Hi! I’m Katie. I’ve been homeschooling my kids for 4 years. This year (2021) I’ll have kids in 4th grade, 2nd grade and kindergarten. I’m excited because this is the first year that all of my kids will truly participate in our school schedule. Our family has achieved a lot over the last few years of homeschooling. My two oldest girls learned how to read proficiently and I learned how to create a homeschool routine that works for our family. Here are some of my top reasons why I love homeschooling my kids!
One of the main reasons our family enjoys homeschooling is that we love the flexibility. My kids can easily get their core subjects completed in the morning, and be available for a fun activity in the afternoon. As a rule, my kids work on their math, language arts, spelling and handwriting from 9:30 am to noon. After lunch we have quiet reading time, followed by a science or history lesson. My kids have also done gymnastics, soccer, and piano lessons as extracurricular activities. Additionally, we love to travel. One year, we left behind the Idaho winter to go on a 3-month RV trip to Arizona during the school year. Homeschooling allows us to bring our workbooks almost anywhere, and maintain our school schedule on the go.
Another great thing about homeschooling is that I can customize each of my kids’ school experiences. My daughter who loves art can make something crafty to reinforce her science lesson. My son can create a volcano out of playdough and cause a baking soda and vinegar eruption. We can build Lego cars and talk about force, momentum, and friction. We often explore a topic further by watching YouTube videos or Magic School Bus episodes. I combine workbooks for math and language arts with hands-on activities for science and social studies. This approach makes school both purposeful and fun!
See our family’s favorite creative kids activities!
When I began homeschooling, I quickly discovered I had many resources to choose from. After a little research, I finally settled on using Abeka workbooks for my kids’ main school subjects. This was an easy choice, because I also used the Abeka curriculum as a child. These school books cover the basic subjects for each grade level using the spiral learning method, which introduces new concepts alongside lots of review. My kids have used Abeka workbooks for math, language arts, spelling and handwriting for the past several years. I appreciate that I can feel confident that each workbook covers the concepts my kids need to know for their grade levels. See my tips for teaching a child at home.
Teaching my kids how to pursue intentional friendships has been another great benefit to homeschooling. Before they can make a friend, kids need to learn how to be a friend. Homeschooling effectively teaches my kids how to be friends with each other. We regularly talk about how to be an encourager, how to problem solve, and how to be kind. The accountability I can give my kids means a lot to our whole family and it’s a privilege to see my kids grow in their characters.
I’ve also hosted several after school activities with other homeschool families to help my kids make friends. I’ve taught a few kids art classes and planned some hands-on craft days. Additionally, I often take my kids to homeschool skate day at our local roller skating rink. Getting together with other homeschool families with similar-aged kids is a great way for my kids to make friends.
Next, but possibly most important to me, I homeschool my kids to purposefully invest in their lives. I’ve personally had a lot of experiences. I have a Business degree, I’ve worked as a web designer in the Seattle tech industry, and I helped my husband launch and run a product-based kids business for seven years. I’ve traveled to multiple countries, taught myself videography and photography, and have experienced my share of successes, obstacles and challenges. I can attribute many of these achievements to the fact that I was homeschooled. Early on, I learned how to be a self-starter, have a good work ethic, and persevere to achieve excellence. These principles have helped me successfully navigate many circumstances in my life.
Now as a mom, I recognize the importance of helping my kids develop their own foundations for success. I’m thankful that God has given me the willingness and ability to be a homeschool mom. I typically plan for our family “one year at a time”, but homeschooling has been working well. As I mentioned, homeschooling allows me to personalize my kids’ learning experience and have a lot of fun in the process. The curriculum I use purposefully teaches my kids the core subjects. We also learn about the Bible, memorize verses, do creative projects, go on family field trips, occasionally travel, and participate in many opportunities to serve our community.
Exploring Clarkia Miocene Flora Fossil Dig in Idaho
Last but not least, homeschooling can be super fun! Once our core subjects are out of the way each day, we do lots of creative activities. My kids love mixing up slime, helping to make homemade play dough and going on nature hunts. One year, we learned about how fossils are formed and we visited our local flora fossil dig in Clarkia, Idaho.
In 2021, we took our kids on a 3-month RV trip to Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. We went on many family hikes, visited nature centers, and learned about desert plants and animals. We RV camped and boondocked in more than 20 Arizona state parks and locations in the desert. Our Arizona RV trip was a great exercise in doing homeschool on the road and exploring a new area!
Visiting the International Wildlife Museum in Arizona
Ultimately, homeschooling is a great opportunity to teach kids in vivid ways through unique experiences. As our kids get older, I look forward to doing science fairs, teaching them about entrepreneurship, and helping them each develop their own talents. Because we homeschool, our kids are close friends and actively support each other while learning life skills. For me, homeschooling requires commitment and organization, qualities which also help me grow as a person. I’m excited to see how homeschooling challenges and inspires our family this year and in the future!
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, DIY projects, photography, homeschooling my kids, traveling, and serving people. I’ve previously worked as a graphic designer, web designer, journalist and barista. I started Create. Play. Travel. to share some of our creative projects and family adventures. I hope you enjoy the highlights of our creative family life!