bad at remembering. We think we'll remember, but we don't. So having a record helps you do that.

The other reason that you might want to keep a record is particularly as your kids get older, they're going to start to apply for things. They're going to want to be in things, and sometimes it's really, really helpful to be able to go back and see what they actually did. And because, again your memory is fallible, which means that it will be helpful if you have something to reference. But having said that, we need to keep record keeping simple, otherwise you can go crazy trying to keep up with the planning and the doing and the record keeping.

1. Simple Daily Journal

So now we're going to get into 5 simple ways to do record keeping. You ready? All right, number 1. Get a journal. Doesn't have to be fancy. It can be the cheap one that you picked up at the discount store, or it can be a nice leather bound one, whatever. And just jot down a few things as many as many times a week as you can remember to do it. You might want to set an alarm on your phone or something. And I'm not talking about pages and pages of journal entry. It could simply be the highlight of the day or one thing you noticed, one success, one thing you wish you'd done differently. So it's more of a reflective journal than otherwise.

Now you can keep a journal like that in paper form, like I said, or you can also keep it on your phone. You could put it in a Google doc, you could put it in any one of those record keeping systems that store it up in the cloud. And then you just add a little bit every single day or as often as you remember. So the first suggestion I have is to do some kind of just mini journal, mini journal. Remember, we're going to keep this simple.

2. Take a Picture

Okay, number 2. The second thing that you could try is take a picture every day with cameras in our pockets and in our hands all day long. Because let's be honest with one another, we all kind of have our phones with us all the time. It's so easy to take a picture. And it doesn't have to be an Instagram worthy picture. It's a picture of whatever you happen to do that day. Maybe it's a picture of the mess after the activity was over. Maybe it's the finished art project. Maybe it's the messy hands. Maybe it's just the kids sitting on the couch reading. Or maybe it's just a selfie that you take with you and your kids as you're driving in the car.

If you take a picture, then you start to have a record of just the dailiness of homeschool and all of the things that go along with that. And then you can store those in the cloud again, or you can put them on one place on your computer, hard drive. And you can just go back through those and they can be a recollection of the memories that you've made throughout your homeschooling. So that's number two. Take a picture as often as you can, possibly every day.

3. Notes on Your Lesson Plan

All right, number 3. The third easy way to do simple record keeping is to make comments on your lesson plan. So if you have somewhere that you're keeping track of what you want to do every day, then in the margins or down-- if there's a space provided, you're just going to jot down again, How did things go today? Well, Johnny read four letters, or I was really excited because we actually had an activity where everybody had a good time. Whatever it is, you're going to just jot a few thoughts.

It's similar to number one with the journal except that it's put in the lesson plan. It's combined with the planning so you can go back and you can see not just what you did but also what you had planned to do. The bonus of this particular system is that you can often see how maybe the plan for the day didn't necessarily line up with what actually happened, but maybe it was still good day. And maybe it wasn't. And if it wasn't a good day, jot that too.

Because part of the process of record keeping is to see the good, the bad and the ugly. And if you're able to see that there were not such great days but you got through them and then you had another great day, it helps program your mind to remember there's another good day coming. So number three is to just jot a couple notes in the margin or in a space provided in your lesson planner.

4. Record Audio or Video

Number four, the fourth way to do some easy record keeping in your homeschool is to do video or audio. So you get your phone out and you push the little record button on the audio record app that you can put on your phone and you just take a journal -- you just talk for a few minutes about the good and the bad and everything in between.

Or you take a video of some of the things that are happening during the day with you narrating in the background. Another way to handle this is to actually hand the phone over to your child or your children and say, Hey, just talk today about what happened. Give a couple of sentences. Again, we're not making this to be a movie. You're making this as a record, as a keepsake.

And one of the benefits is that audio and or video capture so much more than words. They capture personality, they capture the tone of the voice, they capture the stages that your child is in. It's kind of like a big trove of family history, all squished into that little homeschool package. And because homeschool does actually bleed into all parts of our lives, you'll actually get a capture-- You'll actually end up capturing what is going on on a regular basis just in your home.

And again, we're not doing this all the time. We're doing this whenever you remember. And if it's important to do it regularly because you do want that record, you know, set a reminder on your phone or something like that to help you remember. You just want to put five minutes into this at some point during the day. So number four is actually to use video or audio and then to store that somewhere in one place where you can find it. Okay?

5. Create a Simple Portfolio

Number five, the fifth way that you can do some simple record keeping in your home is to create some kind of portfolio. Now when I say portfolio, sometimes what happens is we think about the kind of portfolio that has to be turned in, which means that it will be beautifully decorated and all formatted and in order. And that is not what I'm talking about.

I'm talking about the kind of portfolio where you get a binder and you just have sheet protectors or even a three hole punch and you just throw things in as they're created. This is especially fun to do when your kids are creating lots of things in art or they're sitting down and writing simple stories and as they get older they can put their papers that they write in there or you can print out pictures of things you've done. So it becomes kind of like a scrapbook.

Or even simpler -- I think of this as a portfolio, but I think of it as as a vertical portfolio rather than as a book -- is to get a bin and as people, as people in your home, as children create things to put them in the bin and you store it archaeologically. So if you want to be able to go through and see when that program happened or when that child made that art project, what's at the top will be what was created most recently. And then you go down from there and you just store things. And again, don't store everything, right? As prolific artists, prolific writers, you can't store everything. We are going to store the things that have meaning.

And anything you store, take a minute to just date and write a sentence on it about what it is. Because again, when you look at it five years from now, you think you'll remember, but you won't. So there you have it. That's the fifth one. Create some kind of portfolio, either either in a notebook or a binder or archeologically in a bin.

Five ways to do simple record keeping. Because when you keep records, you remember, and when you remember, you are able to have a better perspective. You're able to have a healthier attitude about your homeschool, and you'll also be able to look back and remember and enjoy all of the good experiences that you are slowly accumulating on your homeschool journey. I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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5 simple ways to do homeschool record keeping
5 simple ways to do homeschool record keeping
How to teach handwriting 8 easy steps homeschool humor

How (NOT) to Teach Handwriting in 8 Easy Steps

(Note: This post was originally written in 2012 for an old blog I used to write.)

Despite what you might think, teaching handwriting to your seven year old isn’t as difficult as it might seem. (Ha!) 

Just follow these eight easy steps . . .

Step 1: Decide to Start

Decide that your seven year old needs to learn how to correctly form her letters, despite her hesitancy to try anything new and hard. Determine that her resistance to handwriting is actually a product of fear–and not because she is incapable or unready. Determine that this is something you feel ready to require her to do.

Step 2: Search Your Shelves

Spend an afternoon looking through your boxes and shelves of curriculum for the handwriting workbooks you were given years ago. After a fruitless search, determine that you must have given away that curriculum at some point because you decided you didn’t believe in workbooks any more.

Step 3: Research Online

 Use several days of free time to research handwriting curriculums online. Read reviews–both positive and negative–of several of the most popular. Ultimately decide that your money is better spent on other materials.

Step 4: Check out Free Handwriting Worksheets

Spend another evening searching for free internet resources for handwriting. Become intrigued by a website called Amazing Handwriting Worksheet Maker and play around with what it can do late into the night. Decide that it’s usefulness is limited by the fact that you don’t want to be tethered to the computer anytime you want your daughter to do handwriting AND you don’t want to waste a ton of ink and paper printing out disposable worksheets.

Step 5: Find the Easy Answer

Realize that you have a whiteboard with handwriting lines printed on it. Why didn’t you think of that before??? 

Use a Sharpie to write “permanent” letters that you want your daughter to practice. Start with dots that she can trace. Then just a starting dot. Then a blank space. Ask her to also do her work in Sharpie, so it doesn’t accidentally rub off. When she’s done, you can use rubbing alcohol and a rag to erase her work.

Step 6: Duck and (Re)Cover!

Duck . . . as the whiteboard comes flying at you from across the table.

Obviously, you underestimated how intensely your daughter feels about trying new things. Spend the rest of the day thinking up extra jobs for your daughter to do to work through her inability to control her temper.

Simple homeschool phrase to use when you feel like giving up

Here's the one phrase I use to keep going in times like this.

Step 7: Settle In

Smile as your daughter settles into the new routine–trying one new letter a day–while reviewing the ones she has already learned. Praise profusely as she draws a smiley face on each letter she thinks looks the best.

Secretly pat yourself on the back for not giving up despite your daughter’s initial reactions. Realize that sometimes mom’s really do know best.

Step 8: Reflect

In a moment of self-reflection, ask yourself why you always have to make things so much more complicated than they actually have to be.

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How to teach handwriting 8 easy steps homeschool humor
How to teach handwriting 8 easy steps homeschool humor
How to teach handwriting 8 easy steps homeschool humor
Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough

3 Key Ways to Banish Perfectionism from Your Homeschool

Is your homeschool struggling? Do you feel like your homeschool is just not working? 

Are you a perfectionist?

I certainly struggle wanting things to be perfect … in my homeschool and in the rest of my life.

I have this vision of what I want things to be. And it can be pretty hard when things don’t go according to plan.

Problem is that when perfectionism shows up in your homeschool, it can completely derail your efforts and make you miserable.

You sit down on the couch with a new read-aloud that everyone raves about -- and your kids proclaim it’s boring within two pages.

You tell your kids to get their math done -- and they spend FIVE hours doing five problems (and whine the entire time).

You plan the perfect activity -- and your kids start to fight as soon as you start to explain how to do it.

You spent the entire morning getting ready to leave for a fieldtrip -- only to have one of your kids meltdown and tell you they absolutely don’t want to go.

Solidarity, Mama … I’ve been there too!

And over the years, I’ve figured out several techniques to help banish perfectionism so that it doesn’t impact my homeschool (most of the time!)

I’ve also created a free download to help you with one of my techniques. 

You can grab the Homeschool Declarations here. (It will make sense after you watch the video!)

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

Boost the energy around your homeschool!

Download these Homeschool Declarations -- positive statements that can dramatically shift how you feel about your homeschool everyday.


Hello, this is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, I want to talk about 3 key ways to banish perfectionism from your homeschool. Because man, perfectionism is going to be the death knell of your homeschool.

Why do I know this? Because I am super guilty of wanting my homeschool to be perfect. I have always just ... I have this vision that, you know, my kids will be perfectly lined up on the couch, and we'll have all the books perfectly aligned, or we'll have the perfect day where everyone will sit and do their homework exactly when I asked them, or the perfect day where we'll do this activity and everybody will love it. I am so guilty of that.

And I've also been guilty of looking around at all the things we're not doing and feeling bad because we don't have that perfect looking homeschool. You know -- we're not taking big trips across the country where we visit historical sites and and stop and read all the plaques and we get to do this big thing -- you know, we're doing big RV road trip. Or you know, I've never mummified a chicken.

AndI look at some of the big projects or the big exciting things that kids are doing in their homeschool. You know, they're building a fort in the backyard. And I think, ah, I'm failing failing my kids because we aren't doing those kinds of things -- even though we're doing other things.

I have so much trouble sometimes looking and saying, okay, that is not us. So how do we banish this perfectionism? Well, I have 3 suggestions. 3 things you can do that will help you shift your mindset just a little bit so that you can feel good about what you're doing and feel better about what you're not doing.

First of all, before I even get into those three things, I just want to remind you, there's actually no perfect way to be a perfect homeschool mom. There is no way to be a perfect homeschool mom. There just isn't. And I know this, even though I fall into this trap, I know this. I can never be a perfect homeschool mom, but there is an infinite number of ways to be a great homeschool mom. And you can figure out one of those infinite ways as long as you're willing to do a few key things.

So the first thing I want to recommend, the first key way to banish perfectionism is to write down what you're doing well, focus on the good. Focus on what you are doing, not what you aren't doing. Don't worry about what you aren't able to accomplish. Spend more time worrying about what you are able to accomplish.

You know, I may not have taken big massive road trips across the country with my children, even though I always wanted to this, that was just never in the cards. But I was really good at creating a system so that my kids could learn how to work. Or I may never have mummified a chicken, but I did build a really cool treasure hunt fort once where they had to go digging to figure out where the treasure was because we were studying tombs in ancient Egypt and pyramids. So if I look at the things I'm doing well, then I can feel less guilty about the things I'm not doing. So that's my number -- My first thing that I recommend is look at what you're doing well and write it down. When you write it down, it becomes concrete and you can look at it and looking at it makes all the difference.

The second thing is remember that your strengths and talents are different than everyone else around you. I remember when I just said that I'm really good at creating a system so that my kids can learn how to work. That's one of my strengths. That may not be one of your strengths. One of your strengths may be letting the mess and the chaos happen while kids are super excited and exploring, and there's goop climbing up the ceiling and you don't care because you're so in the moment with your kids. That's a talent that I do not have, but I honor it in you.

You may be super flexible and so excited and wake up in the morning and spontaneous and say, let's go to this thing that we want to do today. Or you may be really good at sitting on the couch and reading with your kids and snuggling and, and just making everyone feel safe. You have strengths and talents in your homeschool and when you focus on those and you remember those, your homeschool begins to really be the very best version of it. And it's what your kids need.

The third thing I recommend, the third key ingredient, the way to banish this homeschool perfectionism is to focus on growth mindset instead of fixed mindset. And this is something you may have heard of. Fixed mindset is the idea that your mind can't change. That it's fixed. If you are one way, you will always be one way and that can be really, really, really disabling because you feel like no matter how things are, that's how they're always going to be. And growth mindset is this idea that things can change, that you can change, that your mind can change, that the people around you can change.

And when you have that mindset, you recognize that you can learn and grow and continue to do things better and better. I know for a fact that some of the things that I can do now, I could not do 15 years ago when we started homeschooling. It was impossible. And if I could look at myself now and the capacity I have and the things I've learned how to do, I would be amazed. Not because I'm amazing, but because -- or different or unique or special in some way. But because I have 15 years between the beginning me and the now me. And that's because the growth mindset allows me to see how I can grow and change. So if there's something really important, something that's currently missing from your homeschool that you want to start incorporating, then if you embrace this idea that you can, you can start to learn step by step.

You can change, you can grow. It is possible. Now to make this just a little bit easier for you, I have put together a one page set of declarations. I call them Homeschool Declarations. If you don't know what declarations are, they are positive statements that you say on a regular basis. They help rewrite how your brain thinks and they're specifically aligned for that growth mindset and they're totally free. You just need to click on the link up above or down below and you can -- they're part of my Homeschool Help Center. It's totally free and you go there, you find them in that Help Center, and you can print them out. Just something you say every single day to just keep you motivated and going and help you banish perfectionism.

Because remember that you cannot be a perfect homeschool mom, but you can be an excellent homeschool mom in a completely unique way that is only you. I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough
Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough
Banish perfectionism in homeschool with encouragement when homeschooling gets tough
How to make homeschool work when it’s not working

#1 Thing to Do When Your Homeschool Isn’t Working

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

When you started homeschooling, you envisioned happy blissful moments of togetherness with your children.

Snuggling on the couch. Finding the wonder in the new things you were learning.

Your kids -- happily around the table learning and growing.

You -- overlooking it all with a blissful, nurturing smile on your face.

And now you don’t know what happened. Nothing seems to be going right.

You drag yourself out of bed in the morning, dreading the coming day. You’re exhausted and ready to quit … and it’s only 10 o’clock in the morning.

There’s crying and yelling and whining.

Maybe you have a homeschooler who refuses to do their work. Maybe more than one!

Maybe you think it’s you -- that you’re failing your children. 

And maybe you’re trying to decide if you should stop homeschooling completely and just send them to public school.

If so, here’s the first thing I recommend you do before you do anything else for your homeschool.

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

And CLICK HERE if you want to watch Confident Homeschool Secrets.

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7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hello, this is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, I want to talk about the number one thing I recommend to do if your homeschool isn't working. 

Now, when you started homeschooling, of course you had these grand visions of perfect days and blissful children sitting on the couch snuggling or doing fun science experiments.

And sometimes the reality is that when the rubber hits the road, it doesn't look like that at all. And that can be really discouraging, really frustrating.

There's tears. The kids aren't cooperating. You think you're failing. Super normal. It happens almost to everyone. So what can you do about that? What can you do so that you feel just a little bit better about your homeschool so that you can keep going?

Well, the number one thing I recommend you do is step back and take a break. Take a deep breath, stop what you're doing and reassess.

So what does that look like? That means that no matter where you are, how far you've gotten, what time of year it is, stop. Because whatever you're doing isn't working. So you need to take time where you're not pushing, pushing, pushing to figure out how to do it differently. 

The reason I know this is because I went through this. I'd been homeschooling for a couple of years. My oldest was little, and she had just kind of played. And then I decided we were going to do real school. And we did real school and it fell apart so fast because of the way I was doing it with her.

And so I did the very thing I'm describing. I.we stopped. It was only ... I think the beginning of October. We'd done four weeks or so. We stopped. We stopped doing school. And I just focused on figuring out how I wanted to homeschool. And it's the best time I took. You know, whatever subjects we would have covered in that amount of time was more than made up for in the fact that I actually figured out how to homeschool in a way that was going to work.

And it turned out that our homeschool needed to look radically different than what I had originally planned. Who knew? And I needed to go learn about homeschool styles. And I learned a little bit about her personality and learning styles. I needed to learn those things so that I could create a homeschool that was going to work for her because she was so different, which is why I didn't put her in public school in the first place. But somehow in my mind I got all confused. I was like, "We got to do public school, and it's got to look like this." And I didn't know what I was doing. And so it was only when I got some education and I learned some things, I was able to figure it out. So that's what I recommend. I step back and take some time to figure it out.

Now if you are in this position, I actually have something I would love to offer you to help you. It's a free webinar. It's called Confident Homeschool Secrets. And it's specifically designed to help moms like you who are struggling with your homeschool to figure out what needs to be in place so that you can feel confident and successful. And I go through seven key areas that you can work on and structure differently so you can create a good foundation. It's totally free. You just have to click on the link up above or down below. You know, wherever you're watching this video. Go watch that webinar. It's available right now. You can start right away. And it's going to walk you through those pieces step-by-step.

I'm so excited to offer it to you because I know where you're coming from. I was there. I want you to have an opportunity to feel successful, and this is one of the best ways I know how to do that.

My name is ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom. 

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How to make homeschool work when it’s not working

Why “Detox” Is Essential to the New Homeschooling Family

Is this your first year homeschooling? 

Did you pull your kids out of public school to start this grand homeschooling adventure?

You probably had grand visions of happy kids curled up on couches reading about their favorite subject.




Gathered blissfully around the table, working through their assignments and asking deep, engaging questions.

And maybe that’s happening for you …

OR maybe you’re finding that many of the issues that showed up during homework time are now showing up during school time.

Why is that?

Because your kid -- your lovely, delightful, beautiful kid who you are so excited to homeschool -- is still carrying all their baggage and issues about learning from their time at public school.

It might be a little baggage -- but it also might be a lot. 

It might be directly related to a certain subject. But it might also be related to learning in general.

Regardless, when you are choosing to homeschool, you are choosing a different way of doing things. 

That “different way” requires that your kids and you learn a different way of thinking. And it means you all need time to adjust.

In the homeschool world, we call this “detox” or “deschooling.”

What does it mean to deschool or detox?

Check out this video to learn all about deschooling and get several deschooling ideas.

Want to keep reading instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

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Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hello, my name is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about how to successfully transition your kids from public schooling to homeschooling.

And this is something that a lot of new homeschool moms have to do. You started your kids out in public school and for whatever reason you decided it's time to bring them home. Maybe it's just one kid, maybe it's the entire family. I'm going to talk about some ways that you can think about this so that the transition can be just a little bit smoother.

So first of all, I just know that this transition is not always a smooth ride. It can be bumpy. There's a lot of differences between public school and homeschool, and understanding and appreciating those differences will help you make this transition a little bit better.

You know, public school is very structured. It's very clear that the kids show up at a certain time. They go from point A to point B to point C. They're very directed. You as the mom are more of a support system at home. You're trying to help support with homework. You're trying to help support with projects. But you don't have a lot of say. And for whatever reason, you no longer like that environment.

But when you bring the kids home, the challenge is your kids only know that environment, and you only know that environment. And so ... and probably you're coming from a public school experience yourself. Not everyone. Sometimes you've been homeschooled, but most people who are homeschooling have been public schooled themselves.

I was like that. I never was homeschooled. I only homeschooled my kids, and I've now been doing it for, you know, over 15 years. But when I started I didn't have any frame of reference in mind except for what public school looked like, which was sitting in a desk and being given an assignment with a teacher talking up front.

So one of the first things you can do to help this transition is to recognize that your homeschool will look significantly different than your public school experience. It's not ...don't try to make it look the same. If you do, you'll burn out.

You want your homeschool to look different. You want it to be more organic. You want it to feel like part of ... like an extension of your actual home rather than trying to duplicate school at home. So that's one of the things that I recommend is recognizing that it's different and allowing that home environment to feel more like a home environment and less like public school at home.

Another thing to recognize is that a lot of kids coming from the public school environment are coming out of that with some kind of trauma, big or little. That's probably ... that's often the reason why you're choosing to homeschool. Maybe they've been bullied. Maybe they were struggling in a subject or many subjects. Maybe they -- you recognized that they weren't getting the right kind of attention, that they were smart kids at home, but at school they didn't feel successful because of the way the content was given or the other aspects of that environment. Maybe they have special needs that makes not the learning part hard, but the social interaction or something else, whatever that is.

If a child has not had a perfect experience, and no child has, they're going to need time to adjust. They're going to need time to process and work through the things that they have been through. And so recognizing that means giving time for that to happen.

One of the things that we call that is "detox." To detox from the public school environment -- to relearn how to be at home.

And there's a lot of things that a homeschool kid and a homeschool mom have to learn when you come home. Often these public school kids have to learn how to like actual learning again. Because they aren't forced all the time, they can learn the things that they want to.

Sometimes they have to relearn how to be open and feel safe. Sometimes they have to learn how to interact with material that is actually working for them and to not immediately shut down when you mention a certain subject.

You also have to learn and relearn how to be a mom and a teacher and a student and a child. You're adding different roles in relationships. And so it takes time to make that transition. And when they're coming out of an environment where they have maybe experienced some trauma, they need time to adjust to all of these new things, relearn these things and step into these new roles. So that's another aspect of being aware of that -- will give you time.

Now there's a formula that gets sort of tossed around in the homeschool community. I do not know where it came from, but it seems to hold pretty true, which is for every year that your child was in public school, they will probably need about one month of detox time.

Now what does detox look like? Well, detox doesn't mean doing nothing. Most of the time it means being actively engaged in something, but it may mean not actively engaged in any schoolwork. You may need a child ... may need to spend a lot of time in nature. A detox time may look like reading books on the couch. It may look like ... I knew one family that brought their kid home, and this child had struggled a lot in school. And so for an entire year this mom just had this kid ride horses, and then they just took off and everything was amazing.

Detox can look very individual, but it does mean allowing the child to really step into a place where they can own their education. You can own their education. And together you can figure out these other roles that you're going to play.

Another thing that I recommend is recognizing that learning about homeschooling takes time. You may have been planning this all along, but if you are stepping into this quickly, which can happen, right? One day you're like, "That's it. We're done. We're bringing them home."

You're going to need time to learn how to homeschool. And learning how to homeschool while they're detoxing is a really good match. So be patient with yourself as you're learning these different roles. Be patient as you're learning about curriculum and styles and personality and how to structure your day. Be patient with all of that.

Now, if that is where you are, then I would like to offer you a free class that I've put together. It's called Confident Homeschool Secrets. And I go through a lot of the things we just talked about, structuring a day, creating a vision for your homeschool, pitfalls to avoid. And it's completely free. You just have to click on the link up above or down below, you know, wherever you're watching this video, give me a little bit of information -- you know, name, email, --and I will send that to you, and you can watch it right away.

It's going to lay out how you build a successful foundation for your homeschool so you can feel confident as you step into this new journey that you are going on with your kids. So I'd like to offer that for free. Just click up above or down below.

And you know what? Welcome to the journey. Welcome to this. It is going to be fun and exciting. It will also be hard, but I promise it will be worth it.

I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Homeschool guilt and envy tips for beginners

How to Avoid “Homeschool Envy”

Guilt. Comparison. Envy.

How often do these show up for you as a homeschool mom?

You’ll be taking a break … scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest when suddenly it happens …

Homeschool guilt and envy tips for beginners


You see some other homeschool mom doing something amazing.

Maybe she’s just posted a picture of how her family of 8 all gathered around the table to mummify a chicken for their unit on Ancient History.

Or maybe she’s showing multiple pictures of their homemade pioneer meal to wrap up reading Little House on the Prairie.

OR ...

Maybe you took a few minutes on Pinterest and ended up saving 50 pins with fun science activities … or tea party ideas … or fieldtrip enhancements …

And suddenly you are feeling Homeschool Envy -- the green-eyed monster that appears at your side telling you that somehow your homeschool will NEVER measure up to all of these other amazing homeschools.

And along with the Envy monster comes his side-kick Homeschool Guilt -- reminding you that you are failing your homeschool kids … that they are not learning anything … that your homeschool isn’t working at all.

In that moment -- what will you do?

How will you battle and win against Homeschool Envy (and get rid of Homeschool Guilt too!)??

You must go back to the beginning. 

And this week’s video is all about how to do that.

Rather read than watch? Keep scrolling to read a transcript of the video.

Ready to feel Confident and Successful as you homeschool?

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Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hello, my name is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about how you can avoid homeschool envy. As long as you're homeschooling, envy can start to creep in.

Envy is when you start looking at all the other things that the homeschool moms are doing, and especially on Facebook or on Pinterest, and you start to just think, "Oh, I want that. I want that for my homeschool. But you start to feel yucky inside because you don't know that there's any way that you could possibly also recreate that in your home."

So today I want to turn the tables just a little bit and get you out of homeschool envy. And the way you want to do that is to talk about the fact that when you are homeschooling, you will always have a buffet of possibilities. You will have so many things in every subject area that you could cover, that you could easily start to feel well overwhelmed or guilty, or just like you're failing because you're not doing even a fraction of everything you see.

And so the cure, the antidote to overcome this buffet overload is to step back and get really, really clear on your priorities, on what's important to you. Because if you can -- if you can look at all of those things and line them up against your priorities, what you think is best for your homeschool, then you'll be able to pick and choose.

Now how do you prioritize? Well, you need to get clear on 1) how your homeschool wants to function. What do you want happening in your homeschool? And that happens through creating a vision. It also happens when you get to know your kids' personalities, their learning styles, all of those things.

And then once you've done that, you can look through and you can say, "Okay, I need to figure out what is the best thing I could do? What's the better thing and what's the good thing? " I like to call it good, better and best. Because there are lots and lots of great options out there. And what you need to figure out is which of the great options fit in this priority scale? And what do I mean by that? Well, let me give you an example.

Let's say you want to study history, and you're looking and thinking about all of the options. Well, "good" for your family, depending on your kids and how they learn, good could actually be doing a really intense, hands-on activity where they're getting their hands dirty and they're making a huge mess. Better might be doing a simple activity that you know you can pick up in 10 minutes and it's not going to make wreak havoc in your home. And best might be just sitting down and telling a story or even watching a YouTube video about that topic.

You see all three of things allow you to accomplish teaching about that subject, but they may not all be the best fit for your family. On the other hand, maybe you know that your kid isn't going to learn a whole lot if they're just watching a video, but they will learn a lot if you do that messy activity, and so you actually swap your good and your best, and your best is the messy activity, and you do less somewhere else.

It all depends on your kid's learning style, your kid's personality, your personality and learning style, your vision for your own school. It depends on all those pieces.

But once you have it, you can prioritize, and you can step out of homeschool envy, and you can feel better because you know that the things you are picking for your homeschool are actually really the best things for your homeschool.

Now, how do you set that vision? How do you figure out your kids personalities and learning styles? Well, I have a free webinar that I'd love to have you check out because I go over exactly those things and several additional things that will help you create a successful and confident homeschool. It's called Confident Homeschool Secrets, and you can sign up for free to watch it right away. Just click on the link up above or down below. You know, wherever you're watching this video, and you can-- it'll shoot into your inbox and you can start watching it as well as soon as right now.

Okay. I just want to end by saying that homeschool envy doesn't have to have you turning green. You can feel confident as you're homeschooling. You can feel good about picking the very best things for your kids. Prioritize, get clear on what your family needs, and you'll be halfway there. 

I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Homeschool guilt and envy tips for beginners
Homeschool guilt and envy tips for beginners
Homeschool guilt and envy tips for beginners
Homeschool daily schedule plan include

How to Plan Your Homeschool Day (5 Essential Elements)

Are you temporarily homeschooling during the national shutdown? 

You may also want to check out Temporary Homeschooling: How to School at Home During an Emergency.

Homeschool daily schedule plan include


Summer is winding down and the school year is about to start.

Which means you are probably working on your plan for your homeschool year … as well as thinking about your schedule for your homeschool day.

How will you start out your morning?

When will you do math … and spelling … and help the 6 yr old with their reading?

And when will you get all the laundry get done?!?

I don’t have all the answers, but I have learned over the years that if I include certain things into my homeschool day EVERYTHING goes so much better.

School work gets done.

We spend time together.

And the house stays relatively clean! (Well … at least I think so. But clean is relative when you homeschool!)

So that’s what I’m sharing with you today -- the 5 essential elements for a successful homeschool daily schedule.

Want to read instead of watch? Scroll to read a transcript of the video.

Ready to feel Confident and Successful as you homeschool?

Register below to watch my FREE CLASS

Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hello, this is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about how to structure your homeschool day so it can be successful. I have five essential things I want to encourage you to include.

So if you are planning on homeschooling or you've actually already started homeschooling, there are a lot of pieces and elements you have to pull together to make this successful. You are committing to a really important thing, right? You're committing to facilitating an education for your children. It is not to be taken lightly. And how you structure your day is going to be really, really important.

Now your homeschool is unique. Your kids are unique. And your situation is unique. So I'm not going to tell you what order to do things in. And I'm certainly not going to tell you exactly what to do within these different pieces because you need to figure that out. But I am going to tell you that successful homeschools include these five essential parts, and you get to figure out how you piece them together.

So what are they?

Well, the first one is work time. Time to work together. And structure your time so that you are working in the home, preferably together. But even if just everybody has chores so that you can keep your home up.

The second one is you want to have time where you spend time all together where you gather as a family. One of the benefits of homeschool is that you are actually together. And this is a little bit easier to do when your kids are young. It gets a little bit harder as they get older, as they start to go out and be involved in other things, even during the homeschool day. But finding time to come and be together as a family, whether it's a few minutes or a longer period of time -- really important.

The third one is you want to have a chunk of time set aside at some point during the day when people can work on individual parts of their homeschooling, whether it be their math or their individual reading or music practice. They're going to need a chunk of time during the day that's set aside for that. And again, you get to figure out how to piece these together, but you're going to need that.

The next is -- it's really important that kids have time to play. And we call play different things as kids get older, whether it's play or whether it's recreational time or downtime. Kids need that and so do you. And so it's really important to create time and structure time within the day that you know the kids are going to be free to explore, experiment, do their own kinds of things.

The last essential key piece that I really cannot recommend more strongly than I'm about to recommend is you structure time for you. You must have time on a daily basis where you recharge your batteries, whatever that looks like for you. And I know that sounds impossible. But I promise you, if you are not recharging you, you'll burn out. And homeschool mom burnout is a real thing. So figure out a piece of each day that can be just for you. You will be able to homeschool more confidently and more successfully if you have that in place.

So those are the five things I recommend. Work time, time together, time alone, time to play, and time for you. Now, if you'd like more details about how to do this, as well as other key things to get in place in order to have a successful and confident homeschool, than I would love to have you sign up for my free webinar. It's called Confident Homeschool Secrets. You can check the link out. It's up above or down below. You know, wherever you're watching this video. And it's totally free.

You're going to go ... I'm going to go over the seven key things that I recommend you do to have a foundation in place that helps you have a successful and confident homeschool. Because I know that if you can get those pieces in place. And particularly this piece -- if you can figure out how to structure your day, you are going to have a homeschool that you love. You're going to have a homeschool that your kids look forward to and a homeschool that you look forward to.

I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Homeschool daily schedule plan include
Homeschool daily schedule plan include
Homeschool daily schedule plan include
Husband doesn’t want to homeschool

5 Steps to Take If Your Spouse Isn’t on Board with Homeschooling

Are you ready to homeschool (or have even been homeschooling for awhile) but your husband still doesn’t support the idea?

Maybe you’ve tried talking about it, and he’s just not ready to go there. Or maybe he’s on the fence, not sure whether he likes the idea or not.

Husband doesn’t want to homeschool

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The reality is being a homeschool dad is different than being a homeschool mom -- and he is going to have his own sets of fears and concerns (just like you do!)

So do both parents have to agree to homeschool?

Short answer … at least to some degree!

Otherwise, the level of conflict in your home will be crazy and that doesn’t do anyone any good!

For years, my husband was VERY wishy-washy about homeschool … he was willing to go along with the idea, but he was torn with lots of worries about how it was all going to work out.

But over the years, things changed and now he’s a HUGE advocate for homeschooling!

So how do you get your husband on board with your homeschool? 

Today I’m sharing 5 key steps that can dramatically improve your ability to get your husband to understand homeschool and help him feel more supportive toward homeschooling.

I used ALL FIVE of these tips with my husband … and I’ve seen them work for other spouses as well.

In this video I mention my free class Confident Homeschool Secrets. It’s a great way to help your husband AND you feel confident about homeschooling. 

Click here to register to watch Confident Homeschool Secrets.

Ready to feel Confident and Successful as you homeschool?

Register below to watch my FREE CLASS

Confident Homeschool Secrets

7 Ways to Create a Homeschool That Works (and you LOVE!)


Hello. My name's ToriAnn Perkey and from my homeschool to your homeschool, today I want to talk about five steps you can take if your spouse is not on board with your homeschooling.

You know, in a perfect world every couple would be perfectly aligned, and if one wanted something the other would go along with it. But it doesn't always work out that way. And often a mom-- and I'm going to talk to the moms here cause it's usually the moms-- the mom is learning about homeschooling, she's feeling like it might be a good fit for her kids. Maybe she's started talking to people, and she mentions it to her spouse, and he is not on board.

And even if they're talking about it, and she's trying to explain why it would be a good idea, he is just not buying it. So today here's what I want to talk about. I want to talk about five steps you can take to hopefully get to a little bit more of a meeting of the minds if your spouse isn't on board with your homeschooling.

So number one, the first thing I recommend is try to have open communication. You know, if you are really starting to feel like homeschooling is a good fit for your family, and you really start to want it, it can be really hard to have objective conversations if your spouse isn't on board, and you can even take it personally.

If he isn't supporting you, you can feel like he doesn't care. He doesn't care about your children because he doesn't see why it's a good idea. So the first step I would recommend taking is try to have open communication. And when you're having this open communication, what that means is that you are trying to, without emotion involved, understand his fears and concerns.

Almost always if a spouse is not on board, it's because there's something that -- it's something or many things he's afraid of or he's concerned about. And those can run the gamut from how will they get into college to whether the house will be clean to whether you have the emotional ability to manage having kids home all the time. Or, you know, will they learn everything they need to learn or will ... How about, you know, will they be able to make friends?

You don't know what his concerns are if you don't ask. So trying to create a safe space where you can have an open dialogue and say, You know what ... What is it that you're concerned about? And don't immediately get defensive with whatever answers he gives you. Respond with, Okay, I can see that. And then work toward either finding answers that will answer that concern or saying, Well, how could we problem solve that s it could work. Looking for problems, solutions to the concerns and the fears, rather than dismissing them.

You don't want to be dismissive because they're real, and he cares about your kids too. He wants them to be successful and happy just like you do. And so it's good to listen and hear. And some of his concerns may be valid.

Like are you going to be able to handle the extra stress around the house or the time that you no longer have to give to these things that now go to your kids? Listen to those concerns and problem solve together.

Okay, the second step I recommend is have him talk to other homeschooled dads. So my husband did not like homeschooling when we first started. He was willing to give it a try, but he wasn't really on board. And I noticed that no matter how much I talked about it, or no matter how many things I tried to share with him or that I had learned, it didn't actually make a huge difference.

But when he started talking to other homeschool dads, whether they were at a conference or whether it was just at a community event or people we randomly met, that happened to homeschool-- when he talked to the Dads, his attitude started to change. There was something about the way they talked, what they said, the way they could address his concerns and fears that I was not able to do -- even with open communication. I knew what they were, but I couldn't address them.

So it's as he talked to them that he was able to start to feel really good about homeschooling. So my second recommendation is have him talk to other dads, find dads that he can talk to, who feel good about homeschooling and let them talk to him.

The third thing I want to recommend, the third step you can take if your spouse isn't on board is that you recommend that you take it one year at a time. Sometimes when we commit to something, it can feel really big and really huge, and you've got a six or a seven year old, and your husband is asking about college, Well, how are they going to get into college?

And one of the things you can do to kind of back out of that so that you can test the waters without feeling like you are overwhelming or committing to an idea that may or may not work. You say, You know what? Let's just try it for a year. Let's just try a year and see how it goes. If it goes, great, we can do it again. If not, we can problem solve and look at other solutions. This allows you to do a test run without fully committing. Even if you know you're fully committed.

For our family for years, we said, Let's just take it one year at a time. And then there was some point where we just stopped saying that, and I think it helped both my husband, and I feel like we could sit and move forward with the idea without feeling like we were freaked out about the idea.

Okay, so the fourth thing I recommend, the fourth way to try to help ... step to take if your spouse isn't on board is be open to modified solutions. It can be really easy to be reading about homeschooling and seeing all of these possibilities and want to dive in and be gungho100%, but if your spouse isn't on board because some of those ideas sound really radical, it might require that initially, not longterm, but initially you come to some middle ground. Whether that is, you know, if you're really drawn to radical unschooling, but he's worried about them filling in all their holes ... and I made other videos about that.

But you pull together, you say, Well, maybe we do some curriculum. Or maybe he's worried about them falling behind in math. So you say, Well, I'd like to try this way with this. Can I do this with the science, which is a little bit more up and down and all over the place in elementary school, but we'll still, you know, do 15 minutes of math every day or whatever. Look at finding a way to modify your vision so the two of you can have a meeting of the minds, and he's willing a little more willing to try to give it a go.

The last thing I want to recommend, the fifth way, the fifth step you can take if your home, if your spouse isn't completely on board with your homeschooling, is invite him to try to get a little bit of learning himself.

Now, this is kind of a minefield because some dads are all in and some are not. Some are readers, some like to listen. So if you've read certain books, or you've listened to certain podcasts, you can invite him to do those things. You can invite him to go to a homeschool conference with you and go to some classes. It's a great way to meet a dad or several dads that way. Or I have another option for you as well.

I have a free webinar. It's called Confident Homeschool Secrets. It's all about how you can successfully set up a homeschool so that it will be ...It will be successful so you'll feel confident. And it goes through different key fundamental principles that you need to have in order to have a successful homeschool. It's totally free, and you can sign up by just clicking the link up above or down below, you know, wherever you're watching this video, and then you can invite your husband to watch that.

I promise it's only an hour. It is an easy, easy thing to sit down and listen to. I'm going to give really practical application. I'm going to tell some stories, and I'm going to help you both feel a little bit more like homeschooling is doable and help people feel successful.

So if that sounds like something that he would be interested in, or if you'd be interested in, then be sure to click the link up above or down below and sign up for that. I'm ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a successful and confident homeschool mom.

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Husband doesn’t want to homeschool
Husband doesn’t want to homeschool
Husband doesn’t want to homeschool