Friday, August 13, 2010

And We’re Off to Another Great Homeschool Year

weekly wrap-up A Wrap Up of Our Week

One week down, how many more to go? I have to admit after our third day of school last year, this question was already on my mind. This year is so different and I think that has as much to do with me as it does my kids. Last year, none of us were motivated. We’d kind of hit a wall and stumbled a bit so I backed off, removed a lot of the pressures and looked forward to this year.

Monday we kicked off our 12th year of homeschooling with a fun tradition, a trip out to breakfast followed by an incredibly productive school day at home.  Though I had created a list of curriculum that I wanted to purchase, as I began unpacking boxes when we moved from the RV into the house, I realized how many resources we had. It seemed a waste to make any purchases until we used some of what we already have on hand. 

Our week has been incredible with the kids already making great strides and tackling the lofty goals they’ve created for themselves which; both personal and academic in nature. It’s so much fun to get a glimpse of the adults they are growing into.

This week we’ve played around with our schedule a bit to determine what will work best. We even took a couple afternoons off to meet up with friends- you know it’s important that we keep socializing so the kids know how to converse with other people! OK, maybe I’m just poking fun at those that don’t know homeschoolers.

I had planned on following the suggestions of Ambleside Online this year, so I loosely structured our days around their plan, supplementing with books that we already have on hand. Though I love the Charlotte Mason approach and philosophy, there are a couple things that we don’t follow at all. One of those is the short lessons.

Some lessons are short, but if the kids want to keep working, I’ll allow them to work all day on the same subject. Also, we don’t follow short readings for our books. I really ‘get’ why short readings are practiced, so we can ponder what we’ve read and really comprehend it, but once again when we find a great book we want to read until we’re done.

For our daily Bible lessons the kids are reading a chapter of Psalm’s and Proverbs daily on their own. Together we read and discuss several other resources including Know What You Believe: A Practical Discussion of the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith. We also began our first year of formal Worldview Study using Thinking Like a Christian: Understanding and Living a Biblical Worldview. So far we all find this study fascinating.

We worked on math and language, which consists of independent work using Easy Grammar Plus, Sequential Spelling and Story Starters for creative writing. We’ll add a few more things as we go along.

We added in some fun science experiments since that was hard to do in the camper, along with map drills and economics using Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? which my son LOVES.I’ll definitely be ordering more books in this series. 

I also assigned various biographies of Christian missionaries for the kids to read, which they’ve all enjoyed.  We’re also reading Heroes of the Faith, Fanny Crosby together. This week we studied ‘Blessed Assurance’ by Fanny Crosby for our hymn study so I was thrilled to find the book tucked away in a box.

Finally, my child that has always proclaimed his distaste for reading has had a change of heart. He has read a book a day since the weekend. So far, he’s read six books this week! As a mother who struggled for YEARS to teach her boys to read, this just makes my heart swell…so if you have a child that isn’t reading well, thinks they can’t read or swears they hate to read…just hang in there.  

We’re moving back into school slowly, but we’re off to a great start. I can’t wait to add in more topics next week. You can visit the Weekly Wrap-up hosted at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers to see how the week went for other homeschooling families.  You can even join in on the fun!

Do you homeschool? What have you been up to this week?


  1. I saw your blog on FOTR and I was wondering how you roadschool. We are
    homeschoolers, and took off for an extended road trip and likely will be
    roadschooling. Did you have a school you report to back where you used to
    live? If you domiciled in a new state how do you register your kids? Are
    there any roadschool organizations?
    Any comments would be great.
    jackbnimble {at} mycheckedinlife [dot] com

  2. Hi Jack,

    I will email you privately, but thought your questions may be of interest to some of my readers so I'll answer here as well.

    Thank you for your comment and thoughtful questions. To my knowledge, there are not any roadschool organizations, though I have spoken to HSLDA ( about 'rules' governing life on the road.

    Typically, if you are just traveling from place to place you can continue to notify through your home state. If you don't have a residence you'll have to pick an address- where do you get your mail delivered?

    The exception to this is if you will be in one state for longer than three months- at that time you will need to notify with that state, if I understood correctly.

    We always used our home state for our address and I registered through our local school district and abided by the laws in that state concerning homeschooling.

    Prior to this year, (we are now permanently in a new state), we always homeschooled independently because we could. I was required to notify the school district at the beginning of the year as well as supply them with a curriculum/resource list for informational purposes only.

    At the end of the year I was required to have each child tested or assessed by a certified teacher. That's it.

    Of course each state has its own laws and even though we always notified through our state, I did make it a point to be aware of the laws in each state that we passed through as well, just incase we were to meet opposition.

    We are back in a stick and brick now, but my husband and I have always and will continue to homeschool our children, so for me to 'register' them for school was simply a process of finding out the homeschool laws here and following the directions.

    If you plan to have your children reenter the school district, if they are there now, you really should talk to your school district. They may be able to offer you assistance. I would also suggest that you contact HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) if you have any concerns. The process to register your children can vary from state to state.

    Though I was not required by law to keep records for the school district we reported to, I did keep records for my own benefit. This included a detailed journal, pictures, brochures and calendar noting where we were when. I would show this to the person that would assess us each year since we typically 'unschooled' while on the road and didn't have a huge paper trail other than math and a bit of language. I use the term 'unschooling' lightly because anyone that has traveled are aware of how enriching and educational travel can be and if you're already considering a full-time lifestyle, I think you are probably already aware of those benefits.

    I hope this helps, if you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

    Blessings to you and your family as you embark on your own incredible journey!

  3. Sounds like a good year is shaping up for you. Those are some wonderful books. If you want to keep the travelers to take to Mexico, that would be neat.

  4. Sounds like a great start to the year.

    This is the 6th blog I've read lately that is raving about that Penny Candy book. I'm putting that on my list of things to use in the future. It sounds really fun.

  5. AFWife- To Mexico they shall go! Thx!

    Giggly Girls, I've also seen a lot of chatter about the Maybury books lately. Looks like I chose a winner. :) My boys argue over who's going to read it. My daughter has no interest but that's another story.

  6. Sounds like you had a very busy and productive week!

  7. oooo! We're going to embark on our first *major* road trip this April. We're all pumped about it. I'm so glad I found your blog :) I'm excited to read about the places you've visited and to check out your travel tips!

  8. Sounds like a great week! We have been enjoying our last week of summer gearing up for our first week starting Monday.


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