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2019-2020 Academic Year in Our Large Family

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Well, friends, it seems like it is time to update you all on our academic year plans. This summer both Hezekiah and Tucker approached me asking if they could homeschool for the coming year. But Renee, you say, didn’t you say you were done homeschooling, like, forever?

Hezekiah, Tucker, and Jubilee. Homeschooling and Running Start.

Yes, I did say that. Mainly because I needed to allow myself to let go and be okay with giving up my dream of homeschooling. I asked a few questions about why they wanted to homeschool and then gave my enthusiastic YES! As it turns out, both want more time to read (ironic, don’t you think?) and to pursue their own interests and passions. As formerly homeschooled kids they totally understand what it is like to have the freedom to follow their interests and educate themselves. And as test scores prove over and over (not to mention their older siblings smooth transitions to college and university) homeschooling, even “loose” homeschooling like ours, works.

Apollo first day of fourth grade.
Apollo is the only kid who would let me take a first day of school photo.

Jubilee, like her older siblings before her, is starting her first year of Running Start at the community college. Mordecai, Avi, and Apollo are all still attending public school in grades 11, 8, and 4.

Academic Plans for Hezekiah and Tucker

First day of school for Tucker and Hezekiah 2019-20
The boys spent the first day of school assisting me with food photography and then eating the bounty.

Hezekiah is in 10th grade this year and Tucker in 8th. As I mentioned before, Hezekiah earned 11 college credits as a freshman in high school last year! Both boys are in advanced math at school and are good students.

Life of Fred

2019-2020 academic year. Tucker homeschooling with Life of Fred.

Hezekiah will be working through Life of Fred Advanced Algebra and supplementing with Khan Academy. Tucker is working through Life of Fred Beginning Algebra. There is some debate in homeschool circles about whether or not Life of Fred is a solid enough curriculum. I found this post on Blog, She Wrote and it has given me the confidence I need to go ahead and use it as our core. She offers great suggestions about what to do if kids get stuck. Both boys have a natural inclination toward math and I feel good about using it this year.

Story of the World

For all of our years of homeschooling Story of the World was the backbone and foundation of our education. Anytime a topic piqued our curiosity, we would stop and go as deep and wide as we wanted. The beauty of homeschooling (in our state, anyway) is there is no set deadline for finishing a book like this. We usually took two years to get through each volume because I would follow the children’s intersets rather than a strict one-chapter-per-week schedule.

2019-2020 academic year. Story of the World is the backbone of our homeschool.

I was thrilled when both Tucker and Hezekiah requested we work through Story of the World Volume 4 The Modern Age. Both boys have told me “we love map work!” and wanted to make sure we would be doing plenty of that.

Writing and Grammar will be taken care of by me using no formal curriculum. I will be writing up some assignments and sharing them here. Writing has always come easy for me and most of my kids. Our two “textbooks” will be The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need and The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier.

Science is to be determined…we will get our first few weeks of school underway and then add in science.

Musical Education

Hezekiah and Tucker have both really enjoyed band in school. Hezekiah plays the clarinet and Tucker the trumpet. The two boys frequently play together and are even learning each other’s instruments! At the end of last year, Hezekiah tried out for (and made) Jazz Band which meets before school (at 6:45 am) and Mountaineer Band which plays at the school games. He has chosen to continue with both which means he spends the first part of the morning at school. Luckily, Mountaineer Band is the first class of the day and he’s done by 9:10. Tucker plans to continue playing the trumpet on his own since 8th-grade band meets midday.

Tucker doing track Spring 2019

Both boys are also currently running Cross Country, so don’t worry they are both active and socialized.

I can’t wait to share with you our upcoming projects!



    • Renee

      That was honestly said tongue-in-cheek. Even when my kids were little I never felt the need to justify that. The idea that kids need socialization through school is a very new one…probably stemming from the 80’s when homeschooling was illegal and people had to hide their kids during school hours…

      • Kris

        I’m glad you feel right about that. However, it’s more common than you think. People get asked all the time about how your child is going to be properly schooled if they are home schooled!!! By complete strangers, family members, heck, even spouses!!! I’m a member of a home school group and these questions come up all the time. It’s really sad actually since no one EVER asks how a child will get through public school in this day and age. Good grief, many of them are terrible, at least here in Canada. Ugh! One of my biggest pet peeves!

    • Renee

      As Anna said above, in Washington state all homeschooled kids are allowed to enroll in public school classes and sports. I don’t know about other states.

      • Melissa Bohman

        In South Carolina, they can do after school sports but not classes. Which is strange to me because public school high school kids can come and go throughout the day depending on their class schedule.

  1. Erin

    There’s an Australian teacher called Eddie Woo who had a student a while back who was sick so he started filming his lessons. Other students started asking for access and then before he knew it he had kids all over the country watching his lessons. He’s an outstanding maths teacher. He has a channel called Wootube and also has all his videos available through a website called Mathspace. He insists on it remaining available for free. My maths loving boys really love his videos and learn a lot from him. Well worth looking him up as he explains things so well.

  2. Becky

    When my oldest (who is now 19 and a sophomore in college) wanted to come back to homeschooling after completing 5th and 6th at the public school- the main reason he gave was wanting to read more books! :-)

    • Renee

      Yes, isn’t that crazy. Nothing has had more of a negative effect on my kids reading than school. Yes, public school has opened many doors for my kids (hello free speech therapy and music lessons) but it has closed others.

  3. Sarah

    After homeschooling for 11 years I sent everyone to school (for many same reasons as you). We live in the second best public school in the nation, but I will tell you it still pales by comparison. Two of my kids want to come back home (8th and 10th grades). I didn’t realize how superior homeschooling was. – you can still go to public school and end up just fine – I was expecting to see my kids behind because of being in a top rated district.

    • Renee

      Unfortunately, the schools in our district have horrible ratings and test scores. I, obviously, understand having to put kids in school even when you really don’t want to. Thankfully, Hezekiah and Tucker are old enough not to need childcare and can do their own school work if I’m not around.

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