Reading, Writing, and Making Connections: Homeschooling High School English (with Betsy Farquhar)

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The only thing better than being excited about books on your own is getting to chat with someone who is as excited about reading as you are. So it’s no wonder I loved this conversation with Betsy Farquhar! Betsy demystifies the process of reading and discussing literature with your homeschool high school students, and shares the most important aspect of quality writing. Whether you’re a mom who can’t wait to teach high school English or a mom who is terrified by the idea, you’ll find lots of tips and help in this conversation!

Be sure to check out all the other interviews in our Homeschool Conversations series!

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Who is Betsy Farquhar?

Betsy is the Managing Editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of book darts and willfully dog ears pages even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George MacDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. She currently lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest, but they are in the midst of transitioning back to the South where she and her husband both grew up.

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Watch my Homeschool Conversation with Betsy Farquhar

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Amy Sloan: Hello friends today I am joined by Betsy Farquhar. Betsy is the managing editor at Redeemed Reader. When she reads ahead for you, she uses sticky notes instead of bookmarks and willfully dogears pages, even in library books. Betsy is a fan of George McDonald, robust book discussions, and the Oxford comma. Hear, hear.

She currently lives with her husband and their three children in the beautiful Northwest, but they are in the midst of transitioning back to the south where she and her husband both grew up. In fact, when you are listening to this, they will already be in the south, Lord willing, so back on my side of the country. Betsy, could you tell us a little bit about your family and how you guys got started homeschooling?

Betsy Farquhar: Sure. My husband is a electrical engineer and he works for the national labs. We have three teenagers, my twin boys will be 15 in just a couple of days from this conversation and my daughter will be– She is 16. She’ll be almost 17 when this comes out.

We both love school. My husband has continued to teach at a university the whole time he’s been in the national lab system and I was a school teacher and a school librarian. We love school. We go to school for fun at our house and we assume that was the plan for our children, so we started with them in a Christian school and I was teaching. This was when we were in Tennessee and then the Lord moved us to Washington state midyear.

We had assumed we’d put them in a Christian school in our community, but we didn’t sell our house in Tennessee and I would not be working at the new school in the middle of the school year. The dollars just didn’t add up, so our big entrance into homeschooling was, we could do it for a semester. It can’t be that hard. I’m a teacher, so with about a week’s notice, we dived in and seven years later, we’re still homeschooling. [laughs]

From temporary homeschooler to homeschooling teens

Amy: That is amazing. Okay. I’ve got to hear how you went from just basically get from Point A to Point B as a transition period…how did you get from there to now homeschooling three teenagers, how is your perspective or approach to homeschooling grown over the years?

Betsy: Well I’ve been a Charlotte Mason fan since before I was even married and that had shaped where we’d put our kids in school anyways, they were in a university model school for part of their early elementary. They were already at home part of the time, so moving to full-time homeschooling, we just made what we were already doing for life, education at the same time just a little bit more intentionally and we loved it.

We realized this is really a great fit for our family. We have easy kids to homeschool, they’re good students. They’re so close in age that we can do an awful lot together and so we really just delighted in learning about our new state, exploring it together, it gave us the freedom to travel home at random times of the year, which was actually a pretty significant benefit because since our family’s all in the Southeast and we were across the country, it was a lot more financially affordable to go in the middle of February than at Christmas and things like that. It just became what we did. It was great and I love high school so the fact that my kids are now in high school, is super exciting. [laughs]

Amy: The high school years are really fun because you start seeing your kids have their own unique ideas and sometimes I don’t even know where that came from, but I love seeing them just become their own unique individuals and all the growth and fun discussions and inside jokes that have developed over time.

Betsy: Oh definitely.

english writing reading high school Betsy Farquhar head shot homeschool conversations

Homeschool Challenges

Amy: Well it’s a beautiful thing, but sometimes homeschooling is also challenging. Have there been any challenges that you’ve faced over the years of homeschooling and how have you sought to overcome those?

Betsy: I think for us, for me as the educator or the primary educator, the biggest challenge is what to cut because I want to teach it all, so that’s been a challenge.

I think it’s been a challenge to meet social needs, especially we’re coming off two years of the pandemic, and we have been in a state that’s had some pretty significant restrictions on social activities, and that’s been a real challenge as my teens have become teenagers and some of the activities they were hoping to stay engaged in have just shifted or even gotten canceled. That’s been a real challenge.

Amy: Yes, I think we are so quick to have our guard up if somebody brings up the socialization question, but sometimes we forget the flip side of it, that there are times and seasons whether external pressures that were outside of our control, the past couple years, or just sometimes the makeup of the families with whom you’re in contact. I have some children who have tons of people their same age and gender, and other people who really are more isolated, and that’s no one’s fault.

It’s just part of the Providence of the situation but we do have to be a lot more purposeful, and aware of our kids’ needs. To say that is not to say homeschooling is a problem, socialization’s the problem, but it’s good to just remember it can be a real thing to be aware of and include in our purposeful plans.

Betsy: Absolutely. Sometimes that might be a co-op for my kids. They’re very musical so orchestra’s been a big part of our social community, but it has shifted and changed as they’ve gotten older and we either need to equip them all with a car and a license or I need to be willing to drive them to their things.

Amy: Yes, it is nice now that my oldest has a license, so he was able to drive his sister up to see a friend of theirs profession of faith a few weeks ago. Oh, I don’t have to drive an hour both ways! That’s great.

Along with the challenges. of course, homeschooling has all these blessings and benefits, and you mentioned just the flexibility of schedule when you lived far away from family. Have there been any other things that have been a special favorite parts of homeschooling?

Betsy’s favorite “Snickers block” in the homeschool week

Betsy: Easily my favorite part, this started four or five years ago for us and we called it the Snickers block in our week because we had candy, but it’s the end of the week. It’s one of the last things we do for the week.

Those who are in the Charlotte Mason world, I think will recognize this, but there’s a lot of little books that we read that don’t fit into a subject neatly. A good example is Ourselves by Charlotte Mason. It’s about character, your character, and knowing yourself, and it just doesn’t fit into another subject.

At the end of the week we have this block, we now call it Life 101, and we just pulled all those little strands together, but it just became so much more than that. It became our little synthesis moment for the week and we’ve connected the dots from the Avengers to the American Civil War.

We’ve talked about Weird Al and Amish Paradise while we’re also talking about humility, it’s just been so fun to watch all the little random connections of our life collectively and even their individual pursuits come together in one big conversation. It’s been a great way to connect, especially as they’ve gotten older and they’re reading things that maybe we’re not always reading together so just rich conversation, it’s been great.

Amy: I love that. I love all the connections that we can make when we are homeschooling because there’s all these different, both bigger subjects and sometimes just those little random things, and to see them all coming together and especially to see my own kids, making the connections that I’m not making for them is just such a delight, I think.

Betsy: Well, and you can’t script it. It’s not I wrote into a lesson plan, “Connect this to a Weird Al song.” That wouldn’t have even crossed my mind.

What are good homeschool high school English goals?

Amy: I love it. Okay, I want to ask you some questions, especially related to homeschooling high school and English because you’re right there in the trenches, and you also have experience as a teacher in those subject areas. I feel you have both sides of perspective to bring to this conversation.

I think a lot of times moms can get a little nervous when we think about homeschooling high school in general. For some moms, the English can feel really overwhelming because maybe they don’t feel they have a good background either in literature or in writing and they’re not really sure where to start or what even their goals should be.

I thought we could just start first, really big picture. What should our goals be for the high school years when it comes to English, are there things that should be our goals for any student or might there be goals that differ from individual to individual?

The Ultimate Goal of English Class

Betsy: I’m going to cheat a little bit because my big goals for English are the same for all of my classes and that would be love God and love my neighbor.

But I do think English feeds into that a little bit specifically, because God communicates to us through the Written Word. We have an added impetus to learn how to handle the written word correctly. We will read the Bible better, if we are better readers. We will handle our own communication more winsomely and with more elegance in imitation of the Lord and his creativity, if we know how to do that better.

I think that’s helpful to keep in mind our goal. Our ultimate goal is not college admissions or rocking the SAT. Ultimately, it’s to love God and enjoy him forever.

There’s no required reading list in the Bible. There’s an awful lot of freedom in that goal. [chuckles] Then I think we– Of course, that’s the overall goal.

What are we preparing them for?

Then we look at our students, and we look at what are they hoping to do? What sorts of gifts and abilities has the Lord given them? What are we helping prepare them for in terms of the next step?

If they’re college-bound, that’s going to dictate a little bit of what you choose to study. If you think they’re headed more towards a vocational route, then you maybe have a little bit more freedom to choose something a little bit different. If they’re strong readers, if they’re weak readers, all of those things are going to go into what you choose to do for your English.

We want to take them where they are, encourage them and train them progressively right to the next step. Not so much reaching an end product as moving from where we are now, and continuing to grow. It’s pretty vague. [laughs]

Amy: No, I love that. I love that perspective of what we’re really aiming for here. Because we can get all distracted and stressed out, what’s going to look like on the transcript? What are people going to think about our reading list or whatever? We forget what’s ultimately important. That’s a short-term goal, right? Long term, we want to raise adults, we want to have these humans who can read the Word of God, who want to read it, and who can understand it well on their own, and who can communicate to those around them.

Right now I’m reading– it’s over on my shelf, I can’t reach it. Also, I can’t think of the book title. It’s a book by Leland Ryken, about reading the Bible as literature. As I’ve been reading it, it’s my Sunday book. As I’ve been reading, I’ve been thinking how much the two things interact together. The better you are at reading literature, the easier you’re going to find it to apply those skills to the Bible. On the flip side, the more you’re just inundated and your mind is saturated with the way God communicates in scripture, that better you’re going to actually be able to read other books, it goes both ways. I think that’s a huge gift that we have as homeschoolers being able to really prioritize that in our homes.

Betsy: Definitely.

english writing reading high school Betsy Farquhar head shot homeschool conversations

How do we choose the best books for our homeschool English course?

Amy: Okay, we just said, there’s not this perfect ordained-by-God book list. The mom’s like, “That’s helpful.” Not really, because I actually have to decide what we’re going to read this year. How do we look ahead at the year and think about what would be some of the best books to include in our literature plan? You brought up earlier the finiteness, being able to cut things, there are too many books, we can’t read them all. What is a mama to do here?

Betsy: Well, some of this is going to depend on what kind of English course you want to teach. If you’re looking at a survey course, like American literature, or British literature, then you’re looking at more broad than deep. You can cover more work, because you’re not going to be annotating every novel you read.

If your purpose is more how to study literature, then you might pick fewer works, and really get to a granular level, look up all the allusions, study them. That would be one thing to keep in mind.

We just did American literature, we’re finishing that up. I wanted it to be a survey course. I wanted there to be a pretty broad representation of time periods. I wanted male and female authors, I wanted this range of styles. That’s a pretty tall order. There’s an awful lot of things that were written in America in 400 years.

From there, I narrowed it to what were some of the themes that I wanted us to dive into. One of those was what has the American dream meant in the past 400 years. You’re wrestling with these sorts of goals first.

The other thing I keep in mind is I need some books that are hopeful.

If you look at the AP Literature lists are the standard, you can find book lists that are recommended all over the internet. That’s not a bad place to start. Especially if you see the same titles popping up over and over and over. Maybe a number of Christian curriculum committees are also mentioning, the same authors. That’s a great place to start.

Then when I look at my list, I don’t want all of my books to be tragedies. I don’t want them all to be dark. That’s a wonderful privilege I have. [laughs] I picked books that weren’t all death and despair and darkness.

We picked Huckleberry Finn, but I think that book needs some special handling. We read the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass right beforehand because I felt like they talked to each other. Well, they both had some pretty profound things to say, they don’t hide injustice. They don’t end on a note of despair either. That’s how I approach it.

I also start with what I love, because you’re going to be a better teacher if you’re teaching something you know and love. Everybody has something they can start with. Start with what you know and what you love. What do you want to introduce to your son or daughter?

If you don’t know anything, say you’ve never read British lit, you don’t know where to start? Well, pick something you want to learn about. You will bring your student alongside. Maybe you’ve never read Jane Eyre. I never read Jane Eyre till I was older than 40. Had my children been old enough, I would have brought them alongside me. Let’s read this together. Start with what you want to know about and what you already know.

Amy: I love that. I think our enthusiasm as moms can really be a gift. It can be something that can be contagious, not always because our kids can also be their own people. Sometimes it can be contagious. It’s a good place to start. Now, have you taught all the same books to your teens altogether? Since they’re close in age, even though they’re different, I guess, official grades?

Betsy: I have, I think discussion is a really helpful part of reading through a book. We’ve always done the same books.

Amy: My teens have been in a great books class together. Two grades apart. The class ranges, it’s all high schoolers. I’ll sort of in that phase of learning where they can have discussions and think more deeply on some of these ideas, but not just like one grade and no, we don’t have to think of like it’s the 9th-grade English or 11th-grade English.

Betsy: Especially once you get to high school because most of what high schoolers are reading are adult books. They’re grown-up books.


Betsy: The Odyssey, there is no grade attached to The Odyssey or To Kill a Mockingbird, or it’s not a 9th-grade book or an 11th-grade book. It’s a great book.

Questions a homeschool mom can ask to facilitate literature discussion

Amy: That is such an important thing to remember. Well, as we’re reading these books, are there specific questions, we can ask our students to kind of draw out discussion or a deeper reading. If the mom hasn’t necessarily had the time to pre-read all of the books that she’s wanting to discuss with her students are there questions she can still ask to facilitate the conversation?

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Pick a favorite commonplace quote

Betsy: Oh, sure. I do sort of a two-fold approach, I ask my students to, and I say my students because I do have an extra student, that’s not my child this year. Of course, I’ve had students in the past.

I like them to pick out from whatever the week’s assignment is, you can call it a commonplace quote. Sometimes I just say pick your favorite sentence, your favorite part, something that stands out to you write it down in a journal, and do some sort of written response. Why did you pick that? Is it funny? Does it make you think about something?

Whatever, there’s no wrong answer here. That can be a really helpful place to start the conversation. I like to get together once a week and discuss what we’re reading and start with what they are interested in.

What if the author had done something different?

Then I like to follow it up with would it have been different if, say, Lizzy and Darcy didn’t get married? Or what if the author had described this character this way? Start asking questions about why the author did what they did and what the effect would be if it was different.

That’s a very non-threatening– I mean, there’s no wrong answer. It gets people to start thinking about the intentions behind the writing and what an author might be doing that’s really great.

How should the story end?

Before you get to the end of a book, you can ask people, how do you think it should end? Not how you want it to end, but how should the story end, and then you’re going to help them start to see that sometimes a good ending. It’s not always the happiest ending, but it might be a good ending. Then you can talk about how do we bring closure to these stories?

All of those kinds of open-ended questions, who’s your favorite character and why?

Make them articulate their opinions in words, they have to think about it that way.

Amy: That’s where having a couple of people together to have the conversation is probably helpful because they can bounce ideas off of one another and argue with each other and all that good stuff.

Who would you compare this character to?

Betsy: Well, and I’ve even asked who would you compare this character to? Whether it’s a movie or another book or some other story you’ve read or heard? What is this book remind you of? What is the story remind you of and then they’re going to start making connections and it might be Weird Al, but it might be Tolkien.

Amy: Hardly different.


How to teach writing to homeschool high schoolers

Amy: Okay, this is really delightful to think about reading these great books together and having conversations with our teens. Then what about writing? You’ve mentioned having a response to maybe a commonplace quote, I know that I had tried to help have my kids learn how to keep reading journals where they’ll write some response to what they’re reading. Then we start that when they’re very young with just some copy work, but then over time, they build up that muscle but what about, I don’t know, more academic writing, for lack of a better phrase, and what should we be prioritizing when we’re teaching this and how do we do it? What if the mom is like, I’m a terrible writer, how do I even go about this?

Betsy: Well, first of all, if you’ve not started academic writing before high school, no problem. There’s no need really to do academic writing before high school.

You can teach a format pretty quickly and most of academic writing is following a format. What you cannot teach quickly is how to think and how to have something interesting to say. That’s going to make any piece of writing automatically better. I’ve read really amazingly perfect essays in the sense of grammar and organization, but they were boring, they were not well written in terms of content.

Anytime you can have your kids expressing in writing something they’re just thinking about, responding to a piece of literature, or even just keeping a journal of what they’re thinking about. What movie did you see recently that was great? They’re getting practice putting their thoughts into words. It’s like speaking a different language and prompting those conversations, just pushing that a little bit further, what do you really think about that? Why do you think that this politician should have been elected instead of this politician or why did you like this part of your biology textbook?

The more they have something to say that’s interesting, the better their writing is going to be and then it’s really just a matter of connecting the dots. I know I’m making it sound like it’s “Duh, anybody can do it.” That’s not quite true, but putting something into the format of a five-paragraph essay, the format is not the complicated part, the complicated part is having something interesting to say, and knowing how to organize your thoughts.

Almost anything will work to that end but once you’re ready to write academically– I really love Wordsmith Craftsman by Janie Cheney. It’s certainly not the only writing curriculum and I didn’t use a writing curriculum when I was teaching in the classroom. Wordsmith Craftsman is written to the student and so it includes a lot of practical writing, and not just essay writing, and I really appreciate that. She goes through descriptive essay, persuasive, expository, there’s a whole bunch of different formats. They’re all slightly different but at their core, it’s somebody who has something interesting to say, and they’re organized in how they say it and they have a basic grasp of grammar.

It’s really not as complicated as people like to make it sound. Everybody should learn to do a research paper and there’s plenty of help online, or in any writing curriculum about how to do a research paper, but the nuts and bolts of a research paper or you go find what somebody has said about your topic, and then you include it in your own interesting thing to say. [laughs]

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Amy: I think that’s so helpful just to demystify the process because I think there can be this idea that oh high school writing or academic writing is this elusive thing that’s very fancy and hard to achieve and just remembering that the main goal is to communicate an original idea in a creative way, like the author’s voice, and that you can recognize. I can read something that any of my children have written, and I can tell who it is just because of their little flair that’s in the writing.

I love that and encourage that, because that’s what’s going to set their writing apart, but then it’s funny to me, sometimes we can get so stressed out about like, oh, no, I forgot to teach my kid MLA formatting, or whatever. That’s pretty easy. You can just go on Google and ask, where did the parentheses and the periods go? If your kid is pretty good at reading directions, they can probably figure that out for themselves.

Becky: That’s what I would tell my students, I would say, MLA, and depending on what they study in college, they might need to know APA or Chicago. It’s just learning to follow directions and to follow the conventions of whatever vocation or profession you’re in. Every profession is going to have some writing conventions and so it’s not about memorizing MLA format. It’s about writing appropriately for the situation that you’re in.

Amy: Yes knowing your audience, although hopefully, your audience is not going to want you to leave off the Oxford comma, because then we will have issues.


Becky: Hear, hear.

What Betsy is reading lately

Amy: Well, I think this is going to be just a calming conversation. I hope this brings some homeschool moms just a lot of peace and encouragement as they think about their high school writing and reading adventures. Here at the end, I’m just going to ask you the two questions I’m asking everyone this season and the first is just what are you personally reading lately?

Betsy: Well, I’m not going to give you the whole list.


Becky: I’m always reading a lot of different things.

Amy: Especially with your work, get ready to read or your book list is probably incredibly long.

Becky: Yes, you combine homeschooling and Redeemed Reader, and there’s always a long list. My family, we love to listen to audiobooks in the car when we’re all together. I’ll give you three titles. We’re just about done with Dune because we all saw the movie and as a family, we’ve been listening to that together. That’s not a book I would have picked up on my own but I’m really glad to be reading it with my family.

It’s prompted some good conversations and more characters and more stories that we can bring into those future discussions. I always am reading aloud something to my kids and so right now I’m reading Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri. It’s not my first time to read this book, but I think it’s much better as a read-aloud. We are really enjoying it and I’m picking up a lot more because it’s just a slower pace when you read aloud you have to read every word.

Amy: Is this the memoir, where he’s writing of his life as a younger boy?

Becky: Yes. He immigrated from Iran and my husband has a friend who emigrated from Iran at about the same time, we’ve been trying to connect the dots, and we think they’re about the same age and so it’s been really interesting knowing this other man, and his mother, and then reading Daniel’s story about him and his mother and there’s a lot of similarities and that’s been really fascinating.

Amy: I was saying I heard that title recommended by Missy Andrews from CenterForLit, and was really excited and got it from the library but then I was talking to my local book club, ladies and we were planning out our year’s reading, and I was telling them about this title and we decided to save it for book club. I had to return it to the library because it’s going to be coming up later this year. I’m really excited to read that one. That sounds amazing.

Becky: It took me a long time to get into it when I was reading it on my own. My entire Redeemed Reader team was reading about it. I think I might have been the last person to read it and I was like, “What, I don’t get why they love this book.” It took probably 40 or 50 pages. It’s a very different writing style than I was used to but I’m so glad I read it and my kids are really enjoying it. It’s worth reading, definitely.

Amy: Well tell me your third title there.

Becky: I always have a book going at bedtime. I’m actually pre-reading this for next year, we’re going to do British literature. I guess when this is airing, we will be in the midst of British literature. I’m reading Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers. I know right? What a hardship. My kids, we’ve already read Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales and Pride and Prejudice. We have a lot of luxury going into a year of British literature to save some time at the end for some genre fiction and we’ve read a lot of Agatha Christie and a lot of other Sherlock Holmes. I feel like Dorothy Sayers is just going to be a really great treat at the end. I’ve not read Strong Poison. I’ve read Gaudy Night, excuse me and some of her others, but somehow I missed this one.

Amy: Oh, that is so fun Dorothy Sayers and all of her Lord Peter Mysteries are some of my favorites, for sure. If anyone listening has not checked her out, I highly recommend that you read some Lord Peter. In fact, I really love the collection of short stories as a recommendation if somebody’s just starting out. They’re really delightful. They’re really fun. If someone’s just trying to get into it, it’s a good place to start.

Becky: I’m glad you mentioned short stories, I meant to mention that earlier. That’s one of my favorite ways to introduce students to authors. We didn’t read The Scarlet Letter, we read a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. There are short stories by so many of these authors. If you’re really intimidated, just like you’re saying, a short story can be a great way to get to know an author’s style or just expose yourself to somebody who’s famous but maybe you can’t handle 400 pages of their famousness

Amy: There’s so many deep themes and ideas that you can bring out even from a very short story. My teen daughter just handed me this short story a few weeks ago, it was like you must read this. It was only I don’t know, like five pages long and we had printed it out from like online. A Jury of Her Peers. I don’t know if you’ve read that short story, but I read it and it would lead to so many fascinating conversations with my daughter and we’re making connections with Murder On The Orient Express and other things. It’s amazing how much can be found. It’s such a tiny little story, and I don’t feel like I know much about short stories, I feel like that’s probably a big gap in my own education.

Becky: They’re not hard to find. Any good literature anthology is going to have an assortment of short stories. That’s a fine place to start because they’re usually picking good ones. Even if you don’t like them, they’ll probably show you something about the author or there’s something significant about why it’s in that collection. That’s what I would recommend.

Betsy’s best tip for helping the homeschool day run smoothly

Amy: All right. Good tip. I’ll add that to my list of things to read [laughter] That never ends. Well, my final question Betsy, is just what would be your best tip for helping the homeschool day run smoothly?

Betsy: I have a little confession to make. You had sent me this question earlier, which was great, so I could think about it. I asked my children, my teenagers. I asked them individually, “Hey, what do you think has made our– What– When we have good homeschool days, what makes them great?” My daughter said yelling. I was like “Yelling? Is there a lot of yelling?” She’s like, “Well, no, but that could maybe– I don’t know.” She was being funny. Then I asked one of my sons and he said, “Slave labor.’ “What? I do not treat you like slave labor.” Then my third child said, “Your perfect children make the day go well.”

I though, “This is not helpful,” but then I decided, a sense of humor is pretty helpful. There are so many times where we just want to take ourselves a little too seriously, or our children are taking themselves too seriously. It’s good just to share some laughs and that might mean Calvin and Hobbes over lunchtime, right? It– Maybe you just have had an intense day and you all just need a little break. You enjoy some comics together or you play a card game and laugh, but something to kind of keep that sense of humor going. I think that goes a long way.

Amy: That is a really good reminder. Often we can just get in this super-serious mode, which a lot of times is from pride, right? Pride or fear. Either we won’t do everything and be the thing that we think we need to be. Or we think we’re doing great and we need everybody to perform at a certain level. Just humility and that ability to laugh at ourselves can bring a lot of peace, I think.

Betsy: [chuckles] Well, sometimes it’s not peaceful, but at least it’s funny. Right?

Amy: Yes. At least we’re laughing better than crying. [laughs]

Betsy: True. Always better than crying.

Amy: There’s just crying too.

Betsy: Math tears are a thing, right? There– Homeschool tears exist. [laughs]

Amy: Yes. There are no perfect homeschool families. That’s for sure.

Betsy: No, and it– I think it’s good to remember that nobody knocks it out of the park every day, right? Nobody teaches the perfect math lesson every time or reads the perfect book. No book discussion is going to go perfectly all the time.

Amy: Oh, yes. I also remind my older kids. I’m like, I’ve never done this before. I know you’ve never been a teenager before, but I’ve never parented a teenager before. I’m doing the best I can, but I don’t know much.

Betsy: We’re learning together.

Find Betsy Farquhar Online

Amy: Yes, indeed. Betsy, where can people find you all around the internet?

Betsy: Well, my most active home is Redeemed Reader. I’m really not very active on social media. I have a private Instagram account, but it’s pretty much limited to people I know in real life. Or have communicated enough with online that I feel like I know them in real life. Otherwise, Redeemed Reader is my happy spot. I spend an awful lot of time behind the scenes, as well as writing for and reviewing books for them.

Amy: I will have a link to that in the show notes for this episode, I’m so glad that your fellow Redeemed Reader, Megan recommended you to me as a guest. This has been fun to have you on today.

Betsy: Well, thanks for having me. It has been fun.

Amy: All right. Talk to you later.

Betsy: Okay.

Check out all the other interviews in my Homeschool Conversations series!

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