What’s more fun than talking about your homeschooling with other homeschoolers? I was so glad to participate in this blog party with my friend, Ana Willis. Our homeschool is characterized by being very social.

30 Ways We Homeschool Blog Party

Tell Us About Your Family

I’ve been married to a library book salesman for 24 years. We have six children, two of whom will be in college next year. We have five sons, one daughter, and one cute dog.

How long have you been homeschooling?

I started homeschooling when my oldest was three. That’s 17 years.

Tell us briefly about your homeschooling approach.

We are eclectic homeschoolers. I’ve used a little bit of so many approaches, but the approach that has been most consistent is unit studies within our co-op. We love homeschooling with other families — and not in formal classes, but in our home. We do our science labs, writing and literature, and one or two high school classes a year in our co-op in addition to unit studies for the younger kids. We’ve found that homeschooling is a lot more fun when you don’t do it alone.

Year-round homeschooling or traditional calendar homeschooling?

We are definitely traditional-calendar homeschoolers. My husband has most of the summers off. The kids’ neighbor friends are off in the summer too. Then there’s the fact that I need a break!

Tell us about your homeschooling routine.

Our routine changes every year. I’m always trying a new approach. The most consistent part of our routine is our together time. Some people call this the morning meeting. We just call it “school.”

  • We begin with praying together, doing our Bible memory time and primary Bible curriculum. We typically do memory work and follow it with history, read alouds, and language arts teaching. I do individual tutoring time. Now that I’ve begun shipping Grammar Galaxy to customers, my kids are helping with that in the mornings, too.
  • In the afternoons, the kids complete their individual work, music practice, and outside classes.
  • The most fun part of our homeschool routine is our home-based co-op. We begin one day a week with one other family doing Apologia science labs and a literature or writing class. In the afternoon we are joined by other families for the high school students to do a group class and the elementary and middle school students to do a unit study. There’s always time in there for the kids to play sports or just hang out. That means the moms get to chat, too. You can read more about the benefits of homeschool co-ops at Psychowith6.

Homeschool Co-op Psychowith6

Our homeschooling happens mostly at…

Definitely home. Because I typically had several little ones to travel with when I started homeschooling, I couldn’t add lots of outside activities. That began a habit that has continued. I’m glad that we aren’t driving to four activities a day. It saves my sanity! Now that I have teen drivers, they can take themselves and my younger kids to sports and music practice. But the kids aren’t in lots of things.

What have you picked for your curriculum next year?

11th grade

Psychology – Dual enrolled
American History – Dual enrolled
IEW’s Speech Bootcamp
Dave Ramsey’s Personal Finance
Life of Fred Trigonometry
Reasoning (i.e., Thinking Toolbox)
Apologia Physics
7 Sisters American Literature

9th Grade

IEW’s Speech Bootcamp
Dave Ramsey’s Personal Finance
Geometry – Mr. D Math
Mystery of History
Apologia Biology
Apologia Biblical Worldview
7 Sisters American Literature

7th Grade

Moving Beyond the Page
Life of Fred Pre-Algebra
Mystery of History
Apologia Physical Science
Apologia Biblical Worldview

5th Grade

Moving Beyond the Page
Learn Math Fast
Mystery of History
God’s Design for Science
Apologia Biblical Worldview

List 3 books about homeschooling that really impacted you.

A Field Guide to Homeschooling by Christine Field — the book that convinced me homeschooling was a great way to educate my children.

Managers of Their Homes by Terri Maxwell — the book that convinced me that I needed some kind of schedule to homeschool a large family.

Homeschooling with a Meek & Quiet Spirit by Terri Maxwell — the book that convinced me that I needed God to change me in order to homeschool my children.

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. I would take our Bible curriculum (currently Apologia)
  2. Mystery of History
  3. our read aloud
  4. Learn Math Fast, volume I to keep the kids’ math facts sharp
  5. and my laptop (is that cheating?)

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?

I would have been more intentional about meeting new homeschooling families. We want to add more families to our co-op this year and that’s harder because we’ve spent all our time with the families we know.

I also wouldn’t have worried. I wasted so much time worrying and not one of my worries has been an issue.

Along with that, I would have spent more time playing games and investigating our interests instead of worrying about finishing our formal curriculum. I’m thankful I have the chance to make these changes now.