Check back soon.  I am planning on adding many resources here.  Please feel free to post comments or questions.  I am happy to help. 

One of my biggest passions is homeschooling.  I love homeschooling my own kids, and I love helping others get started.  I am that person that adores organizing.  I could plan and organize all day.  In fact, I would quite happily plan and organize for you as well.  I am going to talk some here about what we do, why we do it, and how.  I hope this is helpful for someone.  I expect to tweak this many times before I get it right.

What we do:
We are classically educating from grades 1 up and Montessori-based for preschool.  What this means is that we loosely follow the Well-Trained Mind in scope and sequence for grades 1-12 and we follow the Montessori philosophies for preschool. 

Why we homeschool-I started homeschooling for a variety of reasons--my son was several grade levels ahead, and would have not handled public school well, private school was getting expensive, and I wanted to give him a quality education.  I continue to homeschool for many other reasons I didn't see before I started--I love being with my children, I love watching their relationships with each other develop, their socialization is important to me, I love that they get to spend so much time learning and playing with so many friends, I love that they have so much free time, field trips, activities, I love that they LOVE to learn!, and most of all, it is just plain fun.  I'm not saying that I don't have stressful days.  I'm not saying that everyday is perfect and I always have my act together.  I am saying that this lifestyle of learning that we are cultivating is true joy.  Life is too short.  I want us all to take advantage of every minute. 

Why we classically educate-The Well-Trained Mind just makes so much sense. 
Why we love Montessori-

How we do it:
With multiple kids schooling, and some pretty significant age gaps, my goal is to get the kids as independent as possible.  I am going to list some curriculum we use, as well as how our days flow most of the time.  In short, my philosophy is independence.  Kids are capable of so much more than we expect of them.  I expect my kids to be able to follow their workplan, find their own copies and books, and complete their assignments without me sitting next to them.  There are subjects we do together or I sit with each child separately, but the majority of their work, they do on their own once they are fluently reading. 

Before they are reading with fluency, I expect them to complete their Montessori work independently.  They are to get a mat out, choose a lesson, complete the lesson, return the lesson, and put the mat back by themselves.  I do sit with them when I can and also sit with them to introduce a lesson, but I teach them how to complete lessons on their own.  This is a process.

Our typical day-

Curriculum I use and why-

If you are just getting started:


  1. HC is in 2nd grade and I find myself explaining things over and over and over again. How do you manage to have your kids work on their own so well? Do you think it is because you began the process of Montessori first? Maybe 2nd grade is too soon to expect that? I don't know - but seeing your approach makes me wonder if I am helping too much and how should I transition out of that bad habit.... You've got me thinking! Any suggestions are welcome. :) My son, who is in K-5, is much easier to do a little work on his own. My daughter just wants me right there to show the littlest accomplishment - even if she interrupts my time explaining my sons work to him. She needs that praise, or she seems to want it.

  2. I have been inspired by Brandy in this area. I had been doing too much for the kids. Sitting with them the whole time "helping" but I found out that I was crippling them. They got to the point where they felt like they could not do anything with out me. I recently began writing down all the things I expect them (older boys, 6 and 8)to do in order and briefly (but clearly). They read the plan book themselves and do their work on their own. They come to me if they have a question. I sit and explain new concepts, but that is it. My homeschooling life has become much much better and we are all reaping the rewards of a more independent approach.

  3. Thank you Kat! I need to find a way to empower my daughter. She seems to need to be encouraged along too much. I've always felt the drain of her needs in this area but thought it was age appropriate, so I kept helping. I thought the better she could read = the less she would need me hovering over her. I see that happening some but I still feel like she wants more 'approval' than my soon needs. I began thinking it was personality related. I need to find a way to cut the approval monster I think. :/ We both need this! :)

  4. Today, while my kids "did" school, I walked up and peered over their shoulder to find, to my ultimate delight, that they were both doing their work well. I stopped them and said "You guys are doing great! I'm so proud!" and high fived them both. The worked even harder and with a grin as well. So I thought of this converstaion we'd been having and realized for the first time that now my encouragment and my praise means much more to them now than it ever has. Because they know that they really really earned it. :-)

  5. great discussion here Melodye and Katherine! I will add more thoughts on this today.

  6. I am not sure where to post a comment to you so...I chose in the homeschooling section. I too am a homeschool mom. I too love it. I noticed your website on Reese's Rainbow and came to check it out. What an amazing journey you are on. Wow. We (my husband and I) have adopted two children. One from US foster care in 2000 and most recently from China (June 2010.) Our recent was a eight year old little girl with severe club feet and bilateral paralysis of the calves. I have blogged that journey if you are interested at: www.chinafora
    I will check back and see how your adoption(s) go.