There are lots of homeschooling blogs, videos, and books about what other homeschooling parents do, how, why, and what they think is important to incorporate. I want you to understand what’s important to us in our homeschool.
We do things differently. Maybe if you understand the things we don’t do and why we don’t do them, you’ll have a better understanding of what we do and why we think it’s important. If you’re following our blog, you see all the things we do and study here, but there’s not a lot of talk about what we don’t do.
So for everyone who’s wondering, here’s what I absolutely don’t do as a homeschooler:
1. We don’t do curriculum
I don’t use it the way it’s designed or intended. We do pull from it as a resource. We never start at page 1 and finish the whole book. If we do complete an entire curriculum, I promise we took lots of detours along the way and we didn’t use it in the way it was intended. I probably created my own lessons and ignored the teacher’s manual altogether. In fact, I have never bought a boxed curriculum.
2. I don’t lesson plan
Since we don’t use curriculum the way it is intended to be used, we also don’t need to plan lessons the way a more traditional homeschooler would. That’s why I created my own planner. You can learn more about how I gather resources and “plan” our unit studies in my recent article about how to plan a unit study. Unit studies are planned, but they are done so at my daughter’s request and based on her interests, not a curriculum.
3. We don’t start early
I’m not a morning person! We have tried and it just doesn’t work for us. When we do, it doesn’t go well. We usually start our “morning basket” between 10:30 and 11:30. That way, I’m a happier mom and as a result, my daughter is happier too.
4. I also don’t require my child to be dressed for school
Isn’t that one of the benefits of homeschool? As long as she’s clean, I don’t mind if she’s in her pajamas while we do lessons. I mean who doesn’t want to be comfy while they learn?
5. We don’t use a handwriting curriculum
We have tried them in the past. Emily is a perfectionist and they make her miserable, so we skip them. We do copy work and practice handwriting through real-life applications. For example, we write thank you cards and birthday cards.
6. I don’t do crafts
That said, we have tons of supplies for crafting and my daughter is free to use them whenever her heart desires. We do art projects, but I am not a craft person. We have used craft subscription kits in the past. If you love crafting, go for it. The glitter and tiny scraps of paper physically hurt me so I have set up a table for Emily to craft at in the homeschool room that is out of sight where she can craft without me.
7. I don’t teach cooking or baking
I don’t cook or bake from scratch, my husband is the household chef. Emily can follow a recipe, but it’s just not me and I don’t have time for it so it’s not a priority in our homeschool. I love seeing the homeschool moms who bake bread weekly on social media. I just keep in mind that it is not who I am.
8. I don’t limit screen time
For our family, it’s not a problem. We use them often for education, especially the educational apps on her tablet. Sometimes we give alternatives, but I don’t mind screens. We often watch things together to learn more about the topics we are studying. I believe they are a resource for education, so we use them.
9. We don’t do lots of extracurricular activities
We don’t live near town, so activities outside of home require extra travel and lots of time in the car. If we do too many extracurriculars, more than 1 or 2, my daughter tends to get overwhelmed and exhausted. Generally, she prefers to be at home so we only choose one per year.
10. We don’t do school in the schoolroom
We have a schoolroom and it’s great for storage and crafts. However, 9 times out of 10 we have our lessons on the couch or at the kitchen table. I just find it easier to school wherever than to be in the school room for every lesson.
I don’t see myself changing these things in the future. I just don’t enjoy them and/or they don’t work for our family. Everyone has a different path and I love that we can all be on our own homeschool journey. There is no one right way to homeschool. We can all do what we enjoy and still educate our children in a way that is tailored to their personality as well as our own.
What don’t you do? Share the things you don’t do and what you can’t see yourself ever doing in the comment section. I’d love to read about your unique homeschooling journey.