Things I hate to admit to other homeschoolers

Dear Reader,

I could just entitle this post “true confessions.” I don’t know if every homeschooler has such secrets in their closets, but for me there are a number of aspects of how we do homeschool that I hate to admit. They all pretty much fall into the “we aren’t serious enough” category. So here we go . . .

1. We don’t spend much time on schooling. At least not on sit down schooling. On a good day we spend maybe 2 and half hours in our homeschool room. For reference, my oldest is in fifth grade this year. Now there are a lot of other things we do which if I had to give an account of hours (which I don’t in our state) I would call school time. Things like reading aloud while they eat lunch, listening to audiobooks while we drive, outside classes they take, and random things they do on their own that are educational.

2. I don’t really see the time thing changing significantly in the next year. Somehow there seems to be the idea out there that sixth grade is when homeschoolers have to buckle down and really begin to do a lot of work. But based on our plans to far for next year, I just don’t see a lot changing.

3. There are lots of parts of our curriculum I am happy to talk about. Math, for instance. We use Math-U-See and I am really happy with it. But there are other parts I prefer not to be asked about. In the last week I have been asked both “what do you use for reading comprehension?” and “what language arts curriculum do you use?” The answer in both cases was “um . . . nothing?” We do do spelling (Spelling Power for the older two; Sequential Spelling for the third). We did grammar in the past using Rod and Staff’s curriculum. I skipped large parts of it. This year we went through a number of ideas and exercises from KISS Grammar. But mostly we don’t do much. Nor have we ever really done reading comprehension. Doing science with another family has saved me from having awkward questions to answer about that area this year. But honestly, we are probably going to go more free-form there next year too with only nature journals and read aloud books.

4. We don’t do memory verses. I blogged a little about that here. I question the value of just learning disconnected verses. We have tried other ways, like repeatedly reading longer passages. But mostly I just haven’t kept up with it.

5. My last big area of shame is our homeschool room. We do have one. In our previous house we didn’t and I found I had to move things on and off the table constantly do we could do things like eat lunch and do crafts. So I like having a homeschool room even though we don’t spend that many hours a day in it (see #1 above). We also have  a playroom but at one point I switched them, moving our playroom adjacent to the front door and the homeschool room upstairs out-of-the-way because I can’t keep the homeschool room presentable.  Did you get that? What I am saying is that our playroom is naturally neater than our homeschool room. And our playroom in not neat.

My children do have desks on which to do their written work. A couple of them even use them. For the first part of our homeschool time, the subjects we do together, they sit on the floor and are allowed to do things with their hands like crochet or color.

Amazingly, a neat desk! But none of that is actual schoolwork.Where I sit, in the midst of all this clutter, with the resources I need around me

My younger sons likes to it under his desk

My older daughter's cozy spotMy older son's desk


2 responses to this post.

  1. I’m a book columnist and am always asking parents to read aloud with their kids. I think it’s one of the best things parents can do, so a big “Hoorah” to you, I say!


    • Thanks for the encouragement! I remember reading once when my kids were littler that you should read to them 2 hours a day (as a homechooler) and I couldn’t imagine how that was possible but somedays now I think we reach that goal.


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