Last year this time I was just beginning to think about wrapping up our first homeschool year. Here in the state of Ohio we must notify the state each year of our intent to homeschool. At the end of said year we can either choose a homeschool evaluation or have our student take a standardized test. I chose to have my four kid’s work evaluated by a local licensed teacher and here’s how that went down. (Hint, there’s a lot of hand wringing and pukey stomach stuff involved.)
Homeschool evaluations shouldn’t leave you feeling nauseous.
I’m not here to tell you how to organize for having your kiddos work looked at by someone else. (Although I DO love organizing & have some fun printables you might want to use if you’re the kinda’ person who calms themselves by organizing!!) I’m here to be your cheerleader! You can do this! Yay you!
This homemade harmonica is a blast if you don’t mind a little background noise. Even if you do, they are such a hoot they are worth making! Open the back door and kick your kiddos outside to enjoy the fruits of their labor!
I used to teach art in the public schools. As a homeschool mama I am all over including the creative arts in our days. Well, the visual side of the creative arts anyways. We look at art, talk about art, make art. But music??? Ummm, we do listen to it. Does that count? When it comes to music my biggest talent is turning on Pandora.
My memories of middle school and high school basically subsist of trying not to draw attention to myself. While I was figuring out what was going on around me my go to strategy was to fly under the radar. Who wants to be different? (It wasn’t me.)
I think that’s somewhat of a universal experience for kids as they mature. Everyone wants to fit in somewhere. That’s why I set out to find some books about homeschoolers as main characters that would be appropriate for older kids; specifically middle school and high schoolers.
When we first started homeschooling and people asked which school my four kids attended I would kind of mumble the words “We’re homeschoolers” under my breath. Saying they didn’t go to school and sit in a classroom all day just seemed weird. Two years later and I’ve come to adore the label of “weird homeschooler.” As proud as I am of our families educational choices it is nice when my kids can see our lifestyle reflected in the books they read. I set out on a mission to uncover some children’s books that feature homeschoolers.
Reading books featuring homeschoolers make my little homeschoolers feel connected!
Homeschooling is becoming more mainstream all the time and I was shocked at the amount of books I was able to find that feature homeschoolers as characters.
How homeschool is portrayed in these books varies as wildly as homeschool does in real life. I love that. Homeschool looks different in every family!
When we began homeschooling the idea of planning the entire education for four little people was a little overwhelming. Okay, overwhelming may be an understatement in my case. My public school trained brain was having a hard time believing that one person could be in charge of such an undertaking. I set off in search of a “homeschool plan” that was achievable and would give my kids what they needed.
Anyone that homeschools or has thought about it for half a second know that the resources available to homeschoolers today are amazing. As in a person could read about pedagogy, philosophy, planning, and encouragement just for homeschoolers for literally hundreds of hours and not even touch the surface of what’s available.
(I surely didn’t do this. It was, ahem, a friend.)
No matter how much you read it’s hard to know just how homeschooling is going to work in your home until you jump off the cliff and try it. I was willing and excited about spending hours teaching and learning with my kids. However, spending my evenings and weekends planning and strategizing the following days lessons was not so appealing.
We’ve been homeschoolers for almost two years. We’re no longer trying this lifestyle on for size. It’s a thing at our house.
I finally feel confident that I’ve got this teacher mama gig covered. My kids are learning and growing. We are adjusting to life outside of the constricts of the public school system. (All this freedom can make you a bit loopy.)
When we left school I felt a certain amount of trepidation that that I had bit off more than I could chew. Maybe a side of anxiety was thrown in that my kids might miss out on some experience that was crucial to their childhood.
Such is parenting that just as I begin to feel at peace about these issues a new one pops up.
Writing comes fairly easily to me as an adult. But trying to teach writing in our homeschool is a different story. Writing is such a personal endeavor. Whether you’re an adult or a child it takes lots of courage to put yourself out there with written words on a page. We’ve been through two writing programs and may not have found the perfect fit even yet.
No matter what writing program we are working through one thing is for sure. We write a lot. We do free writes, write letters and lists, write about books, and keep journals. Basically any excuse for my kids to take pen to paper and I’m there. My kids knowing how to write, and write well, is one of my top priorities as a home school mama.
Although we are only on our second year of homeschooling we are on our third homeschool writing curriculum. I’m not sure that we’ve found the perfect fit even yet. History programs; we’ve seen two. You get the idea….what we do is fluid. (That’s fancy talk for I change my mind. A lot.)
One of my very favorite homeschool supplies has remained no matter how many curriculum changes or schedule tweaks we go through. It’s so simple and can be used in virtually any subject.