How to Create Learning Spaces

So you’ve decided to homeschool! Congratulations! You’ve bought the curriculum, books, resources, and supplies. But where do you put everything?

Any Available Space Will Work

The good news is you don’t need a separate homeschool room to store it all. Use your dining table, the couch, or even your child’s bedroom. The great thing about homeschooling is it can be done anywhere.

Separate Room

If you have a room you don’t use much you can convert it into a homeschool room. We have a den that we never used was completely empty. When we started homeschooling our oldest daughter four years ago we added a desk and a cube storage shelf for curriculum, books, and supplies. It was perfect for us starting out in kindergarten!

Over the years we’ve added bookcases, a storage cabinet, a comfy chair for me, and another desk for my youngest daughter. Just remember you don’t need all the things! We’ve accumulated resources and books over the years.

How To Utilize Every Space

Most homeschool families do school work at the kitchen table. It’s a perfect spot really! Plenty of room for everyone to sit together and sprawl out any books or resources you need to use. If you’re using your kitchen or dining room for homeschool a great way to store things is in a hutch, buffet table, or even a kitchen cabinet! I store a lot of various supplies in the hutch in my kitchen as well as a lot of arts and crafts supplies in a kitchen cabinet.

If you are using your living room or even your child’s bedroom a great option for storing supplies is a small bookshelf or cube storage unit. If you have multiple children you can use a separate shelf for each of their books and resources. Or use different shelves for different subjects. I’ve also seen families store all of their resources in a storage tote under the bed. Just pull it out when needed and hide it away when you’re done.

Another great option for limited space storage is a rolling cart. It’s a perfect way to store multiple resources, books, and supplies. And the great thing about them is they’re on wheels and can be moved throughout your home! I’ve also seen storage compartments that fit perfectly inside the cart!

Functional Storage Pieces

I’m a huge fan of organization! I feel it makes the day go smoother when things are easy to find. One of my favorite sayings is “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.” I love having a spot for everything so it’s easy to locate items. I love finding storage containers for various supplies. If you are using a shared space for homeschooling, but don’t want to see all the homeschool supplies storage containers are perfect to hide things! When I’m beginning to organize I set out all the things I would like to hide. Then I think about what type of container I could use to store them. I love browsing the aisles of Hobby Lobby to find cute but functional storage pieces.

A great way to store curriculum is using magazine holders. You can get one for each child or for each subject. They’re perfect for holding books and notebooks.

We use a file folder box for storing loose worksheets. I keep worksheets for both of my daughters in the same box separated by weeks. These boxes are also a great option to hold your child’s completed work from throughout the year.

If you have any small resources or supplies like manipulatives, photo storage boxes are a great way to keep them all together. I have one box for all math related supplies and one box for language arts.

I also use them for nature resources. Any 3 part cards, fact cards, and other small cards are a perfect fit. These particular photo storage boxes come with tabbed dividers so I separate the cards by topic.

Speaking of nature resources, I use a binder with page protectors to store all of our large printed resources. Anytime we are learning about a certain topic I can just flip through the binder and easily find what in need.

I am a huge fan of buckets for holding art supplies! They’re perfect for pencils, paintbrushes, markers, crayons, you name it! You can find so many various shapes and sizes at Hobby Lobby. We love this utensil holder from Ikea repurposed as art supply storage. You can also store them in a box with a handle for easy transport.

Pretty much any type of container or basket works. I always try to think about the things I need to store then look for containers/ baskets that they could fit in easily.

Use What You Have

One of my favorite ways to find storage solutions is just by looking around my house! I like to repurpose a lot of jars from marinara sauces or candles. I just clean them out and remove any labels. We store a lot of art supplies, loose parts, and these coins from Treasures From Jennifer in old candle jars.

You can also repurpose various packaging. We used this divided wooden tray from a Melissa and Doug car set for our nature treasures.

Multi-use Resources

When looking for resources I always like to find multi-use pieces. I like looking for high quality items that can be used as the years go on. There are so many beautiful homeschool resources available now. It’s easy to want all the things! Whenever I find myself interested in something I always ask myself two questions before purchasing. Can it be used more than once and can it be used in more than one way? If the answer to both questions is yes then it’s in the running for our homeschool. I also like to see if I have things that are similar or have the same goal or purpose. If I do then I typically won’t purchase it. You can read more about my favorite homeschool resources here. One of my favorite resources is this Hundred Frame board from Treasures From Jennifer. This is the most used resource in our homeschool! There are many different coins available to use with them board. Numbers, fractions, multiplication facts, letters, and math symbols. We use this many ways when studying math and even language arts.

Utilize the Library

It’s so hard for me not to buy all the books! I love books! If I wouldn’t have become a teacher I would have wanted to be a librarian. We use so many books in our homeschool! If I bought every book we have ever used in our homeschool journey, my entire house would be filled with them! So instead, we utilize the library. I typically look on our library’s online catalog and reserve books pertaining to what we’ll be studying. I try to get books for a whole month but sometimes there’s a lot so I just get a few weeks worth.

I like to keep our library books separate so it’s easier for me to keep track of them. A floor basket or small bookshelf is perfect for storing them. It also makes it easier to see what’s there. I love this book display from Ikea.

Just remember, every family’s needs are different. Some families need to store a lot of books because they’re library is closed. Some families need more manipulatives and hands on resources to store because their children are kinesthetic learners. Some families need storage for arts and crafts supplies because they do a lot of hands on projects. I tried to list some ideas for all types of situations and storage solutions, but I know there are even more needs that I didn’t cover. But hopefully this gave you some inspiration and will help you to think outside the box for storage solutions. If you still have questions about creating learning spaces and storage solutions I’d love to help! Feel free to send me an email (withhisgrace@yahoo.com) or message me on Instagram!

Our Curriculum Choices

There are so many curriculum choices available today. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re just starting out with homeschooling. My biggest piece of advice when choosing a curriculum is to consider your family’s needs and wants in your homeschool. Think about what you want your child to learn and how they learn best. What are your families beliefs and morals? Will they play a role in homeschooling? And if so how? Make a list of your criteria. This will help you tremendously in narrowing down a curriculum. In my previous post I listed some great quizzes you can take to help you figure out your child’s learning style and your homeschool style. You can find that post here.

Our Criteria for Choosing Curriculum

When I started homeschooling 3 years ago I was so overwhelmed by all of the curriculum choices. I wasn’t sure where to begin. So I thought of all the things I definitely wanted in a curriculum and wrote them down. The list was pretty small then, but there have been several items I’ve added over the years that I’ve felt are important to our family.

Christian Based

My main focus is looking for a Christian based curriculum. Not only Christian based, but also centered around the Bible. I want the Bible to be intertwined throughout all of the subjects in the curriculum.

Open and Go

I want a curriculum that is all planned out and ready for me to use. I love having the lessons already written and all the supplies listed. I love not having to come up with activities or research books to fit our lessons. I want it all laid out for me. Honestly I don’t have time to plan our lessons every week. I spend my free time painting and creating resources for my Etsy shop. I don’t want to take time away from that to plan.

All In One

I don’t want to have to piece together each subject. I don’t want 7 teachers manuals. I want it all in one book. We have very limited storage space in our small homeschool room. I just don’t have the space for a ton of curriculum manuals and books.

Quality Over Quantity

I don’t want a lot of busy work for my girls. They do not do well with tons of worksheets everyday. A few are ok but any more than that and they feel overwhelmed. So I knew I didn’t want a curriculum that was mainly workbooks.

Option for Adding More

I was a teacher before I had my girls. I loved teaching and I miss creating lessons and activities. So I knew I wanted a curriculum that I could add my own spin to it. I love being creative and making learning fun for my girls. If we come to a topic that they’re really interested in I want to be able to add more to it if needed.

Our Curriculum Choices

We will be using My Father’s World again this year. We have used it since my oldest daughter was in kindergarten. I fell in love with it that year and was so happy to continue it through the years. My Father’s World curriculum combines the ideas of Charlotte Mason, classical education, and unit studies with a biblical worldview. It is an open and go and all in one curriculum. It also allows for me to add more to lessons if I choose. There isn’t a lot of busy work or tons of worksheets. It really has been the perfect curriculum for our family.

3rd Grade Curriculum

We will be using Exploring Countries and Cultures for our main curriculum. Exploring Countries and Cultures is the first curriculum set in MFW’s family cycle. The family cycle is using the same curriculum for all of your children 2nd grade through 8th grade. It is also an all in one curriculum. The only subjects not included are math and language arts. This is so you can tailor them to fit your child’s needs and abilities.

Geography/ History

ECC is a geography based curriculum. We will be exploring various countries and cultures of the world. There are several books included in the curriculum as well as an extensive book suggestion list in the back of the teachers manual for each week. The book basket list is one of my favorite things about MFW. They always have an amazing list of books! We will be delving more into map making as well. I have some fun things planned for that as the year progresses!

Science

Science is included in ECC. This year’s focus is ecosystems, animals, and plant life around the world. We’ll also be using some of our science books that we’ve collected over the years to add to our learning. And plenty of fun science experiments!

Math

This was probably the most difficult decision to make. Last year we chose Math Lesson for a Living Education from Masterbooks. It did not work well for my daughter. She really didn’t like it. And I felt it didn’t explain things enough for her. She understands the concepts of addition and subtraction with single, double, and triple digits. And she always answers any math equations correctly. But the one thing I noticed towards the end of the year was that she was still having trouble memorizing basic math facts. She would always answer correctly but had to use her fingers or manipulatives to do so. I really want her to master and memorize the basic addition and subtraction equations before we move on to bigger concepts like multiplication. So I began my search for a curriculum to fit those needs. In came a new program from Math-U-See called AIM Accelerated Individualized Mastery. This program is only about 6-8 weeks and is not a full year curriculum. This program is designed to help students of any age who have completed addition and subtraction coursework without achieving mastery. We plan on using this at the beginning of the school year. Once she has completed the program and if she enjoyed it we will probably begin the Beta or Gamma curriculum from Math-U-See.

Spelling

Last year we used Spelling by Sound and Structure level 2. My daughter really enjoyed it. So we decided to use level 3 this year. MFW suggests using Spelling Power in 3rd grade but I just thought, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” I was pleasantly surprised to find out the level 3 curriculum includes cursive writing as well. My daughter has been working on learning cursive slowly over the past year. She’s excited to be able to practice with her spelling assignments.

English

Last year we chose Language Lessons for Today from MFW. It was very simple, mostly oral lessons. But my daughter really did not enjoy it. And to be honest I didn’t like it too much either. I felt a lot of it was kind of pointless. This year I stumbled upon Beginning Wisely by Rod and Staff while I was purchasing her spelling curriculum. I read the description and looked through the samples and I thought it looked great. I don’t know how much of it we’ll use this year though as there is a lot included. But I think it will be a great jumping off point for grammar this year.

Bible

While we are learning all about various countries and cultures we will also be reading about missionaries and the Gospel of Matthew to understand God’s heart for the world. We will be using the book Window on the World to read about how the gospel is shared to each country and ways to pray for the people in various countries. I’m also excited to include the ABC Scripture set from Pip & J Papery. Each letter corresponds with a bible verse for memorization. There is also a workbook for students to write the verses.

Art

This also included in ECC. The curriculum came with a fun global art book. It is full of various arts and crafts from around the world. I’m not sure how much we’ll actually use this book though. I’m not a huge fan of cheesy crafts. I prefer just giving my girls various art supplies and letting them create however they please. We also love handicrafts and will be continuing learning more about sewing, embroidery, and cross stitch this year.

Music

The included music for ECC is Wee Sing Around the World. It comes with a CD that has various songs from many different countries around the world. It also has a booklet with the lyrics and sheet music as well as some facts about each country. I am also planning for my girls to start taking piano lessons. Whether it be online or in person instruction.

1st Grade Curriculum

My youngest daughter will be using Learning God’s Story. This is an all in one curriculum with all subjects included. Although you are more than welcome to use your own math and language arts if you like. I adore this curriculum!

Bible

Learning God’s Story goes through all of the major stories and events in the Bible. My favorite thing is how the Bible is intertwined in every subject. My daughter will be going through the main events and stories in the Bible using the Bible reader. We are also including the books from the series The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by M.J. Thomas. This series follows a brother and sister and their dog as they travel back to Bible times. It is such a fun way to bring the stories alive for children.

Language Arts/ Phonics

For language arts my daughter will read the Bible reader and practices phonics and spelling using words from the reader. The phonics portion picks up where Kindergarten left off. When my oldest daughter used the curriculum she was reading fluently by the middle of the school year. I can’t say enough good things about the way they teach phonics. It’s not rushed and the sounds are explained so well. It really helps them to sound out words they don’t know.

Math

Math is taught using a developmentally appropriate hands on approach. A lot of the lessons incorporate real life situations and skills. We will be using The Complete Book of Math to compliment the skills learned in the main curriculum. This workbook covers patterns, classifying, comparing, addition/subtraction, place value, geometry, measurement, graphs, time, money, and fractions. We will also be using pattern blocks and unifix cubes for fun manipulatives.

Science

The science portion focuses on God’s amazing world. We will be using a few Usbourne science books to study plant life, water, and other things found outdoors.

Art

The curriculum includes the book Drawing With Children. I tried to use it with my older daughter but we were not thrilled with it. Instead we will continue using and exploring various art materials and handicrafts. We will also be using Enjoying Art Together. This is a fun art appreciation set with paintings of people and animals from various famous artists.

Encouragement

I hope that by sharing our criteria of choosing our curriculum it will help you better understand it more. And if you have the same criteria these choices might work for your family too. I feel that creating a criteria list will help you narrow down curriculum choices for you so it’s not so overwhelming. But remember, if a curriculum isn’t working like you had hoped, don’t worry! You can always change it. You are in control and able to switch things out at any time. Don’t be controlled by the curriculum. If you want to see inside the various curriculums I have added video walk throughs on my IGTV channel. You can find me on Instagram here. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Considering Homeschooling?

Have you been considering homeschooling but you’re a little nervous because you don’t know what to expect or where to begin? Hopefully this post will help shed some light and give you some encouragement.

The first thing to know is that homeschooling is not school at home. That simply means you do not need to recreate a school day in your home. You don’t need a desk or a plethora of books and resources. You don’t need to have a set timed schedule each day that must be adhered. Homeschooling is a constant state of learning. It’s developing a curiosity of the world in your child by creating an atmosphere where learning is fun. It’s forming children to become free thinkers that seek answers instead of just being told the answers.

But How Are You Supposed to Homeschool?

There are a variety of ways to homeschool! No two homeschool families are the same! Some families are more structured and some are more go with the flow. Some families incorporate a lot of hands on resources and some families use a lot of books. Some families have a strong focus on academics and some focus more on the arts. The wonderful thing about homeschooling is doing what’s best for your family.

“From the day you became a parent, you also became a teacher, and you are equipped to teach your child.”

Anne Campbell

You are equipped! You know your child best and know what works for them. Search for whatever curriculum and resources that meet the needs of your child and family and use it. Also make sure to check on your state’s homeschool requirements. We live in Ohio and only have to give a notice of intent (NOI) to our local superintendent along with an assessment from the previous year. The assessments can be either from a final exam or portfolio review. We typically do the latter. Here is a website for all of the homeschool requirements for each state.

Homeschool Laws By State

How Do I Choose the Right Curriculum?

I highly recommend taking these quizzes to help you find a good fit for you and your family. After taking the quizzes there will be recommendations on curriculums that fit your particular needs and interests. It’s a great jumping off point in choosing a curriculum!

The first one is a learning style quiz that will help you determine which way your child learns best.

The Learning Style Quiz

The next one is a homeschool style quiz that will help you determine what you want your homeschool to look like.

The Homeschool Style Quiz

How Much Should I Spend on Curriculum & Supplies?

This is entirely up to you and your family! There are so many types of curriculums at every cost. There are even many quality curriculums that are free! If you enjoy the Charlotte Mason approach to teaching, Ambleside Online is completely free. There truly is a curriculum for every situation and every family.

We are a one income household so we don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on things. We do have a homeschool budget every year that consists of the main curriculum and other resources and supplies. Typically we use the money we receive from our tax return to purchase curriculum. I am also a Tinkergarten leader and have a small Etsy shop where I sell digital homeschool resources. I use the money I earn from those to go towards any additional supplies or resources I would like to add to our homeschool. A good way to start a budget is to find the curriculum you would like to use and any other supplies for the next year and calculate how much that would cost. Then just start saving money each month until you are able to purchase it. And remember, you don’t need all the things!

What If I Choose the Wrong Curriculum?

Sometimes a curriculum might not work out and that’s ok! The beauty of homeschooling is not needing to have a set curriculum to use forever but being able to pick and choose what’s right for your child. My oldest daughter struggled last year with the Math and English curriculum I chose. But now I can re-evaluate and find something that fits better.

What About Planning?

That all depends on the curriculum you choose. Some are open and go, meaning you don’t have to plan at all. We use an open and go curriculum that has a teachers manual that lists every subject and lesson for each day broken down by week. Each week has a list of supplies and materials needed that you can gather before the week begins. I typically check a week or two in advance for any books I might want to include so I can reserve them at the library. I usually check Saturday or Sunday to gather supplies for the week. But honestly a lot of times I check right before it’s time to actually start the lessons that week!

If you don’t have an open and go curriculum you’ll have to do some planning. I would highly recommend a good quality homeschool planner to make the process much smoother. Anna Vance Paper Company has some very well organized planners! Definitely check it out to see all of the beautiful options. And of course there are many other planners available at various places.

As far as planning time goes, do whatever works best for you. I know some families plan each week, some plan a whole month, and some even plan out a whole semester. It all depends on the time you have to dedicate to it.

What Does a Typical Homeschool Day Look Like?

This also is very dependent on your homeschool style. An unschooling family’s day is going to look much different than that of a classical style homeschool family. I will say though that homeschooling does not need to take a full 7 hours like a traditional public school. You also don’t have to start at 9am everyday and have a set schedule of subjects at certain times throughout the day. If that works best for you than that’s great! Just know it’s not necessary. Also remember that learning is always taking place. If you live in a state that requires a certain amount of hours logged each year know that the field trip you take includes learning time. And the trip to the library, or reading aloud. There are so many things that are considered learning even though your child is not writing in a workbook at the time.

For our family, our days always look different, but we do have a bit of a routine. Our schooling typically lasts 1 to 4 hours depending on the lessons for the day. Some days my girls like to start right after breakfast. Some days I’ll let them play first. Some days we don’t even do schooling at all and head outside for the day. We use homeschool schedule cards as a visual of what needs to get done for the day. I let my daughter choose the order of subjects because I don’t care what order she does them in as long as they get done. She likes them because she can see what is expected for the day and not get discouraged when I keep giving her more work. This is just what works for our family. Yours may look different. And that’s ok!

What About the Difficult Days?

There are some days that just do not go right at all. My girls are not cooperating with me or each other. They won’t attempt any schoolwork or they will attempt it begrudgingly. It’s those days that I scrap it all and do something entirely different. A lot of times it’s simply going outside, whether it’s in our backyard or to the park. Or sometimes we do some baking in the kitchen. Other times we break out a bunch of art supplies and create together. I have found that if my daughters are struggling to do work it’s best to not force them to do it. It never ends well. And typically they’re so focused on being mad they’re not even paying attention or learning what they’re “supposed” to be doing. Usually spending time doing other things gets them in better moods and then they actually don’t mind completing some school work.

What About Socialization?

This is the question that inevitably comes up when talking to someone who doesn’t homeschool. Homeschooling provides so much more socialization than traditional schooling in that children are exposed to more people of all ages. Whether it’s at the grocery store, library, or on a field trip homeschooled children meet a variety of people. Not to mention co-ops, extra curricular activities, and other homeschool group meet ups.

For us personally we have several instances of socialization each week. We attend a local co-op once a week with children of all ages from preschool to high school. There are several classes throughout the day and we all eat lunch together collectively. I also lead Tinkergarten classes at least once a week for ages 18 months to 8 years. My girls also used to take dance classes as well. Although we decided not to this year. It turned out to be fine since the whole quarantine shut everything down. We also go to church every Sunday and Wednesday. And not to mention all of the various play dates and field trips we take throughout the year.

What About Preschool/ Pre K?

I was a preschool teacher for more than 8 years before I had my daughters. I also have an associates degree in Early Childhood Education. When it comes to early childhood education I truly believe children learn best through play. Charlotte Mason says children should have no formal schooling until age six. I wholeheartedly agree!

So What Do I Do With My Younger Child?

All you need is just provide lots of open ended toys and play experiences for your child to explore. This could simply mean setting out some various blocks or loose parts and inviting them to create something, playing pretend with some baby dolls, or playing outside with friends.

When the atmosphere encourages learning, the learning is inevitable.”

Elizabeth Foss

When children play with others they learn social skills, collaboration, and empathy. When children are able to play on their own they develop problem solving skills, self reliance, and persistence. When children are given various materials and not told what to do with them they develop curiosity, creativity, and foster imagination.

But what about teaching my child to read? If you want your child to be a good reader, just read to them. If you want your child to do well with writing when they’re older, have them practice fine motor skills. Play with clay, pick up small items with large tweezers, or stack blocks. If you want your child to be good in math when they’re older, let them play with small loose parts and manipulatives. If you want your child to learn well, just let them play.

Provide quality, open ended toys and resources. A nice set of wooden blocks, some loose parts, or clay. Things that they can use in whatever way they want and in more than one way. Let them be creative. Let them explore. Let them play.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

Fred Rogers

With all that being said, I know there may be some who still would like some sort of curriculum for preschool and pre K. There are many beautiful curriculums available right now. Here is a wonderful blog post from Sarah at The Silvan Reverie that breaks down a few different ones.

Avoid the Comparison Game

Whatever you do don’t get sucked in to the comparison game! It can be so easy to feel like you’re not doing enough when you’re just starting out and seeing so many curriculums, resources, and homeschool spaces while you scroll social media and Pinterest. You might start to second guess your curriculum choices or even just your decision to homeschool. Please remember you are your child’s best teacher! You know them better than anyone. You are beyond capable of teaching them at home.

You don’t need all of the newest curriculums or resources. You don’t need all the printables, books, or games. Find what works best for your family and stick with it. If you would like to add more resources, do so because it will add to your child’s learning experience not because it’s pretty. Believe me, I know it’s hard to not want all the things! But I am very mindful about what types of resources I bring into our homeschool. I have two criteria when buying resources. The first one, can I use this more than once? And the other, can it be used in other ways? I go more in depth about homeschool resources in this blog post if you want to check it out.

Just remember you are equipped and you can do this! It may be difficult at times, we all have those days, but they don’t last forever.

The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things.”

Jean Piaget

Make your home an atmosphere of relaxed learning. A place where your child is free to think, explore, and ask questions. And enjoy your homeschool journey!

Our Homeschool Days

Why We Homeschool

I’ve been asked numerous times why we chose to homeschool. I wish I could give a simple reason and answer but it is so much more than one thing.

One of the first reasons why we decided to homeschool was the cost. I have my degree in Early Childhood Education and was a preschool teacher for 7 years before I had my oldest daughter Emma. I decided to become a stay at home mom after she was born. I couldn’t really justify going back to work teaching other children and then paying for my daughter to go to the same school and have someone else teach her.

We also homeschool for the flexibility. My husband travels a lot for his job. Sometimes he’s gone all week long. But sometimes he’s home throughout the week. The flexibility of homeschooling helps my girls to see their daddy more than if they were in school. We also sometimes travel with him when he works. We make it like a mini vacation. It just works for us.

I very strongly believe young children need more than anything to play. Most schools now have longer days, shorter recess and lunch times, and less arts and music classes. Children barely have any time to develop good social skills, empathy, or problem solving. They spend most of their days doing school work and then have to take even more work home. It takes us about 2-3 hours to finish our school work each day. Then we play! Sometimes we play games, sometimes the girls play with their dolls, sometimes we go outside and build fairy houses with natural materials, sometimes the girls just make something up. I also allow for plenty of creativity and imagination during our days. Every day I offer my girls some type of arts or crafts to work on. Today it was needle felting. I didn’t give them directions or step by step instructions on creating with it. I just let them create. Yesterday my youngest daughter was cutting out a number three. After she cut it out she turned her scraps into a bunny. I recently saw a sign in a kindergarten room that said, “Color inside the lines, color completely filling each object, and only use correct colors.” So no purple suns, no free flowing art. It must all look the same. That broke my heart. I just wonder if Olivia’s bunny would have been tossed aside if she would have been in school.

A huge reason we homeschool is I don’t agree with the curriculum the public school system uses. I went to public school my whole life. I had many wonderful teachers and I learned a lot. That being said, some of the things I learned are no longer being taught or they’re being taught in a completely different way. I just don’t agree with most of the curriculum and requirements anymore.

Another big reason we homeschool is the one on one teaching I can provide for my daughters. I believe teaching is one of the hardest jobs. To have 20-30 students in a class all with different learning styles and personalities is so difficult to get everyone on the same page. It’s hard to cater to each student and have one on one time with them. When I was learning my multiplication tables my teacher had each student get in front of the class on Fridays and recite the times table we had learned that week. You couldn’t move forward to the next until you got them right. I was and still am incredibly shy. It is so uncomfortable to me to talk in front of people. Having to get up in front of my peers and talk scarred me for life! I still to this day don’t know all of my multiplication facts. Ever since that class I have hated math. I never wanted to try because I thought I just couldn’t learn it. I never tried and never cared to. I don’t want this for my daughters! I know them better than anyone. I know what works best for them, how they learn, and how they think and process things. Being able to have so much one on one time with them and helping them to love learning is priceless.

When I was in middle school I was bullied quite a bit by some mean girls. I never understood why. I was so quiet and never even talked to many people. But for some reason I was singled out and picked on. It was awful. I hated going to school. I already didn’t enjoy learning. And all I wanted to do was leave. This was all in the 90s. They just called me names. Today kids are telling others to commit suicide just because. No reason at all. That frightens me to my core.

I would say the main reason we homeschool is because of our beliefs. I want my daughters’ learning to be centered around Jesus. We start our days with prayer and a Bible study. Since we have started homeschooling two years ago we have gone through all of the major stories in the Bible. My oldest daughter has learned a new proverb every week. We learn and sing hymns together. We listen to worship music while we school. And most importantly both of my girls have accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. Whenever they get hurt, are sad, or need help in any way they pray. They know who they are in Christ and walk with Him daily. This is reason enough to homeschool for me.

With His Grace

 

Space Saving Timeline

For our curriculum last year we made a timeline of the Bible. We used My Father’s World First Grade – Learning God’s Story. It suggested just putting the timeline images on a wall, but we have little to no wall space in our homeschool room. The space we do have is already utilized. So I needed to come up with a solution that would work for us. I’ve seen several accordion style timeline books and I knew that would be the best for us. I didn’t see any templates I liked so I made my own. I just created a simple line with dashes. I didn’t want to add dates because I knew we would be added them ourselves later. I also wanted to use as little paper as possible because I hate wasting paper. So this timeline isn’t necessarily spaced by dates properly. But I just wanted to get the gist of the timeline out to my daughter.

To create the timeline I precut all of the images and dates and spaced them out in my hallway. This helped me to determine how many papers I needed to print out. Once I had them printed out I taped each piece together using clear tape. I only taped one side and it has held up great. I used a glue stick to attach the images and a sharpie to write the dates. You can also laminate the sheets before taping them together.  I would have done this step but my laminator broke when I tried to laminate leaves. (Don’t laminate leaves btw 😂)

Here’s a video of how I put together the timeline for this year for U.S. History.

We love that we can still open the timeline in our hallway and see everything, but it’s not taking up the wall space that I don’t have.

I thought maybe you guys might like a printable so you can make your own! Just click below to download and print off as many as you need.

Download Timeline Here

I would love to see your timelines if you use my printable! Please tag me on Instagram @WithHisGrace. I can’t wait to see how you create yours!