Friday, March 11, 2016

Homeschooling on the Homestead 2016-2017

Thinking about the upcoming school year in March!

Crazy, right?


I can't help it. I'm a planner.



In case you are as crazy as me........


Here is our plan for the 2016-2017 school year.

Location

Public school, homeschool, charter, private, online, unschool...... there are so many options. With schooling, much like with everything else, there is not one model that will work for everyone.

My husband and I both went to public school and I taught high-school mathematics before having children. While I believe that it is possible to get a great education in a school setting, we do feel that the system is lacking in some areas. Public school is a great option for many people. It just isn't the right fit for our family.

Instead, we have decided to home-school our children. Homesteading, in particular, lends itself very well to schooling at home. There is always so much going on and we are never in short supply of learning experiences.



Approach

This is going to be our first year "officially" home-schooling. It took me awhile to figure out what method we were going to employ. At first I liked the idea of unschooling but as much as I would like to be a free spirit, I am not. I definitely lean towards the left brain and like things to be planned and organized. It is probably the teacher in me, but I enjoy lesson planning, worksheets, and such. Our method with probably end up being eclectic but I do plan on following, albeit probably loosely, a curriculum. There will definitely be room for changes, improvements, and following my children's interests.

I say "officially" because technically in the state of Pennsylvania I don't have to do anything official until my oldest is eight years old. My daughter is only going to be four this summer. So we are going to start officially setting aside time each day to focus on school (pre-k) and start keeping portfolios for our personal use. I thought about pushing it off longer but my girl is super excited to start school. She really wants to learn how to read and enjoys learning. I don't want to force academics on her but since she is showing interest we are going to run with it. Our school day (aka table time) will probably be very short to begin with, though. She is at an age where I believe most of the learning happens through play and doing. I want to encourage her to be creative and play as long as possible.



Curriculum

As I said before I am sure our schooling is going to be eclectic. I like to pull things from multiple resources and also incorporate our everyday life into our learning. I do want a basic curriculum as a back-up to help keep us on track and to give me ideas when my creativity isn't flowing. The curriculum I have decided to use for now is Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool. Since I know that I will spice up whatever curriculum we end up using with supplemental materials it didn't make sense to  spend a fortune on a boxed curriculum. And Easy Peasy has a great price tag, FREE! I spent a lot of time looking over the curriculum for Pre-K and Kindergarten and I feel it does cover everything and can stand on its own. I love that I can use it as is or use the money I am saving on curriculum to supplement my daughters education in other ways.



School Year

Many homeschoolers I know stick with the traditional school year of September to June and take the summers off. In order to make reporting to the school district easier we are still going to end in June but, we are going to start in July. Learning never stops so we are going to homeschool year round. There are going to be natural breaks in our school year though.

Things around the homestead tend to be busy in the spring and fall. In the spring we have lambing and getting the garden ready. In the fall we are working on preserving the harvest. Plus, the spring and fall have the best weather for exploring outside. Our homeschooling will naturally slow down during these times. We will spend more time focusing on school work during the summer and winter months when homesteading tasks are less and we naturally spend more time indoors trying to escape the heat or cold.



In the end, I realize I can do all of the planning in the world and what ends up working for my daughter might be different. I am open to following her lead and going at her pace while at the same time encouraging her to challenge herself. After all, the beauty of homeschooling is that we can truly customize her education to fit her.

I think that homeschooling on the homestead is the perfect choice for us and I can't wait to see where it leads!

What about you? Do you home-school? Share any tips or advice you have for me below!




P.S. This post may be linked up with the following blog hops: Monday- The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Tuesday- The Homestead Blog HopTuesdays with a Twist, Wednesday- The Homemaking PartyHomestead Blog Hop, Thursday- Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Friday- From the Farm HopAwesome Life Friday, Saturday- Simply Natural Saturdays.



8 comments:

  1. Just dropping in to say, that I loved your post and all that you shared. Especially, the parts about what works for one might not work for the other, and letting your daughter take the wheel, so to speak. This is my 2nd year homeschooling my ten-year-old and we are very much still a work in process. But I have learned through trial and error to let my daughters interest lead the way in many areas. It has lifted many a burden in our homeschool days. Your idea of a "Homestead Homeschool" is delightful. Good luck on your endeavors.

    Your "planning" is definitely on the right track I'd say!

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  2. Thank you for the encouragement!

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  3. We have been homeschooling since 2007 and have never regretted it :-) Hope you and your daughter have a blessed homeschool (and homestead!) year.

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  4. I'm so excited for you! You remind me of myself some six years ago. I used Hubbards Cupboard back then, another free resource that you may want to check out. I'm learning for the first time this year that homesteading kind of takes over in the early spring and schooling has to sit on the back burner for a bit. I'll remember for next year though! Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop! You are going to be featured in this week's!

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    1. Thank you for the resource suggestion!

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  5. So neat to see so many beginning their adventure into homeschooling. I'm a retired homeschool mom so I just wanted to stop by an encourage you. Enjoy the process and understand there will be days when you want to rip out your hair. I called those days in-service days where we actually took more of an unschooling approach. Meaning we put away the books and had hands on learning fun. This way of teaching is a lifestyle because we never stop learning. Thank you for taking the time to inspire a percentage of the next generation, I believe that percentage will continue to grow and one day become the majority. Everything starts at home, everything!

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

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    1. I agree, everything does start at home. Thank you for the encouragement!

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