Homeschooling & Socialization

When I was in the 6th grade, we lived across the street from a park. One day, I made friends with a girl my age who was homeschooled. Her family was the first Christian homeschooled family that I had knowingly met and interacted with. I eventually went to her house for a playdate where she and her family were one of the kindest, sweetest families that I had met at the time. I remember thinking how warm their home was, how I never wanted to leave, how the environment stood out dramatically compared to every other friends home I ever entered. It was a weird concept for me to grasp, four children homeschooled…a child playing piano beautifully, a child in the backyard in a well-loved dog costume, books stacked everywhere, an entire bookshelf of puzzles and games. Every child in their home was kinder, got along with each other, there wasn’t a tv in sight, I felt less intelligent and less versed on the world around me, and they absolutely were more capable of social interactions than I was. After all, they were the ones to approach me and they were the ones to invite me over.

The point being, socialization is made into a much bigger deal than it actually is when it comes to homeschooling. I know a lot of homeschooling seems like you’re stuck at home 24/7, but the opposite seems to be true, especially now when homeschooling has gotten more popular and socially acceptable. When we were first struggling meeting fellow homeschool families, I learned we just had to go to the park or library during the school day, and we were bound to run into a homeschool family. When you know where to look, you end up with so many opportunities, it could fill our calendar every day of the week. We had to make a limit to only 1 or 2 group activities a week. We are a part of a secular homeschool co-op where members plan classes and field trips every season. We are also a part of a Christian co-op with 40 kids (K-8th grade), which meets on bi-weekly afternoons, offering enrichment classes in Art, PE, science, and presentations in a classroom setting and divided by age group. We’re also participating in three other Christian homeschool groups that occasionally offer field trips and meet-ups. I’m not even including the socialization of close friends, of Sunday school, and of extracurriculars like soccer or swimming lessons.

There are things in traditional school that Fischer will miss out on, but it’s hardly a comparison to the opportunities he has now. 

Happy Homeschooling!

Our Social Studies Homeschool Curriculum

Not even joking, it took a year of researching, praying, and considering before we settled on a curriculum. We debated on waiting until next year, then we had to decide over what specifically we should start on. People have strong opinions in this area! “Start with the 50 States!”…”No…start with the beginning of America!” “…Actually, you should connect history with the beginning of Genesis”. There are HUNDREDS of choices, brands, topics, themes, learning styles, etc. I LOVE history, but I didn’t like style of memorizing people and dates like math facts. I love the type of history where you immerse yourself in a particular time, where you read about and feel connected to people, where history is humanized, and you’re not complaining that subject is boring.

With all that said, TruthQuest curriculum what we finally decided on and I am thrilled! It’s basically a huge, organized list of books for children and parents to read relating to a specific person or topic, focusing on historic truths and how God’s hands are at work in all parts of history. Some activities are included, but it’s mostly a lot of snuggling up, reading great books, and having great conversations as a family. Fischer will be learning about American exploration up to 1800 by reading books that we mostly can find at the library. As an example, when learning about Christopher Columbus, there are over 33 book titles to choose from based on age, interest, and availability, most free through the library or through archives. We could pick 1 or two, or all 30+ (like Columbus by Ingri & Edgar d’Aulaire or Noko by Wilma Hays, a fiction book based on the actual diaries of the son of an Indian chief who was taken captive by Columbus). We spend more time on Columbus through reading, watching videos, or activities…or we can graze over and spend more of our time with Amerigo Vespucci. From Leif Ericson, to pirates, to Jamestown, Pocahontas, the Pilgrims, Native Americans, Ben Franklin, the 13 colonies, Pioneers, 1776, etc. There are also book recommendations for parents, so they can follow along in learning & help further support learning of their kiddos. A field trip to the museum, Richfield Historical Society, Buckskinners Encampment, and Old World Wisconsin are hoping to be planned as well through the year. It was $25 and the accompanying activity book was $18. A kind stranger gifted us a Kindle paperwhite, so we can have better access to some older book recommendations we can’t find at our library.

Happy Homeschooling!