Curious what life after homeschooling looks like? Sure you have a bit of freedom to do adult things without kids around, but you went into homeschooling for a reason and that reason is still lingering inside you. That's how it was for me. So this is how I'm making this transition work, how I'm challenging my kids, and how we're making this afterschool thing work.
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First, I just want to say thank you! Thank you so much for all the kind words to my last video. It was a surprise to many of you that we had to put the kids in school and not homeschool them like I had planned. And with reason right?! I had just planned my entire Ambleside Online and Gentle + Classical mashup year with my 2nd grader, Kindergartener and preschooler.
But God had other plans for us and this is a season of learning how to surrender to Him, finding gratitude for this incredible life lesson we’re living through and still choose to find joy in every day.
So with that I just want to express to you all how full of gratitude I am for your support, your kind words and your encouragement.
With the Grace of God, we’re all going to have a wonderful year and everything is going to be alright.
As much as I’d love for all my idealistic ideas to become a reality, that just isn’t the way things have come to pass within these first few weeks. There were a few key things I had wanted to do with my kiddos. Our Charlotte Mason inspired after schooling was going to include:
I’m going to be as truthful as possible in how we are able to get to all these things I had hoped to do with them.
So morning basket hasn’t worked out exactly at the start of the day how I had envisioned. I thought we would sit and eat together around the table and do our morning basket every morning, but I was wrong.
The only kiddos that sit SOME mornings to do their primer and preschool pages are the boys (Kinder & Preschooler).
The two eldest kids have the choice to have breakfast at their school and lo and behold they like waking up extra early to eat there. So I’ve put our two main morning menus in the car and we do as much of them as we can on our drive in to school.
So our a morning basket has been divided into other moments throughout the day.
Our hymn, folk song and artist study are tucked into these morning menus that we have in our car. I’ve added our morning basket menu here as well and am now treating it as part of our loop.
Generally we have enough time for a prayer, a song, and something extra that they can choose. This morning they chose to skip count!
On the plus side, they’re the ones choosing what they want to focus on in their menus. We may not be able to get to it all on one day, but what we do get to is of their choosing and they gladly do it.
Free Reading Afternoons
When we get home from school pick-up the very first thing I do is ask the kids to take out any homework they were sent home with. After they wash their hands and change out of their uniforms, I have them sit down and tackle their homework straight away. I’ve noticed that if I leave it for later they’re more prone to complain about it. So that makes my plans for free reading afternoons, null. The last thing they want to do after school and homework is to sit and read. They want to move their bodies! So they have lots of playtime after while I get dinner going.
Free reading is the first thing we do in our hour before lights go out. I usually help my kindergartener practice while my 2nd grader reads to herself and once the Kindergartener has read through his reader, she gets a chance to read out loud to us.
Afterward, I take out my binder and see what we get to read that night, stack our books and ask the kids which they’d like me to read from first. So far the books we look forward to the lost this year are:
Nature Study Saturday’s
We have been able to do Nature Study on one Saturday so far, but it was a glorious Morning Dino need to be more intentional about making this a true habit. Like all habits, it takes intentionality, preparation and action.
But it was a sweet reprisal of our Nature Studies from last year when we did do it. We even were able to jump into the TGTB mammals unit and tie it into our Burgess Animal book readings. The kids settled into our old routine very quickly which was such a nice reminder to me that Nature Study is such a rich experience for kids.
So how are narrations going. Well, I am admittedly asking very little for them. I try not to even bring up the word narration and instead just like to talk about the books in conversation. One of our best and most hilarious conversations so far has been about Two Gentlemen of Varona with my 2nd grader and The Little Red Hen with my Kindergartener.
I’ve realized that by talking about the stories casually has made “narrations” much more enjoyable. I find my daughter wanting to talk to me about them and about her day and what her musings and observations are so easily. I may not be the detail that I came to expect from her from last year, it’s more. The emotions and feelings that come from these conversations are IT. And to me right now that’s everything.
All in all, it’s been a very smooth transition. The kids love their new routine, they’re doing well and look forward to the time we do get to spend together at home. As for me, I’m focusing on the good and how they’re thriving. Homeschooling is so special that it has left its mark on me. I love our moments of incorporating our homeschool afterschool and know that with a little more intentionality and tweaking we’ll get better at it as time passes.
Thanks again for your kind words and sentiments. I hope to be able to show you more of what we do with more detail very soon so remember to subscribe to our newsletter so that you don’t miss out on any new blogs, videos, etsy store products and more!
Mom of three beautiful kids, married to my best friend, finding daily ways to bring joy!