6 kids (5 boys, 1 girl);
27 years of parenting
14 years of homeschooling
1 public school graduate (2007);
2 home-school graduates (20011, 2015).
3 homes-schoolers to go,
just completed 2nd, 4th, and 8th grades.
We just finished our school year.
It happened to be long, a bit crazy, somewhat fun,
and full of many challenges as well as joy.
Seasons of Homeschooling
Year 1 & 2; classic boxed curriculum (Abeka)
Basically imitate the public school classroom by using texts and tests, desks and schedules.
It was great for beginning. Expensive had it not been gifted to me, but great to feel like I had everything covered.
Year 3; Unit studies
Teach on a particular topic and cover multiple subjects.
This was particularly a great boost to our morale.
It took more planning, but we learned more together as a group.
Year 4; Charter School
This was a crazy year for me as a mom.
We had 4 children, one on the way,
2 being homeschooled,
ran a full time daycare of 6 additional kids.
The Charter was nice; they provide the books and homework assignments one day a week, and the boys completed during the rest of the week. I soon realized I like having our own schedule and flexiblity, but we completed the year out as a commitment.
Year 5; Waldorf education
Specifically using Oak Meadow curriculum which provides structure of lessons while giving the student the flexibility to use various learning styles to implement their knowledge. Basically, to educate the head while reaching the heart and using the hands of a student. A holistic learning of sorts. It was a peaceful year of progress.
Year 6 & 7; Eclectic approach
Knowing what works but always thinking there is something better out there;
a little bit of this (unit studies)
with a little bit of that (Oak Meadows)
splashed with the other (SRA reading program)
Year 8; Charlotte Mason Method
Using rich literature and hands on activities in a calm learning environment.
Good books while introducing the beauty of life such as music (composers),
art (artists), poetry, nature studies, and even foreign language.
Loved this year. Slow, steady studying that created thinkers.
Year 9 (through 14); Classical learning splashed with some Charlotte Mason flair
This was the year I discovered The Robinson Curriculum.
To read, write, and do math…well
Self-led learning at its finest.
This has worked well for us, so I don’t change from it.
RC mornings of independent studies; read, write, math
Charlotte Mason style afternoons; group studies together as a family.
Added a special needs (6th grade) student to our days this year.
She was on the autism spectrum and happens to be one of the 6 kids I mentioned I did child care for up in year 4, although in reality I watched her from infancy til she entered public school, as well as her two younger siblings. We had a great year with her. I did her core studies with her and worked on social skills (yes, I know, sounds funny from a homeschool academy, but she thrived none the less), and she ended her school day with a special class at the local pubic school.
Co-schooled with a neighbor; This was new and a bit exciting.
My kids were 4, 7, 10, & 14; hers were 3 & 13.
At this point I was a seasoned homeschooler and she was a novice,
and it all worked out very well…
I provided the structure of reading, writing, and math;
she offered supplies, corrections, and hands on activities.
Year 12 & 13;
Same neighbor; began to homeschool a high school student.
I provided the structure, supplies, corrections,
spending one day a week at our house for guidance (and social outlet),
and she made sure he implemented the assignments as needed.
Year 14; yep, this finally completed year!
Added childcare and a preschool co op to our days.
Some things I loved, some things I’ll change.
Each year has been a blessing!
I’ve found a rhythm that works for my family, a curriculum we favor, a style we love…
but all in all, there is no perfect choice.
Steady consistency and a calm, caring environment is the biggest part of homeschooling success.
Homeschooling; where curiosity and knowledge collide.