97 episodes

Your prescription for happier, healthier homeschooling with Christian psychologist and veteran homeschooling mother of six, Dr. Melanie Wilson, who interviews experts on the issues that drive you crazy.

The Homeschool Sanity Show Melanie Wilson, PhD

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.6 • 104 Ratings

Your prescription for happier, healthier homeschooling with Christian psychologist and veteran homeschooling mother of six, Dr. Melanie Wilson, who interviews experts on the issues that drive you crazy.

    Why Charlotte Mason Would Love Grammar Galaxy

    Why Charlotte Mason Would Love Grammar Galaxy

    Do you love Charlotte Mason’s approach to education? This is the Homeschool Sanity Show, the episode where I explain why I think Charlotte Mason would approve of my unique approach to teaching language arts and why you might want to consider adding it to your studies this year.

    If you love a Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling, I’m not surprised. Charlotte thought education should be a lifestyle that should engage the whole person. She wanted children to appreciate nature and fine arts. And she wanted them to have a love of learning.

    I wasn’t acquainted with Charlotte Mason’s approach when I created Grammar Galaxy, but I believe she would approve. I was motivated to create a new approach to teaching language arts, and grammar in particular, because my kids hated it. They begged me not to teach it. I didn’t understand this because I’ve always loved English. I started paying closer attention to the curriculum I’d used over the years and discovered the main reason my kids were so bored with it: it was taken out of the context of story.

    Grammar Galaxy uses story to teach

    The first reason I believe Charlotte Mason would approve of Grammar Galaxy is because it uses story to teach. Rather than a dry, textbook approach of stating that a noun is a person, place, or thing, the nouns in Grammar Galaxy begin disappearing. The king is able to get the nouns returned to planet Sentence, but they need help getting back to their homes. Students are guardians of the galaxy who help return the nouns to Person, Place or Thing Street where they live.

    The stories in Grammar Galaxy hold students’ attention and are far more memorable than textbook material. It is what Charlotte called a living book written by someone who is passionate about the topic. That’s me!

    Grammar Galaxy encourages fiction reading

    The second reason I think Charlotte Mason would approve of Grammar Galaxy is related. Charlotte wanted students to read fiction. Grammar Galaxy encourages daily reading in multiple genres and does not dictate which books are read. The emphasis is on developing a love of reading through print and audiobooks that appeal to students. We now know that reading fiction for enjoyment is the key to expanding students’ vocabulary—the best predictor of school and life success.

    Grammar Galaxy can be used with narration

    The third reason I believe Charlotte Mason would approve of Grammar Galaxy is how well it lends itself to narration. At the end of each story are some questions to check for comprehension. A great follow-up for Charlotte Mason homeschoolers is for students to retell the story orally. This rehearsal will allow you to check for thorough understanding and will allow your student to better retain the information.

    Grammar Galaxy includes copywork, dictation, and journaling

    The fourth reason I think Charlotte Mason would approve of Grammar Galaxy is its inclusion of  copywork, dictation, and journaling lessons. These practices are known to improve students’ handwriting, grammar, spelling, and even enjoyment of writing. Free, monthly language arts calendars sent to subscribers frequently include additional copywork and writing exercises.

    Grammar Galaxy uses short lessons

    • 6 min
    Your Top Parenting Questions Answered

    Your Top Parenting Questions Answered

    Do you wish you could ask a Christian homeschooling psychologist a parenting question? This is The Homeschool Sanity Show, the episode where I answer the most common parenting questions I receive.

    Hey, homeschoolers! Most of the questions I've received in my personal and professional life center around parenting. As a parent myself, I understand that. We live in an age that has parents terrified of making mistakes and being blamed for any and everything that can go wrong in their children's lives. Apart from that fear, we have the earnest desire to love and teach our children well.

    While I didn't begin this podcast or my time as a speaker thinking I would focus on parenting, I have found that I enjoy answering these questions. My prayer is that you'll have some of your questions answered in this episode. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to send them my way via email (melaniephd@gmail.com) or on social media messages (@homeschoolsanity). I am happy to respond individually.

    So, let's jump in to six of the most popular questions I've answered over the years.

    #1 Am I disciplining the right way?

    This question comes after an explanation of a child's problem behavior and a description of what the parent has done to address it that has improved the behavior.

    The short answer to this question is YES. If you are responding to a child's behavior problem in a way that is working, albeit imperfectly, then yes, you are disciplining the right way. I haven't had to say no to this because no parent has ever described an abusive response with this question and no parent has said, "And I just ignore the problem behavior."

    The other reason my answer is yes is because you're the authority on whether or not a disciplinary approach is working and appropriate for your family. I once fell for the lie that I couldn't be trusted to know the best approach for each of my kids, just as I thought I couldn't be trusted to know the best way to homeschool my kids. I thought I needed an expert to tell me. I didn't and you don't. If what you're doing is working and it feels right to you, continue on. If it's making things worse or you feel guilty about it, try something new.

    #2 How can I discipline when my spouse isn't on board?

    The truth is most parents don't phrase this in the form of a question. They say, "I CAN'T discipline because my spouse isn't on board." My answer is that it's ideal to have you and your spouse on the same page with discipline. But it isn't necessary for you to discipline in a way that works and feels good to you. Any time our kids aren't with us and under our authority, they will likely be dealing with a different disciplinary approach. Outside teachers, coaches, grandparents, babysitters, and divorced or separated parents are probably not going to be on the same page with discipline. Of course, that doesn't mean we throw up are hands in despair and drop discipline entirely.

    It is always worthwhile to discuss discipline with your spouse when you have different ideas about how to approach it. But in these discussions our number one focus has to be humility. That is true even when your spouse is making what you think are obvious mistakes. Let's consider a common scenario. You want to calmly use specific consequences for misbehavior, but when the kids act out, your husband yells instead. Instead of lecturing your husband about the negative effects of yelling and his need for self-control, dig deeper during a quiet discussion. Find out what is driving his frustration.

    It's possible it has little to do with the kids' behavior.

    • 18 min
    Can Your High Schooler Homeschool Themselves?

    Can Your High Schooler Homeschool Themselves?

    Have you ever wondered if it's possible (or legal) for your high school student to homeschool themselves? This is The Homeschool Sanity Show -- the episode where guest Karla Marie Williams answers our questions about self-directed homeschooling.

    Karla Marie Williams has been a guest on this podcast before. She's the author of multiple books, an international speaker, and a global advocate for children and families. She is also the President of BeBold Publishing, a publishing company that launches inspirational books, journals, and courses to impact moms around the world. I was curious about one of her recent titles Unschool Urself 4 Teens, so invited her back to chat about it. I was newly inspired and I know you will be too.

    Unschooling for Lifelong Learning

    Unschooling is a type of homeschooling that emphasizes student-led learning and learning through everyday life experiences. In this podcast episode, Melanie Wilson interviews Karla Marie Williams, an experienced unschooling parent and author of several books on homeschooling and unschooling.

    Williams emphasizes the importance of setting annual goals for unschooling children and building a deep, layered understanding of topics through a variety of resources such as books, online classes, mentors, and real-life experiences. She also recommends keeping a journal to record a child's learning journey and using pictures as evidence of their learning. This journal can be an excellent resource for creating transcripts when it comes time for college applications.

    Williams encourages parents to be confident in their child's learning, reminding listeners that learning does not have to look one way and that unschooling does not look the same way for each child. She also emphasizes the value of unschooling education for post-secondary education, as colleges and universities are recognizing the value of an unschooling education, especially for students passionate about specific areas.

    Overall, unschooling is a lifestyle of lifelong learning that allows children to pursue their passions and interests while building a broad, deep understanding of various topics. With the right resources and mindset, unschooling can lead to success in post-secondary education and beyond.

    Resources for Teen Unschooling



    Unschooling episode Unschooling Teens episode

    Find links for more of Karla's book here. Have a happy homeschool week!

    • 33 min
    Why You Don’t Have To Homeschool The Best Way

    Why You Don’t Have To Homeschool The Best Way

    Have you spent a lot of time trying to determine the best way to homeschool like I have? This is The Homeschool Sanity Show--the episode where I will argue that trying to homeschool the best way may not give you homeschool sanity.

    Listen to the podcast

    Hey, homeschoolers! Last episode, I talked about why you don't have to get caught up. This episode I'll share why you don't have to homeschool the best way.

    Trying to homeschool the best way may not give you the homeschool sanity you crave. Instead, assess the options in light of:

    * your personality

    * your kids' needs

    * your circumstances

    You Don't Have to Dress Your Best podcast episode

    How to Be Happy & Homeschool Too

    Have a happy homeschool week!

    • 24 min
    Why You May Not Need To Get Caught Up

    Why You May Not Need To Get Caught Up

    It's the end of the traditional school year here and you may be trying to get caught up before summer. This is The Homeschool Sanity Show--the episode where I'll give you permission to stop trying.

    I cover three key steps to abandoning the quest to get caught up:

    * Ask yourself how behind you really are

    * Ask yourself how important it really is to get caught up

    * Start fresh

    5 Ways to End the Endless Game of Catching Up

    Checklist for completing this quarter (a fresh start)

    Have a happy homeschool week!

    • 17 min
    How To Teach Leadership Skills At Home

    How To Teach Leadership Skills At Home

    Have you intentionally taught leadership skills in your homeschool? Have you wondered how to do that as a homeschool parent? This is the Homeschool Sanity Show, the episode where my guest shares practical tips for training young leaders.

    This Week's Homeschool Sanity Guest

    Hey, homeschoolers! My guest for this episode is Clara Stacko. Clara is a homeschool mom and bilingual native Spanish speaker who has taught Spanish to homeschoolers for more than a decade. She offers Spanish classes on her website SimplyTeachingSpanish.com.

    Clara and I discussed the importance of teaching leadership skills, how we should think about teaching these skills to kids who aren't natural leaders, and some practical ideas for learning leadership as homeschoolers. I hope you come away with new inspiration.

    Leadership Skills at Home Resources


    4-H - https://4-h.org/

    CHICK-FIL-A LEADER ACADEMY – https://chickfilaleaderacademy.com

    TOASTMASTER YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAM - https://www.toastmasters.org/education/youth-leadership-program

    Have a happy homeschool week!

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

SydneeRM ,

We all need sanity

As a mom considering homeschooling my littles, I’ve been diving into these podcasts lately, and I love how uplifting this one is! It makes me feel like it’s definitely something my family can handle.

Clara @Simply Teaching Spanish ,

Inspirational and full of wisdom

I’ve enjoyed listening to your podcasts as you offer a lot of wisdom. I especially enjoyed listening to How to Combat Loneliness As a Homeschool Mom. You offered a lot of great suggestions as to how to make friends. I especially liked the one about reaching out to retired homeschool moms. This is something I’ve considered doing just recently. Thanks for the suggestions!

picklesmama ,

Resource and Inspiration Filled Podcast!

Dr. Melanie Wilson gives families such encouragement and so many resources for their homeschooling journeys! What a great podcast!

Top Podcasts In Kids & Family

Dr. Becky Kennedy
American Public Media
That Sounds Fun Network
National Geographic Kids

You Might Also Like

Pam Barnhill
Pam Barnhill
Amy Roberts
Pam Barnhill
Sarah Mackenzie
Durenda Wilson

More by Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

Sue Meyer
Israel Wayne
Felice Gerwitz
Hal Young and Melanie Young
Jean Burke
Andy and Kendra Fletcher