Friday, August 3, 2007


I have decided to participate in the Homeschool Open House that is going on in blogland. Tiany at is hosting the open house and you can go to her blog to see all of the links to the other people participating. There are over 100!!

Let's see, my short intro. We are getting ready to start our 10th year homeschooling. I started out homeschooling 4 children and now I'm down to 2. Sarah graduated from our homeschool in '06 and Andrew graduated this past spring. Although I miss having the whole group here participating in our schooling, it is definitely going to be a little easier and less hectic this year with just the two boys. Billy will be doing 10th grade and Tommy 7th.

Our homeschool day: There are never 2 the same. We are not very scheduled people. When we first started and the kids were much younger, we tended to try to start at the same time and stick to some kind of regular schedule. Now the schooling is just a regular part of our everyday lives. Sometimes we do formal schoolwork first thing in the morning. Sometimes we are busy late the night before and everyone is sleeping in (one of the wonderful blessings of homeschooling) and we start after lunch. Sometimes our day is taken up with field trips, get-togethers with other homeschoolers, visiting family, farm chores, errands, life, and we never get to any formal book work. In my mind, it's all school anyway, so I don't stress too much about it. Both boys participate in regular homeschool activities that take them out of house several times a week. It keeps me busy running, but they love the interaction with other homeschoolers. It does make us treasure the days when we get to be home for the WHOLE day!

Curriculum?: We do use formal curriculum, but we are not slaves to it. If it doesn't seem to be working, we dump it. It's not worth spending a whole year on something the kids hate. I can always resell what doesn't work for us. I've tried so many different things over the years. What works for one of the kids doesn't always work for the next one.

This is the start of the year for us so this is what we have chosen to start with. We'll see what we end up finishing.

For history, both Billy and Tommy will be studying Ancient History. We use Beautiful Feet literature guides for this. We won't follow every last page, but they are a wonderful "guide" to lead us to the can't miss literature about this time period. We will also use the suggested book lists from The Well Trained Mind. The library is an indispensable resource for our history studies. Often we are looking for something that is on some book list and come upon a totally different, but interesting volume instead.

Both boys are using Apologia for science. Billy will be studying Biology, and Tommy, General Science. We don't always get through a whole text, but we really love the experiments that go along with these books. They ALL WORK. If you have tried many home experiments, you know that this is not always the case. Billy will also be studying advanced biology once a week with a group of homeschoolers that he has been meeting with for many years.

Billy and Tommy will both be using Learning Language Arts Through Literature. I love these books. The boys are not as enthusiastic as I am, but they are generally good sports about it. Tommy is using the green book and Billy will be using the brown, American Literature one.

Tommy will be finishing the last Horizons math book. This has been, by far, my favorite homeschool curriculum we have ever used. We use it the year behind to make it last an extra year. It is plenty challenging to do this.

Billy will be studying geometry with Holt Geometry. He is in a study group with 4 other homeschoolers. They will be meeting twice a week to go over what they have been learning at home on their own.

These are just our core subjects. The boys always branch out into different interests throughout the year. Last year Tommy was very interested in learning Italian and went through several different resources for this. We may look into getting him a formal program this year if he is still interested. Tommy also is very interested in art and took a weekly art class last year. He will probably do this again as well.

Where do you homeschool?: Everywhere. We have never had a school room. The kids both have desks where they can work if they so chose. Tommy is way more likely to work at the kitchen or dining room table, on his bed, on the trampoline, or in the yard somewhere. Billy sticks more to the family room at his desk or on the couch.

Must share tips: Go with the flow. Don't stress. Commit to homeschooling and just do it. Relax. Have fun with your kids. Learn something yourself. Get out of the house sometimes. Stay home sometimes. Drop everything for a fun trip when an opportunity presents itself.

Thanks for visiting our open house.

We are so excited about starting our 10th homeschooling year (at least I am)!


Anonymous said...

I loved reading about your homeschool! Have a blessed year.


Kristi said...

Thanks for the wonderful advice!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!! I have thought about using the Apologia. But that's as far as I've gotten lol. Finding a science curriculum seems to give me the most trouble for some reason. This year I decided to try LifePacs.

Happy Homeschooling!
Theresa #14