This blogpost is really hard for me to write and the video below was equally hard to make, because it’s about change. A big change we have to take to move away from homeschool into public school. So this goes out to all those out there going through a season of change that you are trying to make the best of and for those parents out there that wish you could homeschool and yet you simply cannot.
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Sometimes life throws you a curveball. After a little sadness - who am I kidding a lot of sadness in my part, a little bargaining, and reluctant acceptance, I’m walking through the next steps of having to put my kiddos in school and this stay-at-home mom and educator is walking through a season of change. Life does that sometimes, you know; It shakes up your life in ways that challenge you. The good thing is that I am using this energy of excitement the kids have and using it as fuel to come up with a plan. A plan that will help me translate my why for homeschooling into a why I after school.
As you may have gleaned from my past videos, we have followed it at least been inspired by Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of education in this past year plus that we have homeschooled. Using Ambleside Online, Gentle + Classical preschool, and The Good and The Beautiful as our main curriculum people picks. How does one move forward from having everything mapped out to homeschool to transition to public school?
First I had to revisit my why I hose to homeschool and see how I could intentionally infuse the time we do spend together before and after school with that why.
SOME of these reasons are:
So here’s my master plan:
Morning Basket & Memory Statement Board
Our morning basket will now be done during breakfast time. An altered morning basket, but the fundamental feel and look of it will be there. This is what we’ll be covering:
1. Our morning prayers and any new prayers we’re learning for the year
2. Going over catechism memory statements, Bible verses, and Bible stories
3. Poetry & nursery rhymes reading
4. Musical notes drill
5. Skip counting
6. Family affirmation
7. Artist Study rotation
Morning Drive To School
The car ride is the perfect time to sing together so I plan to follow the Folk song, hymn and composer rotation every morning this way. The enrichments usually include artist study, however, I think the best thing to do is to do artist study during our morning basket at breakfast time. So during our morning drive we’ll enjoy:
2. Folk songs
3. Any memory work like the history timeline song, presidents song, states & capitals, etc.
These are all cued up and ready in my YouTube Playlists... in case you're interested.
Afternoon Free Reading
After school, we’ll all need a bit of a break, some peace and a bit of relaxation so I believe this will be the best time to do a read aloud or have my daughter read on her own while I read something from our free reads with my kindergartener.
Now where to put the meat of our readings? And all the narrations??? I’m going to go out on a limb and see if it’s at all possible to try out getting our 2-3 readings in an hour before bedtime. I know, I think I’m crazy too, but I think that this crazy idea just might work! Fingers crossed!! You see my kids take such a long time to settle down, they have sooooo much energy at night and it usually takes us an exorbitant amount of time to finally get everyone asleep. So this is my answer, let’s turn that time into a fruitful time and then this way they can go to sleep questioning what we’ve read, picturing the images the words make and digesting the emotions that may arise from them.
Narrations…. Now this is where I will definitely have to give you an update. I might try to get at least 1 narration in in the evening. I’m going to try and ask for another one in the morning as I help get them ready.
I idealistically am thinking that they might actually have better narrations the next day. My practical side is saying, “you sure are a dreamer!” I figure, it’s worth a try and nothing is lost in trying.
My back-up plan is to get one of the readings in in the afternoon and the other at bedtime. Then perhaps free reads during time off and on the weekends. We’ll see.
Nature Study Saturday’s
Oh nature Friday’s!!! I cannot NOT carve out time for you, so Saturday mornings will become our nature study mornings. My idea is to have the nature study stuff out on the table right at breakfast time. Do they can page though our resources while they eat and maybe have a few interesting informational videos cued up and ready to go. Right after we can go for a nature walk and or go on a field trip to the zoo or similar nature infused outing.
Realistically, I know field trips won’t happen every Saturday, but I do know that my kiddos will want to go do something, so my priority is to have that something be nature focused.
Poetry & Culture Tea Time with On Mission
There’s almost always one afternoon that has no extracurriculars. No catechism classes, no gymnastics, no play dates. Hopefully it’ll work out this way and if not, I’ll schedule this in at least twice a month. And by this I mean, picking up the kids from school and hopefully already having their afternoon snack tie in in someway to our theme or topic for poetry tea time and world- culture learning time.
Some days I’ll make it a fancy sort of afternoon like I showed you in my Poetry Tea Time video and other times I’ll make it super simple yet enjoyable for the kids.
Some Books We'll Be Using
Throughout this time, I've found myself praying Psalm 23... alot. So that naturally made me start creating something with this prayer, since it was the only thing clear in my mind.
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I have researched what others do when they go through this sort of change. Most call it after-schooling. My main objective is to take all the lessons I’ve learned from the past and implement CM’s educational philosophy as intentionally as I can and just fill and enrich our home. I want to create spaces where we can engage our kids, fill their cups, shepherd their hearts and minds and infuse this feast of ideas into as many moments we have together.
Have you undergone this sort of season in your life? Have any tips for me? I know I’m probably being overly- idealistic, but you know that old saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in the stars.” That’s where I’m at right now. I’ll give you, my sweet friends, an update on how it goes and some insight as to what we might need to change and shift to make this work once we put this into motion when school starts.
If you need the practical logistics of what and how to go about doing this transition, like what to do legally? How to withdraw from homeschool, what documents you need in order to go to public school, etc. let me know and I’ll be sure to make a short video explaining all this to you.
Thanks and until next time friends!
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!