We’ve Started Our Homeschool!

Monday marked a big day in this frugal household. We started school. Not public school. Home school. I promised to periodically update on our progress, so here’s the first update.

Monday morning we got up, ate breakfast, did morning chores, and headed outside to take the mandatory first day of school pictures. Then we headed back into the house to start school.

For the most part, the day went smoothly. We chose to do a slow start, meaning we aren’t covering all subjects yet. We’ll add math, grammar, and spelling next week, and we’ll add electives the week after. But this week we managed to cover social studies, language arts, Bible, and science.

My biggest problem so far has been that there is only one of me, and there are two kids who need my help frequently. Still, we’ve managed to deal with it so far. And I anticipate my daughter will get more independent as she learns the ropes.

We’ve managed to cover quite a bit of information in our first three days of homeschooling.

My first grade son has covered:

  • Dinosaurs
  • Early Man, including tools they used, clothing they made, and shelter
  • How the sun and earth interact to make day, night, and seasons
  • Adam & Eve and the first sin
  • 4 chapters of The Boxcar Children
  • Lots of writing practice

And my sixth grade daughter is studying:

  • The human body…cells, DNA, organs, and other body systems.
  • Pacific Islands…yesterday she learned about Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. She’s also planning a luau to show her friends all she’s learning.
  • The ministry of John Dekker
  • The 10/40 window
  • Seabird by Holling C. Holling
  • Ancient ships
  • Henry Reed by Keith Robertson

We’re using a lot of Usborne books, which are great, because they provide lots of illustrations to go with the text…perfect for visual learners.

So far my son isn’t thrilled about homeschooling, but he’s not thrilled with school in general. He has a hard time sitting still, so I’ve been giving him lots of breaks to run outside with the dog. I also give him something to do with his hands while we read. And when asked, he says he prefers homeschooling to public school, because “it’s shorter.”

My daughter is loving homeschooling, which is ironic, because she was against it at first. She says she likes not having the distraction of other kids, because it’s easier for her to work. She also doesn’t miss the teasing she used to get in the classroom. And she’s pretty excited about the luau that she’s planning.

In the fall when public school starts, my daughter will be adding children’s choir, public school band, and 4-H to her schooling mix. In 4-H she’s going to be learning how to train our dog, which is a win for the whole family!

My son will start soccer in the fall, and both kids will do AWANA at church. And if it looks like my son needs another activity, we’ll look for one for him.

Our first field trip will be Sunday after church. We’re going to go to the local railroad park, so my son can see the inside of a boxcar and imagine what it would have been like for the Boxcar Children to live in one.

Even though I’m feeling more tired and busy than ever, I can see that homeschooling was a good decision for our family. I’m excited about the things I’m learning right along with the kids, and I love reading with them so much every day. I’m sure there will be harder days ahead, but if this week has been any indication of the rest of the year, I’m going to love homeschooling!



By , on Aug 6, 2009
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.


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  1. Micah:

    Well im going to be honest i was in the 5th grade and i was on my way to 6th but i found out i was going to stay a year behind and so i went to summer school and it was terrible people where doing gangs and things and me and also my mom tought home schooling would be good but my mom has
    5 homeless centers also an church, so there for i needed to work hard witch in homeschooling it very hard to stay on track b/c you can began to play games and things. my mom is always on me about my work but i cant seem to listen ive found a friend that brong up “public school” and i tought maybe i sould go back for meeting people and doing the work but im sad to say…i looked up 8th grade work and i dont have an CLUE on what to do.. to be honest i feel quite stupid..but i think its time for change im 13 year’s of age i live in texas and i was just basicly asking what the BEST thing for me to do? can they hurt my mom if im not on grade level? im just quite confussed now if u email me i could tell you more please somone help me!


  2. prufock:

    I’m curious as to why you made the decision to homeschool, as opposed to public school. Also, with your youngest, I wonder how you are reconciling your lessons on anthropology and paleontology with the Adam and Eve mythology. Perhaps he hasn’t been asking those types of critical questions yet, since he is only 5 or 6?

  3. I homeschooled our 2 children for years…..12 years!! Daughter started h/s in 5th grade and my son never went to public school. We had a good time, but always remember there will be days when things don’t go as planned, things go not as planned and it’s not public school. Make it work for you. You can do it. Love the Holling C. Holling books and Magic School bus books…still have them. Take care and stick with it!!!

  4. I am so happy for you! I have been homeschooling my children for the past 19 years and we all love it. Your first few days sound great.

  5. You are doing a great thing for your children. Glad to hear that you take it a step further by taking your son to actually see a boxcar. I use to read boxcar children as a child, and even to this day I have never seen the inside of a boxcar. How exciting! Keep up the good work!

  6. Interesting . . . I wondered about the socialization. The activities tied to the public school and 4H answered that for me. I would be interested in reading about how you address this aspect of homeschooling in the future.

  7. As a public school teacher, I am so happy for you that you’ve found a solution that works for your family. I am blessed to teach in a fabulous suburban public school, but even in my classroom, there are kids who would be better served in a different educational setting. I’ve even taught some homeschooling classes for friends of mine who homeschool their kids and in my own school district, I’ve taught public school kids at their homes when they are too sick to go to school (for instance, a little boy who’d broken his leg and was wheelchair bound). Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, but certainly neither is public school!

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and I love your posts. I’m so interested to hear how homeschooling works for your family. I’m so glad that your daughter is happier, learning at home with you. You are a blessing to your family and to everyone who reads and enjoys this blog.

  8. Congratulations!!! Glad your first day went great. I Homeschool my 7 blessings. I LOVE it. It’s so fun to see them get excited when they learn something new. We have a “Treasure Chest”. They get to choose a Treasure when they pass a test. Nothing really big, just something to say I love you, and I am proud of you. Blessings,

  9. Melissa:

    I’m glad to hear you had a great first day. My oldest son really had problems sitting still when he was younger. I used that to my advantage. When he was learning spelling, math facts, Bible verses, etc, I’d have him come down a stair if he got it right, but if he got it wrong, he had to go up a stair. It definitely made learning much more fun for him, and much easier for me! (No telling him to sit still!)

    Enjoy these years. They’ll pass too quickly!


  10. trek:

    I can see where a homeschooling day is shorter than a private or public school one – like your daughter said – fewer kids = fewer distractions.

  11. How fun! We’re doing our first “official” year of homeschooling this year, though I consider us hoomeschoolers from birth. Have a great year!

  12. So glad to hear you’re off to a great start! I’m loving these updates and I hope you’ll continue to let us know how it’s going — especially what your children think.

    My baby is too little for me to know what form of schooling will be appropriate for him.

    But as I’m sure you know, they grow fast! And soon enough, we’ll need to come up with a plan.

  13. John Simpson:

    What do you plan on using for Math curriculum?

  14. Kim:

    I just googled frugal living blogs and came across your blog. I am so inspired by people who homeschool. I have a newborn and so have not had to figure this part out yet. But when I was reading your blog and all that you kids are learning I was thinking wow, I wonder if they are using Usborne Books and sure enough I read further and I see that you are. I just became an independent consultant for Usborne and had heard that many people use them for homeschooling. Glad to see that these books are useful for you! I have been wondering how people use these books as curriculum. I will be bookmarking your blog!

  15. Lynnae:

    4-H is basically a club for kids, where you can learn a wide variety of activities, from animal care to cooking to sewing.

    AWANA is a church club.

  16. Just popped in to see how your journey started!
    We’ve been homeschooling for 3 years…and it DOES get easier…
    I only have a 2nd grader, one in Kindergarten, and a preschooler…
    sometimes you DO feel like a juggler…but the benefits of the closeness in our family, and the constant character shaping we get to do adds up to SUCH a peaceful experience!
    There WILL be hard days, just remember there are 1001 ways to ‘homeschool’ and those first couple of years are filled with change and learning… (for you mostly) and my kids don’t even have a Public School experience to compare to….but I tweak things as they seem to need tweaking, and they have learned AMAZING amounts of info….all the while majoring in their interests rather than a certain scope and sequence. It’s a blessing!
    May God guide you and give you rest and multiply your hs joys! :D

  17. Michelle H.:

    Sounds like yall are off to a great start!
    I just loved the “Boxcar Children” books when I was in grade school. I read every one our small school library had.
    Thanks for the memories!

  18. Denise:

    How exciting. This is our 2nd year of homeschooling and I am actually excited and not quite so apprehensive. Are you using any particular curriculm?

  19. Angelsong:

    It’s wonderful that you’ve gotten off to a positive start! Your children are fortunate to have parents who pay attention to their individual needs, and it sounds like both of them are or will be thriving as a result of your decision to home school. It is going to be an exciting year for all of you.

  20. Molly:

    Congratulations! I wish you good luck on your first year of homeschooling. I’m glad to hear that your son can run around when he needs a break, and that your daughter is enjoying it so far.

    How much better reading is when it’s in a comfy chair with a pet at home. :-)

  21. Wa to go!! I was home-schooled until my sophomore year of HS. Other than the lack of daily socialization, it was a far better education!

  22. Mike:

    This stuff is very interesting to hear.

    2 questions – what are “4-H” and “AWANA”?

  23. Heather:

    I sent my oldest son to an online school for Kindergarten last year and we did enjoy it. It was difficult at times because my youngest was 2 and did not want to play by himself or sit quietly while we did work together sometimes, though. This year should be easier! It sounds like you have some great activities planned and I’m sure you’ll all have a very nice school year. My son loves the Boxcar Children – we’ve been borrowing them from the library and I think we’re on the 4th or 5th book already!

    Virtual school worked for us because it is a public school, so we didn’t need to pay anything but a $30 registration fee. They also reimburse us $20 a month for our internet usage. This year we’re all receiving laptops and printers to use during the year. We don’t like our local public schools, but could not afford private schools.

    Enjoy your year!

    • Letitia:

      I would love to know what online school you have your children participating in where there is such low fees? I would love to either do online home-schooling or at least supplement my children’s education but the cost of most of the online school programs have been relatively expensive. Thank you for any information in advance.

      • Lynnae:

        I’m not Heather, but you might want to try googling “Virtual Charter Schools” plus your state. Some states have virtual charter schools that are part of public education, so they’re very low cost.

      • Heather:

        My son is attending Wisconsin Virtual Learning Academy http://www.wisconsinvl.net/edu.....ectionid=1. They changed their name this year. They have been operating for a number of years now. There are still some “bugs” to be worked out with curriculum providers, but all in all, I’ve been pleased with the school. You can check with the K12 online software company and see if they have a school in your state. They partner with many local school districts to provide online education. Best of luck!

  24. I was home schooled for several years, and I can honestly say that I probably learned more in those short years that I did in the rest of my public schooling combined.

    You’re to be commended for doing this for your kids, it’s a lot of work, and can be extremely tiring. It’ll be worth it though!

  25. How exciting! sounds like you have gotten off to a great start!

    One thing that may help with the “two of them one of you” is to give them activities they can do when they are stuck but you are helping the other child. Like they could pull out a handwriting sheet, or coloring page, reading, or the like. I also encourage my kids to skip what they are stuck on and try the next one. Then when they have done all they can do I will help them with what they are having a hard time with.

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