homeschooling q&a

i’ve had a lot of questions about our homeschooling lately. what we do, what methods we use, how i plan our days, etc. i thought i’d try and answer a couple of them here.
 
homeschooling wasn’t something that we chose to do on a whim. it is something that we researched heavily and spoke to other homeschooling families before we made the decision. the biggest worry that seems to come from onlookers is the social aspect. my kids are pretty sociable, and they have many friends from their outside groups that they have know for a long time, family friends and friends from our homeschooling groups. we get out and about a lot, we don’t sit home all day long – we spend a lot of time with other people. homeschooling is definelty not the easy option… to be perfectly honest four people {as the mr goes to work} who spend all day every day with each other, we can drive each other nuts! but hand on heart i love it – i couldnt’ imagine it any other way. the good far outweighs the bad, and i’m incredibly blessed to get to spend my days with my kiddos.
q – what curriculum do you use?
we don’t use one particular curriculum. there are so many different ways and styles of learning, i pick and choose what works for my family best. we take a mix of ideas from montessori and unschooling most of all.
i had a few questions as to what books we are using, so here are some of what we have for the year
maths – for both – C.I.M.T mathematics programme
           – kiki – focusing on phonics and reading skills, and this language arts guided journey
geography//both – world geography
history//both – we created a list of topics that we wanted to study – we’re starting off with Ancient Egypt- I’ve put together a unit study for us to work through together.
science//both – again, we’ve created our own unit studies – starting with our senses {i can tailor the work to suit different ages//levels so that everyone gets something out of these}
also – we’ll be doing lots of practical experiments, using these books – 100 science experiments and science in seconds
these are just a few…. within each subject we do so much more than just book work. we do a lot of art and crafts {we’re doing a unit study on the worlds greatest artists this year}, go on nature walks, visit museums and gallerys. the older kiddos take outside groups too – brownies, rainbows, netball, a book club and drama.
miss baya likes to be involved – she wants to do jsut what her big sisters do. i can see that a lot of it is going in. right now she is very interested in letters//spelling and practicing some letter formation!
q. how do you plan your days?
there isn’t a right//wrong way to plan your days, just as there isn’t a right//wrong way to how you homeschool. you need to do whatever works best for your family.
for us, we usually work from around 10am [we’re not early risers!!] to around 1pm. We cover a few short lessons each day. somedays we’ll do a little more, somedays a little less… we take it as it comes, and never miss out on a trip out or a visit from friends because of work ;)
to keep track of what the kiddos are studying i printed out some charts. at the start of the ‘school’ year, i make a rough plan of what we want to cover that year. I tend to map out a half term {6 weeks} at a time – picking unit studies, gathering books + supplies, etc.
the charts that i created have a space for each subject, and a column for each day of the week. i use a seperate one for each kiddo. it gives me space to write down what we’ll be studying each week, as well as when – i need things written down clearly for me to see else i lose track and get nothing done!
right now, we usually do maths, english and geography three times a week, two science sessions, 1 nature study session. history and art happen twice a week, and music and language study once – this changes from time to time, and of course, we do more of each subject outside ‘formal’ times too!
i hope this has answered a few questions for you – feel free to ask anymore below!
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4 Comments

  1. ladaisi
    September 6, 2012 / 10:32

    This reminds me of my childhood. I was homeschooled through high school with seven siblings. My parents hand-picked our curriculum, and we had a tiny homeschool group in our town who mostly went bowling and skating together. When we got to high school curriculum, my parents would buy the teacher’s manuals for us – especially in math and science – to assist when they couldn’t answer our questions. I used to wonder if I was ‘behind’ – you know, how we came out in comparison to the public schooled kids … that was a big fear of mine growing up, although at the same time I loved how different we were. It paid off though – needless worry – I got a full scholarship to college, finished my BA in three years (with take-off time in between, but ya know) and straight A’s. My entire family is incredibly creative, and I think this had a lot to do with our travelling/homeschooling/bohemian background – we all play instruments and create art and write stories. Actually, in order, it’s starting to pan out like this with the older ones: Carpenter, artist, student/barista, student/youth pastor, singer, student/chef, and so on. We won’t make much money, probably, but we’re our own best friends – and that’s more than can be said for most people and their siblings. ;) My kiddo goes to kindergarten a few hours a day, it’s like a montessori kindergarten where he is learning Danish, and then in the evenings we spent short periods of time homeschooling … simple things – alphabet, phonics, numbers, painting. It’s working out rather well.

    You are not alone!! Keep up the good work.

  2. eef
    September 6, 2012 / 11:29

    I love that you homeschool. I was homeschooled up until college (which I started a year early and graduated from with high honors) and for the most part really enjoyed it! My mom structured our classes a lot when I was younger, we even had desks and a school room! I didn’t like that much. As we got older we were able to pursue our interests and my mom was pretty okay with whatever we wanted to do as long as we got the basics done first.
    I don’t think I’d have the drive or motivation to run my own businesses now if I hadn’t been free to work on my own, at my own pace, and pursue my own interests. Worked out pretty well for me!

  3. September 6, 2012 / 11:16

    This was lovely to read! Your days sound a lot like ours :)

  4. September 7, 2012 / 01:20

    I think this is amazing… I can see how your little ones are involved in the learning for the learning, for the desire of knowledge. I would like to have been home schooled ;)

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