For many years on this blog I shared what homeschool curricula choices I’d made for the year. Then, in April 2017 I started a new business. My blog took a big backseat after that.
Recently I decided to begin writing here again, mostly because I still have an audience. About once a week someone emails or messages me saying something I wrote helped them or changed their life in some way.
And so I’m back… because I miss it!
I mostly create content via Facebook Live now, so if you’re so inclined, look me up there.
I hope you enjoy this post about our homeschool 2019/2020.
Truth be told, I’m sometimes still uneasy about sharing WHAT we do in our homeschool.
Because that’s not nearly as important as the WHY we do. (I believe that’s the most important consideration about nearly any life choice, not just homeschooling!)
Develop a philosophy about it. Then, choosing the “stuff to do” becomes easy.
But also because families, and kids, are all different. My choices shouldn’t influence yours. And it’s easy to read too much into these things.
The lovely thing about having been a homeschooling parent for 16 years (my oldest is 21) is this: I’m more confident and relaxed about it every year. I have two graduates now and know the kids will be all right.
This year I have: 2 young adult graduates living at home. And 2 high schoolers, 2 primary schoolers and a pre-K student.
The two oldest, both boys, are busy working and creating and living. (Although the 18 year old knows he won’t be issued his diploma until he finishes reading the Best Of articles on Mr. Money Mustache’s blog. Teaching my kids personal finance is hugely important to me. I don’t want them growing up ignorant and making the same money mistakes hubby and I did.)
Eldest apprentices and works with my husband doing furniture repair and a little tutoring on the side. (Math tutoring. Which I wish my 44 year old self could go back and inform my 23 year old new mom self. And I literally just had to use my computer to subtract. He didn’t get the math gene from me.) He also spends a lot of time in ministry and is planning a month-long trip to the Philippines. He’s been learning Tagalog for some time now and this will certainly help!
The new grad is working on his cell phone repair business and eBay business (which he’s been running since he was 10). And doing quite a bit of driving of younger siblings around. (What ever will I do when I don’t have an errand boy? I hate driving!)
Here’s what the homeschoolers are up to:
Ilana, 11th grade – Ilana chose Easy Peasy All-In-One this year. She did this last year and likes it. I’m pleasantly surprised at how comprehensive it is for a free online curriculum. Amazing, the free and frugal homeschool resources that are available these days.
Sadie, 9th grade – we chose Abeka for her entire curriculum. This is the first time EVER that I’ve used a complete “out of the box” curriculum. She felt strongly about wanting to go this route. And unlike her big sis, she doesn’t like online school. At first we considered Penn Foster, but I didn’t think it was rigorous enough. Some digging around let us to Abeka. It’s excellent, and we’ll probably return to it for 10th grade next year.
For the younger children, I don’t do “grade levels”. My general philosophy about kids this age is that they mature and change so quickly, I don’t fuss too much about whether they’re “keeping up with their peers“. If that was my concern, they’d be in a classroom with 20 other students.
They’re individuals, and they learn at different paces. They also have unique strengths that may very well follow them into adulthood. The beauty of homeschooling, in part, is allowing those strengths to blossom in the best of environments.
As an example, Victoria, 6, isn’t reading well yet. But, she does the same math curriculum as her sister, who is two years older.
Ruby, 9 – Story of the World for history and geography, along with the tests and coloring pages from the activity guide. Science consists of reading, nature studies. Math is Teaching Textbooks. Grammar from Sheldon’s Advanced Language Lessons (this is an ancient book you can print free from Google books).
Victoria, 6 – Teaching Textbooks for Math, various reading and nature studies for science. Story of the World for history and geography (she mostly does the coloring pages from the activity guide). We do a little phonics daily and lots of read aloud.
Josiah, 4 – although I usually do NO formal schooling at this age, little Josiah gets quite upset with me if we don’t. So we spend some time every day counting and subtracting. He’s also trying to learn how to hold a pencil. He loves read aloud. His job is to learn to be obedient. Because that makes everything else easy. Ha!
This month’s read alouds: Swiss Family Robinson and My Side of the Mountain.
What’s new in your homeschool?
Beverly Coomer says
Oh, Carrie — I ALMOST long for those days of read alouds on the sofa with a hot cuppa! We graduated our last home scholar in June, and just drove him to college last week. I was a bit surprised, but after going through this four previous times, I suppose it just felt “right”, and I didn’t weep as I thought I might. I had a little chokey moment when I kissed him goodbye and reminded him to be kind, study hard, make his bed, and call his mother every week while he’s doing laundry ;-D but I am so proud of the young man he has become, and I know he is in infinitely better Hands than mine now.
You are so right in expressing the importance of developing a philosophy/mission statement about your family’s homeschool choice; an old adage says that a soldier doesn’t clean his gun after he’s already on the battlefield, and as home educators, we do need to know our “why’s” before we determine our “how’s” and “what’s”! There are so many resources available today for home educators, and so much freedom in allowing our children to blossom in their own ways and at their own time.
I will be praying for your tribe as you continue to undertake this amazing and life-changing adventure; it’s simple, but it’s not always easy. I’m living proof, however, that home school mamas WILL survive the experience!
Thanks for sharing. Do you do one read-aloud for all the kids? Do the older ones read by themselves
Hi Carrie! I came across your blog a few days ago as I was feeling overwhelmed by this new school year and was looking for ideas on how other large family organize their homeschool days, space etc. The way you do school with yours resonates very much with me as getting them to be as independant as possible is a must for it all to work. We have 5 boys(ages 11, 10, 8, 7 and almost 4) and a baby girl and what makes it overlwhelming for me is they energy and constant hunger. But I’m learning every year to come up with better ways to be ahead of the game and train them up, by God’s grace and through the wisdom He gives. I really enjoyed learning some key tips from you( unrelated but Friday when I grocery shop I will buy clothes detergent and stop making my own-you make some really persuasive points in that post) so thank you for sharing your life with others and inspiring others in the trenches!
Welcome back Carrie. Your blog posts have been missed. Loved reading about what you do for homeschool as all my children have gone through government school but I have always been a closet homeschooler at heart and we’ve done plenty of home education alongside the formal learning. Chuckled at your withholding diploma until MMM ‘curriculum’ has been ticked off. May I suggest you add the Andy Stanley North Point Guideposts series to your
We just finished The Swiss Family Robinson–second time around for the second batch of growing listeners. It’s so odd that this is an enduring classic! It gives us lots of reasons to laugh and lots of science training, though, as we look up facts when we think the book is wrong. 🙂
funny! My oldest son loves this book but he said it was a bit sexist. I haven’t picked up on that yet but it was interesting he did.
I’ll check it out thanks Hayley!
so glad you enjoyed it Luiza and thanks for reading!
We used to have a daily read aloud for everyone including the older kids, but in recent years it’s nearly impossible to find a time where everyone is at home! So it’s mostly the younger set. We do read together with the big ones but it’s mostly Bible related material during family worship time.
Hey Beverly thanks for the comment! It was stuck in spam for some reason!
Hey girl, maybe I missed it but what do you do for phonics/teaching reading/grammar and spelling ect?
I’ve never taught spelling, although my middle girls sometimes had it in their online classes. For language arts we use WellTrainedMind – Writing with Ease and First Language Lessons.
Can recommend Christian Heroes then and now series by Geoff and Janet Benge as read alouds for all ages. My girls loved them.