How We Homeschool

When one thinks of home school they often vision a child sitting at a table or desk at home with mom at the front of the class teaching. This idea is considered the "school at home" method of homeschooling. It is also the most uncommon homeschooling style.

For most home school families there are usually several schooling styles combined together. The average homeschooler would call themselves eclectic. This means we pull from various sources and create our own curriculum. 

Homeschooling is an evolving process. Each subject varies from one to the next. Every child has their own learning styles and strengths. 

When I create a lesson plan I usually have 6 weeks in mind. That is a long enough time to know if something is working or now and work out any glitches or changes. If by the end of the 6 weeks we cannot make it work, we simply go to a plan b.

Our current lesson plans look like this (click to make larger)

The white spaces are classes, grey spaces are off days. This gives us about 5 subjects a day, about an hour for each one.

This schedule is standard for all of the children. The only difference is level of work by age. I usually only require work by those who are 8 and up, but my 7 year old is exceptional and is also required. But that is never usually an issue. He is almost always the first one to beg to start lessons and the first one done with them, asking for more.

The smaller children 5,4, 3, 1 have workbooks and such that they can use as they desire. They enjoy  doing school work, and they work at their own pace. We have extra projects we can do as well, when there is time. Most of their learning is hands on stuff, thru the course of the day. Some call it unschooling, some call it life learning.

The older children, 12, 10, 8, 7 have binders/notebooks  labeled for each subject. They are expected to get out their work and ready for class. Each child has a laminated copy of their schedule with their electives labeled. When they complete their work in a subject they mark the box off. Each Friday we look to see what need to be completed then wipe the board for the next week. 

The orange subjects are group lessons. Those are led by me. The green subjects are child led. They know what classes are on the schedule for that day. It is their responsibility to begin them. If I am busy with the smaller children they start with the green subjects, otherwise we jump into an orange one.  The blue electives are not done until the orange and green classes are completed. They have about 5 hours of school work assigned each day. But there is incentive to finish early. When school work is done, you are done for the day.

When I choose subjects, I try to fit it to each child, yet making sure I am also streamlined. I have 4 that are full time student and 3 part time students, all at different levels.

Our lesson plans are posted here

Our lessons may be worksheets, a documentary, hands on lessons, open discussions or casual learning. We often do lessons at our desk/table, but there are many times we find a comfy spot. I have also noticed that playing soft instrumental music is helpful.