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.