homeschooling :: one week in

I’ve been asked often in the last week, “How is homeschool going?”

My response? It’s going.

Actually, it’s going a lot better than I’d anticipated.

I think it’s even going better than Asher had anticipated.

Because after last year, and the fact we hobbled and limped, broken and bruised across the finish line of 6th grade some time late this summer, we were not expecting this year to be great. We both knew we needed to up our game a notch (or a few notches in my case) and neither of us is a big fan of extra work.

But so far, so good.

And so, I thought I’d share my initial impressions of the curriculum we’re using this year… some of it new, some of it not-so-new. Because I love to read about others’ experiences with curriculum. If you have thoughts to share please do in the comments or with links to your posts on homeschool stuff.

P.S. None of these links are affiliate links, they’re just plain ol’ links.

Apologia Science – it’s what we used last year and Asher was able to complete it all, basically on his own, during the school year. It’s well laid out, easily followed and relatively interesting. Interesting enough (for a boy that doesn’t love science) that he finished without me having to threaten loss of life or limb. And he enjoys the at-home experiments. He can eat his breakfast and do his science. What’s not to love there?

Wordly Wise 3000 – we’re doing the online version of Wordly Wise this year. And so far, he much prefers it. He enjoys working on the computer, and the instant feedback and opportunity to ‘try again’ is good for him. It also provides additional reinforcement that the workbook doesn’t. Not 100% sure it justifies the cost of 4 times more than the workbook, but if he finishes one level, he can continue to the next. The subscription is good for one full year. Yet to be seen if it’s a keeper.

Lifepac by Alpha Omega – we’re using these for History and Geography and Language Arts. So far so good, but Language Arts is where Asher struggles. He probably needs some additional help in this area, but for now we’re going to stick with the basics. These are broken down into 10 booklets, and we’ve determined a schedule and have set an amount of time he has to complete each booklet. He likes that. He had to write his first paper of the year the other day on the origins of names. And he chose to do his on all of his siblings names. Pretty cute.

Teaching Textbooks – in a word, LOVE. Asher used Life of Fred last year and he did love it. But it just wasn’t enough repetition for him to retain what he’s learned. Probably my mistake – rookie! – but I just wasn’t sure of Asher’s learning style yet. I had considered TT last year and decided to go ahead and try them this year because of the rave reviews. Also, it’s computer based, which he likes. And it tracks all of his lessons/tests and I can have him redo any lesson or test, which I like. So far, he really enjoys this program and I think it’s going to be a keeper.

I just have to say, y’all are awesome. After I posted my cry for help, Sweet Sue is sending me a homeschool organizer (you’re the best, Sue!). And everyone had such great advice for me! Since reading all those comments, I’ve taken a deep breath and determined it’s going to be okay. Thanks y’all… I really needed that! I’ve been keeping track of current and future assignments, and decided to only plan out a week or two at a time. For now, we’ll revisit his work-load weekly to determine what works best for him.

We’ve even added PE to the mix, four days a week. And Asher has decided to run a 5K in the fall. What?!? Honestly, I can’t believe this is the same kid who – less than one year ago – had stomach aches galore and was miserably unhappy at public school. So grateful I get to stay home and, despite my failures and shortcomings, be his teacher.



  1. From one home school mom to another~ fabulous job!!! Wouldn’t trade it for anything!!! Blessings and love! XO

  2. You go mama!! That is awesome! I love your heart that you gotta do what you gotta do and you’ll do whatever you gotta do for any one of your kiddos. We had much the same experience 2 years ago and I home schooled for a year out of love for one of ours. It was tough, it was messy, it showed me a lot about myself. It’s not something I ever intended to do but when your kids need you, we step up. Looks like it’s gonna be a great year!

  3. Yay, Stef! Yay, Asher! I don’t homeschool (yet), but I know plenty of homeschool moms and “for reals—went to college for it, did teacher training, etc” teachers that struggle especially that first year! Can’t wait to follow this journey of yours! Hope your “teacher assistants” are behaving!! :)

  4. We are using the online Wordly Wise for the first time this year (used the workbooks for years) and LOVE it!! So far – worth the money :)

    I am a HUGE Teaching Textbooks fan….FOUR kids using it this year! I love the independence it allows them AND me :)

    We also use Apologia science for the upper levels. I am trying out Science Fusion for the younger kids this year – I am hopeful since it will allow some independent learning :)

    I haven’t used Lifepacs….we use Sonlight for History and Literature and are using Time4Learning this year for language arts.

    Can you tell I had a I AM OVERWHELMED moment? I have six I am schooling this year (pre-k through 11th) and hopefully bringing home our 4 year old from China late this year or early next year who will need heart surgery – so I planned a school year I thought we could ALL enjoy and learn from :)

  5. I read your last paragraph and almost cried. My oldest son would come home ever day from school and cry or fall asleep on the couch from the stress in his classroom. He also experienced constant stomach aches.
    We pulled him out and started homeschooling for his 2nd grade year. He graduated in May and is considered a great roll model by the other moms in our co-op. He is kind, responsible, hardworking and best of all, Confident!
    I don’t think it was anything I did except remove him from an environment that wash’t a good fit for him.
    You are doing a wonderful thing for him Steph!
    Another grammar program that I have used and love is Analytical Grammar. Its short and to the point and you only do it for 10 weeks!

  6. Sounds like you have a good grip on the situation. I worked in public school (special education) for 17 years. It scares me the way schools and kids are changing..worry so much about my grands. So far, fingers crossed the one is entering 2nd grade and doing well.Home schooling is a hard job, but one that has rewards. Stay strong! You are obviously talented and will win the battle.

  7. So glad to hear that you found the things you were needing. HUGS!!

  8. I’ve gone out to the Wordly Wise site and I’m not finding anything online that is available for purchase. So far, everything I’m seeing online is for free or can be purchased for multiple users, i.e. more than 25 ppl. Am I missing something?

  9. Morning – I was going to start off with “way to go mom!” – and there’s some room for that – HS takes a lot of committment on your part – BUT – way to go Asher!! While it takes effort on Mom’s part – it also takes a ton of work on his – and that’s extremely cool to see!

    hugs – great job – aus and co.

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