our little schooling house.

The most difficult, time consuming, patience testing, emotional, grey-hair making, endearing, joyful, fulfilling, gratifying  job I will ever do.

(I enjoy challenges.)

FAQ’s:

“How long have you homeschooled?”

We’ve always homeschooled our kids. Priya is in sixth grade now, and that means I have seven years of teaching under my belt. Well, the kind of schooling where you sit at the table with papers and textbooks. I’m a believer that we begin teaching our children the day they are born, and everyday there after. They learn much in everyday living of life.  Technically speaking, Priya was an October birthday, which is the odd cutoff for the school year. At four she was ready to begin schooling, but would have had to wait until the September she was five to begin kindergarten. We decided to teach her, and we’ve never looked back.

Then we had Adin, Riah, and now Gabe.

“What’s your day like? How do you run a business at the same time?”

Below is a summary of our day- Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri. On Wednesday we spend the day at our supplemental school, Classical Conversations.

I require the kids to rest in the afternoon for 90 mins. I work. They have quiet time. I work. Some people I know enjoy something called a “weekend.” I work. It’s a tough line, and a balance I continually evaluate. The biggest step this year was committing to leaving the computer off every morning, and just BEING with the children. This was HUGE, and it literally redefined the efficiency of our “schoolhouse.” It’s been going really well. Now that 10:30 part (below) rarely happens. I have to have at least one point on my schedule that remains wishful thinking. I just don’t have time to go to bed that early. Maybe someday.

“How do you teach them all when they are different ages?”

We model the old-fashioned “little schoolhouse.”  We have a 12, 9, 7, and 4 year old. I typically teach the same subject to the oldest three. Then they each break off into whatever they are capable of doing for that subject. For example, we may study Verbs. Riah will copy definitions, Adin may make charts and an example sentence, and Priya will dig much deeper into Verb Anatomy. We may read a paragraph from a book together. Priya and Adin will keyword outline and rewrite the paragraph, and Riah may reread it and choose one important point.

Occasionally, a nerf gun fight between subjects is necessary……

Kitchen redo meant new chalkboard wall! It’s so much bigger and better now.

“Do they like being homeschooled?”

This answer can vary day to day, just as I would imagine any child’s answer would. Of all my children, Riah most definitely comes to the school table with the most enthusiasm and it has always been this way. ;)  One of the greatest joys is seeing how each of their personalities work and handle tasks. Seeing their little minds compute is such a gift to me.

Being older means Priya has more work than the rest. Sometimes she needs to break away form the brothers to concentrate.

“What has been the hardest thing to teach so far?”

Grammar. Diagramming sentences was never a real passion of mine, but I am learning so much more this go-round. I’m actually enjoying learning and teaching it to them!

“What will you do when they are older and classes are harder? Will you teach Chemistry, Trigonometry?”

The older they get we will most likely implore the services of specialized classes, tutors, and mentors of particular subjects. Brett also studied engineering and science in depth in college, so he can always help out as well.  It is so amazing how large the homeschooling community has become. The options truly are endless.

We’re focusing on American History this year, and here are some books we’re currently studying….

According to many people, writing is a dying art, and many schools (and homeschoolers) are no longer teaching cursive. We are keeping this art alive and writing well in this house.

And of course, the most common question of all:

“Do you worry about their socialization?” (Interpreted, “Are they sheltered weirdos?”)

I have come to learn that this is a valid question, and can only be answered on a “per-family” basis. Socialization depends on the parents and personal family style. Obviously, if a homeschooling family is very shy they may not choose to interact with others often. This would create children of the same breed.  The same is true of children that go to school as well.

There are so many options to get homeschooling families out and interacting from every class imaginable, sports, field trips, traveling groups, you name it. Being “socialized” is no problem for the modern homeschooling family.

If you met our kids you would know that they are quite social, and have no problem making friends. In fact, I notice that being homeschooled has made them very comfortable around all age groups because they are not limited to daily interaction with only peers of their exact age. I remember first hand the feeling of being shy and uncomfortable around “older” kids. I have seen children look down on those that are younger. One of my favorite things about watching homeschooled children is the “little schoolhouse” effect. Children of all ages play together with ease, and acceptance comes easily.

Below, our friends came over for a break from school to play Just Dance. They danced it up for an hour, and we got our P.E. in for the day. Bonus. ;)

Have a question for me? Feel free to ask! I’ll gladly answer and perhaps respond in another post down the road as well.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
September 27, 2011 - 12:14 pm

Emily A. - This is so sweet and wonderful! I was homeschooled all the way through high school and (on most days) loved it. I’m much closer to my parents as a result. According to some people’s standards I’m a weirdo, but I’m ok with that. ;-)

September 27, 2011 - 12:20 pm

Gail - LOVE that you’re sharing insight into your homeschooling efforts Jess. I don’t tell you often enough, but I so so SO admire you (and Brett) for being such good parents, running the business and still making time for friends and, well, cool stuff like house projects ;)

September 27, 2011 - 12:34 pm

Uncle J - i LOVE you guys!

September 27, 2011 - 12:36 pm

rich - I saw my buddy, Betsy, retweet this and I LOVE it. Our elder son turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and so we’ve had to more seriously home school since we have to be ready for what New York State will require of us next year. So far, so GREAT. We’ve already met some other local families who are going through what we’re going through (what curriculum, do you use a curriculum at all, etc) and plenty who have done it a million different ways. Reading about and seeing how you are going about it is really super cool and I’m very excited you shared this :) !

September 27, 2011 - 12:45 pm

Kara - Really love this post, especially family Bible time! I homeschool my 6 year old and will also do the same with my daughter. The social question always bothers me. When I tell people I homeschool that is always the first thing they bring up. In my case the ones who ask me about that are looking down on me for how I am choosing my son to be taught. But he definitely has no problem being social. Everywhere we go he makes friends. He walks right up to them and starts talking away. And you are right about them being comfortable around all age groups. Preston has made friends with kids as young as 3 and as old as 11.

September 27, 2011 - 2:45 pm

Samantha Ferguson - I am so very encouraged by reading this. My husband and I are photographers and we started really homeschooling my just turned 5 yo and I have been more than a little overwhelmed. I am so grateful to see another family in a similar position. Bless you and your family!

September 27, 2011 - 2:50 pm

Ray - Can you teach me? :) I think I could learn a lot from you all. Great read. Thank you for sharing. Xoxo

September 27, 2011 - 3:22 pm

Cassie - So interesting! With Jason’s experience teaching public school the last four years, homeschooling has come up much more frequently in our conversations about the future. Especially with Avram’s condition I feel like he is going to learn at his own pace anyway, so I’m very interested in how you do this! I wish we lived closer so we could meet in person; Betsy always speaks so highly of you!

September 27, 2011 - 3:36 pm

Roberta - Thanks for sharing this. Before I had kids (and taught for 5 years in public schools) I thought homeschooling was a good option, but not for me. Well my oldest is 4 now and we will begin homeschooling next year! We have many friends that homeschool and they all have well adjusted children who are comfortable around all ages as you have said.

September 27, 2011 - 3:48 pm

Lindsey - Sounds exactly like our recent convo! :) I know your kids appreciate what you do and all your hard work…I know I’d love to have you as my teacher!! :)

September 27, 2011 - 3:58 pm

bonnie - these questions were answered so honestly and beautifully. LOVE the picture of dad reading the bible with the boys. took my breath away. treasured art!

September 27, 2011 - 5:14 pm

Tina Folsom - As a homeschooling mom and photographer, I love this blog!! My biggest challenge is balancing it all with the extracurricular activities they love…it fills up my evenings. I have 4 fantastic kids 14, 12, 10 and 7. There’s baton, dance, baseball, soccer and scout schedules to keep up with and my husband works away from home. Does your hubby work from home?

September 27, 2011 - 6:59 pm

Donna - Thank you so much for sharing…we are seriously thinking about the homeschooling route next year! Your words are real and encouraging!!! Please share more!

September 27, 2011 - 9:27 pm

lucy - if this looks amazing, it’s because it is! love this post….so inspiring…even if one doesn’t have kids! love the zwo fam!

September 28, 2011 - 7:05 am

Rachel - I love your beautifully documented homeschool! And that photo of Brett reading the Bible with the boys made me draw in a sharp breath. SO PRECIOUS! – The house looks wonderful! And I can’t wait to see y’alls rebrand. I am so excited for all the good things that are happening for y’all!

September 28, 2011 - 5:12 pm

Ellee - I was homeschooled from fifth grade on. I loved it. I get many of the same questions about my experience and have had different answers as I continue to mature as an adult and consider the option of homeschooling when I have kids. Your open and grounded answers were fantastic.

I might borrow them.

September 28, 2011 - 9:49 pm

gina - can i just say…YOU ARE AMAZING! really, truly amazing.
xo

September 29, 2011 - 3:37 pm

Jake Ford - My fiancee and I have always talked about whether or not we would homeschool or not. This definitely makes me lean towards homeschooling. What a great post! Thank you for always giving us a small glimpse into your lives.

October 2, 2011 - 9:14 am

brian rickey - Being a public school teacher for 14 years I can’t say that I blame you at all for the choice you made for your children. Good parenting is the biggest thing missing from the system today. It looks like your kids hit the jackpot there. If you ever need any history or literature help let me know! :)

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

*

*

There was an error submitting your comment. Please try again.