Homeschool on the ‘Stead

We don’t officially homeschool year ’round, though that idea appeals to me. We never really stop homeschooling, but we also kinda do take a lengthy break. However, that lengthy break is still filled with research, learning opportunities, field trips, and lots o’ reading.

We may not sit at the table and do math work, but we still exercise our minds with games that use math, strategy, and logic. We may not crack open the science book, but we will research the heck out of whatever critter we just found in the yard. The solar eclipse is an excellent example of how we will take something and make a mini unit out of it. We were fortunate enough to be able to travel to a viewing spot that was in the path of totality. I am always looking for ways I can enrich the learning experience for my boys. First hand experiences always solidify the learning.

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So homeschooling is always happening around the homestead, and often times away from the ‘stead.

It has taken me 6 months of thinking to figure out how I wanted to set up a “learning” room for the boys. At our old house in Florida, I had a dedicated homeschool room. We didn’t spend the entire day sitting at desks in that room working for hours on end. But at the end of the day I could walk away from it and not have to see the clutter that comes with homeschool projects and books and supplies.

We decided to set up our loft area on the second floor as our homeschool space. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible. There is not a lot of wall space, but we did have a great timeline we wanted to hang up. I want the space to stay open and not get too cluttered. We shall see how that works out.

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For now, we just have the one desk with the computer on it, one table they share, one science bookcase (under the stairs), and 2 short bookcases to hold their textbooks and supplies.

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I have the overflow homeschool storage in the basement. I’m not even going to show you a picture of that. Simply because when I look at pictures of the quantity of stuff, I get guilt-ridden and shameful of all the accumulation of stuff. I will admit, I like to hoard homeschool materials. There I said it. Don’t judge. Can we move on?

I also don’t have pictures of all the stuff we will be studying this year. We will be sticking with all the same programs we have found that work well for us.

For math, we are sticking with Teaching Textbooks, pre-algebra and math 5 this year. This is the first year where I only have to buy one math curriculum because we are able to start recycling what my oldest son already used. Yay for that! Also, I don’t actually have to teach math. Can we just all let out a collective sigh of relief that the future generation from this household will not be relying on my pathetic math skills. Yes.

For science, we will be sticking with Apologia again. I love that curriculum…actually, I just love science. My youngest boy picked Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures. My oldest is starting on the 7th grade general science so we can get him aligned for high school and transcripts and all that jazz.

For history, we will continue on with the Mystery of History volume II. For this curriculum, I have found it works best for us to buy one textbook as well as purchase them on Kindle. The Kindle purchase is pricey, pretty much the same as the actual book. But since all of us will read from it together, it just makes more sense to have digital versions as opposed to 4 or 5 of the heavy-weight textbooks. We do not do all the extras with this curriculum, though my youngest boy does enjoy the timeline and coloring pages. We will skip out on those this year.

For writing and language, we will use an eclectic variety. My boys do a lot of Bible verse writing (always in cursive), as well as science and history journaling. This year we will pick up a writing and rhetoric program as well as Latin.

For the arts, we will continue our art history study. We are also throwing in the ukulele and piano for music study since we now have several instruments to use.

For technology related learning, my oldest son is starting a MOD program that is related to Minecraft. It’s a sore subject with me, so my husband will be handling most of that part. Our boys also helped my husband build their computer this year. This has been one of my husband’s goals. He was quite happy to see this come to fruition.

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And last, but certainly not least, we are starting a Bible study in the book of Proverbs this year. There’s a lot of supplemental reading that will go along with this, obviously, in addition to the Bible. Even my middle boy will be getting involved in this study. Here are some of the books we will be using for our Bible study.

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As for the lesson planner I use, I always make my own every year using pages I found online. The source of the ones I have are no longer available. It is a 2-page weekly spread that I am able to fill in subjects and dates however I please. My middle son has profound special needs, so his planner is a little different and is mostly a list of short term goals. Most of his homeschool is therapy. Here are a couple of pictures showing my planner pages.

And because I do get asked how I fit it all in the day, I will just say that our day begins early. My boys wake up at 6:30 in the morning and have to take care of the chickens and a handful of chores all before breakfast. Our lights go out at 9:30 pm. I block off 3-hour sections in the mornings and afternoons, and the boys share the computer in between our unit studies and shared read aloud time. We don’t need 6 hours a day to complete our work. But I do like for them to work during those blocks of time so we can accommodate all the other chores we have in the day.

Having a dedicated homeschool space is nice, but homeschooling happens everywhere. I love it when our homeschool happens in the yard. But it also happens away from the homestead. I’m really looking forward to this new homeschool year and seeing what new adventures we will go on!

Thanks for taking a tour of our homeschool today.

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