Homeschool Diaries

Homeschooling is messy in real life. I didn’t have one single moment of epiphany and seamlessly withdraw my children from school. Homeschooling seemed scary. We found mentors, local groups and still went through months of research, late night conversations and soul searching before we decided to take the plunge.

Starting in May of 2014, we set out on a brand new adventure of homeschooling! After our decision in February of 2014, support flooded in from many directions, but I’d like to extend a special thank you for encouragement from Heidi Strawser. She answered questions with good humor, shared her experience and generally was awesome!

Our big public announcement (along with my thoughts on why we decided to homeschool) came in May. Then finally came the surreal day when we forgot chose not to go back to school. That first month out of school reminded felt a bit like becoming a minor celebrity; I never knew how many of the parents in our private school were curious about homeschooling until I shared that blog post on my personal Facebook page. I think there are only two things you need to know to rock a brand new homeschool. Need a little more detail? Here are my best tips for surviving the first week of homeschool (some of which I totally ignored) and 20 lessons learned in our first 40 days of homeschool. To see how all of those tips fit into a real life day, follow along a for a day in our homeschool.We loved our first year with Sonlight Core B for history and literature and Horizons for math and plan to continue with both Core C and Horizons.

Our next homeschool adventure involved packing up the kids all by myself. We flew off to Disney’s Student Seminars to celebrate our first year of homeschool with our adventures as The Three Mousekateers! The kids didn’t know that we were going to Walt Disney World, just that there was a homeschool seminar in Orlando. If they knew, they’d explode in little piles of pixie dust. I told them well after Christmas.

This year, we’ve browsed our way through a fairly varied summer reading list and found a lot of fun, educational activities to keep the kids out of the heat and rain but not without plenty of free time. For a bit of fun, I even put together a scope and sequence for playing classical video games.

The best way to follow along with my homeschool adventures is the tag Homeschool Diaries and my homeschool Pinterest page, Adventure is Out There!

After surviving kindergarten, first, second and third grades, our favorite current curriculums include Sonlight A-C, Horizons Math, Apologia Science and a wide variety of books from Usborne and the library.

(For $5 off of your first $50, register using rewards referral code LK20393261 or just click the link below. I have no sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement by Sonlight, we are just fans of their curriculum and books.)

6 Replies to “Homeschool Diaries”

  1. I always would like to know how I can help, as a friend/ grandma/ supporter? Is there such a thing as a ‘wish list’?

  2. I know that you home school including religion from the Bible. I wonder if you ever broke down the ‘philosophy’ part as separate. When I was a substitute teacher for fifth grade, giving a math test, lots of the students started to cheat. I opened a dialogue, “What are the advantages and disadvantages of cheating on the test? Are there any advantages to you, to just admitting you don’t know the answers? Are there advantages to being honest? Why do you think you have the test? What does this mean?” It was fascinating. None of the class had any reason why cheating was wrong, or would have bad results, other than ‘if I get caught…’. It made me realize that basic right and wrong, has other related lesson to teach and learn. No teacher had ever talked to them about cheating, or what they did with the test information (Planned what to teach next as she knew what was mastered), etc.

    1. We do Bible study and character training as well. We try to focus on one new trait every other month (or longer) until the kids really grasp it before we focus on the next one.
      So far we’ve covered diligence, alacrity and initiative.
      I’ve got integrity, faithfulness, humility, joyfulness, love, gratitude, perseverance, justice, mercy, curiosity, humility, character, virtue, truthfulness, dependability, responsibility, courage and respectful on my list of possible future focus virtues. We may add “The Wisdom of Pixar: An Animated Look at Virtue” as a way to be more deliberate with our orginazation of character development, but so far it’s been a natural progression of what the kids need to work on next.

      We plan to start logic/fallacy of reason in a few years.
      We’d start formal philosophy sometime after logic.

      Philosophy-the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.

      1. Wow! Do you have some Disney character quotes that go with particular virtues? That would be cool! I could see posting a Disney poster with a virtue in a corporate office. It seems to me that the characters all have different mixes of virtues. Snow White is really brave when she goes in the forest. Very kind and helpful with the dwarves. This could also be a fun writing assignment for kids I think.

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