Homeschooling is a journey. It’s a lifestyle. For me, it’s a passion. And, for others looking at us, it is sometimes a curiosity. I’m continually surprised at the type of questions I get from those intrigued by our homeschool. And I love to encourage fellow homeschoolers. So, today, I share with you the most frequently asked questions along with the answers. Plus a bonus Top Ten at the end:
1. So, you homeschool? How do you teach multiple ages?
Though the answer really is simple (lots of prayer!) I set aside 10 days to answer the specifics: Lasagna Learning: Teaching Multiple Ages. This year we will have children in Pre-K (4) and in 1st, 5th, 8th and 9th grades.
2. What about the little ones?
One the top questions I’ve been asked as the homeschool mama. The most frequent throughout our homeschooling. We love having the littlest ones around. Here is our approach:
- Morning Room Time – updated last year
- What About the Little Ones - Building the Morning Room Time Habit in 10 minute increments
- What is on a Room Time CD? – Part 2
- How to Make a Room Time CD – Part 3
- What About the Little Ones – Preparing for a New School Year
- Helpful Habit: Little Ones First
- Learn to Read Resources
3. I honestly don’t know how you do it.
A question disguised as a statement. The answer includes some of my best tips for this homeschool journey: survival tactics for the homeschool parent, practical how-tos for making things easier and more: I Honestly Don’t Know How You Do It
Yes! That is what the Lord is guiding us to do. And we do what He says. Though we’ve been transitioning to high school over the last year, it’s a new venture I am truly excited about. Our eldest will officially begin high school in late July. Her brother will come along and join in much of the learning. He will officially start high school next year.
All this independent learning we’ve practiced and enjoyed is making for a natural transition. What a privilege to parent our young adults. And, fortunately, I’m not alone! Several have gone before me and I have been watching closely and asking questions. If you are at this point in your homeschool, you might find these resources helpful too:
- Homeschooling High School Pinterest board – I’m continuing to collect some great resources here from around the web.
- High School Curriculum Choice board – even more encouragement
Along the same lines, I hear this statement: I guess your older ones must be pretty independent.
Yes, they are and for that I am thankful. Tapestry of Grace has helped very much in that area. But there is still plenty for my husband and me to guide them along in. I’m thankful we will have their young adult years to continue to speak into their lives.
5. Do you ever get out of the house?
This is that socialization question. Those that are concerned that my children don’t get enough interaction with other people. We indeed do get out of the house. Sometimes I feel like we need to be home more! During the school year we enjoy these weekly: drama troupe practice, choir, Bible studies and puppets at church, piano lessons, park day with our homeschool group. Plus we also enjoy monthly clubs and field trips with our homeschool group.
We are also blessed with family living close by. We visit with cousins, aunt and uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents. So, my children interact with people of all ages. Plus – with five at home, there are constantly opportunities to Do to others as you would have them do to you.
I have an updated answer on socialization here: Are Your Children Socialized?
6. Do you have to test? How do you know they have learned what you have taught them if you don’t test each week?
In Georgia we are required to administer standardized testing in 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th grades. Our eldest three have all done very well. And, of course in math the children are tested often with Teaching Textbooks and evaluations.
As far as knowing that my children have learned what I have taught them, I can tell. I only have five students! We hold review weeks in our history studies. We talk frequently about all that we are studying. The older ones notebook, write and create reports and display boards. I daily have the privilege of seeing the fruits of their learning. And, I also know when we need to spend a little more time on a topic or subject.
7. How do you fit it all in?
8. Do you think you are in for a shocker?
This was a recent question I was asked now that I have teens. The well meaning person was concerned that my children have been sheltered and over-protected. My prayer is that we are raising our children to be well equipped Christians with their strength, hope and foundation found in the Lord. They are exposed to conflict and different viewpoints while they are still here at home, going to church, social events, getting a hair cut at the beauty shop, reading statuses on Facebook, etc. We talk about the world, their experience and we turn to the Bible for answers. They develop their own relationship with the Lord.
I remember reading an article by Gregg Harris in HSLDA magazine. That article sums up our thinking well. I hope you will click over and be encouraged too: Outgrowing the Greenhouse. Maybe in the future I will write more on this topic.
9. How do you homeschool, blog, get food on the table?
There are so many of our habits that help this happen.
- The answer over on Homeschool Blogging: How To Blog in 15 Minutes
- Tips and Tricks for Online Time
- When Do You Write?
- When Do You Shop?
- Make Supper at Lunch
10. Can we come homeschool at your house?
I take this as a compliment. I sometimes receive a comment like this when I share one of Nana’s art tutorials or a helpful homeschool habit. We have the good, the bad and the ugly here as well. Remember those coping strategies I share in I honestly don’t know how you do it?
I’d love to have you over and hear about your home. And, I’d hope you’d feel right at home here because, as I type this, I am looking at bionicle pieces spread across the family room floor. But I can invite you to visit Hodgepodge often. I do hope our confused mixture blesses you in some way:
- Bonus Top Ten! Today I’m sharing 10 Resources for Sibling Harmony at Habits for a Happy Home
- Helpful Homeschool Habits for Multiple Ages
- All our Helpful Habits
- All our Top Tens are here.
Plus, don’t miss the Frequently Asked Homeschool Questions at iHomeschool Network…