HomeSchool Open House

Tiany is hosting a HomeSchool Open House starting August 1. It will be a great place to gain insight to the world of homeschoolers. Here is my contribution:

We are a family of four, recently relocated from Oklahoma to Illinois. Our decision to homeschool was brought about by this move and the difficulty of transitioning from a small school to a large, impersonal one. We have targeted mid-August to begin our upcoming school year.

A Day at the Brain Train Homeschool

Our day starts about 8:00, getting showers, breakfast, and chores out of the way. Our curriculum is Winter Promise and this year our focus is a geography / world culture / language arts program with Children Around The World as the theme and Rock Around the Earth for science. I start our day by reading aloud a chapter or two from The Bible for Children. If we have corresponding activity sheets the kids might do those while I read. Or draw.What we love best about our school day is the variety. Fun, interesting, accurate reading books (not traditional text books), creative activities, cultural experiences to better acquaint us with “Children around the World”, journaling, drawing, notebooking and mapping….

I am penciling in a weekly schedule, then mapping out a daily plan based on the lesson plan and our activities. Our school week is 4 days with Fridays dedicated to celebrating something specific to the culture/country we’ve covered that week.

A Mo-Thurs schedule might look like this:

  • 8:00 Dress, eat breakfast and Bible reading/activity
  • 9:00 Winterpromise Curriculum (Geography, Social Studies, Art, Science)
  • 10:30 Winterpromise Language
  • 11:30 Spanish
  • Noon Lunch
  • 1:00 Reading, activities, PE
  • 3:00 Music lesson (or practice)

Dad does MathUSee in the evenings, but we’ll probably add some focus during the day this year.

Our Fridays will be our “Cultural Celebration”. We’ll have an English “Tea”, for Brazil, we will make cascarones and prepare some Brazilian Coconut Pudding. We’ll make a Kanga when we cover Zimbabwe. The entire month of December will be devoted to Christmas Around the World.

We have a primary homeschool room, but we tend to scatter throughout the house. We can finish a planned day by noon, but often we get engrossed and wrap up later. I’m homeschooling my 2 youngest. Nicholas is almost 11 and Lexi is 9.5 – some things we do together, some activities they do independently. Although our actual school focus is about 4 hours, we’ve discovered learning is 24/7, so it’s impossible to contain it to a scheduled time frame.

We don’t give grades, instead we stay with it until the lesson is grasped. With some subjects we may move on and circle back later to reinforce. I’m moving away from “fill in the blank” worksheets and tests, instead I’m trying to find more ways to encourage retention, creative thought and enhance handwriting abilities. We’ll forgo class work for field trips and hands-on learning experiences.

Here is our newly designed classroom – we recently added the right wall, cabinets and are in the process of getting additional lighting, bookshelves and tile installed. I plan to have it finished in the next month. Click the picture to see more detail.I hope this gives you a picture of how our children are being educated. Feel free to ask if there’s anything I didn’t cover or explain well.


18 responses to “HomeSchool Open House

  1. I love when you post your homeschooling days. I have my curriculum books and just need to lay out a plan for both Trevor and Rachael that kind of meshes together. I assume your kids are reading? Does homeschooling get a bit easier once they are reading on their own (like you aren’t spending the whole time reading instructions, etc?)

  2. Looks like you really have it together! Thanks for welcoming us into your open house!!

  3. First: I LOVE the look of your blog! very cute!!!!

    Next: It sounds like your hs is a lot of FUN!! I have never heard of Winter Promise. I will look into that.

    Thanks for inviting us into your homeschool.

    Have a blessed day

    #14 on the list

  4. Melissa Markham

    I love the plan to spend Fridays doing something to celebrate what you studied during the week. Great idea!

  5. I currently live in Oklahoma. I love how you leave Friday open to celebrating what you did that week. And the Christmas around the world. I will make notes of this.

  6. I, too, was pulled by the simplicity of worksheets last year. I hated it, they hated it . . . ’nuff said. Attended a workshop on notebooking and lapbooks. Oh yeah! THIS is why I chose to home school, so they don’t have to fill in blanks or memorize things until test time and then forget them!

  7. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and complimenting it. I think your blog is very pretty also.
    I saw a post about adoption in your sidebar and clicked on it. I enjoyed reading about your son, and listening to the song (I had never heard it before). I have 2 adopted children. Recently, I’ve had the privilege of reviewing some adoption-related books. You may be interested in checking them out on the sidebar of my blog. I’m hoping to review a children’s book called “I Don’t Have Your Eyes” in the near future. Your post reminded me of the title of this book.
    I enjoyed your blog and would like to keep in touch.

  8. Thanks for your support and encouragement. I want to clarify that the Cultural Celebration on Friday is a part of the Winterpromise Curriculum. Credit to Karen Brooks! We, too, love the concept and look forward to making it happen.

    Blessings, Kim

  9. Your blog is so cute! I love the way you homeschool, focusing on many cultures. Your homeschool sounds like a really fun learning experience. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Ladybugs!! I love ’em~ thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your homeschool with us!

  11. I really enjoyed the glimpse I got into your homeschool. I always enjoy reading what others are doing. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Have a great year!

  12. Thank you for participating in “Homeschool Open House 2007”! I have had such fun putting it together but getting the peek into your homeschools has been such fun and the real blessing! Wonderful post, i loved all your pictures 🙂

    Hugs & Blessings,

  13. Mary aka Canadagirl

    Thanks for sharing a peek into your homeschool!! It is a treat to see how so many others are teaching their children.

    God Bless
    In Him<><

  14. Ribbon Rock Star

    I enjoyed reading about your homeschooling methods. I love how you have the Friday Cultural Celebration. That sounds great!


  15. I love the Cultural Celebrations Idea. They will be such fun for your children. I was looking at the Kangas and enjoyed all the “God-centered references” on the clothing.

    Because of Jesus, Bobbie

  16. Michele D - School of Thankful Hearts

    How fun to see your homeschool in words and pictures.

    I have never heard of Winter Promise but I do know that my kids love to learn about other cultures and “celebrate” as you described. I think you will have a wonderful school year.

    Blessings, Michele

  17. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never heard of Winter Promise so I learned something new!

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