our homeschool 101

Today Yesterday was the first day of public school in our city.  I felt a little out of sorts not getting my kids up early, packing lunches and taking our traditional 'first day of school' photos.  I  even half expected a truant officer to come knocking on my door asking where my children were and why they were not in school . . . even though I turned in all the necessary paperwork for competent private instruction.  I might have even experienced a moment of panic after I signed on to facebook and saw the photos and read the stories of all the kids in their new clothes and backpacks heading back to school.

Then I looked in on my sleeping children all nestled into their beds, enjoyed a leisurely cup of coffee and bowed my head in thankful prayer for His plans for our family to be 'different.'  Or, as my friend Ceesa says "to go off the grid."

We spent our day at a church friend's backyard pool with our second family (Ceesa's) who are also choosing to school at home this year.  What a great start to our new adventure!

So . . . when DO we begin our homeschool? 

Thursday.  Nice and slow and easy.


We are going to be educating in a Charlotte Mason'ish manner, with some classical nods and traditional fares thrown in for good measure.  I think most people would call it eclectic; we call it 'us.' 

~ Maddi will be using Teaching Textbooks, pre-algebra level.

~ Ellie and Ben will use Math Mammoth, levels 4 and 2 respectively.


~ Maddi will work her way through Apologia's Creation through Physical Science

~ Ellie and Ben will be introduced to the subject by participating in Maddi's labwork and using a couple of fun unit studies here and there.


~ All three kiddos will participate in learning about history, geography and the bible by utilizing Simply Charlotte Mason's module 1; Genesis - Dueteronomy and Ancient Egypt.  We will use the sugested curriculum guide and move through the unit using living books, suggested readings and activites.


~ Maddi will use Wordly Wise 3000 level 8 and a daily online grammer prompt.

~ Ellie and Ben will each work through their own levels of Spelling Wisdom, complete daily copywork and utilize daily online writing prompts.


~ Maddi will continue with weekly guitar lessons, self taught art through Drawspace and PE through family activities and a membership to our local YMCA.

~ Ellie will resume piano lessons, her third year, with Pam Gaulke.  PE through family activites and games and Art through online prompts and local mini-classes.

~ Ben will follow suit with Ellie with our PE and Art ideas, and is interested in beginning percussion lessons.  Oh. My. 

Daily Together Time (water cooler talk)

~ We plan to begin our day looking through and discussing several 'for this day' online one stop shops such as:

Astronomy picture of the day

Botany picture of the day

Daily global prayer prompts

This day in history

A word a day

National Geographic photo of the day  (we will change our computer desktop photo to this picture and discuss or use as a writing prompt - when appropriate)

~ All of these daily prompts are intended to develop and strengthen family discussions, narration practice (for dinnertime discussion when the hubs gets home) and writing prompts. 

Literature and Writing

~ I believe we based our curriculum decisions and homeschooling style with these two subjects in the forefront of our minds.  We want our children to develop a deep love and respect for classic literature and feel it is very important to expose them to a large variety of literature. 

The kids will all receive reading 'lists' and books chosen from this resource, based on Charlottle Mason's literature philosophy.

In order to foster a solid foundation of comprehension, narration and writing, we will rotate having the children complete 1 of 3 options when they have completed a book. 

1.  An oral narration of the summary and prompted question / answer session covering key points, character development and story time lines.

2.  A written report either prompted in 'book report' form or free-style writing in a comparison side-by-side writing style.

3.  A Power Point or other multi-media presentation covering the main parts of the book.

Downtime/Play/End of day

~ Yes, a plan for this too.  Lots of lots of this.

School begins on Thursday . . . . and the story will continue.


Heidi =) said...

Good luck to you Amy in your new off the grid learning. I am a tad bit jealous. I plan on homeschooling my oldest this year and then adding Megan to the mix the following year and not sure when Bekah and David will join us but I believe it won't be long. My husband has taught high school in two different schools and in both cases had huge problems with the way the children were being educated. I love the way you have organized your schedule and the plans you have for your year sound amazing! I wish I could be a fly on the wall to watch your children blossom this year.

Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

Wow! It sounds like you're ready! Blessings during this new season.

Roselady said...

Charlotte is the way to go. We do her plan -- following Mater Amabilis (a Catholic version). You sound like you're packing more in than us -- but that's what's nice about homeschooling -- free to be -- I feel so connected to you! And, I have to say, I like the whole being off the grid thing.

Hallie said...

Good Luck! I can't wait to hear more about this new adventure!

Natalie said...

Can we come to your school? Pretty please? :) Your days sound seriously great! You kids are VERY lucky you have the courage to go for this! I know you guys are going to have a great year.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. And off the grid is very fitting for your family.
By the way. The math problem is exactly the reason why math teachers just shook their heads at me. (Where is X? Well, 3inches to the left of the margin...)

Deanna said...

OH how I miss homeschooling! Such freedom and bonding with my kiddos! We did it for nearly 14 years then stopped after my mom passed. How nice it would be to be able to keep Jaxson home with me. :( Not gonna lie. I'm very envious. It looks like you have an awesome school year ahead of you!

Jen said...

Wow Amy..impressive! I hope to write more this fall about homeschooling too. I too love the freedom that comes with homeschooling AND that people who homeschool do it in so many different ways...ways that suit their individual families. It is so wonderful! Hooray for homeschooling!

Joanne said...

Can I send Elise to your house? I am seriously jealous of your homeschooling skills. I would love to homeschool Elise, but a teacher I am not. I think the ability to teach is a gift and it's one that I don't have.

Have a great year!

Christi :) said...

You sound excited, positive, and ready, Amy! I can't wait to hear how your adventures unfold. Thanks for keeping us posted :)

Kelly said...

Just one more reason why I love reading your blog!

NikDuck said...

Your new adventure sounds so exciting and I am a bit jealous. Joanne echoed my thoughts...teaching is a gift and I don't have it! I would love to be able to keep Natalie home with me though. You are blessed and can't wait to hear how your year goes!

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

You are a well prepared homeschooling mama!!!

I LOVE Apologia science! We use Abeka, WriteShop, My Father's World and Saxon for all the other subjects.

I look forward to hearing about your homeschooling year!

Reyna said...

Ah....have I mentioned that you are "Wonder Woman"? Seriously we need to get you that costume, with the cuff bracelets, the tiara, the leotard and boots...oh and that lasso (didn't it make people tell the truth or something?). Once again, I stand in awe of you Amy. Sounds like you have a wonderful, educational, well-rounded school year planned for your children. xo

Sarah said...

enjoy every moment of this. I wish it were an option for our family...but currently I am the only one that thinks it's fabulous in our fam;) I look forward to hearing more about your experience!

Football and Fried Rice said...

Oooohhh - can I just say that you've always been a little "off the grid"!!!!

Love you, friend!

Lora said...

How far behind am I???

Sounds like you have your shiz 2 getter gurl! <--- and thats why I can't home schewl... my kidz wuld be screwed!!!!

No really though... I can't wait to hear about all of it. I lOVE "this day in history". I like to make b day cards with all that info.