There is a Method To our School At Home

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The Way We Learn

I have a confession.  I often shrink and melt into the wallpaper when someone mentions the various methods of homeschooling.

When we began our homeschooling journey, we did not begin with any knowledge of the different methods or many curriculum types or any of that.  We started homeschooling with one thing in site….our children’s hearts.

Their hearts are so precious to us…I’m sure your children’s hearts are precious to you…as are the hearts of children whose parents choose to educate them in other ways….Each family is different, each child is different…and in some ways, I’m glad I started with a naive sense of the multiple methods available.

I have read and written about Leadership Education, Classical, Charlotte Mason, Principle, etc.  And I admit there are things about all of them that I like and fit our home.  They fit because…in my home (and probably thousands of others)….all of my children learn differently…and they learn each subject different than other children and other subjects.

If I sit and consider the many things my children need to learn….and the many ways they can learn them…my head begins to explode.

The Way We Learn

I begin to hyperventilate

I then go into a mode of doing too much to compensate for my feelings of inadequacy.

So….by now, you’re probably wondering…how do we homeschool?  What method do we use?

Honestly, we use what works on that day for our home.

We start with prayer.

We start with the Bible

Some days, we like to sing songs to learn states or countries, perhaps verses or mathematical equations.

Other days, we like to get a basketball and bounce it back and forth as we recite our multiplication tables.

And yet…some days, a worksheet fills the gaps for our learning….and others a beautiful piece of notebooking paper is just what the Principle ordered….for the day.

Our days change like the seasons of our lives.

I love the way some families so easily find a method and it melds into their homes…..  I love to sit and listen to the wisdom I glean from those amazing Moms.

I also love the Moms who come to a point where they realize changes need to be made and they reach out, grab the reigns and redirect their homeschool in a new direction – new territories to be discovered….new ways to learn… methods to implement.

In the end…we have chosen a way to homeschool that fits our home.  I won’t give it a ‘title’ or a name.  But, I will share how we identified it….

  1. Trial

  2. Error

  3. Reading

  4. Seeking

  5. Listening

  6. Meetings

  7. Conferences

  8. Mentors

  9. Prayer


Every child is different.  Every home is different.  While I love sharing what we do in our home..things that work and things that do not, the one thing I do believe is everyone, every parent should seek God – his will for your child(ren).  He should be the focus of all that you learn.  Gaining knowledge without His wisdom is fleeting.

We have an awesome opportunity (and responsibility) to grow our children for eternity.  Everything they eat, read, breath, etc….will be gathered into their hearts for eternity.  While that thought can be overpowering at times, it helps me stay focused on what truly is important….

their hearts…….

How did you decide your method(s) for homeschooling? 

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  1. Oh, I’m SO glad that I’m not alone in this! I tried so hard last fall to be what I thought a homeschooler would be…and failed. Miserably.

    Finally I realized that we were both miserable, stepped back and let Sophie lead. So, right now, I think we are interest led – but that could change as well! I think the most important thing is to listen to their hearts and guide them the way we are called to!

    • I don’t let my children lead everything, I don’t want that to be ‘heard’ hear. Helping them grow their interests is definitely a good thing…and helps gain strength, perhaps in areas God wants them to grow….but, just remember, they are children. They were/are loaned to us….to grow them for Him… (and we grow a lotthrough that too!)

  2. Excellent! And very true! I find that starting our day with prayers leaves our hearts open to where God wants them for the day. It reminds me to focus on my children’s needs and be patient!

  3. perfect! “Every child is different. Every home is different.”

  4. Beautifully said! It sounds like your schooling is a lot like ours.

  5. Beautifully said. I think the homeschool experience is much the same for us all. I know trial and error was a big part of it for me. I also like the reminder to prayer, and letting it lead us. Many Blessings!

    • Stephanie, It’s so easy to ‘assume’ we have it all figured out. As soon as I think I have something figured out…it changes! While my children grow, they change and I change…that causes differences in how we school. Do you see the same thing in your home?

      • Yes, in fact over the years one of the things that has been a challenge was changing as the kids grow. Undeniably, one of the greatest challenges we face as home educators is that our home-schools are ever changing and at an alarming rate. We never become material experts per say, mostly because for example, we don’t teach third graders every year. We have school houses that incorporate multilevel learning, they contain additional facets of our lives, and we teach children who are constantly growing and ever changing developmentally. So each year we teach different materials to multiple children. We have to stay engaged and continue to challenge our children as they get smarter. Which means we have to keep changing our methods, materials, and environment. I think this is tough to do. We keep evolving so we need to continue to integrate the learning into our lives and to stay inspired, not getting too burnt out. As hard as it is, I believe this makes us better. When we stay inspired and can change with the needs of our kids, we grow and give them far more than information….. a love of learning .

  6. Prayer! Yes. Thank you for sharing your struggles – and answers!

    • Tricia, prayer definitely keeps me humble…and on those days where nothing seems to work, prayer and putting it all away and keeping their hearts close…that matters most!

  7. Rebecca, I’m one of those moms who changed basic philosophies AND who blends said philosophies. When I began planning to hs, I was enamored with TWTM. But a friend said to me, “I just read about Charlotte Mason, and I immediately thought of you!” I’d never heard of CM. However, halfway through our first year, I switched to a more CM method. Now we’re a mix: CM, TWTM, online resources, whatever. I like to keep our options open, varied, and buffet-like. 🙂

    • Ellen, Isn’t it great that we have those various options available to us? Thank you for your comment…it gave me a few more thoughts on the topic!

  8. Eclectic for us. We do a lot of unit studies. My goal is for my children to love learning and to be self motivated learners.

  9. Katie Mitchell says:

    I so appreciate your post! I’ve tried desperately since we started homeschooling 4 years ago to fit my girls into the molds all the books I read said we should fit into. Needless to say, neither I nor my children fit into any of the molds. This coming year I hope to cease the mold fitting and just school according to my childrens needs and interests. We usually do Bible and prayer time at night, but perhaps it would be helpful if we at least began our day with prayer.

    • Katie, We definitely do not fit a mold here. I do not even consider us to be eclectic….just a family learning together at home. I don’t like being in a box…and definitely see so many who put themselves there and it leads to so much stress. It’s nice to know there are others out there….who don’t fit the box/mold, too!!!

  10. You are my sister. Really. I’m a no-niche homeschooler, too! I like Classical curriculum, but CM sounds like a dream, and unschooling is probably what I’m really doing, at least for the summer. Don’t tell anybody. There’s a whole crowd of unschoolers who have completely misunderstood my view of unschooling (which I still don’t think I’ll ever actually do), and I wouldn’t want to disappoint them. 😉 The only thing I’ve never really tried is traditional school-at-home. I think it’s safe to say that’ll never happen.

    • Oh, don’t worry, non-nichey sister – your secret (unschooling) is safe with me, I promise not to say a word!!!! and….what is traditional school-at-home? Love ya!

      • You know…desks, schedules, raise your hand to speak, etc. Pretty sure nobody actually does this, but I’ve heard rumors. 🙂

  11. We are eclectic and we chose this way because each of my children learn differently. After trial and error we decided that it was best to just go with the flow for each one and that is how we became eclectic. 🙂 Plus there was lots and lots and LOTS of prayer involved.

    • “Go With The Flow”!!! Yes, Ma’am…that after tons of prayer leads to some amazing days…even the hard days are amazing with that equation! Thanks, Diana!

  12. I love your approach! Start with the Bible & do what fits for each person on that given day. Yay!

    • Pam, Thank you! WE do have a schedule…and generally we stick to it and chase a few rabbits, but if something is not working….we put it away and keep our hearts in focus and check….but, prayer makes it work….otherwise, I’m way too selfish and make it about what I think they need to do right then…

  13. I love the prayer prayer and more prayer approach.

  14. Superbly said! Your reasons are exactly why I consider our homeschool eclectic. A little of this, a little of that, and a whole lot of prayer! Thanks so much for the encouraging post.

  15. You got it, sister. Just like no two kids are the same or click with the same approach for every subject, no two homeschools are the same. Since I am a single mom, my kids have taken most of their high school courses through the co-ops where I teach. The Lord has been faithful with a wonderful support system this way. Once again, prayer has always been the bottom line, the number one, the overall part of our lives as well.

  16. Thanks for sharing your ‘method’ and your heart, Rebecca. I’m a “Do what works for you” Mom. If it’s working, then be happy about your choice. Many don’t understand why I chose SCVCS, but that doesn’t matter to me…truly. It works for our family and where we are right now in this season of our lives. My children are growing & learning. That’s what is important.

    PS…Starting with prayer makes for a blessed day! 🙂

    • Larri, I remember the first time I read that you used that program…and totally did not understand why….but, now that I’ve really gotten to know you…I understand. Your heart is so in the right place for doing the very right thing for ALL of your family!!!!!! LOVE the way you love God and your family so well!

  17. We haven’t decided our method yet, as homeschooling with triplets, makes me a bit nervous. Our oldest is only 2.5 so I figure we have some time, but we probably will have a very organic method, such as your’s, allowing us to decide what works for each individual.

    • Jess, you have triplets and a 2.5 yr old! That is amazing! The best thing you can do now…is enjoy this time, sit and play and read!!! Oh my-enjoy it the best you can!

  18. I think that is called “eclectic” and I am there with ya! We did grab more structure than usual this year… the routines helped my kids get a better grasp on owning their education, especially as we look to travel… but I love the fact that homeschooling is tailored… to each family what works best! We got here much the same as you: Trial and error and lots of prayer! Yes, I know that rhymes 😉 Homeschool parents benefit from posts like this one! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Amanda, you’re probably right, but I don’t like ‘labels’…make me feel boxed in! HOW R U????? I”ve missed you!

      • I don’t blame you! Doing great. Lots of craziness with graduation, company and more company! We are in the process of applying to the North American Mission Board and all the work that entails… trying to keep my head on as we settle into summer routines 🙂 But we are getting there! BTW, I am going to be in your neck of the woods for a short time! God has called us to serve and train in Birmingham AL starting the end of September! We will have to plan a time to meet after we get settled!! 🙂

  19. Rebecca (Pssst I’ve been on this journey for 14 years and I still feel like you …. shhh don’t tell anyone !)
    Thank you for this post it is so balanced and I wish more new homeschool mom’s could read it and be encouraged that it’s ok not to do EVERYTHING out there.

    PS tagged you in a memem Good Random Fun Meme


    • Just popped over to read that it! Yes, all too often we want everyone to think we have all the answers…and we might…some might. I don’t. BUT, I do love encouraging others! Just like you do!

  20. love all ten things you listed. We school much the same over here!

  21. i always enjoy reading about homeschooling… and this post resonates with me so much. because just thinking about choosing homeschooling makes me crazy nervous. but, God gives grace and i love that you are resting in that as you school!

    • Carissa, I am always honored when you visit. Yes, my advice…is don’t think about homeschooling. Focus on God. Truly,it is a calling that he must call you to….When someone says ‘I don’t know how you do it.”… is difficult to explain…that I ‘can’t’ and I ‘don’t’…..God does…and he calls out every sin I have….through it, he is refining me in a way I never imagined….but, I would not do it any other way! It is a beautiful walk…with my children! Thank you for stopping by! Ihope this post doesn’t scare you off should you decide this is the path he has made for you!