by Marcie

Frequently Asked Questions About Homeschooling

I love to help new homeschooling parents! Here are just a few questions I get. Send me yours or sign up for a free 30 minute phone call and ask away!

  1. Because I love teaching my children! I share a little bit about the story here. I loved teaching Kylie, my oldest, to do everything: roll over, sit up, crawl, walk, do sign language, stack her blocks, do puzzles, count her raisins, read books, memorize poems and songs, the list goes on. It brought me so much joy. She never wanted to go to school and I never wanted to send her. It was our way of life to learn and play together all day long. 
  2. I was also a bit selfish in that when Kylie turned 5 I had 4 little kids and I didn’t want to put them in the stroller two times a day to walk her to and from school and have our day revolve around her school schedule. Naps, field trips, family visits, vacations, everything would revolve around the school and I didn’t want that. I love having the freedom to choose what we want to learn, when, and how. I also love to structure our day as we please. If it’s raining we can snuggle with blankets and read for hours. If it’s nice weather we can play in the creek for hours. If Grandma is visiting from out of state we can take 2 weeks off and hang out with her.

No, I never have. When I first started I had friends who used Calvert and I really wanted to but we couldn’t afford it. I was spending $2 at yard sales for Scott Foresman math workbooks and coming up with everything else by myself for free so I couldn’t fathom spending hundreds of dollars for a year’s worth of school supplies. I really wanted to but on med student budget with 4 little kids, we didn’t have the money. I also started seeing it this way: If I had $400 to spend on education this year what would I do with it? I would probably buy a few school books but also spend it on art and craft supplies because we’ve always had to scrimp on that, go to the zoo or a museum, go to state parks, and buy a few educational toys. I wouldn’t spend it on one packaged curriculum anyway. So I never bought any and I’m glad. I think my kids would have gotten bored of them year after year. 

Pros: You get every book for every subject. No planning required on your part at all. Saves you hundreds of hours. Peace of mind that your child is doing grade level work each year and could go to public school.

Cons: Each child does their own work all day and there aren’t group subjects. Hardly any family time. Too much like public school where the child is fed the information someone else says he needs to be learning. Stressful if you get off schedule, behind, don’t finish an expensive workbook. Lots of books and subjects to keep track of. Expensive. Too much book learning, not enough imaginative play/creativity.

To me homeschooling starts at birth. As I interact with my baby I’m teaching her how to smile. Then I help her learn to roll over, grab toys, sit up, etc. I teach her how to clap her hands, wave good-bye and talk. I read to her and talk to her all day. Soon I help her color a picture, ride a tricycle and memorize a poem. We cook together, write letters to Grandma, and meet up with friends at the park. For kids, life is school. They are learning all day. That’s why we need to provide plenty of educational toys such as dress up, a sand box, art supplies, and books. And talk, talk, talk to them!

Formal education is introduced gradually. I get a cheap preschool workbook like this one because my kids enjoy “school” and let them do it when they want. I continue to provide educational play opportunities all day. When they show interest in a subject, such as airplanes I check out books about it. I introduce all aspects of it such as science (lift, force, etc), history (the Wright brothers), crafts (making paper airplanes), and writing (practicing the letter “A” and finding other words that start with “A.” Or writing a paragraph about what they learned.)

Around age 8 I am making sure they are doing core subjects several times a week. Mostly because it’s a law. They do their own math and language arts books and do history and science with me and the rest of the kids. If they’re so into making their cardboard camera that they won’t come for history, I’m fine with them missing a day. I do have all the daily lessons planned out with our textbook, but if we go to the nature center at a state park that will count as science for the day and I’ll double up another day.

By age 10-12 my children are self-motivated to get their book work done quickly and don’t need much help. They really enjoy the group subjects and ask a lot of questions. Furthermore, they are looking up subjects on their own, checking out books about it, and wowing me with their knowledge.

My high schoolers pick all their own classes and do their work independently except for group subjects they wish to join. They know which college they’d like to attend and work toward that goal largely by themselves. They are aware of weaknesses they’d like to improve such as essay writing, math, or foreign language and work on those. In their spare time they improve their hobbies such as music or track and find opportunities to serve their community.

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