4 Reasons Why Children Don't Like to Read

4 Reasons Why Children Don't Like to Read

Why do we place so much value on reading as a culture but fail to raise a country of readers?

Read More

My Country 'Tis of Thee


My Country 'Tis of Thee

I’m always struck by how often so many authors, prior to the late 20th century, mention a Supreme Creator.

The great minds in our history, in fact, always referred to a “first cause” (God) including Aristotle, Shakespeare, Dante, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, and Fyodor Dostoevsky to name a very few.

This isn’t about religious fanaticism, either, as none of the aforementioned were fanatics. It’s about a drastic change in the discourse that’s altered the mood of our country. Not for the better, if you ask me.

Well aware that the opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds; that Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint...
— Thomas Jefferson

Suddenly, almost overnight, God has been dropped from the conversation. I’ve watched this change take place during my little more than half a century of existence.

Why? How did we change from a country whose normative belief acknowledge a Supreme Rule in its national discourse to the secular-minded, thinking people we've become today?

Times have changed, yes, but I’m talking about a worldview paradigm that existed since forever, and in a matter of years it's been quickly replaced with a new paradigm that's diametrically opposed to it!

Our national discourse is secular. Our schools are secular. Our literature is secular. Our government is secular. 

As the Supreme Ruler of the Universe has seen fit to bestow upon us this glorious opportunity, let us decide upon it–appealing to him for the rectitude of our intentions–and in humble confidence that he will yet continue to bless and save our country. John Hancock
— John Hancock

What happened?

In a country that honors religious freedom, I can understand why we don't have a national religion, nor do I think we should, but to remove God altogether and in such a short time? 

It doesn't make any sense.

When I was young, we began our school days by singing one of America's national anthems:

My country, 'tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims' pride,

From ev'ry mountainside

Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,

Land of the noble free,

Thy name I love;

I love thy rocks and rills,

Thy woods and templed hills;

My heart with rapture thrills,

Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,

And ring from all the trees

Sweet freedom's song;

Let mortal tongues awake;

Let all that breathe partake;

Let rocks their silence break,

The sound prolong.

Our fathers' God to Thee,

Author of liberty,

To Thee we sing.

Long may our land be bright,

With freedom's holy light,

Protect us by Thy might,

Great God our King!

Did you notice who was mentioned throughout?

We've moved into the era of the progressive almighty individual with disastrous results. Let it all hang out has been the country's motto since the 1960's.

a punk with tatoos.jpg

And look where we are now! 

  • Broken families

  • Massive debt (once considered a sin deserving of “debtor’s prison”)

  • Mental illnesses on the rise, even in our young

  • Addiction to alcohol and recreational drug use

  • Declining literacy

  • A dumbed-down public discourse that’s crude and vulgar

And the list goes on. But we can do things differently, do them in a way that’s in harmony with the natural order. We can raise our children to think and behave in more wholesome ways.

By homeschooling our children, we have a better chance of teaching them manners, teaching them right from wrong; and teaching them that this road does end and the life they have is the road.

I think Thomas Jefferson would agree.

I'll defer my last point to the great educator, Charlotte Mason who expressed it better than anyone else:

The wonder that Almighty God can endure so far to leave the making of an immortal being in the hands of human parents is only matched by the wonder that human parents can accept this divine trust with hardly a thought of its significance.
— Charlotte Mason

The Smart Homeschooler Academy offers its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home. Join the waiting list for the next course launch in late fall, 2019.

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 

How to Homeschool When You’re Drowning in a Crisis

How to Homeschool When You’re Drowning in a Crisis

While you want to adhere to your homeschooling schedule, there are times when trying to stick to it is worse than embracing the unpredictable.

Read More

What Kind of Parents Homeschool?!

family sand.jpg

Many kinds of parents homeschool; there's really nothing that stands out as a common trait amongst homeschoolers, but most of us share similar concerns and values.

Homeschoolers are usually in agreement that we want our children to have a good education, and we know it's unlikely to happen in public school.

Not the kind of education we're thinking of anyhow.

Who can take the measure of a child? The Genie of the Arabian tale is nothing to him. He, too, may be let out of his bottle and fill the world. But woe to us if we keep him corked up.
— Charlotte Mason

We want our children to not only read well but to enjoy reading. To choose a book to read over a movie to watch. Not that they never watch movies, but lying in bed with a good book is something they look forward to.

Reading competently, writing skillfully, and speaking eloquently are skills most homeschoolers want to make sure their children possess.

That their children become life-long learners in pursuit of knowledge is also a concern most homeschoolers share. With studies showing that by first grade a child's innate thirst for knowledge of his world begins to wane, homeschoolers want to fiercely protect their child's curiosity.

A curiosity without which true greatness is difficult to achieve.

Homeschoolers want their children to enjoy learning for the sake of learning, not for rewards or test scores. They don't want their children subjected to arbitrary tests that serve to sort and rank them amongst their peers.

The lesson of report cards, grades and tests is that children should not trust themselves or their parents but should instead rely on the evaluation of certified officials. People need to be told what they are worth.
— John Taylor Gatto

Instead, they want their children to know that with hard work and perseverance most things are possible, and that test scores are no indication of a person's ultimate worth.

With the loss of a good environment and character training in schools, homeschoolers want to protect the integrity of their children. They want to raise them in an environment that raises them up, not brings them down.

When I was in school, the negative influences were outside the classroom, but that's not true anymore. Children are being taught some pretty inappropriate things inside those four walls.

Over the 17+ years that I've been working in education, those of us working in the trenches aren't just offering alternatives anymore. We are flat-out telling you to get your children out of the system.

It's time.

girl speaking.jpg

It is time we squarely face the fact that institutionalized schoolteaching is destructive to children.
— John Taylor Gatto

Until public schools can offer a better alternative; homeschooling is the way to go.

Fortunately, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. We need to pull together though and help each other because many women have to work. The good news is that with so many people able to work remotely now, homeschooling is becoming possible for more and more families.

Speaking of families, another thing you'll find is that homeschooling preserves the natural loyalty of a family and homeschoolers tend to be closely-knit. In public school, children learn to be loyal to their peers. I know, because it happened to me.

After my mother passed, my older sister told me that the reason my mother paid extra attention to our youngest brother was because, according to what she had told my sister, every time another child of hers went off to school, they were never quite the same towards her.

She was determined to make sure it didn't happen with her youngest child as it had with her previous six.

The curriculum of “family” is at the heart of any good life. We’ve gotten away from that curriculum – it’s time to return to it.
— john taylor gatto

It pained me to hear this; it still does. Once you develop the loyalty to your peers that public school is so notorious for fostering, it's hard to undo. Most of us aren't even aware it's there. I know I wasn’t.

We don't need studies to tell us why homeschooled families are closer-knit because it's obvious that you become close to the people you spend time with, and homeschooled families spend a lot of time together.

In contrast, public-schooled children spend a lot of time with peers, and then they go home to do homework. There isn't much time left for the family.

With more and more families homeschooling, I'm looking forward to the positive changes we'll see in our country in the coming years.

And no matter what kind of parent you are, you can choose to take part in this revolutionary shift in the way we educate our young.

Let the revolution begin!

The Smart Homeschooler Academy is now open for enrollment with its signature course: How to Give Your Child a Private-School Education at Home. Enrollment is now open through May 8th!

Elizabeth Y. Hanson combines her training in holistic medicine, parenting coach certificate, plus 17+ years working in education to provide you with a unique approach to raising and educating your children.

A veteran homeschooler herself, she now has two homeschooled children in college. 

How to Homeschool on a Budget (and make some money too)

How to Homeschool on a Budget (and make some money too)

Thinking of homeschooling but not sure you can afford it? Here’s a few ways you can save money and earn money while homeschooling.

Read More

Some People Will Never Understand Why You Homeschool and That's Okay

Some People Will Never Understand Why You Homeschool and That's Okay

The disapproving glances. The unsolicited advice. The warning by unhappy family members and friends that you're going to ruin your child if you homeschool.

Read More

How Do You Teach Your Children to Love Learning?

How Do You Teach Your Children to Love Learning?

It’s not difficult to knock the curiosity out of a child.

Read More

Rote Learning Is a Bad Word!

Rote Learning Is a Bad Word!

A common practice of any serious scholar since time immemorial, rote learning has received an undeservingly bad rap in the postmodern Western world.

Read More

The Homeschooling Morning Ritual

The Homeschooling Morning Ritual

The morning can swallow your time if you don't have a ritual in place especially when you’re homeschooling.

Read More

Eating Your Way to Civility: 6 Dinnertime Tips for Raising Children With Good Character

Eating Your Way to Civility: 6 Dinnertime Tips for Raising Children With Good Character

Dinnertime is a prime time to have meaningful conversations with your children and guide them in the right ways.  Here are six tips and strategies you can use to optimize the benefits of eating together.

Read More

How to Put Dinner on the Table Every Night Without Fail

How to Put Dinner on the Table Every Night Without Fail

A home without family meals is missing a vital ingredient. That’s why I’ve put together 9 easy steps to mealtime planning to guarantee your dinnertime success.

Read More

The Perfect Parenting Crime

The Perfect Parenting Crime

I witnessed the perfect parenting crime the other night.

Read More

7 Secrets Every Smart Homeschooler Knows

7 Secrets Every Smart Homeschooler Knows

Here are a few maxims that successful homeschoolers understand.

Read More

When Children Hear the Sound of a Rifle, They Miss the Song of the Bird

When Children Hear the Sound of a Rifle, They Miss the Song of the Bird

Time in nature is not leisure time. It’s an essential investment in our children’s health.

Read More

To Read or Not to Read Shakespeare with Your Children

To Read or Not to Read Shakespeare with Your Children

While some parents are exposing their children to Shakespeare at early ages, it might not be the wisest thing to do.

Read More

5 Reasons Why You Are Too Blessed to Be Stressed When Homeschooling

5 Reasons Why You Are Too Blessed to Be Stressed When Homeschooling

You can look at homeschooling in one of two ways: homeschooling is too stressful or homeschooling is a privilege.

Read More

A Three Season Recipe for Raising Happier Children

A Three Season Recipe for Raising Happier Children

"Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state."  

Read More

Why Every Parent Can and Should Teach Their Children Latin

Why Every Parent Can and Should Teach Their Children Latin

If you are homeschooling, or you have a child in school somewhere, you really should consider teaching your child Latin. It isn’t difficult to teach the beginning years, and I know from teaching children Latin that they thoroughly enjoy it.

Read More

What Do Moroccans Get About Children that We Americans Miss?

What Do Moroccans Get About Children that We Americans Miss?

A few things about the people I encountered the year I lived in Morocco left a lasting impression on me especially regarding their children.

Read More

Homeschooling Is a Better Investment for Your Family Than Gold

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 5.21.45 PM.png

One of the reasons I hear moms saying they don't want to homeschool is because they don't want to make the investment in their time that homeschooling requires. They believe they need more time for themselves. 

The passage of time is a fascinating phenomenon. Our minutes become hours; our hours, days; our days, weeks and then months and then years—but as time is passing us by, we tend to experience the passage of time as minutes and hours.

We don't think about the cumulative effect of these minutes and hours on the quality of our lives. We don't stop to think of what we'll have in ten or twenty years if we add them up. Instead of focusing on the big picture, we can get caught up in the demands of the moment and make short-term decisions that don't have long-term gains.

This is especially true when it comes to our children. 

Time is a brisk wind, for each hour it brings something new... but who can understand and measure its sharp breath, its mystery and its design?
— Paracelsus

Sometimes being a parent can be exhausting because no matter what you're doing, you've always got your family's needs to consider. But the time when your children are young passes, and it passes quickly, and looking back you see the years at a glance, and you've forgotten most of what the minutes, hours and even days felt like.

Which is why older people always tell younger people to enjoy their children while they're young. Childhood goes by like the blink of an eye, as the saying goes.

You blink once, and they're grown.

If you focused more on the years, if you keep the end in sight—the end being the amazing adults your children will grow up to become—you'll not feel so overwhelmed with what will be soon become forgotten, minor inconveniences. 

Especially if you're thinking about homeschooling.

You've got to keep things in perspective. Rather than focus on all the time you won't have for yourself, why not focus on the amazing family you're building and the great treasure you'll have when you're finished? 

A wholesome, loving family is a treasure—a better investment than gold—and when your children are grown you can both relax and reap the rewards of your hard work. Your treasure has been polished and its jewels are clearly visible. 

Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is a beautiful family. 


Homeschooling affords you the opportunity to better mold your children's characters and expose them to the world of ideas and knowledge. You will teach them to set the table and say "yes, please" and "no, thank you."

You will teach them to read, and you'll lay the foundation for their subsequent literacy. You will lay the foundation for people that give rather than take; for people that gladly serve others rather than suffer a sense of entitlement. 

Raising and educating your children well is far easier to do when you aren't having to counteract the negative lessons they are learning in school. Many public schooled children lose their natural curiosity, they don't love learning, and they could care less about ideas.

They just want to get out of "boring" school. The language and behavior on the school grounds is less than desirable, so one also has to battle the negative societal influences children are exposed to in public schools.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
— Frederick Douglass

At home, as you teach your children about such things as the stars in the sky and the tidal patterns of the oceans, on the contrary, you will encourage their natural curiosity and water their love of knowledge. 

You will give your children important gifts that gold could never buy: the love of learning, the importance of family, and the discipline to sacrifice immediate pleasures for hard-earned rewards.  Gifts that will accompany them through life and allow them to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives when they're grown. 

You will also strengthen the ties of your family, so it doesn't become fragile and begin to disintegrate like so many families in America today. 

While homeschooling may make you feel like you need more minutes in the day, with the right perspective you can defeat that sinking feeling. The minutes will soon be years, and your grown children will visit you one day, and the person they grow up to be will make you proud. 

Don't fret over not having enough time for yourself. One day you'll have too much time on your hands, and you'll wonder what to do with it. For now, focus on building the beautiful family you are blessed to have. 


Then later, when you look back through the eyes of an older person, and you are able to enjoy the company and activities of loving children and grandchildren, you'll know your time was well spent. 

A parent, when his or her children are grown, will never be heard to say, "I wish I had more time for myself when my children were young."

On the contrary, you'll hear them express regret at the things they never did with their children, and you'll hear them wish they could take time back. 

If you like this post and you're thinking of homeschooling, or you'd like to become a better homeschooler, please join the waiting list for my upcoming course: How to Homeschool the Smart Way.

You might also like my free download Ten Books Every Well-Educated Child Should Read.

For help now with homeschooling, please feel free to schedule a one-hour consultation with me (that's usually all you'll need) http://bit.ly/2GJAZEr