Schoolish thoughts

homeschooling clipboards

Things I’m trying this year:

  • family copywork – I’m joining the kids this year. We’re doing the best handwriting we can for a timed period (that will gradually lengthen). I’m copying from Pride and Prejudice, Sandra’s got a poem to work from, and Tias is tracing over animal facts I wrote in pink pen.
  • clipboards and checklists – for clarity and for placing the authority outside of me. If anyone, including me, wants to know about our plans for the day or how much we’re doing, we just check the list. It’s simple, Tias co-operates because it’s how he earns his screen time (TV or video games), and when I’m weak and tired I simply follow the plan rather than having to come up with something. That said, it’s a checklist that allows for a lot of gentleness and some improvisation
  • a novel study – on the theory that Sandra doesn’t need to learn how to read anymore, we’ll be doing a study of The Whipping Boy using a Total Language Plus guide. Sandra’s so excited and can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail. She’s at an age where she really wants a paper trail. Which leads to…
  • a homeschool log – it was Sandra’s idea, a place to write what we accomplished each day and a place for the kids to write what they liked about each day. Two days and counting…I’m remembering to do it, and I love to watch the little inner glow she gets as she writes her memory of the day.


Our back to school picture. Shot with a timer and against a light, but still a great capture of the story of the moment. But who are those giants and where did they put my little kids?


8 thoughts on “Schoolish thoughts

  1. Schwester K says:

    You could be a poster family for homeschooling. You all look so gorgeous and excited!!!

    One sleep. See you tomorrow!!

  2. Lisa says:

    I agree with # 1 but would add: “Wow! Not a jumper in sight.”

    I kept a short daily log. We have looked thru it many times–like the scrapbooks. You continue to inspire and amaze and create hope!

  3. Patricia says:

    Every fall I make little tweaks in how we do things, and write them down in my journal, much as you have. It’s fun to see other people’s tweaks–thanks for sharing! I haven’t been able to interest my kids in copywork, but maybe if I did it too, and we had special journals…

  4. tracey says:

    I stumbled upon your blog somehow (can’t remember now) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful, unique, inspiring, comes to mind. My husband is of pure Hungarian descent and we took our pilgrimage there a few summers back with our then 12 year old. Magical. So I enjoyed reliving our trip through your travel log!

    Forgive the shameless self promotion too but I actually co-own a company that develops and sells literature guides. Check it out at We’ve been in development for years with our own homeschool coop and launched our web site a couple years ago. Our philosophies may just line up nicely with yours.

    Here’s to a new year….blessings!

  5. JoVE says:

    I keep thinking the same thing about my daughter. I’m sure there was a toddler around here not that long ago or at least some sort of little kid. But somehow I have someone who wears size 7.5 shoes and can bike to her friend’s on her own.

    Your plans sound great.

  6. Tinkermama says:

    An empty scribbler/sketch book is great tool for novel study. While novel is being read, children can choose to sketch out their “mind picture” of what is happening. The beauty of novels, of course, is that they let us imagine and its fun to compare our imagnings and how different or similar they are. For some children, it also helps them to focus on the story. Love “the Whipping Boy”! Ever read “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo? Delicious language!

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