How the Dumonts do homeschooling

In case you didn't know, we are homeschoolers. I know, I know. You're shocked. ;)  Homeschoolers are kind of like Baptists. We all carry the same name, but we come in wide variety of flavors. I can't speak for how other people homeschool, but I thought it might be interesting to explain what our homeschool experience looks like to my friends and family. After all, I can't have you thinking we're denim jumper fundamentalists (not that there's anything wrong with that), or that I let the kids run wild all the time. They only run wild some of the time. All of the time would be crazy.

If I were to liken our homeschool experience to ice cream, I think we would be Caramel Praline ice cream. I'd love say we're the Rocky Road kind of homeschooler, but alas, that would be a lie. I say caramel praline because we're very vanilla in many ways. We read books. Lots of books. I like books. We do copy work. We do memorization. It sounds plain and boring. But THEN we make it fun and add songs, games, and go on lots of great field trips. We go on trips when everyone else is in school. It's awesome and a somewhat decadent lifestyle (aka caramel). Then sometimes things go off the rails. Things get pecan-y.

Sorry for getting caught up in the food analogies. I can't help myself. So seriously, what does homeschooling look like for us? Well, in the summer, I do my prep. I read blog posts on school planning and organization. I go to conferences and training. I research curriculum TO DEATH and try to find the best deal on all of the books I'll need for the upcoming year. Shopping includes looking through my own library to see if I already own what I need, visiting used book stores, and posting on local facebook groups to find the books I need from other local homeschool moms. I order online for the things I have to buy new.  I make goals for each child for the year and make a tentative schedule.  I pull out all of the books I'll need or make sure my library has what I need. I make copies and list videos/movies we might use. I get familiar with the books and curriculum I'm using. I don't pre-read everything because I don't have the time or ability to read every book for three grades of kids. Plus that's crazy. The more prep I do, the better our year goes. Usually by the time we get to July, I'm ready to jump into our new school year. Sometimes we actually do start in July. This year, we're starting August 1st.

Once we officially start our year, things get really interesting. This will be my first year really teaching all three kids at the same time. I'll have a 1st grader, 5th grader, and 9th grader. Gulp. We do Classical Conversations so a lot of my schedule for my subjects is already laid out for me. Each week Matthew and Charlotte will learn their memory work. They'll do their history and science topics, their world timeline, and grammar and math facts. They'll read and doing writing assignments. Tommy will be in class one day a week then work on his assignments the rest of the week. 

In many ways, Tommy is the easy one at this point. You'd think he'd be the most difficult since he's in high school, but he can do most of his work on his own at this point. I check up on him, help him when he gets stuck on something, and try to keep him accountable to his work. One of my biggest goals in homeschooling and parenting in general is to get these kids of mine to the point that they don't need me. I taught him how to learn so that he can teach himself anything. And he's a natural student. That helps. =)  This year, he'll be doing physical science, Latin I, Algebra 2, American Lit. Econ/American Gov, and Drama/Music Theory.

Matthew is also easy. We'll read books and do some simple handwriting and math. It won't take long, and it won't be hard. It's not supposed to be hard. It's supposed to be easy and fun for him right now. Charlotte will be the project child this year. She'll be in 5th grade. She's in the middle point where we need to refine some areas. She'll want to rush ahead because she's able to jump forward in many ways, but other subjects will hold her back. In other words, I'll get to be the mean teacher that makes her rewrite the sloppy work until it's neat or practice those math facts again. She'll hate it. I'm already prepared for the battles that will ensue. BUT she'll survive, and she'll have better handwriting and a firm grasp of her math facts. ;)

And that's about it I suppose. If you've ever wondered what homeschooling looks like, this is basically how we do it in our house. Some years have been excellent. Some years have been ugly. I'm hoping for excellent this year. If you have any questions, let me know!.


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