Home Education, Reviews

Free Online Piano Lessons with the Best Teacher Ever

About two years ago, I was searching for an inexpensive online piano lesson option for my son’s homeschool “specials” block. At the time, I was a busy homeschooling Mom, chasing an infant/toddler, plus expecting another blessing on the way. So the online option was our best route. A simple Google search guided me to what I call the best online piano school I have come across to date.

If you haven’t already heard of them, let me be the first to introduce you to Hoffman Academy! This online piano school offers fun and engaging one-on-one piano lessons, starting with the basics. Keep in mind that at this time, my son was only eight years old, so I figured I would have to sit by his side and do some extra explaining throughout the lesson (with what little I remember from taking lessons over 25 years ago)… but, he immediately caught on because of the easy-to-follow lessons. I was also shocked that Mr. Hoffman had him learning songs and concepts from the beginning! With over 160 interactive lessons and practice tasks, I never have to worry about my son getting bored with learning. I also don’t have to worry if he is actually learning.

The biggest kicker is this high quality music education is absolutely FREE (for the basic plan).

Let all the frugal homeschoolin’ mamas say YYAASSSSS!!! But hey, don’t let the words basic plan fool you. The basic plan offers a wealth of lessons that will have you thinking, are you sure this is free? YES! If you are interested in adding more to your kiddos piano learning experience with printable sheet music, worksheets, and interactive games – there is the option to upgrade to a Premium Plan, {which only costs $18 per month}. Can we still say inexpensive?!?!

We were super blessed to be gifted the premium plan for six months, and let me tell you – it’s worth. every. penny (and more)!

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Once you introduce your child to Mr. Hoffman, you’ll see why all of us parents who use his online piano school are amazed and grateful for finding such an amazing resource. Mr. Hoffman not only brings a Master’s in Music and studies of Early Childhood Education to the table, but he also has a contagious sense of humor and gentle teaching method.

I can relax knowing that my son looks forward to his music lesson every single day. Funny thing is we started out doing music specials once a week, but he begged to start doing it every day! I recommend Hoffman Academy for every parent, homeschooling or not, to try at least once. Then, you’ll see what all the rave is about this amazing (and FREE) online piano school!

CHIME IN: What are some {free} online options for filling in those special block in your homeschool schedule? Share in the comments!

PSST… Wanna get two months free? June 5th through June 25th, Students will save $30 when they sign up for a yearly membership during their Summer Break Sale!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the Huddlestons was not endorsed in any way for this review. This is simply a frugal homeschooling mama sharing an amazing homeschooling find and wants to spread the word!

Family: Marriage & Parenting, Home Education

5 Things Homeschooling Moms Wish Others Would Stop Saying to Them

It seems like yesterday when I started preparing for my first year of homeschooling… making sure I had the space decorated right, the curriculum and lesson plans in place, the supplies neatly organized, and the right mindset. In reality, we are actually wrapping up our fifth year! Wow!

Since the beginning of this journey, I have definitely heard my fair share of positive and negative comments about it. I don’t think people intend to be negative with their comments, suggestions, and questions. But when you are a new homeschooling mom, you may not know how to respond.

The 5 things homeschooling moms wish others would stop saying to them aren’t just for new homeschooling mom, but for the veteran, and the mom who hasn’t started yet. It doesn’t matter how long (or short) you’ve been homeschooling. You’ll most likely hear the following (and more) throughout your entire journey. The difference is how you let it affect you and how you respond…

1. I don’t see how you do it… I couldn’t do it.

People have no idea how much doubt this can create for the mom who has already battled the thoughts of not feeling qualified to teach their children at home. Before making the concrete decision to do it, I’m sure many of us would admit that we had the thought a thousand times… and it doesn’t stop at some magical year.

As the family dynamic changes, the children get older, the schoolwork load grows, and so on. Taking all of this into consideration, you can probably understand how , “I can’t do this” will cross the mind’s of even the most seasoned homeschooling mom.

Instead of saying the doubt-inducing “I couldn’t do it,” try saying something complimentary… like, “I commend you for doing it!” 🙂

2. Is that even legal?

Speaking in terms of people who have no intention of homeschooling, I’m fully convinced that this comment comes out of pure ignorance. And for that, I am willing to take a little time to explain that yes, it’s legal and it’s quite easy (especially in Kentucky). I honestly think people say things regarding to it being a legality issue because they truly don’t have anything else to say.

I’m sure most new homeschooling moms who start this path with no knowledge whatsoever have asked themselves this question as well. But once you start the journey, you quickly find out that yes, it’s legal in all fifty states. The difference is the level of requirements per state. I won’t get into all that here, but I do have some information about that here.

3. How do you know what to do?

This is another one of those cache 22 questions. Again, coming from the person who doesn’t plan on homeschooling, it can seem a little disheartening. It comes off in a way that suggests we have no idea what we’re doing. And you know what, sometimes we don’t! 😉

Seriously though, we figure out what to do as time progresses because there is a lot to figure out and things change over time. From understanding our child’s learning style paralleled to learning our personal teaching styles… not to mention, accommodating to teaching multiple kiddos in varying grades, and so on – you can see how it could become overwhelming, and fast! So as time goes on, we start to figure out just what to do! (But it takes time!)

4. I didn’t know people still did that!

As if homeschooling is some ancient of days practice… LOL! I never wondered if people still homeschooled, I wondered where the homeschooling families were. One quick search and groups, organizations, blogs, forums, etc. started coming out of the woods. Again, I charge comments like these to people’s head and not to their hearts because homeschooling isn’t something you see broadcast on the news or front page paper. But yes, people still do that! 🙂

5. Don’t you need a break from your kids?

Ask my husband this question, and you’ll get a response like this: “So, do you use public/private school to give yourself a break and babysit your kids?”

Keep in mind, I said ask my husband, and you’ll get that response, LOL! My answer is more along the lines of, absolutely I could use a break from time to time from life’s daily tasks… but, when I think about the blessings that come with my lifestyle, I wouldn’t trade it for the highest paying job or best vacations! My children are gifts from Yahweh, and in no way would I take that for granted!

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It’s no question that all homeschooling moms encounter some form of stress and resistance, but what we want more than anything is support from “outsiders” and fellowship from other moms who get it. Unless you are homeschooling (or have in the past), you have no idea what all comes with this journey. So, if you are one who is more apt to come with a negative input, comment, or question – try to remember that we are answering the call to teach our children at home, and with confidence. Try uplifting and encouraging us to walk this things out!

That’s also why my most recent book, Just for Today’s Homeschooling Mom, is packed full of tools, resources, encouragement, inspiration from other homeschooling moms, Scriptural tools, and a devotional. We desire these things, and we need one another. The journey isn’t always easy, but it is doable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Education

Homeschooling in Small Spaces: a peek at our “school area” plus FREE printables

Where are we going to actually “do school”? I don’t have an area big enough. I don’t know how to utilize my space. I want to set up a homeschool area but not sure where to start. I don’t want homeschooling to take over our living area.

These thoughts and questions are perfectly normal, and you are not alone if you’ve had any of them (or others not even mentioned). It comes with the journey… so don’t worry yourself mama! Hopefully I can help ease some of your organization stress by sharing how we homeschool in a small area, utilizing space that isn’t too overwhelming, but welcoming at the same time.

We are a family of five, soon to be six by December. Our home is right under 1000 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath. So when it comes to working with small spaces… trust me, I am there. Thing is, I have grown accustomed to our little duplex. I have learned to utilize the space we have and make the most of it.

This is our second year setting up an actual school area in one remote location. While we school all over the place, the kitchen is where we do most of our focused learning. The living room is the runner up, and our son’s bedroom comes in at third place. That’s the joy of homeschooling! You can school where ever you want…. but if you are looking to set a particular school area, may I encourage you to JUST DO IT!

You’ll see in the video below how I utilize the space in our kitchen. I love posters, drawer carts, and shelves. Be sure to snag the FREE PRINTABLES I talked about in the video too (just scroll past the video).

 

Here are the FREE PRINTABLES for you to print and use. Please do not share direct links to the PDF’s but please DO share this blog post so others can reap the benefits of all we offer:

Torah Portion Labels

Pocket Chart Labels

Life Skills Labels

Hebrew Word of the Week Labels

As an added bonus, here is a FREE PRINTABLE of bulletin board labels (these can also be found in the FREE PRINTABLES section of our Homeschool Corner):

DIY Bulletin Board Labels

 

CHIME IN: share your homeschool space, ideas, tips, and tricks!

 

Until next time, happy homeschooling-

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