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It’s no secret that we are homeschooling our kids this year. It took us literally months to come to this decision. Actually, homeschooling never really made it onto our radar until the school schedules *weren’t* being announced in NYC and I got to thinking how overseeing my kids with their virtual school was basically a full time job last year…how was I going to manage three different kids at three different schools with three different in-person and virtual schedules? HARD PASS, thanks.
The last I heard, Brooke was going to be able to go to school in-person once every six school days. Blake would be 2-3 days a week, depending on the week, and Eddie’s preschool was still up in the air.
It was only after we decided to move back to Oregon that we started considering homeschool. After looking into our options here, it was announced soon after that Oregon public schools would be completely virtual until November at which point going back to the classroom would be reconsidered. Since Gordon was quitting his job anyways, he was the one to push for homeschooling since he had a bunch of time on his hands. We thought it made the most logical sense for him to do the majority of the homeschooling for our kids and I could work on the blog full time. (In New York, I had to contract out every job humanly possible because I only had about 10 hours a week to work between keeping the kids alive and Gordon’s work schedule. Gordon teaching the kids allows me the freedom to go back to doing the work myself.)
So, after we made that decision for our family, we realized just how much freedom came with homeschooling. We can choose the curriculum, we can choose the schedule, we can go on vacation when we want to go on vacation, we can do whatever we want when we want to and we really liked that aspect.
I think it’s important to note that we don’t plan on homeschooling our kids forever. Once things normalize, we will most likely send our kids back to public school. We like public school, but don’t love these crazy in-person and virtual schedules. Navigating it feels nearly impossible for me.
What curriculum are we using?
I have gotten this question so many times over and over! We are doing a mix and match approach, pulling some subjects from one place and some from another. For the most part, we are using The Good and the Beautiful curriculum because it was recommended to us from some friends who have homeschooled for years. We are only using this for Language Arts, History, Science and a few extra curriculars like Typing, Chemistry (for Brooke) and Handwriting.
Math curriculum was probably the hardest thing to decide on, but after talking to my sister-in-law who is a 4th grade elementary school teacher (who has taught for years) recommended Eureka Math through Engage NY. This is the curriculum the New York public schools were using for our kids the past three years, so we were really familiar with it and bonus! All the lesson plans and worksheets for every grade are all free on the website. Knowing we won’t be homeschooling our kids for the long haul, we really wanted them to keep up with common core so they aren’t behind when they go back to school (**even though it can be confusing and annoying!) The Good and the Beautiful math does not use common core and that is the reason we purposely chose not to use it.
Gordon is implementing his own…curriculum…for PE. Haha!
Eddie is in a special circumstance because if he was in New York, he would be going to universal Pre-K. Trying to find curriculum for a little one in Pre-K has been challenging because he is a little advanced and is *really close* to reading. So the best things I found are these VersaTiles (highly recommend!) and Bob Books. The versa tiles he can do on his own, for the most part, and we are just making the time to read the Bob Books with him. This workbook has been really helpful too that he will do at the same time Blake works on his handwriting.
I’ve also found these math cubes and reading flash cards to be suuuper helpful too for Eddie. The math cubes come with little activity cards as well which I’ve found to be really great to pull out and use.
The VersaTiles were such a hit that Blake asked for some too! So, I got him some for math and some for literacy which have been a good supplement to do in addition to the work we’re already doing. I figure any practice for either of these subjects would only help, plus he loves independent work like this.
So although we are only going to try this for a school year or two, we have found what works for us and our family and are really happy with all the curriculum we have thus far!
Are you homeschooling? Do you have any tips for us? Would love to hear any kind of helpful hints from those veteran homeschooling parents! Thanks, friends!