We’ve been busy prepping for another year of homeschool while also trying to soak up the last bit of summertime. I’m excited to share with you some back-to-school favorites from our partnership with Walmart, as well as answer some FAQ about homeschooling.
As I gather my thoughts and go through the questions I received on Instagram, I’m realizing I could easily write a novel on the topic. In other words, I definitely need to break this up into 2 separate posts. Today I’ll answer the more general question we receive and in my next post will go into the details of our daily schedule, curriculum, etc.
Though we aren’t officially starting school for another week, my kids did begin their Science and Spanish course they will be attending outside of our home two days per week. Gosh I love them. We are all super excited about this program and they had a wonderful first day. Not only will I get some help with 2 of the subjects I taught last year, the kids will be socializing and learning alongside other homeschoolers in our area, broken up into their own age divisions and separate classrooms. In other words, a little time away from each other is something I think we all can use.We were able to find all our school supplies for the year and some pretty cute back-to-school outfits (and new backpacks for their class) without stepping foot into a store, gotta love the convenience of shopping at Walmart.com. Not only are the prices awesome, almost everything arrived in just 2 days. Walmart has all your back-to-school needs ultra organized and easy to find. Just like any other school, we use plenty of supplies in our day to day lessons and activities. I’ve linked some of my favorites below if you’re looking to get some quick and easy back to school shopping done.
Now let’s chat homeschool.
A question I get often is, what do you do with Jean during school?She is not officially doing any homeschool, but she does gather round the table with us and listen and participate whenever we have family-style lessons and activities, which is often. We do things like art, music, history, handwriting, poetry, scripture memorization, morning prayer, pledge, etc all together and she is right there with us, enjoying it with all her sweet little heart. She also likes to listen in on Tessa’s lessons and do every thing she does. Of course, she had to have the exact same kitty backpack as big sis and I happily obliged. She really just wants to feel included as much as possible and for the most part stays happy with simple things like her own backpack to keep her “school supplies” in.
I will share our schedule in a separate post, but something I have found super helpful with younger kids is to include them on the schedule. For example, Jean has puzzle time, or play-dough time, etc scheduled into our daily blocks when I am busy with the other kids. It makes her feel like it is her task to get the puzzles done, or color a page. She especially loves these blocks and these magnets!Another question I get often: Would you let your kids go to school if they wanted to?
Absolutely. This was a decision we made as a family. We prayed about it and everyone wanted to give it a try. We decided to just go for it and if it was not a good fit, we could always go back. I still have that mentality: one day at a time, this isn’t a forever commitment. That mindset helps me on the hard days because yes, there are lots of hard days. In the first few weeks I asked my kids daily if they missed their school, friends, etc…they all continually assure me that they want to do homeschool and like it so much better. There is just a really good feeling in our home and we all agree it has been the best thing we have ever done as a family. It is hard, but good things usually are. Is it hard? Is another common question. How do you stay sane? When do you find alone time.
Honestly, there are many days I full on cry my eyes out and feel like I am just barely surviving. Then there are days I feel so happy and proud and like this is my calling in life. It feels right and good, but it does take time to work out the kinks and having a strict schedule and routine helps, in fact is mandatory. I also have made time for myself a priority. I have time throughout the day when I send the kids outside for “recess”. Things like waking up early to have a few hours alone, working out, scripture study, weekly date nights with my hubs, all those self-care things are a priority for me and help keep me sane.
Do you feel like you are qualified? I want to homeschool, but don’t feel smart enough.
I so so SO relate to this question. I am not a college graduate and I am fully aware that my oldest son is already a heck of a lot more book smart than I. I have feelings of inadequacies all the time, but I quickly realized that NO ONE is more qualified to teach your children than YOU as their mother. I can’t explain it, but there is a peace and confidence I feel and I know I am good enough. Our state requires homeschoolers to test every other year and all of my kids scored well above average, it was the boost of confidence I needed to ensure I’m doing okay.
Some pics from our first day of Spanish and Science class:
Wyatt: 8th gradeCole: 6thMacie: 5thTessa: KindergartenWhat about socialization? What about judgment from others? Why did you start?
A lot of these question I answered last year on my Instagram stories and saved to my highlights. Check them out for more in depth answers, but in a nutshell I am not worried in the slightest about socialization. My kids play sports, play with neighborhood friends, attend church activities with other kids, etc. I do feel judgement from others and that is just something I have had to learn to not worry about. My kiddos are my number one priority and this feels right. We started homeschooling last year after attending 5 different elementary schools. I have nothing against public school, it was a decision I made because the thought wouldn’t leave me alone. It felt like the right thing to do and I had to have faith to move forward.
Feel free to leave any questions here and watch for a more detailed post about our day to day routine, curriculum, etc.
One final note, though I do think homeschooling is best for our family at this time, I certainly don’t think it is the right fit for everyone. Whatever you’re family and school situation looks like, I wish you the very best school year! You can find some of our school supply stapes and the kids back-to-school looks below.