Until a few weeks ago, every time I heard someone talk about homeschooling I thought, wow. I would never do that in a million years.

First and foremost, I couldn’t imagine choosing to spend every day mired in kid activities when there were perfectly good schools nearby that would offer me hours of free time.

I thought I’d be awful at it—wouldn’t have the first clue where to start, wouldn’t know what to focus on, wouldn’t have the patience.

And if I’m being totally honest, I thought homeschooling sounded just plain weird and would probably result in unsocialized oddball children who wore handmade aprons all the time and cried at birthday parties because the cake wasn’t made of tofu.

I feel a little reluctant to say that we are officially homeschooling, for some reason. Maybe because I still have lingering preconceptions, maybe because I don’t like the way people tend to respond to it (”Wow. I would never do that . . . “), maybe because Riley’s basically in between preschool and kindergarten and it’s not like I’ve pulled him from public school to do this.

But here’s what I do know: we’ve had an absolutely amazing week so far. Riley has been super engaged and excited about our school projects, and every day when JB comes home, Riley runs to tell him everything we did. It’s a massive change from trying to pry information out of him about his days at preschool, which tended to go something like this:

“So, what did you guys learn today?”


“Oh come on, you must have learned something.”

“Um . . . I can’t remember.”

(Now, I know for a fact that he did learn a LOT there, but he was rarely able to describe much about his day other than “Hey guess what, Ethan has a new Transformer!”)

It’s only been a few days and I know things will be constantly changing as we move along, but the biggest surprise of all is how much I’ve enjoyed this week. I love hearing my kid say, “Is it school time yet? Can we do more school after lunch?”, I love the creative challenge of coming up with new things to do. I love how the day seems to buzz right along.

Well, and I also love it when the babysitter comes and I can escape into my work for a while. Balance, it’s a good thing.

For our first week of homeschool, I chose summer as the theme topic. (Ironic, since Seattle has gone into winter mode and it’s been all of 60 degrees most days.) I started by having Riley brainstorm summer topics which I wrote on the whiteboard.


I decided to generally use those areas as jumping-off points for learning projects, so from there we did some writing and phonics practice:


We checked out a bunch of summer-related books at the library:


We did a nature hunt and Riley took pictures, which I printed into a little book:


We talked about why it’s hot in the summer, and made a temperature/math chart and a little sun/earth project:


We talked about how plants draw water from the ground, and did a little food coloring experiment:


And we made homemade ice cream.



I thought it worked out really well to pick a general theme and go from there, incorporating a mix of stuff, so I think that’s what I’ll do each week. Riley’s trying to decide if next week should be volcanoes or dinosaurs.

As for Dylan, sometimes he participates and sometimes he doesn’t. I usually give him some art supplies and try to include him, but if he gets bored and wanders off I don’t stop him.

Anyway, I promise I won’t be constantly droning on about what we’re doing schoolwise, I mostly wanted to talk about how things have been going because my god, what an insane amount of changes from one week to the next. I know it won’t always be smooth sailing, but I’m so glad these first few days were.


86 Responses to “First week of school”

  1. Deb on September 9th, 2010 2:51 pm

    DUDE! You’re doing it! Way to go!

    I love that celery experiment.

  2. Eric's Mommy on September 9th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Awesome Linda! Looks like so much fun. I like the idea of picking different themes and doing projects related to that theme. Very cool.

  3. SJ on September 9th, 2010 2:54 pm

    You can do anything you set your mind to, and you are! So happy for you and your family!

  4. Jessi on September 9th, 2010 2:55 pm

    Looks like life is fun at your house!

  5. Joanne on September 9th, 2010 3:06 pm

    I think it sounds great. When I first started staying home and mentioned homeschooling to friends, people had the same reaction – to tell me what THEY would and wouldn’t do. Good for you for doing it, I would be glad to hear more about it.

  6. amanda on September 9th, 2010 3:07 pm

    you did it! and you didn’t just survive! you thrived and conquered. it sounds so rewarding and like you’ll be fulfilled in ways you never really though possible.

  7. Deb on September 9th, 2010 3:07 pm

    That looks like so much fun! Your sons are very, very lucky.

    Are you saying that your son who is staying home from kindergarten can already fill in the blank in those sentences? Because, wow, that is really impressive. My son just started kindergarten and is NOWHERE near having that ability to read and write!

  8. Christine on September 9th, 2010 3:17 pm

    That is seriously awesome. Go, you!
    Theme weeks are fantastic ways to get and keep the kids (and you!) interested. I personally would LOVE to hear more about your homeschooling adventures, too, so don’t stop writing about them!

  9. Beth on September 9th, 2010 3:21 pm

    Dude, awesome! Did you just create all the lessons yourself or are you using some type of program/curriculum for the ideas?

  10. Sunny on September 9th, 2010 3:23 pm

    Wow, congratulations. What fantastic ideas!

  11. marta on September 9th, 2010 3:23 pm

    Oh man, please don’t stop writing about this. It’s awesome.
    I’m biased because I’m just two months away from quitting my job to stay home with my 3 year old (and baby on the way) and want to figure out how to improve her second language (my first language). And I don’t have the faintest idea where to begin. These ideas are great! And I’m coming from the same place you are, so I love hearing your perspective, the good stuff, the bad stuff.

  12. Veronica on September 9th, 2010 3:23 pm

    Linda that is so awesome. I am kinda the same way when I hear homeschooling. I think those parents that do it are rock stars, but it’s still kinda… weird. But after hearing that you’re taking it on and hearing how it’s going, I can see that it’s not weird at all. It’s amazing. To hear that Riley actually TALKS about his day, that totally impacted me. Can’t wait to hear more about it!

  13. Amy on September 9th, 2010 3:35 pm

    That is really great! A friend of ours who is expecting her third child opted to homeschool her older two this year. We both left the catholic school our kids were at for a myriad of reasons. I didn’t have the option of homeschooling…damn mortgage…but we got in to an awesome charter school we’ve been on the waiting list for a 3 years for. Had a spot in 3rd grad and kinder for both of my boys. The follow a teaching pattern called ITI (integrated thematic instruction) Sounds a lot like what you are doing. Each month is a different theme and then all of their subjects revolve around the main theme. There is also a theme for the year that each of the monthly themes tie into.

    And I totally get the frustration about wanting to know what the hell they did all day!!!!!

  14. Felicia on September 9th, 2010 3:37 pm

    Honestly Linda, I would LOVE to hear more about homeschooling. Even if you feel you are “constantly droning on about what we’re doing schoolwise” I’d love to hear it. Put it on another section of the blog if you want to, but please keep writing about it. I must say that I’m VERY interested.

    I’m also interested to hear what you do about the socializiation aspect… do you have a homeschool group you go to? I’d also like to hear about how you find a good babysitter to come for a little bit every day. But I know these are other posts entirely.

  15. Linda on September 9th, 2010 3:40 pm

    Felicia: we don’t have any kind of group thing yet. I know we’ll need some stuff like that, though. We did find an awesome indoor community play center today which I’m happy to know about.

    As for the babysitter, it’s the same babysitter we’ve been using for our infrequent date nights, she will be coming W, Thu, and Fridays from 1-4ish. She’s so awesome (found her via Sittercity, btw) and we’re really lucky she was available.

  16. agirlandaboy on September 9th, 2010 3:46 pm

    I love this. It sounds like you have an awesome plan in place.

    The thing I’d worry about if I were doing this myself would be finding the time to prepare for it the night(?) before. We have a hard enough time cleaning up the dinner dishes and MAYBE thinking about packing the daycare bag for the morning, so I can’t imagine having my act together enough to get books from the library and print some photos and all that. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out considering that (it appears) you’re doing most of this out of your brain rather than a prewritten curriculum.

  17. warcrygirl on September 9th, 2010 3:51 pm

    Have you contacted any museums? A lot of the bigger ones have programs specifically for homeschoolers. Try your local museum of natural science and the like. Also: you totally ROCK the homeschooling!

  18. Linda on September 9th, 2010 3:52 pm

    Leah: the one thing I do the night before (while I’m lying in bed, actually) is jot down some ideas in a notebook. Things like going to the library, etc, we do together during the day.

    I do have some curriculum resources and maybe I’ll use those at some point. It seems easier right now, though, to kind of go with things Riley gravitates towards naturally (then sneak little lessons into the activities, which is surprisingly easy to do).

  19. Christine on September 9th, 2010 4:03 pm

    Wow. That is SO COOL! You are totally da man.

  20. Cosmopolitan Kids on September 9th, 2010 4:05 pm

    I secretly want to homeschool my daughter but am both intimidated and excited to do it. I’m thrilled to see you are doing really fascinating activities with your kids.

  21. Taryn on September 9th, 2010 4:05 pm

    wow, awesome job! We’re in a sort of similar situation, we didn’t send my daughter to K this year, she has a late dec bday. I do plan on sending her next year but want to do a lot of homeschool stuff this year. I’d love to hear more. She’s in preschool/daycare only 2 half days a week. I also remember you writing about some reading program. Can you remind me of what that was? Thanks. I look forward to hearing more.

  22. Jen on September 9th, 2010 4:06 pm

    I have no idea what blog I’m reading right now – like OMG Sundry? Homeschooling? (Like a pro, I might add). I think it totally, totally awesome and you look like you’re rocking it. And, yes, I’d definitely like to hear more.

  23. Angella on September 9th, 2010 4:11 pm

    Okay, if I didn’t already love you to pieces and want to be you when I grow up (even though we’re the same age), this clinched it.

    GO YOU.

  24. MichelleH on September 9th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Loving hearing about your new life and I’m so happy for you!!!

    I love all the homeschooling stuff. Even though I don’t homeschool, I always love the idea of just having a plan in general. I think I get most overwhelmed as a parent when I start to get ‘the natives are getting restless’ feeling. All these ideas are fantastic!!

  25. mixette on September 9th, 2010 4:22 pm

    So happy to hear about your homeschool adventures! Sometimes when I read what the kids of the awesome Angry Chicken http://angrychicken.typepad.com/ are up to…I get slightly jealous!

    If Riley liked making ice cream, try making butter if you have a stand mixer. Totally blew my niece’s little mind when we did it together.

  26. Caroline on September 9th, 2010 4:43 pm

    YAY for you and the little guys! Please do continue to tell us about your school day. While I understand the concept of homeschooling I’ve often wondered…”but what do you DO all day?”.

  27. Melinda Handy on September 9th, 2010 4:46 pm

    I was JUST going to post about Amy Karol at Angry Chicken. I think Amy files her homeschool stuff under the learning category. Your week sounds awesome. So glad it went well.

  28. Donna Y on September 9th, 2010 4:47 pm

    Yay! Looking forward to hearing about your future homeschooling adventures. :) You might enjoy this: http://guiltfreehomeschooling.org/blog/2006/04/50-reasons-why-i-could-never-homeschool.html

  29. Gretchen on September 9th, 2010 4:51 pm

    You are amazing. How you do it all, I’ll never know. Unless it’s some magic pill… and if so, SHARE BITCH!

  30. Linda on September 9th, 2010 4:54 pm

    Caroline: we only do maybe a couple hours max. Short little projects here and there, then everything else is regular home life — playtime, chores, a little TV, snacks, naps, outings, etc.

  31. NancyJ on September 9th, 2010 5:05 pm

    My son is old and out of the house but I would still enjoy reading about what you, Riley and Dylan (to a lesser degree!) are doing at home school.

  32. Alli on September 9th, 2010 5:16 pm

    Congratulations! One of the things I am relishing right now is discovering just how much my kid already knows with no instruction from me whatsoever.

  33. Wendy on September 9th, 2010 5:42 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun. Do you plan to this long term?

  34. Linda on September 9th, 2010 5:46 pm

    Wendy: no, the plan is to start Riley in kindergarten next year. I just didn’t think he was quite ready emotionally this fall (he turned five on the cutoff date).

  35. Faith on September 9th, 2010 5:50 pm

    I’m adding my voice to those that have said they wouldn’t mind hearing more about your homeschooling efforts! With everything else you have on your plate, I’m so impressed that you’re making this work for you. I’d love to hear how it goes, especially now that I’m home all day with my newborn and I’m wondering myself what on earth I’m going to do with her when she gets older..

  36. Lori on September 9th, 2010 5:58 pm

    For purely selfish reasons, I’m so glad you’re doing this. We live overseas right now and are moving back to the USA in December. Right now my son attends all day kindergarten, but he’ll switch to half-day once we get home. I’ve been concerned about how he’ll deal with the switch since he loves school — 7 hours vs. 2.5 is a big difference. I had already decided to use some of his new free time to do a little home schooling, so it’s great to get some ideas on how you’re making this work for your family. I’m glad the changes you’ve made are working well. It looks like such a fun time.

  37. Kristin H on September 9th, 2010 6:19 pm

    Here’s the thing about homeschooling: You get the best part of your kids. Instead of dragging them out of bed in the morning and rushing them out of the house, and then dealing with homework and tired, cranky kids for a couple of hours at the end of the day, you get the happy, engaged, best part of them. Also, family closeness. Also: flexibility. Clearly I could go on and on. I’m so glad you’re open-minded enough to try it!

  38. Crystal on September 9th, 2010 6:27 pm

    And to think just a few weeks ago you were stuck in traffic while Riley was waiting to celebrate his birthday with you.

    Look at you now…Doing homeschool experiments with celery.

    Way to go, Mama. And thanks for taking us along for the ride! :)

  39. Kim S. on September 9th, 2010 6:32 pm

    So jealous. I’ve had the homeschool itch for a while now, but so far I haven’t figured out a way for it to work. I am the breadwinner and have to keep working FT blah blah blah. But as my girls approach middle school in the next few years I’ll be looking more seriously at our options (luckily we have a local private girls school that started as a homeschool coop). Good luck with both your endeavors–writing and teaching!

  40. Julie on September 9th, 2010 6:36 pm

    Riley’s handwriting and drawing skills are really impressive. He’s definitely ahead of the game there. And I’m just in awe of your ability to drop right into this and take off running. When he does start kindergarten, he’s going to lead the class.

  41. Erika on September 9th, 2010 7:17 pm

    This sounds so awesome. Yay for all four of you!

  42. Kate on September 9th, 2010 7:37 pm

    Awesome, just awesome. I love watching you evolve. :)

    I started officially homeschooling my 8 year old son last week and unfortunately am having to UNdo some of the public school crap so we’re adjusting, but I’m hoping to get to the point where he’s excited and interested and engaged in what we’re doing. Because I think it’s a great thing for kids. And aside from having to fight to get him involved, I love it.

  43. Kathleen on September 9th, 2010 7:59 pm

    Man, I think I’d be happy if my kid came home from first grade with this much to report, particularly the level of science you’re doing with him! (I say that as a science nerd).

    Hugely impressed. PLEASE keep showing us what you’re doing. It almost makes me think I could… (eeeeek – I prefer college students!)

  44. Michelle on September 9th, 2010 8:11 pm

    As a fellow homeschooler of four boys (7,5,2 and 6 mos) WELCOME to the club! Hah. :) It’s awesome that you’re geeked and yes, we the readers LOVE to see and read all about what you’re doing. It’s an exciting new phase of your life – and thus, blog – so please, PLEASE don’t do that thing. Where you think nobody wants to read about your new thing, so you pooh-pooh it and call it “droning”! So many bloggers did that about “when I have kids, don’t worry this won’t turn into an all kid all the time blog” and then guess what? THEY ALL DID. And it is not only OK, it is awesome. What is it that was once said about writing what you know? What you know now is what is most engaging for us to read. Yeah. :)

  45. 6512 and growing on September 9th, 2010 8:54 pm

    That was ONE week? Wow. You are amazing and inspiring.

  46. Jennifer on September 9th, 2010 9:10 pm

    I have been homeschooling now going on 4 years. My son is a senior this year. I am so glad I did it, we will always have this time together to look back on. Try homeschooling yahoo groups in your area. Ours is full of activities and ideas and even moms night out occasions.

  47. Jessica on September 9th, 2010 9:24 pm

    I’ve been reading some of Nurture Shock by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman lately and one of the chapters (#8) is about self-control and preschoolers/kindergartners. The majority of the chapter talks about one recently developed program called Tools of the Mind which has blown most other programs out of the water. The students end of the year standardized testing scores are often 20% points ahead of other students in more conventional classrooms, even when the students started off behind schedule. A lot of the ideas from the Tools of the Mind program seem home school friendly and it seems like you’re already doing some of them (letting Riley choose what topic you focus on). Anyway, I’d say it’s worth looking into!

  48. fredlet on September 9th, 2010 10:14 pm

    I’m seeing more and more folks home school…
    Just read this entry as a matter of fact: http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeschooling/2010/09/erasing-the-fear-of-homeschooling/

  49. Kate on September 10th, 2010 3:24 am

    It’s so funny… What you’ve hit on sounds exactly like what all the Manhattan preschools bragged to us that they were doing when we did the tours a few years ago… The Reggio method. From somewhere on the internet: “The Reggio curriculum is founded on projects. Projects emerge from the children’s expressed interests. They are not planned out in advance, but rather build upon the continued experiences of the child in the process of constructing his knowledge. Projects can be short term, lasting a few days, or long term, lasting a few months to a year. Projects usually require little money and lots of fantasy. There is usually more than one project happening at one time, so each project may not be worked on daily. The children often revisit and refine a project, constantly moving from theory to practice until their inner knowledge is reached.” I echo those who are looking forward to hearing more about what you do!

  50. Miellyn on September 10th, 2010 3:47 am


    I think you might like this? Maybe you know this blog already…

  51. erin on September 10th, 2010 5:39 am

    I think you’ve got a great handle on things! I home-schooled my daughter in Kindergarten and had the opportunity to watch and listen to her reading progress from simple three letter words to whole sentences. It was AWESOME. You’re starting out on a great note. And I am very jealous that you’ve got such a reliable and great babysitter. I need to find me one of those!

  52. Stephanie on September 10th, 2010 5:53 am

    Linda – Do you realize there are crazy-expensive private schools who are doing exactly what you’re doing? It is called project-based learning (based on the Reggio Emilia approach to preschool/primary school education). It works – beautifully!

    We’ve been homeschooling for four years (after I began doing it for just one year!). Just can’t seem to find a better alternative – and we all love it. My kids are bright, social, busy, happy, and they don’t wear long denim skirts, we don’t drive a full-sized van, and they don’t cry at birthday parties. :>

  53. Tia on September 10th, 2010 6:25 am

    Keep sharing! I love hearing happy endings :)

  54. Operation Pink Herring on September 10th, 2010 6:27 am

    You are so awesome, and I hope you know that.

  55. Tiffany on September 10th, 2010 6:53 am

    whew I thought I was blocked there for a second, I don’t comment so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to even just read…. This is an awesome post btw…..

  56. New Momma on September 10th, 2010 6:57 am

    Wow, that sounds really complicated! LOL I like the no school aspect of parenting-I think I’ll leave that up to the professionals, but I love that you are so brace to take on such a challenge!

  57. Cara on September 10th, 2010 7:11 am

    Those projects are creative and interesting, plus you based them on Riley’s brainstorming. No wonder he’s so jazzed! I’d like to come hang out and do school in your house, too.

  58. marilyn on September 10th, 2010 7:13 am

    This is just so lovely to hear. My boyfriend’s parents homeschooled their four (!!) kids up until 6th grade, and they all turned out much more well-adapted than some homeschoolers I’ve met in the past, I think partly because they didn’t choose homeschooling in order to be able to teach lots of snake-charming religion or to shield their kids from the horrors of the public world, but because they wanted to keep their kids excited about learning for as long as possible. Hearing about getting to pick between volcanos and dinosaurs makes me want to come learn with you guys, so I think you’ve got the interest, freedom, and excitement thing DOWN so far. I’m so happy for y’all.

  59. Lola on September 10th, 2010 7:42 am

    OMG. Linda, seriously, I would be one of those people thinking, “Homeschooling?!? — I could never do that and probably would never want to do that.” But, I LOVE what you’ve done. I love the idea to start from a brainstorming project and I like how everything ties together.

    WONDERFUL. I am not homeschooling, but I think I’m going to steal the idea from you to at least challenge myself to do a project with my 1st grader. Lately, the balance is just not there for me — too much work and too little time for my family. :o(

    Thanks for reminding me what is really important. And kudos to you for taking charge of your life. HUGS.

  60. Deanna on September 10th, 2010 8:16 am

    Yep- it is amazing how easily the kids WANT to learn. I, too, would be interested in what you are up to. With my 12 yr old (autistic) who is staying home for the first time this year (screw middleschool – too brutal!) I print a daily/weekly checklist (gobs of them free online). It is a mix of lifeskills/ chores, schoolwork and fun things. If/when he does the list, he can play playstation.

    We even find ways to squeeze education in while driving- This morning driving the 7 yr old to public school we came up with various words for rain, adjectives for rain and talked about what colors we would use to paint today’s sky. Then when we got home the 12 yr old googled diff kinds of cloud names. It is so easy when they lead and you just assist.

  61. Artemisia on September 10th, 2010 8:18 am

    This is awesome! You actually make this (and having kids) seem fun! Whoda thunk?

    Great work. I think the projects are spot on and so creative.

    I am glad this firs week of such big changes has been going well. Congrats and all the best!

  62. Deanna on September 10th, 2010 8:28 am

    Forgot to mention – Magic Schoolbus and Dinosaur Train (PBS) are both awesome jumping off points for homeschooling little ones. Although some of the classic Blue’s Clues (with Steve) are basic learning concepts, too. Remember how back in the day they would show the same episode of Blue’s Clues everyday for a week? The kids did not mind and they absorbed the lessons!

    And have you seen http://www.gamequarium.org? Like youtube but full episodes of magic schoolbus, etc.

  63. Christine on September 10th, 2010 8:37 am

    I don’t know that I would ever be all about homeschooling, especially for older kids, but you should check out Tiffany Ard at Electric Boogaloo. She does some really fun stuff with her boys.

  64. kristylynne on September 10th, 2010 8:47 am

    That’s fantastic! I am going to steal some of your ideas for my own little guy who is about Riley’s age. And who, coincidentally, is obsessed with volcanoes and dinosaurs. We are going to make a papier mache volcano this weekend and put a plastic bottle inside that we can fill with baking soda, red food coloring and and vinegar to make it erupt. Feel free to steal that one. :-)

  65. Samantha on September 10th, 2010 9:18 am

    Linda, will you be my mommy?

  66. jwoap on September 10th, 2010 9:44 am

    I was homeschooled like a 100 years ago (actually in 1968) because my mom had just had a baby and didn’t feel like she could get me and a toddler and a newborn together to get me to Kindergarten everyday for three hours.

    I did just fine and didn’t really miss much of anything. I went to first grade on in public school and the rest is history.

    Fastforward 40 some odd years and now I have a child who not goes to public school but also does some home school kinds of things for enchriment as our school district doesn’t have a “TAG” program. What I have found is there are learning opportunities around every corner.

    You are doing great:)

  67. Mel on September 10th, 2010 9:51 am

    I will never have the energy, creativity, or enthusiasm to homeschool my kids! Hats off to you!!!

  68. Donna on September 10th, 2010 10:13 am

    If I come to your house can you teach me anatomy/physiology, and biology? Cuz they are totally kicking my ass.

    You rock!

  69. Donna on September 10th, 2010 10:15 am

    PS I love to color. And make shapes with clay….please can I come?

  70. Katie on September 10th, 2010 10:23 am

    Wow, this is freaking amazing. You are very creative to have just come up with all those great projects. I am home with my kids two days a week and I STRUGGLE to entertain them those two days. Would love to hear more from you regarding homeschooling and get some more great ideas from you!
    Keep it up!

  71. Chelsea on September 10th, 2010 10:26 am

    Don’t know if you read this blog (I love it), but thought it related…


    You’re inspiring. =)

  72. Lindsey on September 10th, 2010 10:31 am

    I’ll chime in my interest as well. Sounds like an awesome week and I’d love to hear more about your projects with the kids.

  73. Rachael on September 10th, 2010 10:36 am

    Do you think you’ll do this when the kids are old enough for public school? Alton and I are big homeschooling proponents, especially after having kids in school a few years. H is in first grade, reads at 3rd level plus and yesterday she brought home her “homework” which was identifying goddamn colors. As soon as we are in a better spot, homeschooling is a goal for our family.

  74. Mandy on September 10th, 2010 2:41 pm

    Linda, you are giving Riley a real gift. What wonderful memories you are creating!

  75. adequatemom on September 10th, 2010 3:20 pm

    You are so unbelievably awesome. Way to go, you!

    Also, you’ve seen this, right? http://www.rantsfrommommyland.com/2010/08/sgw-homeschooling-rant.html

  76. Melissa on September 10th, 2010 6:06 pm

    The bad first, but I promise it’s not bad in the end.
    As a middle school teacher there are definitely times that I can tell when kids have been home schooled prior to returning to public school. They can be socially awkward and don’t adjust well to the structure.
    That being said, there are also kids who come in that I would never know had been home schooled. They are smart and adaptable with a true love of learning.
    I think the difference is mostly the parents. You are normal (as in not weird and unaware of social norms yourself) and balanced and I think you’ll do a great job.
    It’s the perfect time to do it too since the boys are young. Some kids aren’t even in school yet at this age…so your little ones will still be ahead of the game.
    I LOVE your unit idea too. It seems like it’s the best way to keep Riley (and sometimes Dylan) interested and it should keep it fresh for you too!
    You go girl!

  77. Mommy on the Spot on September 11th, 2010 6:40 am

    I think it’s awesome that you are making choices to create the kind of life that you want, not the kind of life you think you have to have. WAy to go!!

    And as a former English teacher, I love the brainstorming exercise!

  78. Sarah on September 11th, 2010 7:51 am

    How incredible! I’m trying to pull my middle one from public school to homeschool (she’s in KG) because her autism and a slow, uncaring school system, is making it too difficult! You’re an inspiration, among so many others I’ve seen that are doing it so well! I’m so excited to start beyond what little I’ve done (so far) with my 4 year old.

  79. Josefina on September 11th, 2010 12:11 pm

    Hooray! I loved seeing your projects.

    For the record, I had the same feelings you just shared: the I would never do that in a million years feelings, and the reluctance to speak it feelings. We are full-fledged homeschooling with elementary-aged children and everything, but I still feel funny talking about it much. I don’t even know why. Maybe because I don’t really feel like hearing anyone’s thoughts about it. Everyone has all these opinions (both positive and negative), and I simply do not care. Okay, never mind, I guess I do know why. Same reason I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant with my second until I was halfway through. Just…the talking…at me…GAH. Curmudgeon. Right here.

    Anyway! I love this post. I don’t think the Play-Doh thing could be any cuter.

  80. Cosmopolitan Kids on September 11th, 2010 3:18 pm

    This is pretty impressive. I’ve always wanted to homeschool but am too intimidated by it. Kudos to you! You’re doing a great job.

  81. jessica on September 11th, 2010 8:47 pm

    Yay! I’ve been checking in, hoping for an update – I’m so glad your first week was a blast. It can seriously be so much fun. I remember how afraid I was to take the leap and then I was like, “Oh hey! This is awesome!” :o)


  82. AnEmily on September 11th, 2010 10:30 pm

    You’re a natural! I want to go to your school.

  83. Alyson on September 13th, 2010 8:52 am

    WOW! I considered homeschooling my youngest at a couple of points, but knew in my heart, that I really couldn’t do it. You are SUPERWOMAN! (my youngest and I are too similar in personality to be with each other every day – besides, he’s 13 now). Way to commit. I know I don’t have the patience to do it. Keep it up.

  84. Jenn on September 13th, 2010 10:11 am

    Please drone away!

  85. Stephanie on September 13th, 2010 11:00 am

    Wow…you make me want to try home-schooling my kids…and I love my job, but seeing what you are doing with Riley seems so great. Having a topic for the week to thoroughly explore is such a good idea…my daycare does than with my 3 year old…last week they did “planets”, and actually made little Saturns out of styrofoam balls and CDs (for the rings)…he loved it.

  86. Nicole on September 14th, 2010 12:51 pm

    I never in a million years thought I would say this, but I am SO jealous! I come from a family of proud public school educators and believed, until recently, that in a big city like LA, the only people who home-schooled were the uber-religious who couldn’t afford to send their kids to the local private *choose your denomination* church school. I now realize what an amazing gift it is to be able to spend such quality time with your children. What I wouldn’t give… You rule!

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