What homeschooling looks like at our house, Part I

With so many kids across the globe at home for school these days, I thought it might be helpful to share a glimpse into our messy, crazy, very-much-less-than-perfect homeschool.  First of all I want to share the link to an interesting article I recently read which explains that what’s happening because of Coronavirus is not homeschooling but crisis schooling.  Like, crisis complete with grief — both for parents and children — over lost lifestyles.

Second of all, let me say I’m NOT (yes, all caps) a homeschooling pro.  Though our kids — ages 9, 7, 5, and 2 — have always learned at home with us, the journey hasn’t necessarily been as easy as I once upon a time assumed it would be.  Not because our kids aren’t great learners, and not because we don’t live in a great environment in which to homeschool… but because more often than not I have gotten in my own way and stressed about what other people think and what level my kids should be reading at according to the public school system, and then I project that stress onto the kids.  Those days of worry are the days I feel miserable, and make them feel miserable, and question whether I’m fit for this job of mothering and homeschooling.

But on the days I am able to calm the fears and worries that threaten to fill my head (I’m getting better at all that, slow but sure) and just let learning happen naturally here at our house, here at the ranch… homeschooling is everything Beau and I always dreamed it would be.  So why do we choose to do it?  I think it boils down to three main themes.

Three Reasons We Homeschool

1 We keep our kids with us every day as we live life on the ranch, and they’re learning on the run.  They memorize pasture names.  They learn the histories of the people who were here before us.  They regularly enjoy front-row seats at veterinarian procedures.  They learn how many acres are in a section.  They divide and figure how many bulls it takes to cover 200 cows.  They sit at the table and listen to adult conversation when the crew eats with us.

2 We choose what they learn — with a focus on biblically-based history, and common-sense math, and Creator-based science, and good ol’-fashion letters to friends and family produced daily through Mama’s Writing Program.

3 We have more control over their social interaction.  Our kids still socialize with other kids a lot.  Enough to run into the inevitable, messy people-stuff that everybody eventually has to learn to deal with.  (Okay, okay, I’m still learning.)  But then they don’t see other kids for a few days.  And during those days off they have time to talk to us about what happened, to think about how they might handle tough situations better next time… and to just be carefree kids.  In the end, that’s probably our biggest goal:  to just let them be kids.

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Coming tomorrow — a few things I’ve learned after three years of non-pro homeschooling.

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© Tami Blake

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