I never went to public school. I was homeschooled for my entire education, until I started community college at 16 (through a dual enrollment program).
My homeschool graduation in 2016
I LOVED it. I have never wished that I went to public school (or private school for that matter). In fact there were many times I was glad I didn’t! Now just a disclaimer- I’m not going to judge you if you don’t homeschool. I’m not going to judge you if you do. I know that every family is different, and you have to do what’s best for your family. But for me? It was amazing for me!
My mom made homeschooling so much fun. She was the fun mom. She found exciting ways for us to learn, and she threw parties just for the sake of it! I’m including a lot of links to her past blog posts here, since she has been blogging for a long time and a lot of what I’m mentioning is shared there. All the photos are hers as well! (Perks of having a photographer/blogger mom!)
There are a lot of things I loved about homeschooling. Some people love sleeping until noon and doing school in their pajamas.
Not us. We got up at 7:00 every morning. Did our morning chores, got dressed, had breakfast. Then we started school at 9:00. (I think… it’s been a while) There were a few subjects my siblings and I all did together, and some we did separately.
We did history together. My mom used Story of the World and we would all gather around the dining room table while she would read us a chapter (or put on the CD) and we colored a picture to go along with the story. We also did art together– my mom found a couple great drawing books that we went through together. Here’s a picture I drew when I was 11. Believe me when I say I’ve not improved since then, but I’ve just gotten worse because I haven’t practiced. The Lee Hammond books are great for learning though, and if I put my mind to it and practiced a lot I’m sure I could improve!
Math, science, language arts, social studies, etc. we did separately. My mom didn’t stick to one particular curriculum but just used what worked best for us. My favorite book was Exploring Creation With Biology by Apologia. It was well written so that it was very interesting, and I loved going through it. The Key to Algebra books were also great, and easy to understand (for me).
Another thing my mom did was unit studies. We would choose one topic and study and learn all we could about it! A couple things we did unit studies on were horses, the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Titanic, and even chocolate.
Yes we did an entire unit study on chocolate. When we were finished, we had a chocolate party. My grandma and grandpa came over and mom helped us kids put on skits about what we learned about chocolate, and we had a chocolate fondue and different types of chocolate to try. It was amazing. Every kid’s dream, right?!
When we studied the Civil War, we read all kinds of books, some children’s books and some chapter books that my mom read aloud to us. We learned about hardtack and made our own, we made yarn dolls, hobby horses, and so much more.
We also studied the Titanic. Some of the things we did? We watched the Titanic movie (with mom and dad in control of the remote, to skip the *ahem* more mature parts of the movie). My mom filled a large bowl with ice and water and us kids held our hands in it to see how cold the water was when the Titanic sank. We quickly concluded that it was very unrealistic in the Titanic movie for Jack and Rose to be in the freezing cold water for *so long*. We had a Titanic dinner- my grandparents came over and each person chose a card. When they turned it over, it told them their name and what class they were in… on the Titanic you had 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class. At the end of the dinner we found out who survived the Titanic sinking and who didn’t. I was in 3rd class which was fine with me, but I’m pretty sure I died.
My mom had so many great ways to make learning exciting and interesting and get us very involved with it! That’s just a small taste of what we did.
Another awesome perk to being homeschooled? You can take the day off school to go to the park or the library or the museum or wherever. Going to the library, park, or beach during school hours is the best. Why? Just because most people are in school so we have the place to ourselves! Once school gets out, those places are packed.
Going to the aquarium? That was a field trip. And a fun one at that!
The zoo? Also a field trip!
Did I mention our not-back-to-school parties? Every year around the first day of school for our local school districts, we would (together with other homeschooled friends, when possible) have a party to celebrate not going back to school. Don’t worry guys, we would start school a few days later. One year my mom threw a ‘Homeschool Party‘. Yes, that’s me in the pink and blue pajamas in the first two photos. And another disclaimer- we were not trying to be offensive at all! It was all done in good fun.
Adalia and I learned Japanese for a year and a half… as far as I know, most schools don’t have a Japanese class. Adalia was obsessed with Japan for several years and when mom’s friend started teaching Japanese, mom was quick to sign Adalia up, and I joined too because why not? I’m afraid I don’t remember much (I remember some hiragana and katakana) besides the ‘head and shoulders’ song in Japanese. But it was an awesome experience!
I have so many incredible memories from my childhood and from homeschooling. I couldn’t share them all here if I tried!
Where did you go to school, and did you like it? What’s one of your favorite childhood memories?