Getting Started

Over the course of the year, our middle daughter, Elsa, had asked repeatedly to go back to homeschool. She loved her friends, her teacher and the school community, but she no longer enjoyed school and at times didn’t feel safe in the classroom. In listening, we made the decision to pull her out after spring break.

We needed to get Elsa back home, unschool her (in a way) and reignite her love of learning.

And then the world stopped.

We are all home educators now. 🙂

Now more than ever, it is a time to slow down. The best advice I can offer at this time is DO NOT try to emulate the traditional six hour school day. Find what works for your kids and go from there.

We aren’t jumping into school work quite yet, but we did create individual “schedules” for each kid.

Soren opted for a checklist.

Soren is 6 years old and in first grade. I didn’t set time limits because it depends on what we work on. I don’t want to tell him “sit here for 30 minutes and do math.” If he does 15 minutes of writing one day and 30 the next, that is completely fine. In fact, he doesn’t have to do every activity each day. Once he completes all his school work, he is free to play games, do Xbox and exercise (i.e., play hockey and golf).

Elsa opted for a more rigid schedule…it’s how she operates. 🙂

Elsa is 10 and in fourth grade. She chose the time length for each activity, but she also knows to be flexible. Having homeschooled before, she understands the flow of her homeschool day.

Much like Soren, Sophie opted for the checklist version.

Sophie is 14 years old and in ninth grade. The material she covers is more in depth and time consuming. She likes to work in a quiet space, on her own terms and with plenty of breaks. She also requested to learn new material such as US History (we don’t have that subject in Canada) and to start Spanish with Duolingo.

In general, we start our school day when the kids and most importantly, mom is ready. We don’t rush out of bed and when we do start, I always encourage the kids to begin with a quieter, independent activity like journaling.

If your child has schoolwork from their current school, you can easily create a schedule around these requirements. Most of what is being sent home covers the educational “basics,” therefore I suggest adding supplemental activities to your child’s day. Book club is a great addition to homeschool curriculum, but ultimately the focus on extracurriculars should be student driven.

For now, Sophie is on FaceTime with her best friend in California, Elsa is making salt dough coasters (we love Raddish Kids), Soren is playing hockey in the basement and Ellinor is snuggling with her puppy Honey.

Once we are all in on our school day, I will share more specifics on curriculum, pacing and adding in enrichment activities.

Best of luck!

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