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).
Did I mention that Judah and I got to dissect sharks one year? That was pretty cool!
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?
7 thoughts on “My Favorite Things About Being Homeschooled”
That sounds great!
I wish we had more options for homeschooling in Austria.
Basically you can only go to school or do just the same things they do at school and do exams at a public school at the end of the year. So the whole point of homeschooling, which to me is learning what you’re interested in and in your own pace, not what is written in a universal curriculum someone set up years and years ago , gets lost.
Public schools in Austria aren’t bad, we’ve got very few private schools and they are very expensive.
I attended public school and finished university with a master’s degree…for my kids I wish I’d have a another choice- but you can’t homeschool without these exams- and that’s more or less pointless- when you don’t do the exams, you have to pay a fine – and ultimately the state can even take your kids away (I’ve never heard of such a case and they’re usually not too harsh on fines as well- but still..they could…
In Austria, 9 years of school, from 6-15 are mandator, you have to attend one year of kindergarden at the age of 5 (but that one’s easy so cancel) and there is a law that states that every teenagers under 18 has to be either in school or in traininhg/apprenticeship.
so basically, we’ve got it all covered which is good in some ways but bad in others…
Hi Sonja, thanks for your comment!
Aw, totally understand… sad that there’s not more freedom with children’s education there. Yikes, that’s scary! I definitely understand, it’s not worth the risk of possibly having your children taken away- even if it is just a small risk. That’s interesting that there’s only 9 years of mandatory school, and you’re required to be in school or training for a few more years… I’ve never heard of that before, but it does make sense!
I was homeschooled up to grade 10. Then grades 11 & 12 I went to public school. I much preferred being homeschooled. We also did the fun field trips and took our family beach vacation the first week in September when everyone else was back at school. Public school was challenging for me not because the work was hard but because I was either bored or I struggled with the pace on subjects (math) that have never been my strong suit! I wish that I could homeschool my daughter but that isn’t going to be possible. So I am going to do my best to supplement her education with some of the great resources that my mom still has from our homeschooling days.
So fun! That’s what my mom said she hated about going to public school; everyone having to work at the same pace… so if she finished her work quickly, she had to just sit around and wait for everyone else to finish too. It’s great to be able to work at your own pace, both with subjects you’re good at and the ones that take longer! One thing I love about homeschooling, too, is that since my mom was my teacher, we never stopped learning… anything could be a learning experience. Sounds like your daughter will have fun learning, both at school and at home with you. 🙂
My husband and I are going to homeschool our little boy starting with kindergarten next year. The biggest fear I am facing at this current point in time is teaching him to read, but everyone tells us he is intelligent (though he did have a half an hour conversation with my husband the other day about how they were going to build a rocket so he could go to outer space including finding a way to mine uranium) but teaching him to read really is a massive fear I have.
We are based in Western Australia and honestly all the research we have done into homeschooling makes me wish my mum had homeschooled my siblings and I.
That is awesome! Best wishes for your homeschooling journey. My mom used ‘Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons’ with my siblings and I. Every child is different too; some learn earlier or later than others.