My Secret Homeschool Mission

School time is just around the corner–though for some of my homeschooling friends, it’s already started. We’re starting up late this year, due to our move and traveling this summer.

But I’ve gotten all my books in. The problem is, there seem to be too many of them! Every year, I suffer from the I must add more subjects mentality.

A little background: I use the classical method of education, for the most part. What does this mean? For a proper breakdown, you need to read the “bible” of classical education: The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. Here’s the link to her website: http://www.welltrainedmind.com/.

To me, classical education means cyclical world history and science, spread over the course of the elementary/middle school years. It means my kids read classics from the time they’re little, only in versions for younger audiences. Yes, it even means they learn Latin.

Intimidating? It certainly can be.

I firmly believe that if my children did every single thing recommended in The Well-Trained Mind, they’d be in college by their middle school years. So, as a mom, and more importantly, a mom on a budget, I have to decide what things they need to learn.

Math, Science, Grammar/Writing/Spelling, History, Literature, and Phys. Ed: these are my “givens.” We will always cover those subjects. My kids take standardized tests, like anyone else, and they need to know this stuff anyway.

Art, Music, Latin, German, Typing, Karate, Drama…the list can go on endlessly: these are the things we work in as we can. Yes, I have a schedule for languages. But my kids aren’t all on the same schedule.Or even working on the same language! I do want my kids to learn Latin, mostly because I like Grammar. And foreign languages. And words. Latin’s helpful for all these things–but not absolutely necessary.

But sometimes, you have to take that guidebook and just chuck it. You know the setup, you know what you need to do. Now make your curriculum work for you and for your children.

That’s what I’m plotting now–how we’ll make all these books work. It’s a little overwhelming (especially when my mind randomly drifts into writer-zone), but I know we’re going to have a fantastic year. Even if we don’t complete those extra vocab workbooks. Even if I don’t get through every Latin lesson.

And hopefully, at the end of the school year, when we’re burnt-out on all the testing and hard work, my kids will still enjoy learning. Because that’s my secret, ultimate homeschool mission.

All the best to all your kiddos, whether homeschooled, public or private-schooled! 

***What “side-subjects” do you think are most helpful for a well-rounded child? And if you homeschool, please share what curriculum/method you love!***

14 thoughts on “My Secret Homeschool Mission

  1. This year, Sammi and I are going to learn French together – I home school, too, – so that we'll have a fancy secret language all to ourselves. Hopefully we'll know more than "The brown dog wants to play."We start on Thursday – Wednesday is our final "set-up" day. 5th grade – am I up to it? Every year I get more and more afraaaaaaaiiiiiid.

  2. Heather, I've seen you around before, and was delighted to be led to you this morning by Becky Doughty. We also found each other through our blogging. Just wanted to share I also living in WV..near Morgantown. Moved here 4 years ago to be close to 4 of my six grandchildren and of course my daughter who also homeschools. I'm from the deep south and also married a yankee.May the Lord bless you, cause His face to shine upon you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you and give you peace. Love in Jesus, GlendaYou're invited to check out my blogspot athttp://www.glendamills.com>

  3. I'm homeschooling, too–my oldest will be in first grade this year. I'm developing my own curriculum, which is sort of a mish-mash of various philosophies, because there I things I like and dislike about each. But in terms of extras, I would say: arts and languages! Because how a child feels about these things, and the confidence he gains, will last a lifetime! It's easy to pick up other things later in life, but learning arts and languages early creates a fearlessness that is so helpful!

  4. Becky, how fun to do French! And I know that feeling as the grades go higher…but you can do it! There are so many good resources out there (even for Math! I love Teaching Textbooks, as we're heading into ALGEBRA this year!). And Glenda, great to meet you! I'll check out your blogspot! I'm about four hours from Morgantown, believe it or not–WV is such a "tall" state!And Faith, thanks for that advice. We did 3 years of piano with the kids, but I have nothing lined up for this year. I do love teaching them about art appreciation, though, and wish I could find some good textbooks on it.

  5. I loved A Well Trained Mind. I finished homeschooling my daughters last year. They transitioned to school a grade ahead and with minimal issues. Have fun. It all goes by so fast.Veronica Forand

  6. I could not homeschool and not land in jail. Oh look, a double negative. I'll rephrase that"if I homeschooled,I'd be in jail". I amnot at all patient or committed enough to teach my kids to pick up their laundry, let alone teach math.(Lays on floor,laughs like a nutjob)All you devoted homeschoolers have my undying respect.Okay, seriously, if I taught phys ed, they'd all get a pass because I can barely walk. ANd let's not even start on the whole workout bra issue.

  7. Hello, I'm a fellow homeschooler, too. My son is a senior this year and my daughter will be in 6th grade! Homeschooling for high school drives me crazy at times, but the best advice I have ever heard, that gave me such freedom was "no matter who is teaching your kids (public, private or home) there will always be gaps!" Whew – I didn't have to sweat the stuff I missed πŸ™‚ My daughter loves art and singing, my son enjoys the martial arts and film making. So thankful to have this freedom, so they can pursue those things of the heart. Blessings!

  8. I'd admire your courage with homeschooling, Heather! I'll have to make that decision in a few years, and if there are no Christian schools within driving distance by then, I may try it. *Gulp* I alway took a music elective throughout school. I tried many different instruments–the piano, clarinet, and violin. πŸ™‚

  9. We start school on the 28th. I'll have three at school and two little tinies at home. πŸ™‚ I must say, though I can't believe I'm saying it, I'm looking forward to getting back on a schedule again. This summer has been fun, messy and wild!Have a wonderful year! You sound like a wonderful, organized homeschooling mom!!

  10. And thank you all for your input! Jennifer–some of the moms who are the staunchest homeschoolers started out saying I could NEVER homeschool! And Jessica, I loved karate–I took it some and so did my kiddos. Wish we could keep up w/it. Gwendolyn, I would highly recommend the SO YOURE THINKING ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING book by Lisa Whelchel. It is such a great overview, if youre thinking about it.And Veronica and Angela, so glad you visited my blog! Yes, my son transitioned fine to Christian school for a couple of years, then he will be back in HS this year!And there might be gaps anywhere, so true. I think we can do our best as HS-ers to maximize our kids individual strengths and plug the holes in their glaring weaknesses. It is so nice to be able to give them that one-on-one attention.And I have no apostrophes or quotes on this keyboard! So sorry!

  11. Awesome. I hope/plan/pray to home school my kiddo when he gets old enough. I'm just now starting to really pay attention to the various styles available.My sister began homeschooling her kids last year and they loved it. She is continuing this year. I see many benefits to homeschooling.

  12. Heather thank you for giving me the link to your blog! This post is just what I needed to help in my decision making on homeschooling! And I am going to have to read that book!You have given me so much to think about when it comes to considering HSing. The part I'm looking forward to the most is spending the day with my girls and giving them what they need (in all aspects in life).From what I've been told Teaching Textbooks is the "gold" of HSing math cirriculum. Sonlight also. My daughters will be 13 and 9 for what will be our first year of HSing. Currently my oldest is in 7th grade and is in Pre-AP Algebra, so I too, am worried as she'll move into the highschool years and become smarter than I ;)I do like your advice on changing the schedule to meet the needs of the family. I can see how that can be very beneficial. One of the biggest draws for me is the flexibility.Are there any other curriculum besides aBeka, Sonlight, Teaching Textbooks and BJU I should research?

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