One of the best parts of homeschooling, for me, is learning right alongside my kids. And while I could learn with each one independently, we’ve LOVED the strategy of schooling together as a family! It saves time, keeps us all focused on one topic at a time, and it’s just plain way more fun to learn together.
HOW do you Family-School?
Family schooling is simply choosing a few subjects to learn TOGETHER as a family. Think of a one-room schoolhouse sort of situation, where everyone is focusing on the same topic, but learning at their own level.
In our home, we’ve chosen to learn together for those subjects where we know we’re specifically wanting to disciple our children – the topics where questions and conversations naturally arise, so we can engage in those topics as a whole family!
For us, that looks like…
WHAT do you family school?
When my kids were younger, we chose a storybook Bible to read through each year. We spent quite a few years going through this Story Bible from CPH, as it contains the most accurate versions of Bible stories that I’d come across–plus questions and prayer starters! We really loved that one.
Now that my kids are older, we’re working through the Bible itself, as a family. Jon leads us in this area, reading a chapter or two and asking questions while teaching the kids. I won’t lie, I am very blessed with a husband who wants to lead us in this area. The Bible reading time typically happens during dinner, while I lead the kids in reading a Bible-based book (right now we’re working through the Case For Christ For Kids series) in the morning during Table Time.
Each year, we choose a History theme as our base (this is simplified for us, since we use the Classical Conversations curriculum), and build out from there. This next year, for example, we’re studying American History, so we have a curriculum that takes us through the entirety of that time in history.
Similar to History, we choose a Science theme for the year based on our Cycle in Classical Conversations. We really love the Science curriculum from Masterbooks, and how Biblically sound it is, so we have stuck with their God’s Design series for a few years now. Again, we’re all learning this together!
We end our together time each day with a little poetry – usually funny poems by Shel Silverstein or the like!
I also like to choose a few read-alouds that go along with our history theme for the year. This year, we are going to listen to The Little House Series together!
WHEN do you family school?
We complete most of our together subjects “Table Time” at our house! And Table Time happens each morning after breakfast.
Here’s how it usually goes:
- We start with WorldWatch while we finish up breakfast.
- Then, I read our Bible memory work, along with our Case for Christ book. I don’t allow the kids to do anything else during this time – I want reverence for Scripture to be practiced on a daily basis.
- After that, I read our Science chapter, while the kids draw or play with Kinetic sand. I do find that by this time, they really need something to be doing with their hands if I want them to listen well and pay attention. That may seem counterintuitive, but it works really well in our home.
- Finally, we end our time with some funny poetry, usually by Shel Silverstein.
- After this we take a pretty good break, and then we come back to start our independent subjects! (Math and language)
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention History or our Read-Alouds during our Table Time. We’ve tried that before, but honestly, that just gets too long for my kids.
So we’ve moved History to audio only, and we all listen to it in the car together. We’re in the car almost every day, and we live about 10-15 minutes away from everything, so this is easy to accomplish. Each of our History chapters is only about 15 minutes long.
We do the same thing for read-alouds, just once History is done. The car is really a great opportunity to read books together!!
I really love family-schooling, because it builds our relationships, keeps us all learning (and excited about learning!), and honestly saves a ton of time. I have no idea how I’d be able to keep up the house AND run a business if I had to do Bible, History, and Science independently for each kid. And I only have two kids!
I hope this encourages you to give family-schooling a shot. You might love it as much as we do!!
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Kayse Pratt serves Christian women as a writer + designer, creating home + life management resources that help those women plan their days around what matters most. She’s created the most unique planner on the market, helped over 400 women create custom home management plans, and works with hundreds of women each month inside her membership, teaching them how to plan their days around what matters most. When she’s not designing printables or writing essays, you’ll find Kayse homeschooling her kids, reading a cheesy novel with a giant cup of tea in hand, or watching an old show from the 90’s with her husband, who is her very best friend.