How We Homeschool

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I recently wrote about WHY we homeschool. Today I will share HOW we homeschool. There are countless ways to go about it. Every single family does it differently because no two families are exactly alike. I’m simply sharing how we do it, so this isn’t a tutorial for how your family should do it. I hope if you are interested in homeschooling, you will find some inspiration here or perhaps a jumping-off point. And I hope that you will take that inspiration and create a homeschool that is best for your family.

Charlotte Mason Method

A few years ago, there was a local homeschool conference that included workshops taught by a Charlotte Mason Method expert. I immediately signed up and attended every single session. It was a huge shot of inspiration and cemented that this was the philosophy I wanted to follow and use in our family’s homeschool.

Charlotte Mason believed in “spreading a wide and generous feast” for the mind in a gentle way. She believed the Bible to be true and the ultimate source of inspiration. She also believed in the importance of nature: so much so that she recommended children should spend 4-6 hours outside every day. Nature immersion and nature study are a large part of a Charlotte Mason education.

With all that in mind, I have attempted to cultivate a homeschool that is true and beautiful.

Morning Time

The following is what we use and how we use it on an ideal day. Certainly not every day goes as follows–we have doctor’s appointments, play dates, field trips, and grumpy attitudes a-plenty! 

My children are early risers, while I am not. My husband gives them a cold breakfast (cereal bar, yogurt, fruit, milk, etc.) around 7:00 a.m. After he leaves for work, we have a slow morning of snuggles and Legos. Then I get out of bed and fix a hot breakfast. This is usually orange rolls or cinnamon rolls from a can and bacon.

While the food is cooking, I clean and straighten while the boys do some light chores such as picking up toys, sweeping, and wiping surfaces.

When the food is ready, we come to the table for Morning Time.

  • We enjoy lighting candles for Morning Time, especially in the cooler months of the year. It adds a delicate touch of coziness and warmth.
  • I pray using Every Moment Holy, a book of liturgies. I also pray for any requests we might have. (2-3 minutes)
  • I then read a Psalm. I read the same Psalm every morning for a week. Right now we are on Psalm 29. (2-5 minutes)
  • Then I play our hymn of the month and our folk song of the month on my iPhone. We use Ambleside Online which assigns a hymn and folk song to learn each month. (5-10 minutes)
  • After the music, we go over catechism questions, anywhere from one to three at a time until they have them memorized. Sometimes this only takes a couple of weeks, sometimes it takes several weeks. But I keep it very short and easy. (3-5 minutes)
  • Next up is Poetry. I read the same poem every morning for a week. I read from A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. (1-2 minutes)
  • After I read our poem we go over our calendar. We use this Melissa and Doug calendar that my kids love. (2-3 minutes)
  • We then move on from calendar to French. We’ve used Play and Learn French for over a year now and watch YouTube videos, which are great! (3-5 minutes). I’m exploring using DuoLingo next, but if you have a recommendation, I’d love to hear it!
  • I also let my kids choose activities from our Morning Time activity bin to keep their hands busy and mouths quiet-ish. Activities include modeling beeswax, stacking puzzles from Target’s Dollar Spot, animal flash cards to look at and sort, to name a few. They also can draw in their hardcover drawing journals while they listen.

This concludes our Morning Time. If the baby is restless, I give the older kids math workbook pages while I put her down for a nap. If there is a grump among us, that one gets a break to do something active, but most of the time we just keep going.

At the end of Morning Time, we have been at the table for around 20-30 minutes.

The Remainder of our School Day

Next up, we do one of our weekly loop activities. If you’re unfamiliar with “looping,” it’s sort of an open-ended way to schedule. Check out videos on YouTube for an in-depth explanation. It’s a great way to do things for those who don’t like to be overly structured.

Our weekly loop activities are:

Reading and ‘Rithmatic

After our loop activity, we work on reading skills. We’ve been working our way through our library’s copy of McGuffey’s Primer. It’s been a great fit, and best of all, it’s free!

After reading time, if my kids haven’t already worked on math workbook pages, they do so then.

At this point my kindergartener is finished. All that’s left to do is for me to read aloud two passages to my 2nd grader and for him to narrate it back to me. It sounds simple enough, but it is actually quite a challenge.

We follow the Ambleside Online curriculum (referenced above), which is a bit of a misnomer as it’s not a computer-based program. It’s a detailed schedule that is FREE. The end of our school day involves me reading a chapter from the schedule with my child then narrating it back to me. He does not enjoy this, but I have observed that the more consistently we do it, the easier it becomes for him. 

After schoolwork is over (about 1.5 to 2 hours), the rest of the day is open for play, errands, seeing friends, naps, cooking, and the myriad of other things that life brings.

If you’re interested in seeing more of our homeschool journey, please connect with me on Instagram at @WilderFam09. I greatly enjoy making new friends via that platform, and feel free to ask me any questions there. I love to talk about homeschool and Charlotte Mason!

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Meet Laura Wilder. Yes, like the author! In fact, her grandparents purchased the box set of Little House on the Prairie books for her when she was just 9-years-old, long before her last name became Wilder. She’s married to Andrew and they have three children, Anderson (7), Calvin (4.5) & Betsie (infant). They live in Leeds and she stays at home and homeschools following the Charlotte Mason (CM) philosophy. The CM philosophy emphasizes a lot of time spent in nature, which is wonderful because two of their family’s favorite hobbies are hiking & gardening! She loves to connect on Instagram. Find her @wilderfam09.

1 COMMENT

  1. LOVE!! This shows me just how UN-organized I am though. LOL. With just one kiddo, we tend to fly by the seat of our pants. 😀 I’ve tried schedules, looping, allotting times for certain things, doing things in the same order and we just haven’t found our fit. Mostly I get up on Friday morning and look at what we HAVE done that week and say, ok, here is everything we need to do today. Did we slack on Science but do extra math? Great, we’ll just do more Science. Are we ahead in our literature book but behind in our history book? Great, we can skip lit and do an extra chapter of history.
    I know it’s not anything like what all the neat, organized homeschoolers do but we’re making it. 😀

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