What Kind of Homeschoolers Are We?

HomeschoolThoughts

I’ve referenced homeschooling in several previous posts, but I want to really lay out my thoughts and intentions.  As a whole and how I hope to implement it within our family.

I never imagined I’d be a homeschool mom.  Growing up, we were all the typical “outsiders” of the homecshool community.  You know…

“Homeschoolers are so weird!”

“I bet they have NO friends.”

“Do you even math, brah?”

And then I moved hours away from my tiny, wholesome hometown to a slightly less tiny, somewhat less wholesome cityville.  The teachers I grew up with were my neighbors.  Those teachers taught my cousins, even my parents.  Those teachers came to visit when you missed school because you were sick.  Those teachers knew you when you arrived to class because they had been to your baby shower.

What a blessing we had.

Moving to a new place, having my own babies, and not knowing anyone in the school system really shook me.  Send my fairy waif of a baby girl to a giant school house with 400 strangers? And STAIRS?

How ’bout…no.

I became a stay at home mom as soon as my first child was born, and homeschooling went from something foreign and slightly creepy to a super swell option that we would 110% figure out.

But now that it’s time to implement and really get started, I’m realizing that I’m still a bit of an outsider here.  Literally every homeschool family I personally know uses full boxed curricula.  Nearly half use a video version where the kids’ teachers are on VHS tape. The mention of unit studies, interest based study topics, forgoing grade systems, or library resources gets me a big ol’ side eye from them all.

A friend of mine told me she was worried about her children falling behind.  Her words being, “If they’re not ahead, they’re behind.”  My view is that there is no behind in homeschooling as long as there is some sort of progress and the kids are happy.

So, here I am.  Branching out even further from my bubble and soaking up all the wisdom and experience I can from mom bloggers across the world, Facebook groups, and Youtube channels.  Just weeks from the official start of our homeschool journey with no curriculum in sight.  And I feel totally fine about it.

I’ve decided our motto will be “Home learning, not home schooling.”

No pressure, just encouragement.  No requirements, just goals.

My hippie level keeps rising.


What kind of homeschooler are you?

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12 thoughts on “What Kind of Homeschoolers Are We?

  1. I’m definitely the home learning type. I despise boxed curriculums! We unschooled for the first five years with no formal curriculum, just the library and hands-on activities. I love creating my own unit studies. We do lots of science experiments. I don’t give my son grades. I don’t compare him to other kids, public schooled or homeschooled. So he’s never behind because he’s always right on course with his own progress. Only in recent years have we become eclectic, using some online classes that are streamed-live, through an LDS private school. I wouldn’t send my son there if we lived close by, though. I just really like their distance education program. It’s very flexible. We still do our own things along with these classes. That’s how we roll here!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Hippie! I came here from Holden Down the Fort.
    I love your answer!!
    I think the whole IDEA of homeschooling is to do your own thing, what fits your kids!!!
    AS a teacher, I used to be horrified by unschooling. But, now I’ve come to realize, it’s a good thing!!
    Public education is horrible!!
    Thanks for allowing your doll to grow up without that awful pressure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was pretty horrified the first time I heard of unschooling too! But then I realized it’s just a continuation of what we do in the first few years of parenthood. Living and exploring and the kids pick up on things and take off on their own!

      I believe there are some amazing teachers out there. Unfortunately, their good hearts and good intentions often get squashed by “the system.” I have crazy respect for teachers that continue to fight the good fight out of love for children and knowledge. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We are Charlotte Mason based homeschoolers. I think what draws me to this type of education is that it isn’t the traditional way I learned in school. I love the emphasis on reading “living books,” studying nature, free time in the afternoons, short lessons, delayed formal lessons and the list goes on.
    Love your outlook on homeschooling– I feel the same way– no need for pressure or comparing. Do what’s best for your family.

    Like

  4. Wow, there is SO much I don’t know about homeschooling. What is a unit study? I should just google that….
    I think you are on the right track because you are following your heart and your children, not conforming to a random standard. If there is progress, good! Obviously you need to keep preparing him for an eventual goal (graduation), but the boxed sets etc … gah! Why bother homeschooling if you just conform to that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely think boxed sets have their place! Just not for US while we’re doing KINDERGARTEN lol. I’ll also add that I *loved* worksheets as a child, so I don’t doubt that some kids excel with that style of learning. (Weirdo over here lol!)

      Did you Google yet?? At it’s simplest, a unit study is an overall theme used for a period…from a few days up to months. For example, a unit on stars. Our weekly library haul would include fiction and non-fiction books with a star theme. We could focus on a few Bible passages where stars are noted. We could do star themed math games, maybe add in some geometry, talk about constellations and celestial navigation (two vocabulary words right there!), discuss the types of stars, practice motor skills by drawing and cutting, etc. It’s like getting 47 birds with one stone!

      Unit studies are a great way to learn because it brings everything home and increases retention.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, you’re not the only nerd … I loved worksheets, too! I actually still have a multiplication time test worksheet I made from playing school. Okay, so later on that could be useful, but yeah, kindergarten … can we please do low-key while they still can?!

        Unit studies are great! I just realized my daughter’s preschool pretty much does this, too. Their units only last a week or two, but right now they’re doing outer space, funnily enough. And also plants and such. It is handy for learning bits without going overboard while still going deeply into a subject.

        Kudos on all this!!

        Like

  5. [homeschooled by Kids]
    I definitely conform to your way of thinking. We are not 100% sure yet what we will do but love the idea of unschooling.
    I also loved playing school and worksheets as a kid so I keep a few “workbooks” around. (For age 3 this is really just sticker activity book and the kindergarten brain quest, and some fun kumon work books that focus on cutting and pasting or similar topics.)

    Did you tell your child they are officially starting homeschool or did you flow naturally into it without many changes?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try to keep it pretty unceremonious and just keep chugging along on whatever path seems to work for us. I plan to “school” year round, four weeks on, one week off, TWO off for Christmas. And I’m really trying to dismiss grade levels from my vocabulary so we don’t even up feeling behind or get too obsessed with meeting grade typical standards.

      Liked by 1 person

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