Looking Back on 2020: A Homeschool End-of-Year Review (Part 1)

Looking Back on 2020: A Homeschool End-of-Year Review

2020 has been quite a doozy so far, hasn’t it?

Most of us are still reeling from the unexpected spin COVID-19 put on the last few months of this school year. And just when we thought things were looking up, we find ourselves in the midst of another set of trials and civil unrest.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was planning out our curricula and wondering what the year would bring. I definitely didn’t expect all this!

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A Tour of Our Homeschool: History (& More) Shelves

A Tour of Our Homeschool History (& More) Shelves

The final stop on this Tour of Our Homeschool is the history shelf. 

Early in this shelf’s career here in my home, it had the misfortune of being partly empty. And, since no empty space remains empty for long around here, it’s now become the “History-and-Geography-and-Health-and-Art-and-Bible-and-Character-and-Whatever-Else-I-Can-Cram-In-There” shelf.

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover today so I’ll get right to it. If you missed the beginning posts in this series, click here to catch up.

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A Tour of Our Homeschool: Language Arts Shelves

A Tour of Our Homeschool - Language Arts Shelves

Early in my homeschool mom career, language arts caused a lot of confusion for me. There are so many subcategories within the subject – I just didn’t know where to begin.

Handwriting, reading (including phonics and sight words), spelling, grammar, composition, poetry, literature, public speaking…. What do I teach when? And how? Ahhh! 🤯

Over the years, I’ve been able to make better sense of it all. My curriculum shelves, however, still reveal the winding journey of trial and error I’ve gone through in the search for language arts resources for my kids.

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A Tour of Our Homeschool: Science Shelves

A Tour of Our Homeschool Science Shelves

Our tour continues! 

(If you missed the first posts in this series, start here to get caught up.)

First, though, a quick note…

I’m not sharing the contents of our homeschool room and shelves because I found the BEST or MOST PERFECT stuff that all homeschool families need to own. 

I’m doing this tour because I remember how much it helped me to see how others homeschool. It helped me decide how home education could work for our family. I loved seeing how people organize their spaces, what kinds of school things they had on their shelves, and what worked and didn’t work for them. 

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A Tour of Our Homeschool: Math Shelves

A Tour of Our Homeschool Math Shelves

In the previous post in this series, I introduced you to the curriculum shelves in our homeschool area. Now let’s zoom in and see what’s filling up those shelves. 

Note: If you missed the first couple posts in this Tour of Our Homeschool series, start here to get caught up.

Right now, it seems to work for us to have a shelf (or two) for each main subject area and a coordinating bin for the non-book materials for that subject. So, for example, here are the math shelves and the storage cube drawer where I keep the curricula and math supplements we aren’t using this year.

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A Tour of Our Homeschool: School Room

A Tour of Our Homeschool School Room

Asking what a homeschool room should look like is like asking what someone’s backyard should look like. That is, there’s no one right answer. It totally depends on the needs, desires, resources and situation of each unique family.

So far, in this Tour of Our Homeschool series, I’ve shared about the desks and tables we use for homeschooling all over our house. Now I’d like to focus in on the corner of our lower level that we call our “school room”.

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A Tour of Our Homeschool: Desks and Tables

A Tour of Our Homeschool - Desks & Tables

Over the years, I’ve spoken to many people who are considering homeschooling or just starting out. At some point, almost all of them have asked some variation of the following question:

What does homeschooling actually look like?

And they don’t mean it in some vague, theoretical way. They mean: What does it literally look like? 

They want to know things like… How is my school-room setup? Do I even have a dedicated school space? What shelves do I use? How and where do I store my homeschool curricula? Do my kids have binders or cubbies or how do they keep their work organized? Do they each have their own desk?

So, in this series of posts, I’ll be giving you a detailed look into the physical set-up of our homeschool. 

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Why Homeschooling Works – A 2nd Grade Example

Why Homeschooling Works - A 2nd Grade Example

In this series, I’m hoping to give you a glimpse into why homeschooling is so effective for kids of all ages. 

In the previous post, I showed just how much preschoolers are learning all the time. Homeschooling is incredibly effective for young kids since there’s time to answer more of their bazillion daily questions and let life and learning flow together naturally.

As kids get into their early elementary years, their brains are still like sponges. They’re constantly soaking in information and now they’re old enough to make more sense of it. 

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