Overview: Which homeschool subjects can you ditch? Here are the 11 things we don’t do in our homeschool. And I don’t feel guilty about ditching them.
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Starting this homeschool journey can be a daunting task. Once you start searching Pinterest you end up in a never-ending list of choices.
Which curriculum should you use?
What homeschooling method should you follow?
Loop schedules…morning basket…copywork?
One thing I’ve learned from working with thousands of homeschooling families is that there is no one-size-fits-all. And honestly, we don’t do most of what the “homeschool gurus” tell us to do because it just doesn’t fit with our family’s personality.
So today I wanted to share with you 11 things that many homeschoolers do that we just don’t.
Related: Our Unique Approach to Homeschooling
I tried. I really did.
I love seeing the creative ideas from Jessica at The Waldock Way, but I haven’t found a rhythm that works for us.
One of my biggest setbacks with a morning basket is ALL THE STUFF. I don’t like how most morning baskets combine 5-6 different subjects into a block of time. To me, that’s just cramming information down my kids’ brains instead of really learning the information.
I’d rather take that whole time to focus on one thing, like just a picture book or just a chapter book, so we have more time to thoroughly explore.
To start our homeschool day, we do a calendar and read a picture book. We call it morning time and keep it super simple. It’s a way to signal to my children that it’s time to start our learning time.
I don’t want to force my kids to believe any one type of religion. My goal as a parent is to build a strong character within my kids, but I don’t want to tie it to religion.
In fact, I don’t teach my kids any one religion. As they get older, I plan on exploring all the religions (and non-religions) because ultimately, I want my kids to create their own paths and beliefs in life.
As long as I raise them to have a good character, I don’t care what their beliefs are.
We are very free-flowing, especially when it comes to creativity and the arts. We have a huge shelf full of art supplies which Sicily uses every single day. She loves making books to give to people as presents. She makes at least 1 new book every single week.
But I don’t plan out specific types of art projects, nor do I give them any directions to whatever it is they are working on at the art table.
I don’t technically limit screens. We have a routine to our day that naturally gets them away from the screens. However, if we’re engrossed in a show, we’ll watch it until our attention starts to wander.
And to be honest, sometimes this mama just needs a few minutes of peace and quiet.
I’ve tried a co-op a few times without success. The only one close to us that doesn’t push religion, was so disorganized and had some unfair rules that I didn’t agree with.
I have plans to start my own co-op in a few years that’s centered around child-led learning, but for now, it’s not a top priority.
Don’t worry though! We still socialize!
We also go to the library, park, field trips, and one-off homeschool classes at local museums.
My kids are also involved in martial arts and 4-H.
The Public School Schedule
My daughter and I both thrive on consistency. It’s more of a hindrance to stop and start each year than it is to keep going.
We do more community things during the summer like camps and classes, but for the most part, our routine is the same every single day except for holidays and Sundays.
To us, school and learning are part of our lifestyle. We don’t need to have specific days for learning.
This is another idea that I would love to incorporate because of everything I see on Instagram, but it’s just not for us.
We go on hikes and to our special spot down by the river weekly, but we don’t “study” it. We just explore the beauty of nature with no goals in mind except to have fun.
Loop schedules drive me insane. They literally make my brain hurt.
I feel like if I need a loop schedule then I’m doing too much. I felt this way a few months ago when I just couldn’t figure out how to fit it all in.
Everything else is on a “when we feel like it” basis. We have a rhythm, like baking something yummy on Monday for a Tuesday poetry tea party. But if we don’t feel like it that day, we just don’t do it.
For now, our lessons last no more than 15 minutes unless they ask for more. As they progress, our academic-based lessons (language arts and math) will not exceed 30 minutes unless they request to keep going.
Most of our days are spent in free time, which is when my kids explore and learn what they want in their own way and in their own time.
I love the idea of unschooling, but the former teacher in me won’t let me fully embrace it. I want to make sure the important reading, writing, and math skills are taught. But after that, it’s totally up to them.
I don’t assign projects or any work for that matter. Almost everything in our homeschool is optional. I do require language arts and math every day, but even with those subjects, I have some flexibility with how much we do each day.
My job is to be a learning guide that builds a strong love of learning and teaches my kids how to be independent, passionate learners. I provide resources, suggest activity ideas, and ask questions to get them to think.
Music or Art Appreciation
I tried with these as well. I love the idea of being well versed in music and art, but it’s just not us. We listen to classics like Beethoven and Mozart while we’re working, but that’s about as far as our music appreciation goes.
Same for art appreciation. I have a few art pieces hanging on the wall, but we don’t have planned lessons to learn about different artists.
I’m sure there are a lot more things that we don’t do in our homeschool than most others are doing, but this is all I can think of for now. We’re very relaxed and put an emphasis on passions, interests, and most importantly independence inside our homeschool.
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