Have I ever considered homeschooling my kids? Ummm, no- I don’t have the patience for that! However, Spring of 2020 schools were canceled with the COVID-19 and quarantine schooling happened and well- my mind was changed. Distant learning was exhausting as a mother of four. Constantly drumming to someone else’s rhythm and never getting the day right. Our family was just surviving those last months of school. And then summer happened, breath of fresh air! This is my favorite season with my children. We sit down and talk about our summer bucket list and one by one we learn, grow and explore on our timetable and cross off one item at a time. Turns out- this season I love most, is a form of homeschooling. – Mic drop-
Fall of 2020 is already shaping out to be a unique start. The regulations for school attendance is changing. Some of them are for our good- yes. But for the most part, I feel bad for our kids who have to go to school under these different rules. My daughter has cried to me nearly every day about how she misses her friends. How she wants things to be back to normal. Me too girlie, me too. I know many parents are looking into different options to create stability for Fall such as homeschooling. I know I am. Therefore, I have started doing an extreme amount of homework on the topic and most importantly- curriculum options too. So without further ado… here’s all the homeschooling information I have gathered thus far…
*Disclaimer* I am not a homeschool expert, but I have done lots of research on programs and curriculums and the ones that I plan to share- come from my own research, talking with others and joining homeschool conversations with others. These online programs are available through Utah- you will have to check with your own state if you are not living in Utah.*
Introduction to Homeschool:
I found this documentary an excellent sneak peek into what Homeschooling looks like when it is supported and grown by a community. I am fortunate enough that this group the documentary is based on, is local to me (Morgan). So this documentary took the guessing game of “What does homeschooling looking like as a whole?” out of the equation for me. And especially, “is there a community of kids my children can still associate and grow with?”
You can check out this incredible homeschooling documentary here. Because so many are looking for answers and this video gave me lots of hope for our future of possibly homeschooling. I absolutely loved watching this with my family as we came to understand what homeschooling looks like for different families. The documentary is beautifully done.
1- Utah Online
“Utah Online K-12 is part of the Washington County School District. We are a FREE public school. We are open to ALL students in grades K-12 living ANYWHERE in the state of Utah. UOS currently has over 50 staff and faculty members serving more than 3,000 students. We are committed to providing quality educational services that encourage the personal progress of our students. We believe that by transforming traditional educational methods we can champion individual growth.”
2- My Tech High
“My Tech High helps innovative public school districts provide personalized education options to students who learn best at home. We are dedicated to helping today’s tech-savvy kids become tomorrow’s successful entrepreneurs. Our company is the brainchild of Matt Bowman, the CEO and founder. In 2008, Matt fulfilled his dream to start a program allowing young people to access online courses focused on technology and entrepreneurship. My Tech High is based in the “Silicon Slopes”, a cluster of booming high-tech companies located in the beautiful mountains of Utah. Watch the 3-min video “You Got Schooled” which was produced by an education policy think tank who promotes innovation within public education.”
UPDATE: This is the program I (Morgan) am going with. The major reasons are: for the 1-8 grade there are core classes everyone takes: Math, English and Tech. Students decide on science, or social studies. And then can choose up to two electives courses. Plus, there is a tech allowance. What I like about this program is how they give you the option to take all My Tech High direct classes for all subjects, let you go through a third party (like dance, piano) or you can custom build/buy everything for each subject. The best (in my opinion) is the reimbursement funds available per subject,per child (it almost adds up to $1500, per kid!). Originally one of my major concerns about homeschooling was the “set up cost”. Now that I have found MTH I know that I won’t be financially be paying for everything to cater the education my kids are most excited about. Again, click on the link to watch their video and see if it’s the right fit for you.
Every child has different capacities, interests and passions. We understand that students flourish when education is individualized to their unique needs. Harmony provides a variety of courses and programs for all ages, ensuring a truly customized learning experience. Utah students who want to participate in the Harmony Program for free do so by enrolling with a Harmony partner public school. Families also have the option to purchase a curriculum package directly from Harmony. This gives families the flexibility to learn at home, access online curriculum and attend on-site programs (where available).
**You do not have to fill out an affidavit for any of these options since you are staying in the system. All of these are either public school online options or charter school options which will make it easier when you put your child back into public school. For more info on any of these, please check the websites listed above.**
4- Easy Peasy– All in One Homeschool-
“We exist to help families homeschool. We enable families to homeschool who thought they couldn’t because of a lack of finances, a lack of time, or a lack of know-how. Others join EP because it’s easy and fun and they’re confident of the quality of education. EP seeks to free families from the burden of pursuing the “perfect” and encourages them to let it be “enough.” Each family and each child is different and we seek to provide the resources to enable your family to be who you were created to be.”
“American Heritage School Online is a powerful tool for families. Our educational offerings allow parents to be as involved in their children’s learning as they can and want to be. Whether you are the teachers or need more flexible options, we’re here to meet you where you are and help you succeed. Family School is the simplest and most academically strong curriculum for teaching your children history, science, literature, geography, art, and music. First launched in 2012, it has been used by over 30,000 children in over 100 countries around the world! The beauty of Family School is that it allows a mother to teach strong academics at multiple levels to children as young as PreK and through middle school, together. Although children learn together, the post-lesson assignments and activities are specific to their level.”
- Emphasizes family, God, high character, nature, and wholesome literature
- Requires no daily prep time—just open the book and follow the instructions, learning and exploring along with your child
- Family Style – History, Science, & Electives
- Combines multiple subjects, which connects learning and eliminates the need for six to seven different courses
- Thorough phonics reading program creates excellent readers
- Thorough and advanced courses leave no gaps
“Lexia® Core5® Reading supports educators in providing differentiated literacy instruction for students of all abilities in grades pre-K–5. Lexia’s research-proven program provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning in the six areas of reading instruction, targeting skill gaps as they emerge, and providing teachers with the data and student-specific resources they need for individual or small-group instruction. Subscription required.”
8- Prodigy- Math–
“Boost Your Child’s Math Confidence And Watch Them Persevere Through Challenges. Prodigy Is The teacher-approved Effective And Engaging Math Practice & Learning Platform. Over 1200 Math Skills and it’s fun! Subscription required.”
“Waterford UPSTART provides four-year-old children access to the highest form of academic support in their early education at no cost to participants: personalized family education and coaching, a new computer and Internet if needed, and adaptive educational software. The average Waterford UPSTART graduate enters kindergarten reading at nearly a first-grade level and maintains their gains for years to come.”
“#1 learning program for ages 2-8. Subscription required.”
11- Math Inspirations–
“A homeschool math experience focused on thinking not calculation, discovery not memorization, self-reliance not dependence. Subscription required.”
Not a curriculum kind of gal? Need more ideas on certain subjects? Click here.
I came across The Prudent Homemakers website where she shares “How to Start Homeschooling” and gives lots of beginning homeschooling tips. She also shares a whole list of free resources that I’ve listed below:
K12Reader has printable worksheets for spelling, reading skills, grammar, writing, and penmanship (including beginning penmanship and cursive).
Khan Academy has free online math classes, including for high school.
EducationPlace has free math worksheets for grades K-6. Click on “Leveled Practice”. This is pretty much a free math book for each grade.
SteveSpanglerScience has science experiments that you can do at home.
YouTube is a great resource, especially for science, art, and foreign languages. We’ve also used it to find explanations on how to do certain math problems. Free School is a fun channel on several subjects, and there are many more!
The Math Worksheet Site has a fantastic free section that you can use. They also have a paid subscription (which I use for grades K-3; you can even do a free trial for a week of the paid part and print all that you want).
Education.com allows you to print 10 free worksheets per month. If you print them to a pdf instead of a printer, you can save them to use for the next child as well and then print them out as needed. I especially like their geography worksheets for elementary school.
Typing.com is a free site to teach your children to type correctly and quickly.
Homeschool Resource Books to Read:
A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders– Oliver Demille
Home Education Intro Compress- this PDF is a very insightful e-book.
Head to this link to find a list of highly suggested homeschooling books
Are You a Podcast Mama? Here’s a Homeschool Podcast List:
Well Educated Heart
Wild + Free
Called to Homeschool
Love Centered Learning
The Homeschool Sisters
Rasising Lifelong Learners
Overwhelmed? Start by Playing!
Several months ago our guest author with six children at home, wrote about homeschool. She shared how homeschool looks at her house. For more details and of course helpful printables- check out the article here. She also collected her favorite homeschool equipment, books and the most phenomenal resources and games and shared it on Amazon with us here.
Who knew playing a fun math game was considered homeschool? It is! Homeschool is putting the fun of learning back in the home. Have a child interested in STEM? Legos, manipulatives, card games and science experiments- they count as school too! I had such fun looking through Amazon for these fun STEM activities.
Have a Book Worm and Love a Good Deal?
I just discovered Thriftbooks and it’s awesome! If you love the thrill of finding a good deal like me, this site can be your best friend. I found excellent deals on books that were out of stock on Amazon and comparable in price too. . Highly suggest checking out their website.
My sister introduced me to Half Price Books- they too have excellent prices and deals on books that you can check out to help build your homeschool library.
Lastly, you do not have to purchase books to do homeschool! You do not have to buy all the games for homeschool… more than likely you have all sorts of books and games in your home already hat you can use. You can always borrow something from family, neighbors and most importantly- the library it’s free!
There is no way I can know everything, I am very thankful for the homeschool groups and moms that have shared their information with me with in the last couple weeks. If this route is something you are considering- I would highly suggest reaching out to your local homeschool chapter- I’m sure there are on Facebook! Thanks to these ladies, I now, I have a clear idea on the “how” we’ll homeschool this year. But I’m still trying to figure out all the kinks…. This article was written when I was still researching and not certain what our family would do for Fall of 2020. This information was written as unbiased as I could to help you dear friends work through your thinking process too.
We are working hard to create several homeschool printables we hope will be helpful to the first time homeschooler, and will keep you posted when they are available. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to support you mama!
Best of luck my friends!