The H word

Whelp. I’m coming out. Coming clean…we’re homeschooling.

Technically I suppose we’ve been doing it since June, but now we’re getting serious about it.  By serious I mean we bought curriculum and have somewhat of a plan.

That plan?

Some regular time carved out for school work with the curriculum.

You guys. It’s not a detailed plan.  That’s so not like me. What up with that?

Here’s what’s up:

I’ve been reading (surprise, surprise) and I’m so drawn to the whole philosophy of unschooling.  Letting kids just be kids and explore their own interests while providing them with a rich environment for learning, discovery and exploration. Two great posts about it here and here. There’s a lot of research out there proving that formal education really isn’t necessary until age 7 and how kids will eventually learn what they need to learn when they’re ready – like walking or talking when they’re babies.

But I’m a trained teacher.  With my degree I ran an academic support center and taught a study skills class at a university with colleagues who believe with all their hearts that formal education and a degree is the way to go – even when it comes to being a missionary or pastor. It feels like I’m betraying everything I’ve ever known and believed in by thinking about unschooling. It’s like it’s a dirty word only lazy people use when they decide to homeschool. I’m learning it’s not, but it still feels wrong to admit I like it.

In my searching (both my soul and the interwebs) I’ve also fallen in love with the Charlotte Mason philosophy.  Her methods have beautiful literature and “living books” at its core and learning comes from discussions around the stories.  History, grammar, art and all the subjects easily stem from the stories read in the home. This way of schooling also puts high priority on beauty – appreciating it in nature and making your work beautiful. I feel like I could easily pull lessons from classic literature and make a “syllabus” for the school year thanks to pinterest and tons of free classics available online.


But we’re moving in less than three months and traveling to see family on both sides of the country before we go.  Our life doesn’t really lend itself to following a structured syllabus or plan for a long period of time.  Also, we’re still debating whether or not to send Mariah to Italian school at some point, so making a long term plan just doesn’t seem worth it.

So here’s what we’re up to each day (at least for the month of August):

Math:  Finishing up Early Math on Khan Academy then Singapore Math 2A

Reading: Reading tons of books (duh)

Writing: Writing with Ease Level 1

Copywork (Handwriting/Grammar): Scripture verses, poems, selections from reading passages

Art: All the time + Illustrations with daily narrations (examples on this lovely blog)

History: Story of the World Volume 1 (we listen during lunch and then discuss it and look at maps while we eat – it’s made lunchtime so much better)

PE: we play outside + gymnastics

Lana’s doing and I pull out random things for her to do.


We’re doing maybe an hour and a half to two hours of “school work” each day, and then we just learn through play. Again, it feels wrong.  But then again it’s fantastic.  I’m not worried about Mariah being behind, and Lana’s only 3 so I’m letting her stay little.

So there it is…the plan. Or kind of plan.  It’s stretching the teacher and long term planner in me for sure.  So I’m looking at it this way….we’ll try it out for awhile and see how it goes. I’m not a failure if it doesn’t work out or if we decide to  change down the road. It is what is for now.

I’m looking forward to this little adventure within our big adventure.


2 comments on “The H word

  1. Krisa says:

    We will be starting our 3rd year of homeschooling, and as an educator; the thing I love best is the freedom it affords. I love that we can spend an hour or more reading wonderful books, that we can spend time researching topics that spark interest along the way, and that I can give my children the opportunity to be creative, explore, and simply talk about those things that cause them to wonder. It’s truly how I wish I could have run my classroom, but couldn’t.
    Of course, there are days when I think, “What in the world am I doing?” But, I’m learning that there will always be ‘days like that’ no matter what.
    Your sweet girls are going to flourish with you directing their education. And it seems that homeschooling is going to fit nicely into a year full of changes.
    I work for HSLDA, (Homeschool Legal Defense Association). We have attorneys that assist our members with any questions regarding homeschooling internationally. The web addreess is