Homeschool Year One is almost Done



It’s the middle of May and our first year of home schooling is coming to an end. Going into home schooling I had no idea what to expect other than the unexpected.


To refresh you about beginning our homeschool journey, read this post here from last year.


We started our school year on the last Monday in July of 2018. In the beginning we were all transitioning not only to a new school routine, but a new home, community, and life away from all we knew. Homeschool was on par for the newness.


The first semester we took our time getting acquainted with our new life, but school was always a priority. Everything I planned didn’t go as expected, of course, and I was fine with it. My daughter moved slower than I wanted her to on some things and that was okay. My oldest became a self-starter and self-motivated young man. He began taking on responsibility and really flourished.


We got into a great routine in the fall of 2019. Then we met some unexpected situations like family surgeries and such. And guess what? Homeschool didn’t require my children missing any of their academics. They never fell behind or had to make up a ton of work. No, they just kept on going.


Life has been so much simpler since beginning homeschool. Some unexpected things I’ve learned since beginning our homeschool lifestyle include:


  1. Better Schedule

One reason we began home schooling was as a means of controlling our schedule. We knew our daughter would have many appointments that are easiest to schedule during the day and it would be tough for me to get home in time to get anyone off the bus and along with other timing issues.

Right now my kids get up when they want. I’m a firm believer in the importance of sleep, but that’s a topic for another time. The only firm time is bed time and they must be in their bedrooms by ten trying to go to sleep or reading. Ten thirty is lights out. This sleep schedule means mama gets to sleep, too. I do get up before the kids most days and still get at least eight hours of sleep every single night.

When a child needs an appointment scheduled, we don’t have to rush around after school or deal with missed lessons and work. Either the kids take their work with them or we adjust the work until later. Yes my kids have been known to do school on the weekends.

And like a few weeks ago, it was such a beautiful day. We nixed all sit down academia and went to a park in another city. We walked the beautiful park and they played. They got to be kids. *gasp*

Our family likes to take a Friday off each month to get in the car and go somewhere. We explore our new surroundings. We find new parks, new stores, and new fun adventures. The best part? If it’s some place that’s usually busy during the week or after school hours, we get to go during the day when the place is usually empty or not so busy.


  1. Friendships

I’m ashamed to admit that one reason I didn’t homeschool from the get-go was because of shaming from others, especially family. I was afraid my children wouldn’t have friends nor be socialized well. Boy was I wrong. My kids have more friends than when they were in private school and the friendships are much more diverse. The kids have friends from all walks of life and in different areas of life. It is fun to watch them interact with others so freely and confidently.

No I do not do a co-op. I’m not into that kind of commitment right now. Instead, we do different groups that meet regularly throughout the year to add consistency and routine to our lives. I will not share the group names on a public platform but if you’re interested in the groups we participate in, I’ll definitely share privately.

One group we are part of provides classroom-like structure and big group learning. Even my three-year-old knows how to properly sit at a table, raise his hand, ask for help, and more. He’s learning patience in large groups and he follows directions well.


  1. Greater love for one another

The relationships between my children have grown immensely close. My oldest child and second child have always had a very tight bond. They used to always need to be touching or in the same room together. That’s changed some, but moments still occur when they rest or take some down time together.  What’s different is the way all three of the kids work together.

It’s crazy to me to see how creative they get when given all the freedom they need to simply be kids. Their imaginations go wild. My oldest loves to write books. In fact for Easter he went to the store with my husband to pick out specific materials he needed to make his book making process easier.  My middle child loves to teach. She makes microphones out of q-tips and blue painter’s tape, tapes it to her cheek, and begins preaching. Recently she’s begun writing bible studies. The best part? They inspire one another and hold each other accountable to living for Jesus. My third child goes along with what the older kids are doing. He inserts his opinion, because he has lots of those, but he falls in line with what they are doing. I cannot ask for better role models for each of them. That’s the thing—they are role models to each other and it’s beautiful.

The three children tend to choose to play together. They choose each other over other friends most of the time. They understand there is a time and a place for other friends, don’t get me wrong. We all get tired of each other at times, don’t get me wrong with that part either. But the thing is, even if they’re on each other’s nerves, at the end of the day they wind up cuddled up at the foot of our bed on the ultimate sack relaxing before bedtime.


  1. Priorities

This has been a key word used throughout this past year for me. Homeschool provides the opportunity to actually put forth our priorities and stick with them. Right now the priorities in my house are God, family, and work. In order to do all the things, I/we have to take care of us. For example, usually 3-5 days a week I work out in my gym. They are playing outside when I’m working out—being active kids, physically and creatively. When the weather is nice the kids and I walk to a park where I’ll either jog while they play or we all just play. When I say we, I do mean we. I’ve forced myself to let go of all reservation and just be in the moment with my children.

When at the park, my phone is down and. Yes I want to document the time, but more so I want my kids to know they are so much of a significance that I made it my priority to be present with them and enjoy making memories. It’s amazing to let loose and feel like a kid. It’s freeing.

As a family we all have different groups we attend throughout the week. While the kids are at one meeting during the week I am able to sit and write. That’s my writing time. During the rest of the week I edit and do other aspects of my work, but Wednesday evenings are my time to write.

Groups are a priority in our family because we know the importance of community coming together spurring each other on toward the end goal. That’s what we force ourselves to do.


  1. I’m changing

I wasn’t prepared for this part of homeschooling. I’m changing. I’m becoming more patient because I have more opportunity to practice. I am humbled that I am entrusted with these souls, their education, their very being. How on earth do I get to do this? I’m humbled, too, because I am someone who is an over achiever. I want to do everything and I want to do it right and well. When my kids, who I feel like should be getting something, just can’t, it slows me down. I remember that I must get off my speeding train and go back to the basics. The basics always need to be taught before real learning and flourishing can happen.

I realize how important my role is in the family. If I am not well, my kids won’t be well. If I am not working on my spiritual life or my physical health, I will not have the proper mindset or energy to come before my children as a teacher to them.

It’s caused me to be content. I’m content with the life I’m living right now. Is it always easy? Absolutely not. But is it full of joy, blessings, excitement, hope, and opportunity? YES! And that motivates me to continue on this journey.


Homeschool this first year was all that I wanted it to be, and yet so much more.  Life does not revolve around a community’s set school schedule. Learning doesn’t have to take place between the hours of eight and three. Life can be full and rich and of love and all the important things we claim we never have time for. The different life we’ve chosen is simple: we make time for what’s important to us. There is no other option. We don’t get a do over of this life.

If you’re interested, there will be a post coming soon regarding the curriculum reviews and things we did throughout the year!


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hey, i’m Danielle

I love Jesus. I love my family. And I get joy from having a front row view of people growing toward their goals because of what I’ve taught.

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