What I've Learned in my First Month of Homeschool
Well, I don’t know about you but I set fire to my original 2020 planner and have started over from scratch. Many of us have found ourselves in uncharted territories and having to make some really hard decisions. I've taken comfort knowing that this is all temporary and we can shift + change when and how we need to.
We are all in this together no matter how schooling is taking place for our kiddos this year. Know that you have made the best decision for you and your family. 💙
We decided to Homeschool.
First, I want to say that homeschool has been in the back of my mind for a couple years now and this current pandemic has simply given me the push I need to take action. However, I want our oldest daughter to have ownership of her education and she has decided to remain in the public education system knowing she is free to change her mind at any time. Totally cool...she's rockin' it!
As for the twins and I, we are taking on homeschooling for their third-grade school year.
I created this post to capture what I have learned over the past month. I am not a homeschool expert by any means but I am a researcher and I wanted a place to hold the information and the resources I have gathered. I will let you know after I have a couple of months, what is working and what is not.
Once we decided…
I set up a peaceful and comfortable space in our home to promote learning. It’s simple for now with plans to grow as we move through the year: a table, child yoga chairs, fun writing utensils, notebooks, dry erase boards, etc. I have fun math manipulatives, art supplies, and found nature objects at the ready and will bring them out as needed.
What Kind of Homeschool works for us...
A friend of mine who has been homeschooling her two littles for a while sent me a wonderful guide to help answer some of my questions. One of the links I found extremely helpful to breakdown the type of homeschool methods available. I decided to go with the Charlotte Mason approach to homeschool (to start with). Check out the link below to see what approach is right for you. Thanks again for all your help, Courtney!
My plan was to go with The Good and the Beautiful. That company came up in recommended lists over and over again. I was able to purchase the Handwriting books through them but grew impatient waiting for them to restock. Apparently many people went with The Good and the Beautiful this year! Maybe we will try them next year if we choose to continue to homeschool. No-fault of theirs, I don't think anyone expected such a huge rise in homeschooling families this year. The Handwriting books are beautiful and the twins are really enjoying them so far!
For the other subjects, (math, language arts, and science) I purchased the curriculum from Masterbooks. I am really excited and pleased with my purchase so far and even have my eye on their history books and a couple of other items to add to our collection.
I like Masterbook's simple, “open and go” curriculum that is based on Charlotte Mason principles. The plan is to use the Masterbooks resources as my base and bring in other nature-based learning, games, books, etc. to support as I see my children’s interest spark in specific areas.
**update: while we are still happy with the math and language arts curriculum from Masterbooks, I found the "Force and Motion" Science collection to be a bit overwhelming (for me not for the twins 🤷♀️ ) so we have set that aside for now. **
Not gonna lie, I was overwhelmed and a little worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew. When I would bring up homeschooling to others, they would say, "Oh I could never homeschool. I am not a teacher and not qualified to teach my children" Were they right?
What I've realized through going down the rabbit hole of homeschool podcasts, books and blogs is that my job as a homeschool mom isn't necessarily to teach to my kids but to support them in learning. It's to provide resources and space. It's to notice where their natural curiosities are leading them and support them in their discoveries. If they need more of a traditional lesson in a certain subject and I don't know much about it, we learn it together and it's a beautiful moment.
A podcast I have found most helpful is “Hey Honey! I’m Homeschooling the Kids”. Julie Bogart is the creator and I really resonated with everything she spoke on. She also has a book I've been listening to on Audible called, “The Brave Learner” and I highly recommend it to any parent whether homeschooling or just interested in supporting or supplementing their child’s learning.
Here are some other resources I have at the ready if needed and I have broken them down by subject. Again, I am new and do not have experience with any of these but they sparked my interest and, if needed, we will give them a try.
Social Studies / History
- Letters from Afar (we subscribed to this for a month and then canceled. I thought it was fascinating but the kids weren't that interested... yet 😉)
- Horrible Histories
- Kids in Other Countries
- National Geographic Kids
- The Giant American History Timeline
This topic excites me the most. I think “open-ended art projects” or “process art” are amazing to foster a child’s creativity. My plan is to link an open-ended art project with topics we are learning in other subjects. Here are some resources to use for open-ended art projects:
I will be sharing our art projects, nature journaling, and ideas I decide to implement on my website and Instagram account. As far as art history, culture and museum tours, or more guided technical teaching, check out
- Wild and Free
- Texas Nature Guide (Love this guide! Check out all the other resources available at Chick and Roo. I have my eye on so many!!)
- Wild Math
I have a long list of inspiring homeschool Instagram accounts and blogs that I will gather and share at a later date. To be honest, there is an abundance of ideas, inspiration, and support available online and, probably even, in your neighborhood.
Have you decided to homeschool? Are you a newbie this year like me or a veteran homeschool mom? Let me know in the comments how it's going so far. I know I'm not alone in this new adventure.