Why We Went Back to Homeschooling

Why We Went Back to Homeschooling

That's a picture of Kate on her birthday this year, our first day back to homeschooling. Could she look any happier?

Two weeks ago, Kate refused to continue going to school. She's 8.

I did this to my mom when I was 16. I left school early one day, caught a ride home with a friend who had a car. And I told my mother, “I'm not going back and you can't make me.”

Karma's a bitch. 🙂

Seriously though… I'm so happy we're back! Kate enjoyed Montessori at first. But then over time, she got bored. She said to me one morning, standing outside in the school hallway, “Mom, I beg of you, do not make me go in there!”

I hated school pretty much from the 4th grade on, so I can't blame Kate. She's a really smart kid. The other day, she used “hence” in a sentence.

And I think our decision to allow unlimited screen time has made her even smarter.

“A week's worth of the New York Times contains more information than the average seventeenth-century citizen encountered in a lifetime.
“And the volume is growing exponentially. ‘From the very beginning of time until the year 2003,' says Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, ‘humankind created five exabytes of digital information. An exabyte is one billion gigabytes—or a 1 with eighteen zeroes after it. Right now, in the year 2010, the human race is generating five exabytes of information every two days.'” — Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
by Peter H. Diamandis

If the New York Times contains more information than a medieval citizen encountered in a lifetime, just think how much one absorbs from YouTube every day.

OK, I know many of you will disagree with me on this point but if you ever got a chance to talk to my daughter sometime, you'd be astounded at her vocabulary and how much information she knows at her young age. YouTube is a veritable firehose of information, and not just about video games. She learns a ton of stuff about animals and nature and history and politics and presidents and so much more. But enough about YouTube… for now, anyway…

Classical Education

We are doing Classical Education. There is no way she would get this kind of education in public or even private school.

In Classical Education, you start with Latin in 3rd grade (Kate and I are starting a little early since she's ready for it). In 5th grade, we'll do a second language, either Spanish or French.

You also study 4 ages of history, 1 per year starting with (1) Antiquity – Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, ancient China, Africa and the Americas, then (2) Middle Ages and Renaissance, then (3) Early Modern and finally (4) Modern.

Normally you start with Antiquity in 1st grade, and then you do 1 age per year:

1st grade – Antiquity
2nd grade – Middle Ages and Renaissance
3rd grade – Early Modern times
4th grade – Modern times

Then in 5th grade you go back to Antiquity. It's at this age that they start reading the original source material. So in 5th grade they're reading Plato and Aristotle. Shakespeare in 6th grade, Dickens in 7th, and Mark Twain in 8th.

In 9th grade they circle back to Antiquity again to repeat the cycle for 4 more years. Not only are they reading the books this time, but they're writing papers on the material. This puts them way ahead of the curve when it's time for college.

Since we are starting late, we're starting with Antiquity this summer. We'll work our way through The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor this summer.

In the fall, we'll move on to The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: The Middle Ages: From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of the Renaissance (Vol. 2) .

Next summer we'll study The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 3: Early Modern Times
and in the fall of 2016, we'll study The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child, Volume 4: The Modern Age: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR.

Since Kate will technically be starting 3rd grade this fall and 4th grade next fall, that will catch us up to be able to start back with Aniquity in 5th grade.

Making the Time to Homeschool

We've been planning to homeschool for years… but it was always something we were going to do eventually. Now it's happening a little sooner than I planned.

Then again, Kate is 8. So how much longer am I going to wait? It's time.

I've had to work all of these years which is why we weren't homeschooling before. And I still have to work. But what I realized is you can do homeschooling in just a few hours a day. We start every morning around 8:30 or 9 and we go until lunch time. In the afternoon, Kate plays on her computer or iPad. Sometimes we go for afternoon park days or playdates. On the days she doesn't have park days, I work in the afternoon.

I know it's not possible for everyone to homeschool… but we're finding a way. I won't get this time back.

What I Love About Homeschooling

The conversations we have – Right now we're studying ancient Egypt. We've been talking about mummies and embalming and the afterlife and fossils and whether animals and plants have spirits. Kings and queens, government and laws, slavery and freedom.

Getting to learn all over again – We just started Latin and it is so much fun! I've always loved etymology (the origin of words) and it's so fun to learn things like Pennsylvania – PENN (John Penn) SYLVA (Latin for woods). I always wanted to study Latin and now I get to do it with Kate. (We're doing Visual Latin – Latin 1 which I highly recommend.)

Visual Latin

What Kate Loves About Homeschooling

She said what she loves the most is getting to spend time with me. 🙂

She said to me last night, “Mom, you know why I like homeschooling better than regular school?”

“Why?”

“Because when you homeschool, you get to be with the person who taught you everything.”

I'll be writing more about our homeschooling journey and Classical Education… stay tuned for future posts.

Why We Went Back to Homeschooling

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

8 thoughts on “Why We Went Back to Homeschooling

  1. Love it! What a sweet comment from Kate at the end, almost made me teary eyed. Our journey was similar. Started off as unschoolers and now we are Eclectic Classical homeschoolers. Loving this adventure!! Loving learning along with my kids. Have a blast learning Latin! We like Visual Latin too.

  2. I just graduated my third and final kid from our homeschool last year. It was such an awesome journey, and even with all my shortcomings and “I wish I’d done…”, they ended up being so much smarter, mature, and more well-rounded than I was at their age.

    I also started with The Well Trained Mind as my springboard, and became a little more eclectic with time and experience. A great resource for classical learning if you start to feel the need for online classes is the Classical Resource Learning Center. (https://www.clrconline.com/main.html/) My language-loving son took 4 years of Latin and Ancient Greek with them during high school and LOVED it.

    Enjoy!!!

  3. Hi there,

    I would love to hear more. Because of SB277, I am trying to figure out what homeschool is all about and am extremely overwhelmed and scared. I am not Christian but know there are alot of resources under such websites like HSLDA. Any information regarding private homeschool opportunities or how to go about it would be great (maybe that aren’t so Christian based–altho there is nothing wrong with those). Btw, did you file a PSA? So much to learn!!
    Thank you so much,

    Melisa

    1. No I have not filed a PSA yet – we just started a few weeks ago. Here’s the info on that: https://californiahomeschool.net/howTo/psa.htm

      Looks like you have to do it in October every year. I’m going to ask about it when I go to the homeschool conventions this summer. There are a few summer conferences in CA:

      LA in June: https://www.californiahomeschool.net/expo/
      San Jose in August https://www.hscconference.com/main.html

      I went to the HSC Conference a few years in a row when Kate was younger. It’s awesome! A great way to learn more about homeschooling. We are definitely going again this year.

  4. YAY! We homeschool too. Me and all 7 kids. So glad you are enjoying it. We are Ecclectic Classical homeschoolers. We are ecclectic in that I use a little textbook, and a little Charlotte Mason styles with the Classical approach. 🙂 Yes to LATIN! Yes to Original Documents! Yes to 4 year history loop! And, nature study, and copywork, and short lessons. I also like to use textbooks in the early years for math and learning to read/ early grammar.

    Kate looks so happy on the swing! And I have to agree, the best part of homeschooling is being with those you teach, all the time! My kids would not want to leave me, either. It’s good to be loved, and to love!

  5. Hi there im interested in learning more about the classical education and using it to teach my daughters, im on a tight budget, would you be able to recommend the best place to start? I have a 7th grader and a 4th grader. I love all your posts, thank you, sonya

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