Organizing Your Homeschool and Staying Motivated!

I gave a talk on for HECOA today and thought I ought to share my points with everybody! HECOA is running a free online homeschooling conference this week and next week- you can see my talk also on their Facebook page and here’s the direct link to my talk — Thanks for the opportunity HECOA! I hope it was helpful!!

I talked about John Taylor Gatto – he’s awesome and really helped explain the modern school system.

I talked about Diane Hopkins and her article, “The Baby is the Lesson”.

I talked about my mentor Deborah Recksiek who was awesome and super organized- she said at least have the kids do math and piano everyday.

I talked about scheduling, doing a reduced schedule in the summer- just having the kids do some schoolwork keeps them happier. We have benefited from a 4 day school week, but high schoolers need to work 5 days a week. Also about going strong for 6 weeks and then taking a 1- 2 week break. And to take breaks when either you as the homeschool parent or the kid start to get burnt out.

Field trips, nature walks, park days, beach days, hikes, being out in nature all prevent burnout. Schedule them in.

I talked about Susan Wise Bauer and her speeches at some homeschool conferences I went to- about rest times and bed times.

I talked about Health and taking care of yourself. Don’t feel bad about it, you can only care for others if you are healthy, so that needs to be a priority. Get a babysitter, so you and your husband can have time together, schedule social outings with friends, shower and exercise, even if the baby has to cry for a couple of minutes. Everybody will feel better!

I talked about helping kids stay motivated here’s more on this blog post.

I talked about being very clear about what the kids need to do. I used this planner for years. Before that I used similar charts that I would print out each week. Now we have a computerized checklist that my husband made that is working great right now. You could also use a whiteboard or a poster. Just make sure your kids know what is required of them.

Home Organization- read books, watch videos, figure out a system that will work for you. helped me a ton back in the day- her website and book are great!

Marie Kondo is awesome- she has a series on Netflix and her book is really helpful.

This game was super super helpful when my kids were tiny- we used it for years!

I talked about dividing the house into zones that each kid is in charge of, assigning kitchen jobs, chore charts, Saturday jobs and 5 minute pick ups. I forgot to mention that inviting people over is a great motivation for everyone to help clean and to get areas that may have been neglected too long.

Someone asked about what piano books we use. We use a variety- Suzuki, Edna Mae Burnam and Bastien series. I have another course I bought at a homeschool conference and learned from the creator- that has been super helpful. I will have to do some research to find it though. I also buy fun easy song books and easy primary songs and hymns. We’ve also done some of the courses here and other random things. I figure the more they practice and the more variety, the better. You can find a lot online too. I’m not real great at consistently giving lessons, but I do make the kids practice- some do better than others, and my oldest has done amazing!!

I mentioned my beloved planner!! I have been using it consistently for 2 1/2 years now and I still love it- it keeps me focused! It helps easily distracted people like myself! Here’s the link, link and link on amazon and here’s the link to learn more on my website.

And if you are interested in publishing your own workbooks and books, even children’s books, having your kids make a book to sell on amazon- here’s the link. Getting the formatting right can be tricky, but it’s really not that hard to figure out! I would be happy share with you exactly what I did- just send me a message!

Connect with me on social media, I’d love to hear and see what is working for you and if I can help you in any way!! Let me know how you found me- I’d love to hear from you!

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Take care- happy homeschooling!


Amber is the mother of 8 kids ages 19 - 6 including 6 boys in a row and a set of twins. She has a lot of experience with homeschooling, parenting, getting kids to do their chores, cleaning and keeping it all organized. She currently lives in France with the 6 boys- the oldest is on a mission for their church in Tahiti, and the next daughter is headed to college in January!