homeschool-questions-answered

Homeschool Questions Answered by a Veteran Homeschool Mama

I have heard from so many of you over the past few weeks who are either still weighing school options or have decided to homeschool in the fall due to Covid-19 and its far-reaching effects. I am so excited for you! You are nervous and overwhelmed, excited and hopeful all at once. I get that. This is a huge life decision, and I want to support you in it as much as possible.

Let me start off by saying: You can do this. I’ll repeat: You CAN do this!

I’m a homeschooling mom of four (ages 15, 11, 6 and 3), who never planned to homeschool. We started when my oldest was in kindergarten and we’ve never looked back. We’re headed into our 11th year of home education and it truly just keeps getting better.

I put out a call on Instagram for your questions, and goodness you all delivered! So here is a VERY long post (like, ridiculously long) answering all the homeschool questions I received.

NOTE: It is very easy to be overwhelmed when starting this journey. There is SO much information out there. Please remember that this post is based on MANY years of homeschool experience, learning and tweaking along the way. Take your time. Enjoy the stage you’re in. You’ll figure it out as you go.

What homeschool method do you follow?

One of the most common questions new homeschoolers ask is ‘What homeschool philosophy do you follow?’ They want to know whether you’re a Charlotte Mason homeschooler; a Classical homeschooler; a TJed homeschooler; a School-at-Home homeschooler; and any other of a huge variety of options. While I felt the same way when I was beginning to homeschool our kids, I found that over time we’ve found our own groove. My goal is not to stick to one method of homeschooling strictly or exactly, my goal is to help each of my childred receive the education that is best for him/her.

If I had to choose one of the above methods of homeschooling I would say that we are eclectic Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. We use living books, we do copy work often but not daily, we do narration, we try to spend as much time outside as possible and we allow a lot of time for play and exploration. But we do not follow the Ambleside Online curriculum that most hard-core Charlotte Mason families use.

I have learned that keeping things simple is the best option for us. We do as much learning all together as possible during what we call Morning Time. (This is a fantastic resource for learning more about Morning Time and you can find more details about what we’ve included in our Morning Time over the years here). We do a devotional, poetry, science and history all together before dividing up for independent work: math and language arts. More on that later.

How do you know what to teach for each grade?

I actually don’t teach based on grade. I don’t believe that kids need to learn certain things at certain ages. That is a tool for public schools in order to make sure “all bases are covered” but for us we can concentrate on an area of history out of chronological order or because someone in the family is super interested. We don’t have to follow any sort of schedule, but we can if we want.

Think about your public school experience. What subjects do you remember best? I’m willing to bet that it’s the things you were interested in at the time. We all learn based on interest, not on what a committee somewhere decided is the best thing to teach a 4th grader (for example).

We do as much as possible together, and the kids glean from it what is appropriate for their ability level. Narration is a huge part of this process because it helps them reiterate what they’ve learned and it helps me to see that yes, they are actually listening and paying attention.

We live in Utah, which has pretty laid-back rules for homeschoolers. But I don’t know of anywhere that requires certain things to be taught at certain ages (I’d love to hear from you if you live somewhere that is a requirement!) If this is a concern for you, there is a great set of books called The Core Knowledge Series (aka “What Your ____ Grader Needs to Know”) which might be a good reference for you.

What school work gets done in a day?

One of the main benefits of homeschooling is that we can work through our formal lessons quickly. It generally takes us an hour and a half to two hours total work time to get through a school day. I try to do as much as possible all together and only split up for individual work in math and language arts. So history we do all together and the kids just learn at their own level. Science is the same. As well as any music or devotional or spiritual study; we do it all together and tweak it slightly for different ages.


We all gather together at breakfast time and I read aloud from our current chapter book, this could be something for the time period we’re studying in history or it could just be a great book I want to read to them. Or an audiobook if I’m not feeling the read aloud vibes that day. After we read a chapter or two and they are done eating we clean up the table, put away the breakfast mess and they have a little while to get dressed, have their hair done, play and possibly practice their instrument.

I generally pull out what my kids call a “project” each morning during this time. It’s basically a set of toys they don’t normally play with or some kind of activity or a little art project they can do independently. If we have a family birthday coming up they’ll make cards for the person or decorations for a holiday (I’ll do a whole post on ideas for this soon) . This is very simple but it is a little bit of a structured activity for them to do while I either finish getting ready for the day or do some housework/prepare dinner/work on my morning home list.

Sometimes my Littles especially need a bit of help getting started playing nicely in the mornings and this has helped a ton with that. I often share what they are working on on Instagram stories. You can also find my Highlight bubble dedicated to their morning projects it on Instagram. It’s called Busy Hands.

Usually my older kids are doing their personal reading during this time and practicing instruments because they can do that on their own.

We start Morning Time with a song and a scripture and a short devotional (this could be reading from a magazine or a spiritual book scripture story book or watching a short video from Latter Day Kids, or Drawn In, etc,) and then move on to reading a small section of several different books.

We read a poem; currently we’re reading through this book.
We’re always working through some kind of science book and a history book. Most often we read a picture book whether it’s a biography or something about a different culture or a time period in history.  (Some favorites science books: Wild Lives and Animalium). I don’t necessarily do every subject every day. But I do keep things simple enough that even if we were to go through the whole stack of books that we’re currently working on it would not take an extreme amount of time. Loop Scheduling is an awesome tool for being able to fit in all of the fantastic resources you want to use.

After we are done, each child draws a picture and writes in a journal one thing they remember from what we read. I don’t require it for every subject, just one page a day and it can be from any subject that they want. So one day they might enjoy the history book we read and draw a picture based on that and the next day maybe they saw a cool insect on a hike and want to add that to their journal. The day after that they could write about a famous person from a biography we read or documentary we watched together.

Older kids write 3-5 sentences along with their drawing for the day. Younger kids tell me what they remember and I write it down verbatim in their journal. This is so fun to look back on!


My goal with their journals (aka commonplace books) is just to show them that we are constantly learning and that recording things helps us to remember them better. Plus it’s fun to keep a record of the things that stood out to them and a great way to document their drawings and their writing.  I do not grade these, I do not correct spelling. This is mostly about getting their impressions and their thoughts and the things they remember onto paper. Spelling and punctuation are separate skills from narration and remembering details. Those skills are not the goal here.

This is absolutely one of my favorite parts of our routine. It shows what the kids are learning and what they are interested in.

I should note here that while I am reading the kids are allowed to do active things with their hands. Most commonly they will play with Lego, color/draw, play with little army guys, etc. As long as they are not making excessive noise or moving around a lot I’m okay with them playing because it helps them listen better. It really does. And one of the ways that I know this is because when we go to write the journal pages they have information to share and things that they have remembered.

This time together takes less than an hour. 45 minutes is probably a good average. How long we spend really depends on how everyone is feeling interest levels, my patience level and what we have going on that day.  Some days we sit there for an hour. Some days if kids are irritable (or I am) it’s only half an hour. My goal is just to sit and read with them for a while; to connect with their hearts and let them hear uplifting scripture and beautiful stories and I try not to worry too much about how much time we spend.


I see my job as a home educator as mostly being an inspiration to my children that the world is amazing. There are so many things to learn and I get to inspire them and teach them how to learn and where they can find more information. It’s not about memorizing facts, remembering dates or passing tests. (ps–We don’t do tests. I am with my kids all day, I know what they are struggling with. There is no need to test to find out. )

After our together studies I work with the kids on their independent work. For example Ethan will  do math on the computer while I sit with Elijah nearby and do his language arts and math and reading practice. Then we’ll switch and Elijah will go play while I work with Ethan on his language arts. 


And that’s pretty much it for the school day. Less than 2 hours, unless we watch a documentary.

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Ellie, my 10th grader, is pretty self-sufficient with her online classes. I do check in with her about homework and assignments but because she’s really drawn to a more traditional type of school, for whatever reason, and she just handles it on her own.

During this time Edith (3) is always around. I don’t do any formal school until kids are 5 or 6, but she’s always around while we are reading and doing schoolwork. She will either continue playing with the project I set out earlier in the day or play with other toys or draw in her own journal, or eat a pile of snacks or make a sneaky mess somewhere.

I believe in keeping things as simple as possible for the most part. It’s fun to plan elaborate unit studies and projects and really involved lesson plans, finding all of the best things from the internet and and planning to do them with your family. But in reality that just does not work for us. I found over the years that simple really is best. I don’t force the kids to do big projects or worksheets or coloring pages based on the time period in history we’re studying. If they’re interested we can dive deeper but elaborate is just not our style.

Do you get anything done while your kids are schooling?

The snarky answer is: Yes, I educate my children. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also deepen our relationships, and read awesome books and learn alongside them and create memories. Our school time has very little downtime, unlike public schools where there is a lot of waiting. We move through things pretty quickly so I don’t feel like I’m wasting time.

But also, because I’m an Enneagram 3, I really struggle to sit still. So, I keep an embroidery pattern I’m designing nearby and a simple knitting project that I can grab if I have a couple of minutes of downtime.

How do you plan?

We do a basic five weeks on/one week off schedule all year round, with longer breaks around the holidays and in the summer.  

Because I know that from the week after Thanksgiving through the first couple weeks of December we want a lighter school load–what we call “Christmas School”, which consists of making gifts and decorations, and reading Christmas books and drinking hot chocolate (it’s all very hygge)– I start planning when school will be in session by looking at the week of Thanksgiving as the one week off, ending our official school time for the year.

Then I go backwards doing five weeks on/one week off until about the beginning of August to figure out our official Start Date.

And I go forward to January and plan out five weeks on/ one week off from the first week of January when we’re refreshed and ready to start more academic work again, through about the end of April. We then switch to Summer School which means a lighter load again through May and June and then we take the whole month of July off.

Usually even on the days we have off we gather at breakfast time for a quick devotional and read aloud.

Our off weeks are also for making freezer meals, completing projects that need to be done around the house, or organizing and preparation. It’s also a time for me to focus on any in-depth work projects I need to do. This system works really well for us and keeps us from getting burned out.

I generally do one big planning session during July that will last us through the whole upcoming school year. I assess whether we need to change any curriculum and choose what topics in history and science I want to focus on for the year. I make a broad plan so we have the option to shift gears to follow kids interests or new topics. Each time we have a week off of school I spend a small amount of time choosing documentaries and books to read for the next term.

I was definitely an over-planner in the beginning. I tried to assign each week a certain number of picture books and science experiments and all sorts of things and I even included it all in a Google calendar based on the day so that when we went to the library I would be able to look ahead and see which books I needed to get or request ahead of time.

It felt very organized and happy for my Type A brain. However real life does not work that way and it fell apart very quickly. We need more margin and more flexibility in our lesson schedules. Instead of planning so rigorously I try to make a list of the very most important things for us to read/watch/listen to in the next few weeks. That way things actually get done and I have less stress feeling like we are behind or missing something. If you like this idea but don’t know where to start following the Well Educated Heart rotation would be a great option for you!

How do you teach a subject you’re not very good at?

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a homeschool parent is that it is okay for me to learn alongside my children. I’ve found that my public school education includes large gaps in knowledge. I’m certain that many of you have the same problem. Learning alongside the kids helps them to see that we are constantly learning, even when official schooling is done. Often my enthusiasm for a subject wears off on them. You do not need to know everything to homeschool your child. Learning together is a valuable and effective tool in home education.

How do you keep a positive relationship with your kids when requiring them to do school / chores?

My kids just know that they have to do their school work and music practice and chores before anything else is allowed. That’s just how it works in our house. They can’t play with friends or do anything else unless their list is done, it’s a non-negotiable.

It only takes a couple times of me saying, “Oh! I’m so sorry, ______ didn’t get his chores done today so he can’t play.” when a friend comes over for my kids to get the point. Then it becomes a non-issue. I like being able to say “Is your list done?” when kids ask if they can have screen time. It takes a little bit of the pressure off of me because they know they are responsible to get those things done. It’s not Mom making them do stuff it’s The List. ๐Ÿ™‚

Any tips for Homeschool Organization for a small space?

We began using a dedicated homeschool room when we first started and now we just gather around our big kitchen table.


I have an armoire close by that holds all the books I hope to read with the kids throughout the term. These are rotated from our bookshelves in the playroom/former schoolroom as needed. Each child also has their own bin of curriculum they’re currently working on (it mostly holds their language arts books). And on a credenza right next to our kitchen table we have a basket that holds the books we’re actively working on during Morning Time. 

The drawers of the armoire hold art supplies and activities to keep hands busy while I read aloud. That’s about all we use consistently! You really don’t need a bunch of space.

How do you homeschool high school?

I have a 15 year daughter who has transitioned into a really cool program through MyTech High. She will be earning both a high school diploma and an Associate of Science degree through Snow College. It’s a self-paced, learn to mastery program that fits really well with our homeschool style. It feels weird for me to not be her exclusive teacher, but it has been a good transition for her. Her degree will be through Snow College and she’ll be working with the professors there. I’m super excited about it. (The best part? MyTech covers all of her costs. She’s earning an Associates degree for free!)

She is very academically minded and she’s always been one that enjoys writing and wanted more in-depth assignments. So we’re doing what works for her. I don’t envision this working for my boys, so I plan to continue schooling them exclusively at home through high school unless they decide that they want something similar to what Ellie is doing.

Once again, the beauty of homeschool is that we can tailor our children’s education to their specific needs and desires. It’s so awesome!

What does your Day look like, hour by hour?

This is such a great question! And I have so many thoughts about it. First of all, I’m an Enneagram Type 3. Which means I am not good at sitting still, I’m all about checking stuff off my list. Your day does not have to look like my day in order for your homeschool to be successful. I truly enjoy learning about efficiency and productivity and have spent years honing my schedule.

But also recognize that not every day looks like this. Sick children, overwhelm, the specific challenges our family faces (children with mental health issues, severe anger and behavioral difficulties, etc.) changes the way that days play out.

Even though days often don’t go to plan, I still believe in the power of having a plan. If our morning is derailed, but life is calm again in the afternoon we can just jump right back into the plan and move along with the day.

I use a Block Schedule to plan my day. This is a really fantastic explanation of how a block schedule works. Basically, I segment my day into the different areas of my life/work and only focus on the things that need to be accomplished during that time. So, I’m not working on blog posts during our school block, and when the time comes for me to work I don’t hurry and clean the kitchen first.

I focus on the current block and leave everything else for later.

I reassess time blocks seasonally.  What works in the summer won’t always work a few months later.  But here’s the breakdown for what’s working now:

5am-7:30am PERSONAL BLOCK

Wake up, study, journal, read a chapter of an uplifting book and work.

OR

Short study session + podcast/audiobook in the car on the way to the gym (I rotate work time with going to a class at the gym). My early-bird son usually wakes up sometime around 6:30-7:00. He plays by himself for a bit while I finish up my morning routine. And often he wakes up his little sister, even though he’s not supposed to.


Do I always get up this early? Nope. Especially during the time of COVID-19, I’m finding I need more rest in order to be happy and kind with my family, so I allow myself to sleep a bit longer. I try to give myself grace for whatever season we’re in. I do know that for my own heart and mind to flourish, I need to fill myself up with beautiful things before the kids wake up. That’s a big motivator for me to get up early.

7:30am-11:30am HOME BLOCK

Get ready for the day. I cook breakfast, and do some daily home routines (dishwasher, laundry, quick bathroom tidy, etc). I help kids get ready for the day.  The Littles play together and/or do a simple project I set out for them (I have a whole post on the way about this) while I do my stuff.

We gather for breakfast and read aloud. We do Morning Time and independent homeschool work (at the kitchen table) and the kids do their assigned chores. They also practice their instruments.  It’s a busy time of day!  I am back and forth, helping kids as needed. I make sure I have a plan for dinner and prep as much of it as I can beforehand.

Or, we drop everything and go to the park or on an adventure. That’s one of the beauties of homeschooling! We can go to the park or the zoo or meet friends for a hike while everyone else is at school. We typically go for an adventure during this time once a week or so. If we do go on an adventure, I don’t make my kids write a report about it or do two lessons the next day. We just enjoy the zoo and pick up where we left off.

Ideally my phone is put away during this entire block. (Though I do often listen to a book or conference talk while I get ready for the day). I try not to get on social media, I don’t check email. There is time for those things later.

For most of this portion of the day we are in our kitchen/dining room. But we do try to go outside for a walk or to work in the garden. The kitchen is definitely the hub of our house in the mornings. Ideally we clean off the table and reset the kitchen at the end of this block so the house is tidy and we’re ready to move on. If we don’t get to that we do have other times during the day that it will happen.

Lunch

I try to take a real “lunch break”, rather than eating while I stand at the counter, or while I walk around cleaning up like I’m inclined to do. I sit and eat a healthy lunch and read a book or uplifting magazine.

12:30-2:30 WORK BLOCK

We’re done with school for the day. I read to the Littles or play a quick game, then they watch a movie. Big kids have screen time. I used to feel guilty about them watching a movie every single day, but it’s saving me right now. I work during this time. Or take a break/nap if I need it.

2:30-5:00ish Quiet Time OR OUT AND ABOUT BLOCK

One thing I have learned during years of homeschooling: our family needs to get the school portion of our day done in the morning. I do not schedule outside things for morning hours. So doctors appointments, music lessons, playdates, errands, etc. almost always happen at 3pm or later.

This insures we get to all the most important bits of our school and work routines. Of course, this rule is subject to change (see adventures above). But on a day-to-day basis, we are home until afternoon.

If we don’t have anywhere to be, this is Quiet Time. We each go to our separate rooms to play quietly or rest. I make art or read or nap, or continue working if needed.

4:30-7:00 FAMILY BLOCK

Dinner Prep, clean up, house tidy, eat dinner, start laundry, family scriptures/prayers. Baths, read aloud, bedtime for Littles (praise!). Another busy time of day when I try to stay off my phone and be present with the family.

7:30-9:30 REST

Jason and I watch an episode of a show with the big kids (we’re working our way through Psych right now) and I usually work on a new embroidery design. After the show, big kids go to bed. Then Jason and I go through our evening routine. Jason shows me all of the funny memes, and videos he’s been saving for me all day (Does anyone else have a nightly session like this?)

I journal and read for a bit before we turn out the light.

WHEW!

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What curriculum do you use?

I don’t believe in being tied to just one curriculum. We’ve never used the same curriculum for all subjects although there are plenty of options out there to get history and science and language arts and math all in one place. I believe there is a lot to offer from looking around and finding things that fit your kids and your family well. For example this year we’re using The Good and the Beautiful for Language Arts. We’re using Beautiful Feet Books for history / social studies and we love Exploring Nature with Children for Nature Study/Science and Draw the USA for Geography (we have the whole series teaching world geography and the kids love it). We’re using Teaching Textbooks and Spielgaben for math. (I will be doing a full list of our homeschool plan for the year in the coming weeks. You can find older versions of our homeschool plans here. And our Day in the Life posts here. )

There are SO many different curriculum options out there! Over my decade+ homeschooling I’ve seen more and more added to the list. Some I have not personally tried but they look fantastic and are definitely worth checking out:

A Gentle Feast

Nature Journal from Wild + Free

Honest History Magazine

A River of Voices This looks AMAZING and I am seriously considering purchasing it for this year.

We have enjoyed SQUILT Music Appreciation in the past but haven’t used it for a while.

Math Lessons for a Living Education

Gather Round Homeschool looks fantastic

Brave Writer was not for us, but so many people love it.

Because I have been homeschooling so long we have tried a lot of different types of curriculum. There are pros and cons to each thing we’ve tried and I’ll list a few of the most common options here and let you know what we thought of them but if something is for us it doesn’t mean it’s for you and if it wasn’t for us it doesn’t mean it’s not for you. It may even work for us in the future even if it didn’t in the past.

Every year is different. Homeschool is a constantly moving target and honestly that’s part of what draws me to it. Because I know I am constantly evolving and my children are also. Their interests and their abilities are constantly changing. One of the absolute miracles of homeschooling is that we get to be there to witness their growth and we get to choose the resources that will best support them in the seasons of their lives.


We used The Story of the World for the first three to four years of homeschooling and we liked it a lot. It’s a story based history curriculum which is definitely what we’re all about. It follows the typical four year history rotation: Ancients, BC 5000-400 AD;
Medieval/Early Renaissance, 400-1600; Late Renaissance/Early Modern, 1600-1850; Modern Times, 1850-Present. There is an extensive activity book that comes with it, full of coloring pages and additional books to read and active hands-on projects to do.

We then tried The Good and the Beautiful History for a couple of years and I liked the rotation they use. Rather than rotating through four history time periods over four years you rotate through each one for a shorter period of time each year. Circling back again to go through different parts of all four rotation periods each year.

But we found that the history was much too “whitewashed” for us. We wanted more information about other cultures without looking down on them and we wanted a less America-centric approach.

The Good and the Beautiful seems to idealize many of the great men throughout history and gloss over really awesome teaching opportunities to help our children see that you can be a great person in history and not always make great choices. They also did not include enough diverse voices. Because of the racial makeup of our own family I wanted a more expansive view of heroes to learn about through history that come from different cultures and races.


For the past couple of years we’ve been using studies from Beautiful Feet Books. They’re really fantastic, beautiful, well-chosen living books that share about different cultures in a very positive way. It works for multiple ages; all of the kids from the preschooler up to the high schooler enjoy the books and activities.

More than anything, what works for us is reading beautiful, well-written books and discussing them. Especially picture books. We use lovely picture books every day. I enjoy looking for new books to read/study together and often add in a lot of great finds besides whatever our curriculum suggests. I share a lot of what we’re reading on Instagram, as well as in our favorite books/documentaries post for the year.

A excellent thing about homeschooling is that you do not have to stick to the same curriculum forever. Keep what works and stop using what doesn’t. You should look forward to learning together. If you are not interested in what you’re reading, your kids DEFINITELY will not be interested. If you’re dreading a particular subject, the curriculum is probably not a good fit for you.

What about Math?

Math is the subject that strikes fear into the hearts of homeschooling parents the world over. No joke. I have heard more concerns about teaching math than any other question I’ve received, by far. Friends, math is just another subject. It deserves no more weight on your mind than reading or history. But for some reason we all stress out about it. I’m not immune to this. In my case the reason I stress is that I fumbled my way through public school math and still have nightmares that I signed up for a college Calculus class and forgot about it until this very moment and the final starts RIGHT NOW. Residual math trauma even though I graduated from college 15+ years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚

I believe in a gentle approach to math.

We have tried multiple math curricula over the years. It seems like for the first several years we tried a new math every year until we finally found Teaching Textbooks. It may not be the most rigorous math curriculum and that’s fine with me. My kids are required to do one lesson a day and they’re learning and making progress and understanding math concepts and it doesn’t have to be a big fight. That’s a win in my book.

For younger grades (because Teaching Textbooks doesn’t start until third grade) we are using the Charlotte Mason Elementary Arithmetic Series. It’s just a short daily mental math lesson and that’s perfect for younger kids.

One very important difference to remember between traditional school and homeschooling: homeschoolers learn to mastery. Meaning we don’t move on to a new concept until the child fully grasps the current concept. In public school kids are required to move on to a new topic when the rest of the class moves on. If they don’t understand but have to move on anyway, they are “behind”. But with homeschool, if a child is struggling to understand something you have the opportunity to stick with a concept as long as necessary. There is no “keeping up” with the rest of the class.

It’s so important that we as parents stop pushing our children to be “ahead” academically. There’s really no such thing. All children develop at a different rate. Some don’t hit their stride with math until high school because that’s when their brain is ready for it. If math is difficult at your house, don’t make it a big deal. Do a lesson every day, introduce topics in fun and interesting ways and try not to stress about what your child will do in the future. Play math games, ready fun mathy books. Just meet your children where they are. Here are some great resources to get you started.

How do you feel about online school?

We use a really great resource called MyTech High. We are technically part of a charter school but I choose the curriculum and as long as it falls within certain guidelines (meaning it’s not religion-based) they pay for it. There are no classes for the kids to attend, we just do our own thing at home. We also receive a technology allowance to purchase a computer/tablet/whatever else we need. We are able to keep the curriculum/books/supplies/tech. It’s been a really great option for us! We are required to fill out a weekly learning log about what we’ve studied that week, which feels like very minimal commitment for us in comparison to the benefit we get. Definitely worth checking out if you don’t have a large budget for curriculum.

As far as other online school options, we tried k12 for about 3 minutes several years ago. It was very much public school at home. The amount of busy work they required was absolutely staggering. We let that go and I’m so glad.

There are lots and lots of options for a School-at-Home situation, but in my opinion many of them defeat the purpose of homeschooling. Lots of requirements, lots of busy work, not much freedom or flexibility. Having said that, it might be a great option for you! If that’s the case, go for it!

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What about socialization?

This is a topic that comes up a lot and most experienced homeschoolers just roll their eyes and/or laugh.

There are lots of opportunities for genuine socialization as homeschoolers. And in my opinion they are better opportunities than anything you could get at public school. Co-ops and nature group have been a staple for our family since the beginning. We’ve led or joined parent-child book clubs, craft groups, fieldtrip groups, science groups, service club and art groups. Not to mention sports teams, church groups, and neighborhood kids. We are not lacking in social interaction.

We meet weekly with a small group of friends to hike and explore nature together. One of our favorite experiences has been a monthly culture club with a couple of other homeschool families. The kids would often dress up from the time period we studied and give short presentations to the other families about what they’ve learned that month. We haven’t done this for a little while but it would be a great thing to start if you are looking for ways to help your kids ” socialize”. 

My advice: Find the homeschoolers in your area (Facebook is a great place to start and we’ve met lifelong friends at our Wild+ Free group). If you can’t find a group that you want to join, start one. It will be a great opportunity for your family and I’m certain you will find others who want to join! Homeschoolers are a social bunch.

Highly Recommended Books for New Homeschoolers

Steady Days: A Journey Toward Intentional, Professional Motherhood

Teaching from Rest

The Brave Learner: Finding Everyday Magic in Homeschool, Learning and Life

Adventuring Together: How to Create Connections and Make Lasting Memories with Your Kids (Haven’t read this yet, it comes out this week, but I know it will be awesome)

Pocketful of Pinecones

Deconstructing Penguins: Parents, Kids and the Bond of Reading

102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

Home Field Advantage: A guide to Choosing Teaching Methods for Your Homeschooling Champions (written by a dear friend of mine. Our Ellie even makes an appearance in this book!)

Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident and Capable Kids

Last Child in the Woods

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