ANSWERING YOUR HOMESCHOOL QUESTIONS

It’s been a little while since we have chatted about homeschool here on the blog. Since taking a break from Instagram I feel like my mind is thinking a little clearer and I;m thinking of so many different things I want to share here on this space. The quiet has been nice and it’s made me think back on the days when blogs were more popular. I had a few that I really enjoyed checking in on. I miss the slower paced aspect and am longing to blog more often and grow friendships here in this space. Blogs are like the snail mail of the social media world, right? I hope y’all will be my pen-pals.

Anyway…I’ve talked a lot about homeschool on IG and I thought it may be beneficial to answer a few of my most frequently asked questions here on the blog so that the answers are in a more permanent space. Somewhere that I can point to for reference as well. So here we go!

WHY WE CHOOSE HOMESCHOOL

My personal conviction and I say this to remind you… this is my conviction. I realize everyone has varying circumstances and beliefs… so this is mine and my husbands personal opinion. We want to give our children roots. We want to ground them in their faith. We want them to learn and grow in a nurturing environment. My husband and I believe the family should be a child’s primary influence. God created family for a purpose and he created the roles of fathers, mothers and children and we want to honor those roles. God has entrusted these people to us and I don’t want their primary influence to be their peers or a government school. I don;t take this opportunity lightly. I thank God every day that I am able to teach my children at home. I love that I get to spend my days with them. I get to teach them life skills and they get to experience every day life and have the opportunity to experience socialization with a variety of people. We have the opportunity to explore various subjects that interest them. We homeschool because we believe in giving our children a chance to be their own people, to think critically and for themselves and not simply follow the crowd.

WHAT IS YOUR HOMESCHOOL STYLE

I would consider our style more traditional/classic. We cover all the subjects you normally would in school. We follow a schedule and use traditional book work and daily lessons just as you normally would in a school setting, however I also lean more towards a Charlotte Mason style in the way that I try to incorporate a lot of literature, we also enjoy nature and character studies as well. I’m definitely a give me a daily list and let me check things off type of person and having a curriculum lays it out for me so that I know I’m covering all of my bases, but I also have the freedom to fill in and adjust where I want to.

WHAT CURRICULUM DO WE USE

We use several different curriculums right now. For our main language arts I use ABeka for both of my boys. I’ve also used MasterBooks Language Lessons for a Living Education, but prefer ABeka. For writing I also use ABeka, however I did incorporate Writing Without Tears this year and that was a helpful resource. For Math we use Saxon, and MasterBooks (for my youngest 1st grade math) I’ll be switching to Saxon for him for second grade, however. For History, Science, Geography we use MasterBooks and we will definitely be sticking with MasterBooks for these subjects. I really love the format and variety that MasterBooks offers for those subjects and that they have a Biblical worldview.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A CURRICULUM

Honestly I really think this is a trial and error thing and something you have to be willing to adjust from time to time. Don’t be afraid to try a curriculum if you think it would be a good fit for your child and learning style, but also don’t be afraid to ditch one and try something else if it’s not working.

HOW MUCH TIME DO WE SPEND EACH DAY ON “SCHOOL”

On average I’m going to say about 4 hours for our major subjects, and then in addition to that we have tea time which consists of reading, occasional music/art study, character study, read aloud, bible time, and catechism. You can read more about tea time/morning basket HERE

HOW DO YOU BALANCE HOMESCHOOL AND HOMEMAKING

I just go day by day and do my best with the day I have been given. Having routines and rhythms help a lot, knowing what is planned and what is expected really helps to keep things in order and run smoothly, but not always. We definitely have our days, the kids are feeling off, I’m feeling off and it gets a little stressful. Lots of prayers and sometimes deep breaths are needed. Give yourself grace and show grace towards your kiddos. Not every day will go as we hoped or planned, but God is gracious and good and His mercies are new every morning!

I’ll leave you with these thoughts that I read from a devotional from Sally Clarkson. It’s not necessarily in regards to homeschool, but it seemed fitting to share. I hope its encouraging.

If mothers rise to be gatekeepers, make their homes places of excellence, cultivate reverence for and worship of God as well as love for each other, spend personal time teaching and discipling their children, serve them through this training and nurture, and give up their own time to accomplish all of this. The time spent ministering to our children is time well spent, because that investment grants us the door to their hearts. When their hearts are softened to us because we have ministered to their needs, their minds will also be softened to hear our values, our convictions, and our guidance.

Blessings,

Bree

12 thoughts on “ANSWERING YOUR HOMESCHOOL QUESTIONS

  1. We share the same convictions, it is a huge privilege to spend all this time with them to give them a firm foundation. I’m homeschooling my 5, 6-16 years and we use mostly ACE and apologia because I need to have a list in my own mind too. And I so agree with you regarding blogging and snail mail, I also miss ones that I used to follow over the years! Likeminded pen pals are hard to find!! 🙂

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  2. I’m glad you changed pace and decided to start blogging more. I was also in a place of needing time away from Instagram, but I really enjoy following you.

    My question for you is: how do you schedule in all of the activities that take place outside the home? Grocery shopping, dr appointments, hair cuts, dentist appointments, etc.? Do you do school 5 days a week on this schedule? What about when life happens such as a loved one in the hospital or occasions which take you out of the home at more random times that pull you away from accomplishing school? Do you do co-ops or social gatherings with friends or other homeschool families during the week?

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    1. Hey there Casey! Thanks so much for reaching out. So this will obviously vary from family to family because having 2 kids compared to someone with more children may have a different system, but this is what we do with our 2 boys. Grocery shopping, most often I do pickups unless we are going to the market for time out of the house. My boys enjoy the farmers markets and walking around and it seems more than a treat than a chore…compared to the grocery store. So I use pickup for my sanity haha. Dr appointments I try to schedule together so we can get them out of the way at one shot. My husband and I do the same, we try to make a *date* of it and have a sitter for our boys and try to get those appointments out of the way all at once. We do 5 days of school and I do look ahead and plan according to our schedule. So if we have plans outside of the home I make sure that we get our work done so that we can enjoy that time away and not fall behind. Life happens and the beauty of homeschool is that you’re able to make it work according to your family and their needs. So when things come up, there has always been a way that we can make up or adjust accordingly. Homeschool is so flexible which is such a plus! We do get together with friends and family during the week and again I try to look ahead and fit it into our schedule for that week. We use to do activities outside of home 2-3 times per month [free library activities] but with covid those things are canceled. We are joining a Christian ministry that does “gym” class for kids and character building activities this spring that we are very excited for! I hope this helps!

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      1. Thank you for your response! I am incredibly impressed with how organized and routine you are. It encourages me.

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  3. My oldest will be ready for kindergarten in the fall. So I’m at the beginning of looking into homeschooling. I think it would work well in many ways for my family, but my daughter is very social (she currently attends a private preschool at a church). How do you help your kids connect with others? Especially during this time of “social distancing?”

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    1. My boys are very social and enjoy being around others with COVID we take any opportunity we can to see friends and family to enjoy that social time 🙂 There are so many opportunities to connect (CoVID aside. I’m sure you’d be able to find a nice option for your family

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  4. Also, how much of the school work do you have to be fully present and engaged in for your boys? How much are they able to complete independently? Do you do your housework before and after school? Or are you able to work during their school day?

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  5. So glad you are choosing to blog more! I was a recent IG follower but have deleted it now so I’m thrilled this will be a space you’ll be filling more frequently

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    1. Oh, I’m so glad! I haven’t deleted IG yet, but have stepped back from it recently and the break has been so nice. I’m enjoying this slower pace and ability to go a little more in depth on the blog compared to IG 🙂

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