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I am thrilled to once again have the opportunity to contribute to another amazing homeschool blog party by our lovely Ana. Many thanks to her and to all contributors for making these blog parties rock!

I loved sharing about how homeschooling helped our family strength grow. I was able to touch upon a few of the key points of why we started homeschooling, as well as share how homeschooling blesses our all-boy family. Now, I will share even more juicy details about our homeschooling adventures. Get your popcorn and hang on for the ride!

How we homeschool 5 boys is part of 30 Ways of How We Homeschool, a blog party at They Call Me Blessed.

How We Homeschool 5 Boys

1 – Briefly tell us about you and your family.

My husband, who I lovingly refer to as Coach (soccer and basketball for our boys), and I have 5 boys. We range from toddler to teen with ages 2, 5, 7, 11, and 13. We live in rural NE Pittsburgh, PA area. I, Amy, am a homeschool soccer mom who adores coffee and books. I own a homeschool blog (Busy Boys Brigade) and co-own a site for planners (Planner Squad). I also tend to chase squirrels during weekday Rock Your Homeschool! scopes.

How We Homeschool 5 Boys & A Dog is part of 30 Ways We Homeschool, a blog party at They Call Me Blessed.

2 – How long have you been homeschooling?

We are entering our fifth year of homeschooling.

3 – Tell us about your homeschooling approach.

We are relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers with Charlotte Mason tendencies. With the variety of ages and learning styles present in our homeschool, we have found it to be the most successful way for all to learn without anyone climbing the walls or Mommy needing a strong drink at night.

How we homeschool 5 boys and a dog is part of 30 Ways of How We Homeschool, blog part at They Call Me Blessed.

4 – Year-round homeschooling or traditional calendar homeschooling?

This question is tough! We consider learning to happen all the time. Our state requires 180 days of attendance. We follow a traditional calendar for that. Our learning fun, however, never stops!

5 – Tell us about your homeschooling routine.

  • Our homeschool day usually starts with my oldest, Captain, herding up the crew for our Morning Gathering Time. This time is focused on spiritual and character growth through read-alouds and discussion. We all head to our dining room/homeschool area. As we gather around the table, Professor (11) passes out American flags and we stand to say the pledge.
  • As a Catholic homeschool family, we then pray the Sign of the Cross and recite at least one Catholic prayer. We read from our Bible and then do calendar time.
  • Our next group activity is music. We have been using Music Appreciation from Zeezok Publishers this year with tremendous success.
  • We do a read-aloud next, something from 50 Famous Stories Retold, Parables of Nature, or Aesop’s Fable.
  • We break for online math for the older boys (Teaching Textbooks) while I work on Grammar Galaxy with Smiley (7) and Bear (5). The boys switch and the younger ones take turns using CTC Math online. We also supplement with Life of Fred math.
  • Science is next. The older boys have been working in By Design Science. Smiley and Bear use and love a series of science readers from the Smithsonian.
  • All boys used All American History Vol. II by Bright Ideas Press. This history curriculum rocks!
  • One of our most favorite times of our homeschool day comes next-Brave Writer work! The older two boys have been using The Arrow while the younger two boys are working with The Wand.
  • Art is usually on Thursday with a picture study.

6 – Complete the sentence: Our homeschooling happens mostly at…

Our entire home! We learn anywhere from our kitchen to our bathroom (cleaning toilets can be a great lesson!) to outside.

7 – What have you picked for your curriculum next year?

We are still ironing out the details for our 2016-2017 academic year. Our Morning Gathering will be very similar with the addition of a World Geography & Cultures curriculum that I hope to create this summer. Our music will continue to focus on music appreciation and our ukulele course. Math will be the same. We are researching history for next year. My older boys will be using Christian Kids Explore Chemistry which looks amazing. We also will be using Rosetta Stone French for foreign language study.

8 – List 3 books about homeschooling that really impacted you.

  • The Writer’s Jungle from Bravewriter
  • For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School

  • When Children Love to Learn: A Practical Application of Charlotte Mason’s Philosophy for Today

9 – Your family is going on an unplanned trip, not much time to pack, you must homeschool the kids while traveling and you can only take 5 of your homeschooling resources/books with you. What would you take?

  1. Our learning fun backpack. We bring this to appointments and activities. It contains paper, crayons, markers, coloring books, busy bags, board books, books, and snacks. Something for everyone!
  2. Bible
  3. Laptop
  4. Poetry Teatime Companion
  5. Ukulele (We could all practice!)

10 – If you had the chance to start homeschooling all over again today with the knowledge and experience you have now, what would you do differently?

Take it slow to start. Relax and enjoy watching my boys love to learn. Recognize that learning takes place all the time.

 


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