Discerning Home Schooling

When the idea of home schooling came to me I was rather skeptical. As the daughter of public educators and as a member of a parish with a fantastic Catholic school it didn’t even make sense.

Why would I consider educating our children at home?

Discerning Homeschooling

For the better part of a year, prior to our oldest approaching school age, the Lord pursued my heart heavily to educate our children at home. He gave me the desire to share learning in a gentle child-like way in an environment that was shaped to each child’s readiness and interests.

Kindergarten at home was a trial year to test the waters of home schooling. Our days were filled with nature walks, hands on activities, and lots of reading out loud. We started the Little House series and spent the year immersed in Laura’s adventures as a pioneer girl. That trial year was everything I had hoped for and more.

When our second year approached, I became more serious about our mission of education. This was the year that our daughter was officially old enough to be enrolled in school and we needed to come up with a name for our school to register with the state. We chose St. Michael the Arch Angel and wrote out our mission to help guide us on our path of learning.

Our mission and top three priorities were outlined as:
1) To lead our children to heaven.
2) To cultivate lifelong learners.
3) To produce a strong work ethic.

It also became evident that it was time to choose a curriculum to follow. After a grueling search through an overwhelming amount of information I found Charlotte Mason and her gentle way of teaching. I agreed with her way of presenting learning and how plenty of time was made available for the child to pursue their own learning interests.

We are now more than halfway through our fourth year. I can hardly believe it! We have taken each year one at a time. As far as the future we don’t know how long we will home school each child. Through the elementary years? Middle school? High school? It’s hard to say. It will depend on the child and the situation. But we can say with confidence that we haven’t regretted one minute spent learning together as a family!

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Many of you who are curious about homeschooling may question how it all can be done. Maybe even feel that you could never do it yourself. Let me encourage you today by telling you that not one of us that chooses to home school has it all together. We do the best we can on a day-to-day basis. Some days are more Shakespeare and fractions. And others are more Netflix history, laundry, and grace.

But all of lessons at home are important learning. Because raising a well rounded individual isn’t about memorization of facts. More so, it is the raising of an adult that is a self taught learner. One that can solve problems, overcome adversity, and most importantly be grounded in their faith.

In my next post I will share with you a little about our eclectic {{Catholic}} Charlotte Mason, Montessori-ish education and how we make it work in our home with an 8 year old, 4.5 year old, 2 year old and a newborn. (YES! We had our baby! Baby Henry was born earlier this month and we are so in love!)

So, tell me! Are you considering a home education for your children?

How can I encourage you?

9 comments
  • AlexisFebruary 12, 2016 - 6:26 am

    I am positive this post could have been written by me! Your journey was so similar to ours it’s crazy! While we are only on our second year, it’s been an amazing journey I never thought we would begin. And we just began our Charlotte Mason style as well, after a 1.5 years of textbook education at home, that wasnt working for us. I am very interested to see how you have put your Catholic spin on it all, this is the biggest struggle I see today. Thank you for the beautiful words and the smile as I read your story! Happy Lent!ReplyCancel

    • Janalin HoodFebruary 12, 2016 - 7:46 am

      Thank you Alexis! I LOVE looking into the days of other home schooling families and I hope you will enjoy a peek into ours! XOReplyCancel

  • ReneeFebruary 14, 2016 - 7:13 am

    We’ll be starting our trial year next year, so I’m really looking forward to your next post on your methods!!ReplyCancel

  • Sara Steichen KirsteinFebruary 14, 2016 - 7:26 pm

    We have 5 children..ages 14, 11, 9, 4 and 2. The oldest have been in catholic school since kindergarten. I’m going to keep my youngest two home, but although I want to pull the older 3 out of their schools, it’s much more complicated because they are established! Any advice on creating such a big lifestyle change for older children (especially my freshman!).
    Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • KatieFebruary 21, 2016 - 10:06 pm

    Thank you! We are starting our trial year with our preschool daughter next year. A trial run in the summer for our oldest (currently in first grade). I’ve been discerning for months. I too am looking forward to your upcoming posts.ReplyCancel

    • Janalin HoodFebruary 22, 2016 - 9:00 am

      I’m excited for you Katie! I hope the peek into our home school day will be a help and encouragement to you! XOReplyCancel

  • Matthew BarnardMarch 8, 2016 - 1:18 am

    I would encourage those thinking about homeschooling to consider dual enrolling their high school aged children in public school. As a former graduated home school student I may have been better off going through public/private high school instead. It isn’t just the material covered that transfers to college but how the material is learned. Instructors taught at the collegiate level often have experience at the high school level. The way of teaching doesn’t change much between the two, just the content being learned.ReplyCancel

  • Nicky LarsonJuly 7, 2016 - 1:34 pm

    We just moved and my children were enrolled in a Catholic school; we loved it and miss it dearly. However, there is no private school option where we moved so I am just now thinking of homeschooling. My oldest is 12,’6th grade and we have a 5, 3, and 6 month old as well. Would it be too hard to transfer him to homeschool (for all of us)? My oldest is sad he won’t be able to pray in school, attend mass/adoration, etc and this weighs heavy on my heart. Thank you for all the homeschool info!ReplyCancel

    • Janalin HoodJuly 7, 2016 - 5:06 pm

      Nicky- I would encourage you to pray about it with your husband and your son. I don’t think you will regret giving it a try for one year!!! But pray, pray, pray! And feel free to email me if you would like to! hello (at) janalinhood.com xoReplyCancel