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Homeschooling: How we do it

While this is our third year schooling at home, I’m yet to place myself anywhere but the “still a newbie/don’t know what the heck I’m doing half the time”-category.

And to make matters worse, we changed up our entire curriculum this fall. Fun times!

Every day presents its own sets of challenges and circumstances but I want to document (even if only for my future self) what I intend for us to accomplish in a perfect day (if that ever were to occur).

Side note: This 2016-17 school year we have a seventh grader, fifth grader, fourth grader and third grader.

• Bible reading
• Something from our morning loop (which includes missionary stories/animal stories/fables/Beatrix Potter book/memorizing Shakespeare/skip counting/character studies/poems/Scripture memory• Chapter from a read-aloud
• Science (we use Ambleside online year 5 science which includes inventors biographies/Madam How and Lady Why/Wild Animals I Have Known/Christian Liberty Nature Reader/Story of Inventions(There will be other books added throughout the year)•Spanish vocabulary

• Kadence (7th grader) has her own Sonlight core reading requirements while the other three do a separate core with me.

Side note: This curriculum is HEAVY on living books. Something I added or tweaked was that the kids do oral narrations after every book/chapter or reading selection. Kadence writes her narrations in a notebook since she does her reading alone. Narrations not only show me immediately if the child understands the material, but it adds another level of remembrance since they are forced to hear it and then re-tell it in their own words.

Kadence is constantly reading, reading, reading! Love it!

Kadence is constantly reading, reading, reading! Love it!


• I realized the importance of geography and cartography from our two years with Classical Conversations and didn’t want to lose that momentum even though we aren’t participating in CC this year. I’ve struggled to add yet another program to our already packed agenda, so I’m trying to be consistent and yet flexible in this area. Every week the kids draw the entire world and label the continents and oceans. On a different day they have a list of places that coordinate with their daily readings. They have to locate those places on a wall map and their self-drawn map and label.

• All the kids are still using Saxon math. I just love the way this no-frills curriculum uses repetition and the looping of concepts.

Masen is a frog-catching machine!

Masen is a frog-catching machine!

• Rylan, Bella and Masen are using First Language Lessons, which uses similar techniques to Classical Conversations. Honestly, I am still struggling to land the right fit for Kadence. We started a program in August and quickly realized it just wasn’t cutting it for her. I’ve since purchased the Elements of Style and she started Our Mother Tongue this week. We also still use some of the Classical Conversations Essentials of the English Language charts.

Rylan loves to cook eggs.

Rylan loves to cook eggs.

• Kadence, Rylan and Bella write a daily narration on something we have read that day (this is in addition to their oral narrations). I don’t require a certain length. Some topics will naturally be longer than the others. I can tell when they are writing to finish or to adequately explain the topic. These daily papers reveal so much to me. They show what grammar and composition concepts they are struggling with. It also shows me what they truly understood and were interested in that day.
• About once a week we do a formal written narration for all four kids. When we finish a particularly good book I might assign it for a narration. They are required to write about the book and illustrate it. I laminate these weekly papers and display them for a while and then move them into their individual binders.• Kadence and Masen are also completing daily exercises in Writing from Skill, which is produced from the same company as First Language Lessons.

SPELLING: All four use Wise Guide for Spelling.

HANDWRITING: The younger three are learning/practicing cursive every day.

Bella was very helpful starting seedlings this spring.

Bella was very helpful starting seedlings this spring.

EXTRACURRICULARS: This is not a department that concerns me. We participate in the local library’s weekly homeschool program and the YMCA’s homeschool recess. There’s also football, gymnastics, horse-riding lessons, hunting, basketball, archery (hope to add in the spring), track (hope to start in the spring), baseball and the ever-constant farm chores.

Wow, LONG post!

All of the above-mentioned plans boil down to one realization: there’s no perfect way. Perfection is not the point. The point is that the kids learn HOW to love learning. That I’m redeeming my education along with them. That my kids are literally best friends (that does NOT mean they don’t argue). That we are together.

The kiddos LOVE to play games. Sometimes the sessions even end without a fight!

The kiddos LOVE to play games. Sometimes the sessions even end without a fight!


Categories: Life on the farm

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My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

3 replies

  1. Ginia, I really enjoy reading your blog. You are incredible. It is a blessing to see how your family lives and the values you instill in your children. Gina, you and Matt, are a good example of how to live, and learn and raise children to be successful in life and in God’s plans.

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