We decided to homeschool this year! It’s been stirring in my heart for years, even before having babies, and this year we did it! I feel such peace and excitement for our little family.
Since today is the first day of school for us I figured I would share a quick overview of what we’re learning, teaching, studying and the overall flow of our home. Stay tuned for more updates, but here’s what we got so far.
Let’s start with the basics and what has been the most helpful for me as the mom. The Charlotte Mason approach was what we decided would be best for our family – we love her structure and focus on Christ and forming habits in our children at a young age. If you don’t know about Charlotte Mason, she was born in the mid-1800’s and is considered the “grandma” to homeschooling practices that we still have today! She was a Christian and had a huge focus on instilling habits in children, so I really resonated with her teachings and “how-tos” for schooling at home. But as a tip, do your own research, maybe the Classical approach or another method would be better for your family.
I also really enjoy the Courageous Parenting podcast, they homeschool their 9 kids and have an online class called the “homeschool blueprint” that outlines everything from how to pick a curriculum to adding discipleship into your homeschool days. So I bought that class which has been helpful and then other resources that I have been reading for me as the mom/teacher are the books A Charlotte Mason Education: A Homeschooling How-to Manual and Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habit Handbook.
And then I basically asked my friend Meghann, who has 6 children, what would be helpful as I begin this journey and for her best recommendations. She gave me so much helpful information, so I decided to start slow with the curriculums she sent me and such, the links are below.
These are the curriculums and actual schooling material I’ve really enjoyed digging through a few online stores, I didn’t get all of them (just the listed books from Brighter Day Press):
– Brighter Day Press (https://brighterdaypress.com/) We got the Morning Times, Autumn Bundle, Moon study, ant study and Creation Study Cards.
– Charollete Mason’s curiculum: https://simplycharlottemason.com/planning/preschool-guide/preschool-enrichment/ I might get their Preschool Bundle and few free downloads that I can print off myself for reading and games and math.
– The Peaceful Press (https://thepeacefulpress.shop/) seems to have good resources too! They have a Preschool Bundle and fun printables too.
And to help with teaching Liliana to read, I made sure to buy this one called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
Structuring days with littles is no easy task, right mamas! So the structure of our days is more of a loose idea of what I would like to see happen. Even without schooling added to our weekly schedule, our days seemed to naturally flow with the kids wanting to do specific things during the same time each day. For example, they usually asked to do art in the morning and wanted to be outside by a certain time. So when planning out our school days I structured it according to their natural flow (not mine). Here’s our loose school-day schedule:
After breakfast, Alexander goes upstairs to begin working for the day, so I let the kids play and I clean up breakfast, start the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. Then me and the kids head upstairs, get ready, make beds and make our way to a comfy chair or couch to snuggle up and do our daily Bible readings, prayer, Scripture memory verse and sing hymns.
We transition into art study which usually involves learning about a famous artist like Monet or reading about a well-known Composer like Bach. After looking at some of their art or listening to a song composed by said composer we do an art project – somedays will be more structure to do an actual project and others will be for their own creativity to simply color or paint.
A break by this point is much needed for a four-year-old and two-year-old, so outside play while mama cleans up art is worked into the “schedule” — after a quick outside play time we gather back for reading 1-2 chapters of a novel which flows right into learning how to read and practicing writing our alphabet. We then break for snacks and listen to the same hymn or a beloved song and after snack we do a quick math lesson and recite our Scripture memory verse again.
That’s it, two hours of quick transitions (5-20 minutes of each subject) and then we’re done. By this point it is time for lunch and more time spent playing outside after quiet hour.
We will see how this structure plays out throughout this school year, but for now it feels good and so right and seems to flow well. I’m eager to hear and learn from other homeschooling mamas. If you are also homeschooling your littles (or bigs) this year, reach out, I would love to connect with you.