Monday, February 15, 2010


I received a few sweet emails from mamas asking about our homeschool, so I thought I'd write a bit more on it for all who are interested.

Ahhh, Homeschool.  As with anything worthwhile, it is a lot of work.  It requires a lot of sacrifice.  It causes a lot of second-guessing.  It can be incredibly tough, but also incredibly rewarding.  I have a love/hate relationship with Homeschooling.

I'll write later on about our path to Homeschooling, but for now I'll just answer a few specific questions:

What curriculum do you follow?

I believe that curriculum should be chosen only after you come up with the goals you have for your homeschool.  Begin with the end in mind.  What do you hope to accomplish? WHY are you homeschooling?  Because of my specific goals for my children, I have chosen to take a Classical/Charlotte Mason approach to homeschooling.  You can read more about the Charlotte Mason approach here.  There are free curriculum guides at Ambleside Online and Tanglewood.  We use a combination of these two curricula as well as some other things on the side.  "A Well-Trained Mind"  is an excellent must-read book on Classical Education that can be found here.

Will you ever put your kids in school?

I think it is incredibly important to parent on a case-by-case basis, looking at what is best for the child in question and the family as a whole.   I'll never say "never" to school.  Circumstances change and every child is different.

What about High School?

I'm not interested in my kids having the "High School Experience."  Missing out on all of that doesn't bother me in the least.  That being said, we have a few excellent programs near by at the local colleges/universities where students can complete a few years of College while in high school on the government's dime.  I'll obviously take into account the personality of each of my children before deciding on this in the future, but I'm interested in those programs.  My younger sister will have her undergrad completely paid for under one of these programs while she lives at home with my parents as a high school student.

What is the Hardest part of being a homeschool Mom?

This is going to be different for every one.  For me, it is never getting a break.  My friends with children in school get these lovely stretches of time in the mornings where they can decide what to do with their out, clean house, sit and read  a book, etc.  This never happens for me.  I love spending time with my kids, but parenting and homeschooling and housekeeping and everything run together in this giant circle of daily-ness.  That is part of the appeal, but it is also part of the sacrifice.  I also never have a clean house ;-).

What is the best part of being a homeschool Mom?

Being there for those moments when your kids "get it."  I always say, "I didn't want to miss out on their first steps.  Why would I want to miss out on anything else?"  I also love how learning never stops in our house.  The things we cover in our lessons are often discussed for the rest of the day as we work and play together.  I love how, if something is not working, I can come at it from another direction.  I can tailor the mode of teaching for each individual to the way they learn the best.

Do you ever worry...?

Of course.  I'm a mom.  Mom's worry!  When I have those down moments, I often look up "what your child should know" at certain ages.  I am usually comforted in that either my kids are right on where they should be, or ahead in some areas.  I also know that I can't screw this up: If my kid is meant to be an engineer or a mechanic, or an artist - he will be.

I'll write more on this later on.  If you have any additional questions, please ask!


  1. You do a great job Lyd!

  2. I am interested to know when you "started", and how you do it with kids of different ages. I am interested in doing some more intentional preschool type stuff with my oldest, but am not sure how to manage that with a toddler running around too!

  3. Cristen - This is one of the trickiest parts of homeschooling more than 1 child! I started very lightly when Ben was 4, mostly doing just reading time and flashcards of numbers and letters. Now we all sit together while I read our books. The girls are allowed to color or work on writing their letters on free print outs I give them, but they have to be quiet. Jonah is typically napping during our school time. Once reading is over, the girls go play in their room or make their beds/tidy up while Ben and I tackle phonics and math. I think it is helpful to have a few toys or coloring books that only come out during school time for the little ones. Also, mix a few picture books in with the rest of your family reading to keep them engaged.
    Honestly, it is hard for us to adhere to a strict daily schedule simply because I am also dealing with a baby and a 2 year old. But the nice thing about homeschooling is you can come back to something when there is a quiet moment during your day. Sometimes Ben and I don't get to reading til bedtime, and then he reads to me before bed.


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