since the moment we definitively decided to homeschool, i’ve been aching to share it with you. and of course not knowing how the word “homeschool” would land, i probably feel a bit compelled to tell you about the multi-day conference we attended as a family, all the research we’ve done and to be as transparent as possible, the prayers.
because audrey went to a private K-8 school (a fantastic one that we heartily recommend!), we have had our eye on what we would do for high school for a while. we’d even been on multiple tours *already*.
when we got serious about homeschooling (which has been a loooong process and at multiple points i thought it “wasn’t for us”), we realized starting in 9th grade wouldn’t be ideal.
now, knowing what we know, and what a help some homeschooling resources were to us as parents, i wanted to share!
also, so you don’t spend more than a second wondering, i am still your devoted photographer…gratefully, the vast majority of my shooting times are in the evening and on saturdays (non-school hours!). i’m one of those people who actually LOVES what they do – i wake up even happier on wedding days! but, balancing homeschooling mama by day and photographer by evening wouldn’t be feasible without three great employees!
homeschooling curriculum is built differently than the standard textbook that assumes a teacher lecture – there’s more independent learning past 4th grade so we’ll be stacking a couple of those subjects together so i can create ‘mom’s office hours’ for email & phone calls.
so, on to those resources!
- 01story of the world
i met one of the loveliest mamas of all time last spring, so when we ended up on a roadtrip in her city, we got together and her son was listening to story of the world. we ended up purchasing mp3s of all 4 volumes and i can’t even count the times Audrey has also listened to it. before she was neutral about history, and now she eats it up with a spoon. it’s one of her favorite things! there are portions of history that are tough so although i know younger kids listen to this regularly, we didn’t discover it until she was 11. disclosure: there are uses of the word “stupid” which isn’t a word we use in our family.
- 02teaching textbooks
ever have the feeling that the looooooong summer is a holdover from our agrarian past and perhaps not ideal for learning? audrey’s teachers recommended review during the summer to foster retention so when amy described how they did math in their family, it sounded too good to be true but i was willing to check it out as a way to review. i picked up dvds on ebay (because 3.0 online hadn’t been released) *but* avoid the mistakes I made – only get the 2.0 version if you have a mac…also, take the placement test because we found math 5 does not correspond to grade 5. this next year, we’re doing math 8, and audrey will be entering 6th grade. TT goes all the way to pre-calculus…there are lots of solid math curriculums but if you have a visual learner, this is likely to be pretty appealing.
- 03the good and the beautiful book list
i’ve chosen books from this list for well over a year – it helped us discover so many great books we weren’t familiar with!
gratefully, resources have really begun to grow as the numbers of homeschoolers have increased significantly. we’re using language arts, history and science curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful and will be starting a bit earlier than we previously had so we can end the year at the same conference we attended last year.
there are pros and cons with any schooling choice – we just swapped our set of pros and cons to ones that were a better fit for our family! we don’t think this is for everyone…far from it! but if you know an awesome homeschooling family (particularly with tween age kiddos), have them reach out because we want to get to know them!
and if there’s anything you’re curious about, let me know! while i have a proposed rhythm for the day/week in mind, my guess is that there will be some pretty significant changes based on what we learn once we’re underway! audrey is working with jason this week to finalize the school calendar…in the future, we plan to move towards a year round calendar by shortening the summer (when it gets really hot) and scatter that throughout the year more.
i’m pretty sure anyone who knows me is well aware, but we LOVE school, and the teachers in them…our excitement over spending days side by side as a mom & daughter isn’t meant at all as an indictment of schools :)
p.s. although we keep screen time limited, i like the way this guides thinking about a problem to solve.
p.p.s. ending letters to you is tough! here’s one more thing i think you’ll love – our mornings have had this album playing these sweet instrumental sounds so often this season!
p.p.p.s. sam kelly (someone I adore even from the fairly brief time we’ve spent together) said this about why she homeschools, “…because I only get one shot at this precious time with my kids- to create the EXACT kind of home I want for our family and our life – and i want to embrace the heck out of every single second of this season with them.
i want to be able to experience LIFE with them every day and i don’t want to miss that chance and all the MAGIC that comes with it. there are no second chances and when this time is gone, it’s gone.”