With back to school in full swing and tons of articles flying around about back to school lunches, routines and parties (yup, there is such a thing), I'm getting into the back to school spirit. It used to be my favorite time of year, but these days it's bittersweet because my kids are getting older and really don't share the same enthusiasm that I do for a new box of crayons. I used to be (and still am to some degree) a school supply hoarder. Let's just say my kids will never have to buy loose leaf notebook paper again! (I may even have enough for the grand-kids, but that's a different blog post.)
The season is just not the same for me anymore. Partly because of my boys' lack of love for school supplies but mostly because we school year round. Even when we are not doing "formal school" we are always learning. So a season designed to rekindle the love of learning, which is always burning bright in our house, seems a bit unnecessary to me these days. Maybe I've grown up and moved passed the shiny new school supplies and found the true meaning of "Back to School," which brings me to this post.
I kept asking myself if it were 10 years ago what would I have found most valuable to read online, and in turn what could I offer my readers that would be really useful. How to conduct a back-to school party didn't make the list, but if you follow this blog, that's not a surprise to you. A lot of homeschoolers do follow the public school schedule so it's back to school time for homeschoolers too, but I think most importantly it's a time to reflect on what's been done before and decide the path for the future.
Homeschooling can be lonely and frustrating even if we do make an effort to "get out of the house" and mingle with other homeschoolers. So I thought I would share my go-to homeschool blogs. These are the places that I get ideas, inspiration, and read ideas that force me to hone my idea of what education should be and how I want to present it to my boys.
This list is a great starting point if you are new to homeschooling. I've made it a point to not only list great resources but also to give you blogs that are like scrapbooks. You know, the kind where the author is sharing a bit of their family's lives with the reader. Sometimes knowing we're not alone is enough to motivate us and keep us moving forward.
Although I don't know all of these bloggers (like I know all the authors of my Ultimate Food Storage Resource Guide), I do know some of them and have followed all of them online for some time. Be sure and let me know if I've forgotten any helpful homeschooling blog that you follow. If I have, feel free to list it in the comments.
18 Homeschool Blogs You Should Be Following
General Homeschool Blogs That Keep You In the Know
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers--Kris Bales is a regular Mom who sorta follows a few popular homeschool teaching strategies and makes it work for her family. She also blogs about her struggles with weight (I so feel her pain). She has a section on her blog about curriculum, reviews and she has a section just for moms. Reading her blog is like talking to another homeschooling mom at co-op or the park.
Castle View Academy--Crystal is actually in the UK so she gives us Americans a different prospective on homeschooling. Her blog is geared toward early childhood learning as Crystal is very well educated and experienced with pre-schoolers and younger children.
Simple Homeschool--Run by Jamie Martin, Simple Homeschool is a popular blog that has many contributors. The ladies that write for Jamie have a lot of expertise and keep up on curriculum, books and general homeschool happenings. They also have a huge Facebook page.
Homeschool Resource Blogs
HomeScholar--Lee Binz takes the fear out of homeschooling high school. Do you have a curriculum or a college admittance problem? Lee is your go-to person. She has a membership site for those who need help with getting all those transcripts in order and/or have their kids on the fast track to a four year college.
Frugal Homeschool Family--Heather has a ton of information on where to get freebies for your homeschool. She even has a section on where to get freebies for your house.
123 Homeschool 4 Me--This blog has a ton of free printables for elementary age kids. Beth also has a lot of great educational vacation ideas with one of her most popular post being Tips for planning the Ultimate Trip to Disney World.
Free Homeschool Deals--Run by Jamerill Stewart, this blog does what the name suggests and gives you free or almost free deals on homeschool products and resources.
Fantastic Fun and Learning--Focuses on crafts and activities that encourage learning. There is also a section for homeschooling themes for younger children.
Mamas Learning Corner--Specializes in printable packets that revolve around children's literature with many being completely free to download. The worksheets are geared toward third grade and under. Lauren also has a quite a following on Pinterest.
Hodgepodge--Chronicles the homeschooling life of the Hodges. Tricia Hodge has written several homeschooling art books and offers free art lessons on her site.
1+1+1=1--Is another printable resource blog. A good amount are free so you can definitely try some out before you buy. Carisa has printables for classics toys like Lego and even hip toys like Skylanders.
Living Montessori Now--Is a website and blog about teaching with the Montessori philosophy. There is a ton of activity ideas and unit study ideas.
The Well Trained Mind--This site was constructed to accompany Susan Wis Bauer's Book, The Well Trained Mind. If you are homeschooler or intend to homeschool it's a must read. Even if you don't follow it to the letter, it's one of those books that is referenced a lot in homeschool circles. I'm linking to the book's site because it's a great place to start after you've read the book. Also, it's a great place to find what Susan is up to and to follow her. She's continues to write books is a great homeschooling resource.
Homeschool Blogs That Share Their Family
The Happy Homeschool Mom--Lisa has seven kids and is homeschooling all of them. Her blog details her family's journey; she throws in some product reviews here and there but this is a blog that helps you feel like you're not alone. It's an old fashioned blog in the sense that she chronicles her family and their choices. The blog gives you a peek into their life.
Look We're Learning--Selena writes about her homeschooling journey but also throws in helpful little articles geared toward her readers. She has a section on her blog dedicated to unit studies. She also has kids with ADHD and gives guidance about how to homeschool kids that have ADHD. In addition Selena has a great Pinterest presence.
Aussie Pumpkin Patch--This is another blog that lets you come in and be a part of the family for a bit. It's great because the family lives in Australia and we are reminded that we are all connected even some of us that are half way around the world from each other. Kendra is funny and makes you feel right at home with her writing.
Unusual Homeschool Blogs
Penelope Trunk Homeschooling--I love Penelope Trunk. Not because she's the best homeschooling mom in the world but because she's not. There are a ton of things I disagree with her on and a few thing that I happen to agree with her on, but the reason I love her so much is she makes me think about issues I never would have considered in my busy homeschool life. Her blog might be a little hard to read for the upstanding Christian woman, but it is thought provoking and admittedly entertaining.
Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child--Kamay is a homeschooler and a prepper/homesteader. She blogs about both on her relatively new blog.