Q & A {homeschool}

q&a

hey friends!  its been awhile, but i’m finally getting around to finishing off our Q&A series!  all of these questions were asked by my readers, so hopefully you can relate to some of them!

if you want to catch up on the series so far, you can read about my house herewiww and my blog herepersonal questions here, and shop questions here.

today’s questions are going to focus on homeschooling, or our version of it…

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What age did you start homeschooling and what was the deciding factor?

we started homeschooling at kindergarten for grace and lily, and jr. kinder for silas.  we sent all of our kids to a tiny, wonderful little preschool for 1-2 years, and silas also did 1 year of jr. kindergarten at the girls’ school (he was in the first jr. k class offered there).  so all that to say, we have never put our kids in public school, but both sean and i were educated publicly.

so what was the deciding factor?  hmm, lots of things really.  our school that we are part of is really unique, and i was able to watch it build from its very beginning.  a good friend of mine started the school about 8 years ago, so we have been able to see what an amazing place it is, know its core values, and see the results of the school in the incredible students it’s producing.  i used to think homeschooling was nuts!  i never ever thought i would homeschool my kids.  ever.  but when it came time to make a decision for school for our oldest, i couldn’t imagine her being away from me 5 days a week.  that honestly was my first reason why i kept her out of public school.  then the more we researched public education vs. classical education, and our hybrid model, choosing sloca was the obvious best choice for us.

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i’ve said it before, but i don’t love teaching at home, but i love having my kids home.  it doesn’t feel that way every day.  in fact, most days are really hard.  but i have finally learned after years of struggling against it that not all good things have to be easy and feel good.  lots of good things and right decisions are hard.  and thats ok.

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What exactly is classical education? 

for a really great explanation, go here.  but for my quick version, here goes:

classical education may be gaining popularity now, but it is not new.  some of our greatest minds in history were classically educated.  our school specifically focuses on ” the forging of character, the fostering of wisdom, and the nurturing of a lifelong love of learning.”  how can you not love that?!  one element of classical education is the trivium: the 3 stages that a student’s learning progresses through (grammar, logic/dialectic, and rhetoric).  these 3 stages align with developmental stages children go through.  another hallmark of classical education is reading and discussing great books.  we also study history in a four-period cycle of ancient cultures (especially greece and rome), the middle ages, the renaissance, and early american history.  we are just finishing up the last of the cycle, so next year we will be studying the ancients again.  i am so excited, because this will be our second time learning about them, only grace was 6.  she will have an even greater understanding of all that we learned last time, on a new level!

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How does part time homeschool work?

its awesome!  apparently, some parents who do this don’t consider what they do as homeschooling, but co-teaching.  but i’m at home, with my kids, teaching them.  i’m calling it homeschooling.  i feel like i get to do the best part of it.  so my kids attend school 2 days a week, and are home the other 3.  each week we are emailed what we call “the grid”: each teacher sends out their plan for the week, along with what we’re supposed to do on our homeschool days.  so i don’t have to choose all of my curriculum – its awesome!  no writing lesson plans – yay!  we do choose a handful of our at-home programs, like spelling, grammar, reading/phonics, but other wise, the school decides on all of our other subjects, which i personally love.  so what the kids do at school on monday is followed up with us at home on tuesday, and so on.

and the classroom setting is pretty traditional, other than the small class size (max 14 students).  its not a co-op.  real teachers.  real awesome teachers.  the kids are at school from 8:30 -2:30, and best part?  there is no homework!  so we are never assigned extra work to do on the kids at-school days – love it!

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How do you balance the kids with school and the blog/shop?

oh this is a tough one!  as you can see in the pic below, my work space is in the kids’ playroom/homeschool room.  that is good and bad.  mostly good.

since my kids are at school 2 days a week, i try to get as much work done as i can while they are gone.  and then i work pretty much every evening once they’re in bed.  but since my work is so fun, and it sits behind me while i’m working with the kids, and emails are constantly needing to be answered… distractions come easily.  so i try my best to not do any work during homeschool time.  i keep my computer closed and try not to answer work-related texts (i’m not very good at that one).  i’ll check my email in the early morning before we start school, at lunch, then after we’re done.

the balance is always hard and i’m always trying.  harder sometimes than others.  i think the key is not in finding balance because thats impossible, but in always trying for it.

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Comments

  1. 1

    Thank you for this post! As I have been feeling God’s leading me to homeschool, I feel the hurdle is so big in front of me – especially in convincing others and the other things that go along with this. I would love a hybrid type of system, although that isn’t really an option here in PA.

    I just appreciate you sharing about your homeschooling experience and give you a lot of praise for doing this!

  2. 2

    We have the exact same co-op-type schedule — 8:30-2:30 two days a week! It’s so perfect for us. Just the right amount of time away and at home. Thanks for sharing what homeschooling looks like for you! :)

  3. 3

    We hmmed and hawed weather to homeschool our kids, and in the middle of last year we finally decided we should. I totally agree with ou, that I don’t always love teaching my kids. But I do LOVE having them at home. There are some days that are perfect, but many aren’t. The perfect days absolutely outshine the harder days though!

  4. 4

    I started homeschooling 13 years ago for the same reasons you mentioned. I now have a senior in a charter Classically trained High School; she loves it and our years at home prepared her well. With 5 children, I am looking at only one year left of homeschooling; it goes fast, friend. Enjoy every blessed moment!!

  5. 5

    I am the mother of four and began homeschooling my youngest last year, so we now have two year under our belts. He finished 5th grade in Public school and I originaly thought I would send him back for High School, but after seeing what we accomplish and how happy he is there is no way I will send him back.. So one more year and then we face high school, daunting to say the least. but I am determined.

  6. 6

    We just finished our first year of homeschooling. I love having my kids around. I would love the set up you have with the “school” your kids attend. Happy thursday!

  7. 7
    mikaela says:

    I have been SO envious of this model of schooling ever since I started reading your blog several years ago. My family is considering a move to some place new and I even said to my husband, “Let’s check out San Luis Obispo….. there’s a GREAT school there!” LOL! This just seems like a perfect model (I say that as a mom and as a teacher- I teach 1st grade). I wish this model would start spreading to the East Coast. Thanks for sharing more about what this looks like at your house. If only the cost of living wasn’t so stinkin expensive in CA!

  8. 8

    I am pulling my daughter out of public school to homeschool her – what an adventure we are embarking on together! we have a great charter near us that is part-time homeschool, part-time project based learning- long wait-list for it, though…so right now we are focusing on just doing the extracurriculars she loves for socialization and hopefully joining a homeschool co-op group in the Fall. :-)

  9. 9

    We are wrapping up our 5th year homeschooling. In the beginning we joined a co-op but didn’t do classes, just field trips. I have done all of the instruction, planning and choosing curriculum with the help of my many homeschool friends. 7 years ago I left the corporate world so I could be involved with my daughters education. She went to a wonderful private school for K and 1st but we then decided for lots of reasons that homeschooling her would be best for our family. I have never looked back! If someone had told me 7 years ago I would be homeschooling I probably would have run screaming into the night!

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. 10

    This was so interesting! Thank you for sharing. I’ve been curious about your homeschooling since I started reading your blog. That sounds like such a nice school! I agree that balance can’t be truly achieved, only worked towards. But, working towards it is so important!

  11. 11

    I love your attitude! Thanks so much for all the info. Lord-willing we will begin homeschooling next year.

  12. 12
    Crystal says:

    Love your post!! I have homeschooled both my girls since Kindergarten. I graduated my oldest last year and she made a 4.0 at Sam Houston State University her first year. My other daughter will be a Junior in High School this next year. I am so thankful that I was blessed with the opportunity to homeschool both my girls. It has been the best decision!!

  13. 13

    I homeschooled for a year and wish I had kept it up. Thnx for being so honest about the experience as some days aren’t great. I fervently believe children who are homeschooled are receiving a very well rounded education.

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