The Basics

I’ve been stewing for the last however many months now about Kindergarten and the “official” beginning to our home school- at least as far as the state is concerned.


I’ve worked to foster a lifestyle of education and a home that reflects that philosophy, even though my boys weren’t quite school-aged. Simplicity and order has been the focus of our home for the last few years, and despite a dedication to this lifestyle these little thoughts started to creep in:


“What if we miss something really important along the way?”


“What if we miss the perfect time to do something?”


“What if . . . “


My super-organized plan-ahead side went into a bit of hyper-drive there for a bit and lots of lists were made, sites and books read, and advice requested. I don’t know why but excessive planning helps me see that we really don’t need it all. We’re totally okay with about 1/4 of the list. Thankfully I also have a rational side that starts to complain if it looks like we’ll be “doing school” too much.


And again, it all comes down to the basics:

  • Faith
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Number work


I’d like to share our plans here with an understanding of the factors for our family:


1. I work full time in my studio, but at odd hours compared to most full-time folks. Our kids are with me in the mornings til just after lunch, with their grandmother until dinner, then daddy in the evening. Daddy rocks the whole “feed them dinner, wrestle/ride bikes/play at the park, take a bath, read books, prayer” evening thing and Grandma gives them the space they need to make all kinds of wild artsy messes and spend 4 hours in a row with legos if that’s what they desire.


2. I’m definitely a go-with-the-flow/spur-of-the-moment gal if left to my own devices.


3. My oldest son is Mr. Structure with a capital S.


4. We have to balance the two so neither of us go crazy.


5. My newly minted 3-year-old REALLY wants to be a part of everything.


So, we have a framework for the year built around two concepts: the alphabet and the continents. In between I have a few ideas for interests I think Ender might want to pursue, but I’m going to leave that open for whatever comes up. I could totally wing the whole thing and have a great time doing it, but Ender does a million times better if he knows exactly what to expect from the day.


I wrote a few “units” (I use the term very loosely), 1 for each continent, 1 for astronomy (which we’re working through right now) and 1 each for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s all based on our basics- faith, reading, writing, and numbers, with a lot of room to add or subtract as we need to.


Our alphabet framework is nothing new, but it is a way for us to include Ezra while also giving Ender phonics work. We will be working with 1 letter per week with a theme for each day of the week, working toward making a page for each letter to put in an alphabet notebook. I’m planning to use some of the materials available through homeschoolshare, but I’m making some of my own too. I’ll share more details as we complete work (provided I find out it actually seems to work for us).

This entry was posted in Eclectic Home Education, Home Education, Montessori, Project Based Learning, Reggio Emilia, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Basics

  1. gardenbug says:

    I’m glad you’ve reached the point where you are not terrified about “missing something important!” Certainly schools miss important things too!
    Our children went to a private school which was good at academics, but we still did a great deal for & with them to balance what we felt the school missed.
    Both are independent minded creative adults now.

  2. Lisa says:

    You are right where you need to be. I have homeschooled 5 children and have been doing so for at least 13 years. I wrestle with these same questions every year, and I do this because I am a mother. Always remember your mother missed a lot of things too, but she did the best she could with the information she had. I pray my children will function well in society and be salt and light for Him. Be encouraged and love your husband and children, this is your calling.

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