The past month or so has been so hard on families. My heart goes out to everyone searching for new ways to keep schooling going for their kids. Every home situation is different and every family is different.
Many parents will find themselves in the upcoming months facing new decisions about schooling their children. I have already had a few friends reach out to me to ask about the curricula and resources we use. To help those searching, here is a list of the resources we are currently using after 7 years of testing and adjusting with various homeschooling resources.
We are still learning and every year I explore new ideas because my children are growing and our family’s goals change. I hope this article will help spark ideas for your families. I also hope what I say does NOT paint a picture of what YOUR homeschool should look like.
The number one thing to remember with homeschooling is: No two homeschools look the same.
What works for some may not work for others. And that is okay. The beauty of homeschooling is the freedom to build it to serve your family instead of building your family to fit the system.
Ok. On to resources.
Note: these are currently used with kids ages 11, 10, 8, 6, and 3.
- We use The Good and The Beautiful for Language Arts and for Science this year. I really enjoy this curriculum right now for our family because:
- It is so simple! No extra prep necessary beforehand.
- My kids enjoy it. I rarely have a child complaining about doing it.
- It has grammar, spelling, writing, literature, art, and geography all wrapped into one book. It often leads us to topics I would rarely think of doing and then we end up really enjoying learning about that topic more at other times.
- Relative to other curricula, it isn’t too expensive
- We started using Khan Academy for math this year and have enjoyed it a lot. It is a great way for kids to learn at their own pace. We use this in sync with the real world math experiences we already do which includes:
- Board games (adding, subtracting, keeping score)
- Cooking (adding, subtracting, measuring, fractions, division, weight, etc.)
- Money (saving, counting, adding/subtracting, keeping a budget and a ledger, transactions online or when we go somewhere, etc.)
- Quizzing each other on basic multiplication facts.
- Social Studies/History: We joined a co-op this year where we get together with other families once a week. The moms prepared lessons and activities based on the monthly rotation from The Well Educated Heart. I love all the book ideas and the resources on this website. We will often check out library books on these topics and google for other ideas to go with it.
- Music: We use Hoffman Academy online for piano. It seems a little expensive up front but it has proved to be a good experience for my kids so far.
We also are learning Ukulele right now as a family from my mother-in-law who teaches at Prattland Music School. We have just started this during quarantine and hope it will continue.
YouTube has a ton of wonderful Ukulele resources and you can get started with a fairly cheap uke (we recommend this one)
- Other: PE — Go outside! Walks, Bike Rides, Hikes, Beaches, Running, Jump Rope challenges, youtube workout and Zumba videos. The sky is the limit! Just get up and do something.
- FamilySchool Power Hour: Since the quarantine started, TheFamilySchoolOnline began a new thing called Power Hour. This hour consists of 15-mins PE, 30-min lesson, and 15-min read aloud. We have really enjoyed it and it breaks up our day nicely. They currently plan to continue until June 2020.
*Speaking of Family School — this is another great curriculum resource for families wanting to use religious curricula in their homes. We tried it a few years back when they were first starting their distance learning and liked it. It just wasn’t a great fit for us and the ages of my kids back then.
- Real life experiences. Too many to name, but some example include teaching our kids to:
- shop and initiate transactions on their own
- order their own food
- handle household chores (laundry, dishes, organizing, weeding, gardening, designing, deep cleaning, etc.)
- travel (reservations, flights, airports, planning, etc.)
- communicate with friends and family (email, Marco Polo, by hand letters, video chats)
- make meals and bake treats
We enjoy homeschooling. It comes with its own challenges but it also comes with so much joy. Ultimately we center our homeschooling on two core principles. We want our kids to:
- Love to learn
- Know how to learn
When you focus on these, a lot of other things fall into place. We hope our experiences can help inspire you to create the learning you want to see in your own families.