There are so many different ways homeschooling can work for individual families. Kaleidoscope strives to support each family in their homeschooling journey, and we understand there is not just one right way to achieve a well-rounded home education. In this “How we Homeschool” blog series, we will feature various homeschooling families and and give them a chance to answer some of the most common homeschooler FAQs themselves. By doing so, our goal is to help families see the variety that is available in the world of home education. This may help new homeschoolers get ideas for curriculum and the confidence to get started, as well as offer seasoned homeschoolers encouragement and inspiration to shake things up on their educational journey.

For our first installment of How we Homeschool, we talked to the brains behind SommerSchool, one of Kaleidoscope’s homeschooling families.

How many kids do you have, and what are their ages?

  • 4 – 16yo, 16yo, 13yo, 10yo  (The 16s now go to public school)

In which community do you live?

  • Hancock

How long have you been homeschooling?

  • 7 years

Is there a “type” of homeschool parent you consider yourself to be?

  • Eclectic, but structured.

What curricula do you use currently? Do you like them, and why or why not?

  • Sonlight for history, Bible, and reading
  • Elemental Science
  • Singapore math
  • Critical Thinking Company for math after 6th grade and language arts
  • Life of Fred math and physics
  • Treasure Trove for literature
  • One in Christ for religion
  • Lots of novels and picture books
  • Misc other resources and supplements from a variety of places: Concordia Publishing, Teachers Pay Teachers, Basher books, Brain Quest, Evan Moor, Big Fat Notebook, YouTube

What curricula have you used in the past, and what did you like and dislike?

  • All of the above, plus Neoe science and Sonlight science and a host of other things.  If I don’t like something I drop it and move on.  There’s too much good curricula to waste time on things that don’t work for our family.
  • One favorite that I no longer use because it was so effective is Times Tales.  It helped dramatically with learning the times tables!

How do you track your children’s progress?

  • I track their weekly progress with checklists, but nothing beyond that.

How does Kaleidoscope fit into your homeschooling?

  • We use the money for piano lessons and ski equipment/passes.

Do you have any favorite homeschooling resources you’d like to share?

  • The things I currently use are my favorite because I’ve been honing my resources over the years!

What advice would you give to a parent who is just beginning his or her homeschool journey?

  • Trust yourself. Focus on relationships. Take your personality and your children’s personalities into consideration as you decide which methods and curricula to use. Don’t compare yourself to other homeschooling families or what kids in traditional schools are doing.  Don’t forget that at the end of the day, you’re still going to have to make dinner!

Why did you choose to homeschool, and how have your reasons changed over time (if at all)?

  • We chose to homeschool to have more control over what our children were learning and how and with whom they spent their time.