New Approach {Adventures in Homeschooling}


As you know, the school year with my 7th grader started with lots of tears and frustration for both me and my daughter.  However, I was determined to stay the course and do what I know the Lord has called me to do for this season.  Being a full-time working, homeschooling mom is a rarity.  I have spent hours searching for blogs of working moms who homeschool.  I have found several moms who run a home-based business and school; but just one who works outside of the home.  My hope by continuing to blog about homeschooling as the Lord leads is to encourage other working moms who might have a desire to homeschool their children.  As I learn and grow in this, I pray that I will encourage the hearts of all homeschooling moms.

I spent a lot of time in prayer over the last week.  I kept hearing the Lord asking me to rest.  But I didn’t know how.  I had put together the entire year of curriculum and it was a challenge just to get through it on a daily basis.  My daughter’s comprehension and study skills are not what I had hoped.  Thus, the curriculum I had chosen was hard for two reasons. First, she wasn’t enjoying it.  It wasn’t wetting her appetite to learn and here I was telling her, “so what, it’s what we have, go with it.”  Secondly, she wasn’t absorbing the material.   So I prayed.  I found a few blogs to read that helped me consider changing my approach. I also had a long talk with a homeschooling mom at church.  I could have saved myself all of those tears if I had taken this other approach much earlier.

Bottom line.  I want school to be fun, for both of us.  Yes, I want my daughter to learn, but I want her to enjoy learning.  Does that make sense?

I noticed every blog I read had a “homeschool philosopy”.  They stated what type of homeschooler they were.  Up until now I called myself a “hodgepodge” homeschooler, but that wasn’t on the list.  So I would say that I am an “Eclectic Homeschooler”.

Eclectic learning is a general mix of both traditional and non-traditional learning styles.  Many subjects may be structured (such as Math or Language Arts) while other subjects may be unstructured (such as Science, Reading or History).  The curriculum is generally a mix and match of what parents have found works well for their children. In general, eclectic homeschooling parents do what they want in regards to teaching their children. They do not feel bound to structured learning and keeping with a set curriculum, yet they are not as laid back as unschoolers.

Basically, I am going to relax and allow the Holy Spirit to equip me.  I have to rely on Him or else it will all crumble.

So, what are we using for curriculum now?  I am so glad that you asked!

Language Arts

We have switched to Learning Language Arts Through Literature.  We are using the Tan Book, which is technically for 6th grade.  It was recommended that I start a grade level below, since her comprehension is not that good.  I love that this curriculum incorporates reading of great literature alongside the language arts portion.


We will now be using Story of the World, Volume 1. This semester we will study the early Nomads up to the Last Roman Emperor.  One thing my daughter loves is activities.  She does not do well if given a book and asked to absorb the material. There are a variety of hands-on activities, including crafts, color pages, word searches and videos, all to enhance what is being taught.


We have switched over to Exploring Creation with Zoology.  This semester we are studying flying creatures.  Alongside experiments and daily observations, this curriculum comes with an activity book full of learning enhancements.

We will still be using Teaching Textbooks for math, and nothing has changed for Bible or Fine Arts.

Going into this new week, I feel as if a boulder has been lifted off of my shoulders.  I believe the Lord has given me His wisdom in how to approach schooling, and I hope and pray that we will have great success this week.  If you could all be in prayer for me and Kaylie, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Seeking beauty in the ordinary and embracing life to the fullest. Thank you for stopping by and come again soon!

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15 Responses

  1. Child of God says:

    The first bit is rough but you will make it through and the learning will happen. I knew a mom in my church who worked full time and home schooled both of her daughters. I was impressed how she could head out that door 6 days a week and those girls did their work on their own. I use to just marvel at this because I couldn’t even go outside for a breather without my kids following me around.

    Blessings hon.

  2. Barbie says:

    You are such a constant encourager to my heart. Thank you for your friendship and your prayers!

  3. Glenda Childers says:

    It sounds like you have some great books. I am glad you and to slowing down and have fun along the way. A few tears along the way are okay … but not every day. 🙂

    Enjoy your week.

  4. Adoption Mama says:

    I’ve used all of the above. Love Story of the World and anything by Apologia. It’s a ride and journey for sure. Prayers headed your way.

  5. I haven’t used those particular things but I would love to be a voice of encouragement to you. My youngest didn’t GO to school until half days at VoTech his junior and senior years of high school. He had significant learning challenges and didn’t read until he was 10 years old! Even then it was a challenge and he hated it! (Thanks dyslexia.) And he is an entirely kinesthetic learner! We had him tested and they said he was the only child they had ever seen who was 100% Kinesthetic with extremely low scores in other learning styles. (I think Visual was 0, and Verbal was like 5?) We changed curriculum every year and often midyear. He learned more from computer games and learning activities than he did from any of the books I bought. I felt like an utter failure most of the time … except he is a sweet kid who loves the Lord and he didn’t get labelled and stuck in an LD classroom!

    He is now 22, holding down a full time job in the IT department of an Oil Company (because they asked him if he would be willing to switch from Intern to full time and gave him an offer he “couldn’t” refuse) while also taking 12 hours of college. And making As! It is purely a grace of God thing!

    Mostly I would encourage you to remember, for your sake and hers, the reasons you made this choice and those reasons have little or nothing to do with Academics!


  6. Mary Beth says:

    I don’t have experience in homeschool, but I do as a classroom teacher and I think this holds true for both situations: It takes time for everyone to get adjusted to the new way of doing things. Once you both get in your groove, things will start flowing better!

  7. Jessy Gaffen says:

    Oh, we’ve done a lot of these books. I love Learning Language Arts Through Literature for younger kids. I never continued it after 2nd grade though. Not sure why? And my kids are enjoying SOTW Vol 1 this year!

    • Barbie says:

      I am thankful to have found someone who is familiar with the curriculum I am using. There are so many great things out there. It was hard to choose. Thank so much for stopping by Jessy!

  8. Dayna says:

    It looks like you’ve made some great choices! We homeschooled for 14 years. I would call our method a more eclectic method too. Some years I used Sonlight to guide my choices for the year. I especially liked them because they are a Christian company that is literature based. They gave lots of great reading options that wove through the history topics for the year which was wonderful for my reader daughter . I think she was in the 5th or 6th grade when I found Sonlight. But for the other kids who weren’t lovers of reading it was a great guide for me to pick and choose a few for them to read and a few for me to read to all of them.

    Some years I needed some extra help to ease my brain and would go with Calvert because they gave you everything you needed for the year in 1 box. It is a Classical approach. Then I would add books from Sonlight’s list to go along with it depending on which child (the excited reader or the not excited reader). But now days there is Veritas that is a Christian Classical company that can give you a year in a box.

    Sorry this is so long . I think the most important thing is that you are ready and willing to put everything down when things get stressful and go take a walk together. God bless! Dayna
    Dayna recently posted..Wouldn’t You Rather?

  9. Dayna says:

    Oh, and one more thing, Teaching Texbooks is a GREAT choice for math! Thumbs up! I used it with my dyslexic daughter (middle child) in high school.
    Dayna recently posted..Wouldn’t You Rather?

  10. Stacey says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and your blog. I found it because I googled “homeschooling moms working full time” or something like that. I work full time and my husband is working 3/4 time after a long stint of unemployment. My mother and sister help us homeschool. We withdrew out daughter after the first semester of 4th grade, so we’ve only been at this for three months. It is so much work! It is exhausting. Made worse by the fact I didn’t even know you could buy curriculum! I have been doing it all myself – whew! But it is better for our child and our family. Your journey is encouraging to me, and probably more.
    Stacey recently posted..Merry Christmas!

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