If you read my last post, you’ll know that this year for us is all about learning how we homeschool. Here’s the run down of the components we’re working with this year!
Choosing what to do when you’re homeschooling can be SO overwhelming. Every family is unique, and therefore every family chooses to do things specific to them. And there are so many things to choose from. Curriculum, styles, pedagogies, schedules, printables, daily routines, academic subjects… to name a few!
My goal this year is to figure out what works for us, while keeping in mind some core values: faith and spiritual formation, outdoor time and nature study, developing homeschool habits that will stand us in good stead, and sustainability and JOY.
This year, we’re dipping our toes into two sets of curricula: A Year of Tales Kinder by Lisa Wilkinson, and Exploring Nature with Children by Lynn Sneddon. The first is based on the tales of Beatrix Potter. We read one book per week, and Lisa has developed a beautiful curriculum that includes Bible memory, character study, spelling, nature study, crafts, and a recipe for a weekly tea time. Exploring Nature with Children is a deep dive into the beauty of the world around us, and I already know that we will continue to grow into the studies provided.
In addition to the reading lists included in the above curriculum, we are also making use of Sarah Mackenzie’s Read Aloud Revival FANTASTIC recommendation lists. We always have two big baskets of picture books available, and as we read we are connecting as a family.
Daily Rhythms and Habit Formation
We are experimenting with what will be sustainable, rigorous, and life-giving. I am determined that my children develop practical life skills like home care, cooking and baking, self care, and creation care.
While many homeschooling families practice some form of Morning Time, each family does it in their own unique way! Our Year of Tales curriculum provides the backbone with a weekly Beatrix Potter tale, a Bible verse, and a character trait. (Imagine my delight when the very first week our character trait was Obedience!) Every day we also read the next segment out of the Jesus Storybook Bible, sing through our hymn of the month (which I select), and if the kids have any attention span remaining, we touch on whatever Literacy and Numeracy we can.
Literacy and Numeracy
Would you believe that my son started teaching himself MATH last week? He came up to me and said, “Mummy, did you know that three rows of three makes nine?” So, motivated entirely by his interest, we spent the rest of the week exploring numbers 1-10, counting up to 100, and then counting by 10s. This week we are going to count to 100 by 5s and 25s.
We spend as much time outdoors as we can, which, on a good day, is nearly 4 hours. I’ll take the kids to our neighbourhood park in the morning, or we’ll go for a hike in one of the many conservation areas near our home. In the late afternoons while I make dinner, the kids are back at the park with Dad, catching up with the other neighbour kids.
Mama’s Reading List
I have SO MANY books on my to-read list, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ve joined a book club with other homeschooling mums on Instagram to read through Charlotte Mason’s Home Education series. We had our first meeting last night on Zoom and I cannot wait for the next one!
Also on my reading list:
The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Macauley Schaeffer
The Read Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie
Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
Mother & Son: The Respect Effect by Emerson Eggerichs
Home Education by Charlotte Mason
What are you doing for homeschool this year? What are your must-have and go-to resources?
Would you like to know more about how I decided to go with these choices? Stay tuned for my upcoming post on how I decided on a Philosophy to follow.