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Let's Talk About Homeschooling | Our First Year| Jennifer L. Scott

Today's video is all about homeschooling. This was a highly requested topic ever since we announced that we would be homeschooling our children this year. Here is an example of one of the many requests I received from readers:

Hadasah K. writes:
Hi Jennifer! Happy New Year! I’d love to see a video about your journey of home schooling so far. I know you’ve touched on it, but I’d like to know more detail. Do you feel like the minimum requirement is enough or are you very thorough? Was the transition from having the girls at school to home bumpy? Do you find that each child needs to be taught differently? Do you sit down with them x number of hours a day, or are they to some extent self taught? I was homeschooled from K-12th grade, but I like to hear other’s experiences as being the homeschooled student is very different than the teacher/parent! I have a 2yr old and 10 month yr old, so quite awhile to think about it. In the meantime, I’d love your advice!

Hi Hadasah, I believe I answer almost all of your questions in today's video, plus a lot more.

Why do we homeschool? How do we homeschool? What curriculum do we use? How long does it take us? What about socialization? Are we taking the standardized test? Do we plan to do it next year? All of these questions, plus much more are answered in today's video.

As a disclaimer that I mention in the video, today's discussion is in no way a criticism of public or private school. Every parent makes the best choice for their family and homeschooling isn't necessarily right for everyone.

As for curriculum, my Kindergartener uses Abeka almost exclusively and we also supplement with this awesome reading book called, Phonics Pathways.

My 2nd grader uses Horizons math, Christian Light Education for language arts and reading and Abeka for history and science. We are very happy with our curriculum choices for this year. I'm noticing that my daughters are retaining their knowledge and enjoying the learning process, which is a huge plus.

I truly hope you enjoy today's video.

** Please note: in the video I mention I went to public school for my entire education. I meant to say my entire undergrad education.


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Comment of the Week
I loved reading the comments for Monday's Breakfast video. So many on YouTube shared their favorite breakfasts and now I have so many ideas! Polly on the blog wrote, "I love your breakfasts! They look familiar to me as I eat very similarly. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I rotate between a Greek yogurt-berry-oat bran bircher, eggs scrambled with loads of veggies, and half an Ezekiel bread muffin with a little almond butter and slivers of banana. On Sundays my husband makes me a fantastic, beautiful omelet with whatever vegetables we have on hand, and some type of cheese (often chevre), sundried tomatoes, avocado, and sriracha. It's such a treat. And I always have two cups of coffee with almond milk.....

My children eat baked oatmeal topped with nut butter, my great-grandmother's buckwheat pancake recipe (delicious), or whole-grain waffles that I make. Sometimes I will also make a breakfast casserole for them...we have chickens, so there are always fresh, healthy eggs on hand. And my husband eats oatmeal with nut butter & almond milk & fruit every morning, except after his long run on Saturday, when I make him buckwheat pancakes.

Starting the day with a beautiful breakfast is kind of a quotidian luxury that I enjoy. So do you, I see!"

Polly, I have only one thing to say in response to your comment... YUM! :) Thank you for sharing your family's favorite breakfasts.

Today, I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on homeschooling? Were you homeschooled? What is your child's experience in school, whether it be public, private or homeschool? If you homeschool, what is your favorite curriculum? Please be respectful in the comment section. I appreciate that everyone who watches this video might differ strongly in opinion. Your kindly-worded response is always welcome. I'll see you on Thursday for the homeschool room tour!

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Petra Franceschi said...

Hi Jennifer,
I love your books & videos. I don’t have any children but I was interested in seeing your video on homeschooling because I realized that I too have secretly always thought that homeschooling was somehow “weird” although I never have had any direct experience with it and although I would never be so rude as to say that to someone. I just wanted to learn more and I thank you for opening my mind. Your video explained so much and I am so impressed with your homeschooling, the commitment it takes and how well you are able to make it work for you and the girls. I can definitely see now how homeschooling could be the best option in many cases and for many children. I also now realize how lovely it could be for children to have this time learning together with a parent/or parents. You’re making wonderful memories together and I’m sure that you are getting to understand your children on a different level plus, how wonderful for them to have all that one on one time with you. I believe the education they are getting is excellent in every way. Brava!

Unknown said...

Thank you! I'm a former public and private school teacher and now I'm homeschooling my children. You are doing an outstanding job!

It sounds like you've done lots of research. At some point you might check into The Good and the Beautiful. It goes along nicely with the books you've written and the principles you live by. Another great resource for moms is librariesofhope.com ☺️.

Good luck and thank you for all the great tips and wisdom you have shared over the years. Your books and example are inspiring!

KBieda said...

Some resources that you might find useful for math:
(1) www.youcubed.org
(2) the book "Mathematical MIndsets" by Jo Boaler (or anything on mindset by Carol Dweck - helps us to teach children to focus on the process of learning and how well they engaged in that process rather on whether they missed 11 out of 25, for example)
(3) the book "Children's Mathematics: Cognitively Guided Instruction" - this is based on decades of research on children's mathematical thinking. An important takeaway here is that we should not take away materials like base-ten blocks, or really any material that children can use to make a problem more concrete, until children are ready to do the abstraction (like the process of double-digit subtraction) themselves. When children encounter difficulty with mathematical procedures, bringing back materials and visuals and ways for children to draw situations can help them understand how the procedure works so that they can explain their thinking and understand why they are doing what they are doing.

ICU aus B said...

Dear Jennifer,
thank you very much for another very interesting video. I just adore how thoughtful, kind and friendly you always talk in your videos, always conscious of people who might feel offended (even though there is obviously no reason for it imo). I, too, thought that homeschooling is something I wouldn't have liked to do with my daughters, but now after seeing your video I am able to see it as another option. But one of my daughters is already attending University and the other is in 11th grade. We sent (and still do) our daughters to a private school, even though we have very good public schools here in Germany. We had our reasons and we, too, sometimes got questioned about our decision by people who seemed to feel offended by it, because they decided differently for their children. I could not understand it and one day I decided not to care about those judgy questions and comments anymore. That has served me well. I wish you all the best, ongoing joy and good luck with your homeschooling. Inga

~ Shannon said...


I so enjoyed this video, and look forward to the next one! My husband and I were both homeschooled for the entirety of grade school, and had such a wonderful experience that we never considered any other option for our own children. Two of our four children are currently school age, so we are in very similar stages of homeschooling!

It was a bit daunting to start, but like you, I have found it to be an amazing experience. I am treasuring this opportunity to learn alongside my children -- I know everything they are learning, so we are able to discuss and reinforce those concepts throughout the day. I know my children will never be bored or "left behind" in the classroom (because I can tailor the material to their individual needs), and hopefully they will develop the sense that learning is not something confined to a specific room or building, but something they should pursue throughout their lives.

I really appreciated your kind and "non-judgy" explanation of your reasons for homeschooling -- granted, I already have a positive view of homeschooling. I do think it is a shame that people feel like it is their right to virulently criticize other people's schooling decisions; I doubt they'd welcome such criticism of their own decisions!

I'm looking forward to hearing more, and am so glad that your homeschooling experience has been such a success so far!


Rebecca said...

Hi Jennifer- thank you for this video. I thought it was fascinating. I'd love to hear more about how you made this decision and the planning you did. Do you think you would have decided to homeschool if you hadn't been pushed to consider it because of the move and your extended European stay?

Vicki Zimmerman said...

I found your video fascinating and educational, because it was so thorough and can be helpful to so many, for those contemplating homeschooling and as an adjunct to those in public school who want to enrich their curriculum. As a life-long learner who went to public school and state university, and who has no children, I was simply delighted to learn about the subject through your experiences and thorough research. Your family is in good hands with your guidance and wise choices. Outstanding and I give you an A+ for the wonderful video!

Wellyboots said...

People shouldn't be at all rude about homeschooling....after all the concept is not new! Think of the Governess of past times! In Outback Australia, children have no choice(due to distance), but to be home schooled, linking in with such services as the 'School of the Air' program.
As in alot of things, it is no doubt the few poorly home schooled children/families that tarnish the reputation of home schooling in general.
I like the way at you mention that the curriculum can be tailored to what best suits each child, rather than the more generic learning in a typical school environment.
Thanks Jennifer!

Unknown said...

Wonderful video, Jen! I love seeing how you handle all these parenting hurdles. I'm taking notes for when I have kids some day. You know I was homeschooled from 6th grade through high school...I started college at 15 and started attending as a junior in a university at 18. There are incredible pros to homeschooling with supportive and involved parents. Love you and keep up the great work!!

JanElise said...

I am a retired public school educator and I enjoyed your video explaining your choice to homeschool. It makes perfect sense to me. Your children are very fortunate to have such dedicated teachers and I am sure they will thrive. Each state is different in its requirements for homeschooling. Georgia only requires that the parent or guardian file an Intent to homeschool, list the children's names and grade levels, the dates of the school year and the teacher must have at least a GED. There are some requirements for subjects taught and testing, but no one checks. As a school administrator, I was aware that some parents chose home schooling to avoid compulsory attendance. One 4th grader kept missing school, so we had an attendance meeting where the dad explained that her mother stayed in bed a lot, I think depression, and someone needed to watch the toddler and he had to work. When we explained that he still needed to send her to school, he was counseled by someone outside of school that he could say he was homeschooling, which he did, and she never came back. I have also known a few parents who chose to homeschool because their child was having learning difficulties, and they did not want them tested and labeled.. Sometimes this individual attention really helps if the parent has the time to do it. Each child is precious and education is definitely not a "one size fits all" endeavor. God bless you for trying to do what you believe is best for your children.

Michelle O. said...

I am a homeschooling Mom of four kids, ages 16, 14, 9.5, 7. We started officially homeschooling when our oldest was 4yrs old. If someone had told me that I would be homeschooling and loving it, I would have been very shocked. Both my husband and I were public schooled, and had no idea about homeschooling until I researched it :)
There are many facets to homeschooling and I have learned many things over the past years - how children learn differently, and also how to answer the socialization question (it's just not an issue for us). We chose to not be a part of any homeschooling groups per se - we were so busy doing other things. And yet, our kids are very well spoken, polite and just really great human beings (others have told us this as well - not just a mommy brag :) )
Our oldest started in a College program when she was 14 and will be heading off to University on her own in the fall. Not necessarily because she is of high intelligence but because, I believe, she was given the time to figure out early on what her passions were.
There are many pros and cons to homeschooling, and I think one of the best things for one to do is to keep an open mind and heart. All the best on your homeschooling journey.

Unknown said...


Oh boy! You are completely echoing my thoughts and interpretation of "homeschooling" and you crack me up with all of your disclaimers. I get it, you get flack from everyone. That's why I still don't want to tell that many people, as this is all very new to our house too!

Through prayer, necessity, weird coincidences ( including your post that you were going to homeschool a week after I got a clear prompt to homeschool for our children), talking it over seriously with my husband. Funny story, I thought he would actually object and I would be free and clear to send them to school, but no such luck. I say this because I need my free time and had been mourning the loss of that possibility. {More on that later.} He was on board and we decided to jump in. My oldest is still technically in Pre-School but we are still busy doing all of the preschool "stuff" and preparing for Kindergarten and beyond. We have chosen to do the Charlotte Mason method, 1. It's God-centered and 2. We LOVE books and love the idea of living books. Thank you for the math advice because the curriculum we are using doesn't have one per-say, just recommendations. So this was helpful!

I"m still learning the process too and appreciate any and all of your insights. I'm looking forward to the second view. Also, I kept seeing your face fall every time you mentioned people saying negative things, and I know you know this, but sometimes it is good to be reminded: Don't let the negativity get you down, you are doing what's right for you and your family, period.

The pros seem to be more than the cons. Back to my sadness about "me time". I have since then decided to put on my big girl panties and get up at 5:30am before anyone else is up to read my Bible and read the novels, biographies and other books I'm reading and am such a better mom and wife because of it, my husband has noticed and told me so. Discipline was the answer! ;) As you already know.

Unknown said...

Er, per se. 🤭

Polly said...

I enjoyed your video very much! I always thought homeschooling was weird, too--until I did it. :) It's not for everyone, but it's a perfect fit for our family. I actually just wrote a post last week sort of reflecting on the past 6 years (since my son will be finishing up 5th grade later this spring) and on the things that we used that I liked best and plan to use again with our daughter. I can't believe I have to start thinking about middle school curricula now...:) I was interested to see what you've used Abeka as I was considering Abeka science and/or history for 6th grade next year, as we dip our toes into more formal work.

We spend our days doing math, taking walks, reading Shakespeare, playing music, doing housework, learning about all sorts of interesting topics, reading books, etc. and it's such a sweet life. I am grateful every single day for the opportunity to homeschool my children.

(And I just noticed that you posted my comment on breakfast. It's the best meal of the day in my book!)

Unknown said...

Jen, I spent a good portion of your video just smiling because I could relate so much to your journey with homeschooling, from the misconceptions, to all the researching and then finally, trying it out and feeling very excited and passionate about it. My oldest is just about to reach kindergarten age, but while my husband and I were considering this option, I thought I would try a little experiment and see how my daughter (preschool age at the time) would take to 15-30 minutes of sitting down with me and doing a little "school". I was absolutely blown away by how quickly she picked it up and enjoyed it. One book that really helped reframe my attitude and allay some of my concerns about homeschooling was the book _The Well Trained Mind: A Guide for Classical Education at Home_ by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I recommend this to not just homeschoolers, but all parents who want to be an active participant in their child's education. This book really opened my mind to the potential of homeschooling and the opportunity to really provide my child with an education tailored specifically to her learning abilities and style. It was an exciting prospect that really motivates me to keep moving forward with this endeavor.

Also, I appreciate so much the poise with which you address the naysayers and rude comments. I sometimes feel like I am left speechless when criticized for fear of saying something regrettable out of emotion, but your response has reminded me that there is always a tactful way to respond, even when people don't agree. Thanks for being that example to me and I'm sure, to many others. I'm looking forward to the second video on homeschooling and hopefully more!

madeofmydreams said...

Hi Jennifer, I have two children now and a third on the way, they are not school-aged yet! But, I was home-schooled myself from 2nd grade through 12th grade before going to North Carolina State University. An argument to mention to naysayers on socialization is that traditional school is actually kind of artificial compared to real life, it's the only place where you're going to be surrounded by a bunch of people who are all the same age and stages of development as you. Homeschooling does offer a wider variety of socialization. In most groups you're going to have children of many different ages and stages of development for your children to interact with; its closest competitor school-wise would be Montessori. A lot of times when I met people outside of some form of school context no one would even know that I was home schooled unless I had mentioned it. In university I actually kept it secret until after I had completed my freshman year at NC State because I was concerned I wouldn't fit in or my education wouldn't stack up next to everybody else. I got over it after making many friends and achieving an A- average. There are many paths in life and it is impossible to take them all. I am grateful, however, that my parents chose home schooling for me because it was the best option for our family.

- Kathleen

Helena Oops said...

I am really happy to find your blog and your nice articles and videos after a long period of worries and convalescence.
Great post and tips!
I wish you a very good week!

Sherrylynne said...

Thank you for sharing a slice of your life and generously being vulnerable in an area of your life that really is for you to decide. I applaud you for your methodical presentation. Every person who hears of homeschooling wonders, "How does that work?" I personally get many questions about how do people find curriculum, stand being with their children all day, socialize them, etc. My in-laws were superintendents, teachers, counselors, and administrators in the public schools. There was much silence and heaviness about our choice to home school throughout their youth. But now, seeing them as young adults either about to graduate from high school or start high school, they are bright, intelligent young men that can determine well the path to go and how to solve problems with a sense of humor and maturity. It is ALL God! May all you do give God the Glory and Happy Easter!

Jen said...

Hi Jennifer,
Long time follower and long time homeschooler. Loved the video but I think it's funny that your initial opinion of homeschooling was that it's weird because you always seemed like a homeschooler to me. And not in a "that's weird" way, but in a recognizing one of our own way. And certainly not all homeschoolers are alike, but your articulation, planning, organization, values, closeness to family are all reasons that you seemed "homeschooly" to me. I'm currently just homeschooling my youngest, also in second grade, and my middle son, a high school junior, attends our local community college for engineering. My oldest has graduated. We also love CLE curriculum and used it for many years with various children-currently using it with my second grader too :)
Anyhow, thank you for the video and I love that you have embraced homeschooling and that it's working so well for your family.