HOMESCHOOLING // our story + resources
"my homeschooling bible"
4 books in the Story of the World series
each has a teacher's guide with activities
that span grades K-12
inspiring read and introduction to Charlotte Mason
I was homeschooled back when it bordered between weird and criminal. There were no homeschooling mommy blogs, my mother just bravely did what her was on her heart for us, and those are the years I remember most dearly. I read my lessons in the honeysuckle bush and devoured the classics perched in our apple tree. We didn't have a lot of money, it wasn't easy, but it made me who I am.
Still I swore I would never homeschool my kids . . .
And then . . . my husband joined the military and we moved to an area with rough public schools, and were given the opportunity of homeschooling through a charter school where our kids are in class two days and week and at home three days, with support, friends, school activities, field trips, camps, and a whole lot of other families doing their own thing - together.
And it's still hard. Wow, I sound like a complainer, but you homeschooling moms know that I'm just being honest. Trying to juggle different grade levels all around the same table in order to fit some meaningful knowledge into your kid's growing minds while juggling laundry, interruptions, making lunch and attitudes is never easy.
But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt this is the path for us. Homeschooling is simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done. It's not for everyone, but if you're on this journey or thinking about taking the first step you don't have to do it on your own.
- You can scroll down to subscribe to my homeschooling newsletter where I send out monthly inspiration, how-to's and some good old heart to heart.
- You can connect with Wild + Free an incredible homeschooling community that I contribute to; with monthly content bundles and local groups.
- And you can check out the links and books below for more resources . . .
We are not Un-schoolers or strictly Classical, Montessori, Waldorf or Charlotte Mason. I have a Bachelor's degree in education and we borrow ideas and inspiration from many of the great educational theories, but we make it our own; we make our own unique recipe work for us.
There is a rhythm to our days, and yet each one is different and is respected for what it holds. Some days we look all Charlotte Mason, others Classical and others we seem Un-schooled for sure.
If you're just starting out and all this terminology is making your head swim, don't throw your hands up and run just yet . . . First, let me tell you what works for us.
We started Story of the World in kindergarten and have worked our way through this chronological narrative curriculum of the history of humankind from the nomads to the Roman empire to the Renaissance, and will finish in the modern age. This is our favorite part of school and we weave all of our art, literature and much of our language arts into whatever time period we are studying.
We read children's illustrated versions of The Epic of Gilgamesh and The Odyssey. We drew cave paintings and donned togas to recline at a Roman feast. We dressed up as Robin Hood and painted gold leaf religious icons. We have outlined summaries of epic wars and written journal entries from the inside (figuratively) of the Tower of London. I have boxes of polaroids (that I will share here once I get them scanned) and binders full of the rich story of this world that we have explored. I have loved every minute just as much as my kids. It's everything I wish I would have known in school, it fills in all the cracks and lets my kids know exactly what stage they have found themselves upon in this crazy scene called life.
Story of the World is written by Susan Wise Bauer and we also use her First Language Lessons for grammar and Writing With Ease and Writing With Skill for our writing.
After a long time doing Saxon, we now use Singapore Math and love it.
We don't use the Ambleside Online but I find it inspiring and we spend enormous amounts of time outdoors and enjoy nature journaling.
My boys play with Legos a lot (that's the understatement of the century) They have completed the Code.org program, and are now programming their Lego robot. We have been off and on with FIRST Lego League but think it's a great program.
They also used Handwriting Without Tears and now use Keyboarding Without Tears to practice typing skills. Google Docs is my new best friend.
We started our exploration of science with Mudpies to Magnets, and by the time my science obsessed boys were in second grade I think we had literally done every science experiment known to man - twice. Now all of their science is completed on their class days at their charter school, but our home, backyard and garage are somewhat of a constant science experiment in progress.
The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer is my bible of homeschooling, and I'm so thankful for it. I have never read it cover to cover and I don't try to do it all, but I adopted much of its philosophy early on and pull from it what I need when I need it.
I am part of the Wild + Free team. This vibrant, modern homeschooling community creates monthly online bundles and print samplers full of resources and inspiration for homeschooling families. They also host conferences and regional groups.
The Wild Explorers Club is an incredible way for students to engage with nature, receiving weekly assignments and a monthly magazine, and earning badges.
Time and time again I have felt pressured into running to every opportunity - tutoring sessions, workshops . . . the list is endless - only to be reminded that I must guard the time we have just to be and to imagine. Because if I fill their heads, but squelch their imaginations then I have not served them well. They need knowledge, but they also need just as desperately to keep the creativity they were born with.
grammar grades 1-4
narration, dictation, summary instruction grades 1-4
outline and essay writing instruction grades 5-6
great beginning science curriculum