What is homeschool? I’m going to answer the 4 most asked questions and concerns I’ve gotten about homeschooling my 5 year old, and how we do it.
Keep reading to hear about our experience and some things we do, and don‘t do.
Q1: “WHY DID YOU DECIDED TO HOMESCHOOL?”
I’m not going to talk about the whole public school thing and why I don’t agree with it here, just because I really don’t feel like getting into it.
But, if you want to hear about that part of it, then feel free to let me know and I’ll do a whole other blog about it.
First, as I mentioned, I don’t entirely agree with the school system and the way they do things.
Second, she’s only little for so long and I want her to embrace it and feel every bit of being a child.
She should be able to play WHENEVER she wants to play...
I want her to be able to play when she wants to play, run when she wants to run and sing at the top of her lungs when we feels like scream singing (she does this one often).
I also want to be able to enjoy her as a little girl before I blink and she’s a teenager.
Right now, I can sooooooo clearly remember her as a round ball of fat with her little squeaky voice and playing in the pots and pans cabinet.
So the fact that she’s 5 now and it basically happened in a day, I know it’s just going to keep happening and she’s going to get older and older, and I want all this time I have now, to enjoy every second of it.
I don’t want her to miss out on life...
I want her to experience everything!
If I decide to go out for breakfast, I want her there with me.
When I go for a walk in the woods, she should be there to experience it.
A trip to the library, Lilly should be there reading with me.
If she was in school, all the fun things I do in a day that she loves, she wouldn’t get to enjoy.
The picture you see above was a “school day” and we walked to get breakfast, picked flowers on our way home, played in the grass for a little and told knock-knock jokes.
That beautiful experience would have never been.
Evidently, she’s so full of energy and imagination, that’s all I want her to focus on right now.
She’ll have her whole adult life to work.
Q2: “HOW IS SHE GOING TO LEARN?”
If you’re asking yourself sooooo what is homeschool? Does she actually learn?
Well here’s how we do it...
Above all, our school/learning time is just life experiences.
We go for walks and then she just starts asking questions and we get into a conversation about photosynthesis, pollination and chlorophyll.
Another thing we do a lot of, is use songs for learning and memorization.
Right now, she’s learning the presidents in order by a song we made up and the 50 states and their capitals.
Subsequently, this brings a natural curiosity about who the presidents actually are and what even is a president and a state and capital?
These are things that she asks on her own and isn’t forced into being interested in. She has no idea she’s learning.
We learn in homeschool by playing and what interests her...
We don't do the traditional sit down, write and color in the letter “A” 500 times, then circle everything that begins with “A”.
For example, she’s learning how to read, and the way we do that is with a book called Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. While that is a sit down type of thing, it‘s only about 10 minutes and we focus on sounding out words and the sounds letters make. Then we’re done with the “formal” type learning for the day.
But that’s actually not it for the day! Because whether she realizes it or not, she’s learning her letters all day long.
She’s constantly pointing out letters that we learned, saying their sounds and then sounding out words that start with that particular sound she found. All on her own.
She’s learning, but she’s playing.
How we learn numbers...
What we do for numbers is we play a lot of cards. She also likes to tell me the time and read peoples addresses on their houses. Lol.
What we’ve done today...
So far, just today, we went for a walk and talked about minutes, hours and seconds, looked for things in nature that looked like letters (that she initiated), and we sat on the sidewalk and made our own letters out of sticks and rocks and we each had to guess which letter sound the other made.
We also found holes in the ground and trees that animals live in and guessed who we thought lived in there. Then we talked about what they do when it gets cold and if it‘s the same as what we do.
Another thing we did was sing our “presidents in order song” and our “50 states and capitals, song”.
This was all done in conversation, visuals, imagination and questions she asked on a nice walk.
Now, while I write this, she is watching Lady and The Tramp.
After this, we will probably do some reading and then when my 9 month old, Belle, takes a nap, we will play a game of cards and head to the library.
never once did I have to command her to be quiet, sit down, listen, or pay attention.
She loves to learn because learning is playing...
Learning and teaching this way never feels like pulling teeth. She doesn’t associate learning with being boring or complain when it’s time to learn about our presidents, for example, because when she learns, she’s playing.
Q3: “HOW WILL SHE SOCIALIZE?!”
I get asked this question WAAAYYYY too often and my answer to that is, wtf kind of question is that!?
Because she lives in the real world everyday, all she does is socialize. We don‘t stay inside all day!?
A simple trip to The grocery store, she socializes. On our walks, she speaks with neighbors, runners running by, people walking their dogs and waving to passing cars.
There are SOOOOOOOOO many ways!!!
How we socialize in homeschool...
We have homeschool groups, library activities, sports, parks... There’s something to do literally everyday.
If its not touch a truck day or craft day at the library, it’s homeschool at the park.
Homeschool sports day.
Group reading and play at the library.
Homeschool astronomy day.
Today is recycle day at the library where we bring our recyclables and make Christmas ornaments for the library cardboard, recycled Christmas tree. There will be kids there, obviously.
Is that not socializing? She'll have to share, wait her turn, talk with all ages, follow rules and create. What is that to you? Antisocial?
The best part about all of this is that she is not forced to socialize with only those of the same age. She gets to play with 10 year olds, 6 year olds, 8 year olds, 13 year olds, adults, babies... literally all age groups.
All of these things are done during ”school hours” and if she was in school, she would not be able to do any of it.
Q4: “Isn’t it not good to be with you all the time? How will she learn to be independent and away from you and on her own?”
Bro.... She’s F-I-V-E!!!! Not 25!
But anyway... going to school doesn’t create independence. I guess it can, but it’s not the only way.
She learns independence the same way she learned to tie her shoes... I teach her how...
Just like I teach her to be polite, what to do when it comes to strangers, how to tie her shoes, how to read... It’s the same way she’ll learn independence.
She’ll independently read a book.
She gets dressed, ties her shoes and goes outside and rides her bike on her own.
Cleans up her toys.
Independently washes her plate.
Colors and draws pictures AND cleans it up.
Makes herself breakfast.
She plays with toys of her choosing and plays with friends on her own.
She makes decisions independently. Shall I go on?
She does all of these things on her own, aka, independently, because I taught her to.
She’s less attached to me BECAUSE of homeschool...
She’s not attached to me because she’s with me more than the average child... If anything, she’s more willing to be without me BECAUSE we spend so much time together.
She goes out with her aunt and uncles without me, she goes out with her grandparents without me, she goes to children’s church without me, and when she’s old enough, she’ll go to the park and the mall and out with her friends without me.
Going to school has no dictation on how independent and self sufficient she is now, and will be in the future.
If it turns out that she’s not, that’s on me. Not because she didn’t go to traditional school.
Lilly is the most confident, independent and bravest person I know and if you’ve had the opportunity to just see her, you know that too.
Q5: “WHAT IS HOMESCHOOL?“
Homeschool is a lot of play, life lessons, quality time and instead of learning from a teacher in a classroom from textbooks and worksheets, she learns from her mother, the community and her surroundings through play, songs, games, curiosity and questions. And some text.
Lilly is learning all day long but it’s just not in the way people are used to.
It’s not at a desk and its not 7 hours in a building. It’s through questions she asks (which is pretty much every 5 seconds) at home, at the library, outside, at the grocery store, at the park, etc...
To wrap it up...
Homeschool really isn’t weird and dehumanizing like many think...
It’s a super social, fun experience for Lilly and I, and the both of us wouldn’t want it any other way.
Here’s a really good article I found that I encourage you to read: There‘s a New Path to Harvard and It’s Not in a Classroom
I think I covered all the questions and concerns you may have had?
If there’s anything I missed or you have any other questions on the subject, message me on instagram @emmmmilyroberts or leave a comment!
Thank you for reading!!!!
Love, Emily & Lilly 🙂