We’ve had such a fun year homeschooling, but it’s not all been fun and games. So I asked what your questions were about homeschool, and picked a few to answer! Here we go!

Are you using a curriculum? 

We are…thank God! We are using Gather Round’s new kindergarten curriculum for the bulk of our reading and math learning. Then we’ve also worked our way though a few of the Gather Round unit studies {bird, solar system, some of human body, Christmas} for science. We’ve also been doing No Tears handwriting and 100 lessons to teach your child to read {game changer guys} I know that seems like a lot, but we do those things in about 1.5 hours. 


How many hours/days of the week do you homeschool? 


We’ve been doing four days a week {we take Fridays “off”} and spend about 1.5-2 hours doing school. It would probably take less time, but getting distracted by Hudson and Logan makes things take a little longer. But honestly, most days I just really listen and watch Austen. If he’s having a hard time focusing, we take a break and get outside. If he’s feeling defeated and frustrated we might end early for the day. My goal for this year was for him to have a fun time and learn TOGETHER. 


Are you going to homeschool next year? 


No. Austen is enrolled in our public school for next year. He desperately wants to be in “real” school {which is what he calls it} and we want to give him that opportunity. Part of me is sad. I’ve loved this time to be involved in his education and have the freedom that homeschool provides. But I’m also really excited to see how Austen does in a traditional setting and to have more time to devote to Hudson and Logan. 


Will Austen do K or 1st next year? 


He will be tested by our district at the end of the month, and they will make a recommendation. And we will just follow and trust their recommendation. Austen thinks this year was nothing and that he will do K at the big school next year. So if they recommend K, he won’t care! He’s so confused by what this year has been. 


Has Austen liked homeschool? 


Honestly, I don’t think he has. I really think he will look back and be thankful for it, but he’s been so confused because he thought he was finally getting to go to “Mae’s school” {my niece’s school} There have been so many fun days, and some super hard days. He’s been resistant at times, but I really think he will look back and have good memories of homeschool….I hope. 


What did you do with Hudson while you were homeschooling Austen? 


I always have a least two activities set up for Hudson. I made a basket of Hudson appropriate “work” that I can choose from. I don’t have a specific curriculum for him. I’ll add some pictures next of things that Hudson did this year to give you ideas. We were mainly working on identifying his name and putting the letters in his name in the correct order, introducing him to the full alphabet, fine motor skills, prehandwriting practice, and cutting practice. 


Has it been easier or harder than you expected? 


Ten times harder…and ten times easier. It’s so funny how different parts have been harder than I thought, and then some parts have been so much simpler than I was making it. I really thought Hudson would be so chill during school and do activities and play…but we wants to be RIGHT THERE WITH US which has been so distracting for Austen. We’ve talked about how in typical school there will be other kids in the room distracting you, but I do think it’s a little different when it’s your little brother and he’s whining. And I was stressed about the content and getting everything in, but the curriculum has given me so much peace that he will be prepared. 


If he’s going to a typical school next year, how do you think he’ll do?


I’m going to speak so much positivity into him in typical school, but if I’m honest, I think he’s going to hate it. By the end of 1.5-2 hours he is DONE and over school work. So I think an entire day will be a hard transition. We have been talking and preparing him for what typical school will look like. Like I said…speaking all of the positivity into him LOVING typical schools.


What have you been able to do socially for Austen? 


I hate that our homeschool experience was during a pandemic, but then we probably wouldn’t be doing homeschool if there wasn’t a pandemic. In “normal” lives we have an amazing group of friends who we meet with weekly, so he gets plenty of social interaction. But with the pandemic, we really limited that to keep my mom safe. Austen is super social, but also very head strong and stubborn. Austen and Hudson have learned a lot about playing together and communicating this year, but it’s different with someone who isn’t your brother. Very excited for him to experience socialization in typical school and learn those lessons. 


Are you happy you homeschooled this year? 


YES! I think it was the best gift we could have even given our family during this unusual year. The gift to truly slow down during the pandemic and focus inward on our family unit. The relationship that has developed between Austen and Hudson has been SO special, and I truly don’t think that would have happened if Austen was in public school. I’ve also loved the creative outlet homeschool has provided me. While it’s been hard and exhausting, it’s also been very life giving and empowering. 

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1 Comment on Homeschool Q&A

  1. In this chapter, we follow two contrasting approaches to estimating the strength of the relationship between natural environmental quality and happiness, which bring complementary strengths and weaknesses. At the most aggregated level, we analyse averaged environmental quality in relation to well-being levels (both evaluative and experiential) across OECD countries. We find significant effects of climate and air pollutant emissions, and these point in intuitive directions. Agyemang, C., Hooijdonk, C., Wendel-Vos, W., Lindeman, E., Stronks, K., Droomers, M. (2007). The association of neighbourhood psychosocial stressors and self-rated health in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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