homeschool · Kids

Homeschooling and What I’ve Changed Since We Started

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It’s been a few months since we starting our first homeschooling year. We have started with a 1st grader, 5th grader, and we also have a toddler running around.

To say it was a rough start would be an understatement.

We have finally found a good flow though!

That didn’t come without having to make some changes.

Here’s a list of things I’ve changed since the beginning of the year. Every family is unique and these things might be things that work for you or don’t.

  • I stopped having a strict schedule.

Things happen. We have three kids. Someone is almost always sick, in a bad mood, has an appointment or club to attend, or sometimes it’s just a nice day out. Part of the reason we wanted to try homeschooling was the freedom that we would gain.

  • I’ve changed some of the ways we learn.

Both kids started with Khan Academy for math and my oldest also was using it for history. We’ve gravitated to doing a more hands on approach with the math. My oldest and I will work out problems together on the white board as he is learning the concepts. I work with my middle child right on his papers. They both still use Khan Academy, but they learn the concepts on paper first. I’ve also allowed more computer games that also teach, but are not necessarily education heavy. They are a good reward for doing the boring stuff.

  • Instead of trying to do everything separate for both grades, I’m mixing history, science, and art lessons.

From what I’m understanding, there is a standard for what each grade learns about history. It’s super hard to educate multiple grades in one house. We are getting into  doing more of history, science, and art and I’m heavily relying on Pinterest to mix those things together. I’m finding ways that they can each learn about these things together, but at their appropriate levels. I like that they can then further discuss what we are learning with each other. Click here to check out my Pinterest boards.

  • I’ve stopped trying to compare us to others.

And by others I mean public schoolers and home schoolers alike. Everyone is different. Everyone learns at their own pace and has their own interests. I don’t want them to feel pressured to be super kids because they are homeschooled. Everyone finds their own way. As long as they are always moving forward, we will find ours.

  • I encourage them to choose a topic to explore.

Sometimes it’s weekly and sometimes it’s not, but I’m trying to give them more say over their learning experience and to ignite further curiosity. Sometimes we use youtube to explore a topic one is suddenly interested in or maybe the library. I try to not just say “no” if they are curious about something that we haven’t gotten to yet.

As this first year continues, I have no doubt that we will continue to tweak and try to improve how we do things.

If you’re a seasoned homeschooler, or even unschooler, feel free to drop some comments below on what worked for you and what didn’t.

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6 thoughts on “Homeschooling and What I’ve Changed Since We Started

  1. I also lean on Pinterest to liven up our history, science, etc. We are combining grades for the same subjects! I love what you wrote comparing ourselves to others!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like you are finding your own groove to Homeschooling. As I only have one left in school, it’s his senior year, and he only has 3 classes left, our homeschool experience is completely different. Every family is different. I strongly recommend purple math in addition to Khan Academy (it is free of course) and there are oodles of YouTube videos with a teacher explaining difficult mathematical concepts on a whiteboard. My kids all struggled with math so, I used multiple resources to help them to grasp concepts even when they were still in public school. Another thing you can combine grades for is vocabulary. Definitions and spelling tests are quiet activities. Definitions can also occupy one child while you work separately with another child on another subject. Reading is another of those quiet activities that allows you to focus on one child while occupying the others. Additionally, art is a “fun” subject and you can dry and display their work with a length of clothesline, 2 command hooks or screws, and some clothespins. Just attach the line against the wall and voila you have an art display that can be changed often and very easily as well as a place to dry paintings. My absolute favorite quiet work can be found online as printables or in most bookstores. Coloring books or pages of maps, the human body (and all systems), all sorts of science pages such as the parts of a plant or a cell, the periodic table, etc. These types of activities help them learn while also giving you a bit of quiet time to get other things done.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very welcome. I almost forgot theres another activity I absolutely love for quiet work (not busy work because I hate giving them useless things to work on) I came across a site that approaches Homeschooling very differently, there are a bunch of things for sale, but also a ton of freebies and the idea is quite impressive in itself. I’m sure you can adjust it to suit your needs. It’s called notebooking pages. (There are a ton of different sites for this and oodles of freebies for download from all of them) if you have a little one who has difficulty taking notes or retaining information this is ideal for those learning hurdles and they can be kept in a notebook for easy reference and studying

        Liked by 1 person

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