CM 14: Audioblog- Amy Hughes: Simple Homeschooling
I don’t really understand the 101 when people are doing something for beginners, but whatev. It’s cool. It’s the thing to do, so Simple Homeschool 101 it is. Anyway.
Homeschooling is getting pretty big these days, right? I don’t know about you, but when we began homeschooling 12 years ago, there was utter shock, confusion, and repulsion 9 out of 10 times when we told people how our kids were educated. Now, it’s like 2 out of 10. Most people respond pretty positively these days. So there’s definitely been a cultural shift.
But with that cultural shift has come the pressure of it all. Blogs, books, Instagram, Facebook, podcasts, all of it has added to the pressure of being the raddest homeschooling supermom on the planet and doing everything and using the best stuff and, and, and.
Homeschooling has become the new way to keep up with the Joneses. We are wearing ourselves out and forgetting about that freedom that homeschooling brings, which is probably a huge part of why we chose to homeschool in the first place. Do as much as you want, but don’t think you MUST do all the stuff. Don’t think that it’s necessary. Because if you do, you’re just going to feel defeated all.the.time.
There’s a super simple way to homeschool. It relieves pressure. It gives you freedom. And it allows you the time to add in whatever aesthically-pleasing Instagram suggestion that you want to if you choose to. It’s what I call Simple Homeschooling 101.
- READ BOOKS – books at home, library books, books from thrift stores, books on any subject you want. be choosy. you can read only living books or you can be less picky. but your kids can learn pretty much anything by reading.
- COMPOSITION NOTEBOOKS- you can legit buy a bunch of these super cheap and do literally everything in them. copy work, creative writing, narrations, art notebooking, math, any sort of grammar, science, notes, anything.
- ONLINE MATH- In order to reduce the stuff that goes along with math, use an online math curriculum. you can either go the free route at khan academy or purchase an account at ctc math or teaching textbooks (which is now online and doesn’t need an actual textbook)
- PLAY OUTSIDE- get you and the kids outside. play, explore, observe.
- TALK- talk to your kids about what they’re learning, ask questions, listen, make up stories, talk about events, ideas, just talk to each other.
- USE HANDS- draw, paint, clay, sew, knit, build, dig, cook, bake, cut, glue. anything your kids do with their hands where they are making something is perfect. they just need to create something. it doesn’t need to be super intense.
Here’s the thing. Whevener I bring up this simple homeschooling method, people object, “BUT High School!” Guys, this method works for high school too. Because here’s the thing; as they get older, this stuff just grows with them. So the books they’re reading get longer, deeper, and more challenging. The ideas stretch. The discussions become longer and more serious. Topics read about become more focused and personalized. You add in things as necessary, staying simple.
Want to add in a language? Find an online program and use your composition book. Need a more in-depth writing or grammar program? Choose the one you want to use, do your work in the notebook. Guys, this is so simple. And as they get older they’ll begin to use their hands on their passions. Animation, filmmaking, writing, fashion design, whatever it is, they’ll utilize those skills they learned by using their hands when they were younger and use them in a more focused way.
If you use this basic framework you’ll be hitting all your musts, while leaving room to add in whatever awesome extras you want to. Add in nature journals, watercolor notebooking, morning basket, poetry tea time, composer study, Shakespeare, whatever. Just don’t feel like you have to.
Homeschooling isn’t a competition. It’s a beautiful, freeing way to live and learn. So free yourself by releasing expectations. Do your basics and go from there. Some seasons you’ll be able to add in a ton of extras. Some seasons you won’t. When you understand the simple way to homeschool you won’t feel like a failure in those seasons, you’ll know you’re doing enough and you’ll be able to rest in that.
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