Homeschooling : How Did Our Second Year Go?

Hello friends,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend! We had another earthquake on Friday... Thankfully everything and everyone is OK.

I continue to take it easy this week so this blog post is going to be light.

Today's video is a homeschooling update for those of you who have been asking for one. We had another great year full of discovery and I share my thoughts and how I am adapting and improving going forward.

Here are a list of Charlotte Mason books:

Home Education by Charlotte Mason , Habits by Charlotte Mason, A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character Charlotte Mason, Karen Andreola A Charlotte Mason Companion

As usual, I love to hear from you, whether you are a homeschool family or not. How did your school year go? Please leave your comments below so we can connect together. If you are a homeschooling family please introduce yourself in the comments and let us know how your year went.

With love,


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Karen said...

So glad that your 2nd year went well and that you're enjoying it! We just finished our 14th year homeschooling and I still love it! :-) Yes, to reading living books. Our twins are 15 and we still read aloud together. It's a great family time. I thought that teaching my kids to read was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. My oldest just finished her freshman year of college studying engineering and she said that because she reads well and is a voracious reader, that she transitioned to college better than some of her peers because she has become a self-learner. Many young people lack the skill to be able to read something and teach themselves. I also did preschool with my twins who are 4 years younger than my oldest. Yes, it was challenging at times, but oh so much fun! I hope that you enjoy that with your son this next year!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to learn that your daughters are doing so well. As a parent, I find these are the little reminders that we are doing ok. We also had a good year at home. My kindergartner (or 1st grader, next year) did very well. He goes to a public school and had an excellent teacher (I know that an excellent teacher for my soon is different from an excellent teacher for someone else, but he and his teacher had a deep connection. So deep that I had to fight tears as I read the teacher's note in my son's yearbook). Nevertheless, and this is why I write this, we worked hard at home. I used a book you recommended, Jennifer, (Phonics Pathways) to teach him to read. I had noticed that he was interested in learning to read but was frustrated with sight words and other things. I got the book and started showing him the phonetic sounds. Long story short, he thrived. As he learned to read, his self-steem boosted, he learned that hard work pays off and is proud of his accomplishment. In conclusion, a parent's work doesn't finish when we send our kids to school, there will always be something to complement or make up for, and this is why I enjoy this homeschooling discussion.

P.S: I also have a preschooler, and I am constantly trying to slow her down a bit and show her the importance of playing and learning by playing. That being said, I'd love to hear what you are planning for your preschooler!


Sarah H. said...

I homeschooled my son using the Charlotte Mason method/ philosophy for three years. We loved it and mostly depended on Amblesideonline for curriculum. He was very prepared when he returned to school for fifth grade (he will be in ninth this year). I attribute his success to the high quality literature, music and art, and to approaching learning more slowly, yet in more depth, than is typically possible in a classroom (nature study, for example.) Part of the Mason method is narration or the child telling back what he has just heard or read after the first reading. While it took time to develop this skill, it was well worth it. It became my son’s foundation for listening well, digesting ideas and expressing his thoughts and understanding- all necessary elements for writing and speaking. Also, I too remember feeling reassured by standardized tests. They are helpful when you do not have a classroom of students by which to gauge a child’s progress!

Another great book is For the Children’s Sake. It helps show that homeschool need not be a typical school approach, only at home, but days filled with learning from great books and experiences.
I may homeschool again at some point, because it allows a flexibility in family life that we greatly miss. I wish you the best on your homeschool journey.
Thank you for sharing your experience. All the best for year 3!

Anonymous said...

35+ years ago I taught K-2 in a private school. Like you, especially when I started, I followed the curriculum meticulously. And lo and behold, every year every kid learned to read! lol

Then, twenty years ago, when home-school was almost considered "cultish", I tried to bond with my 2 stepkids by homeschooling them for 2 years in their middle school years. (Too many contrary adults breathing down my neck.) HOWEVER, now that same stepson asked me to tutor his 5yo daughter, and she and I are having a blast! I am teaching her phonics, and she works so hard, gets so excited when I introduce a new letter. What were supposed to be 90 minute sessions twice a week, have become nearly 4 hours twice a week, because she is so engaged. After the 3 R's are covered, we read, play, do projects, go outside... so much better than the TV diet she's used to.

I am currently reading "Mother Culture" (thank you very much!), and find it very intriguing and challenging. It will help me, I'm absolutely sure!

Keep the children's book recommendations coming!

Constance R said...

Hello Jennifer ~ I so enjoy your philosophy of life and have been so encouraged watching your journey. We, too, homeschooled our children with the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy. Such wisdom she had to dispense! You may be interested in the new course Leah Boden has created with coursecraft.com entitled "Charlotte Mason Unboxed". She is from Coventry, England and has been teaching the Charlotte Mason way for 12 years. She really is a delight and I am sure you can learn much from her experience. You may view the course overview on coursecraft before purchasing for a mere, 25 pounds! I believe that translates into about $37 USD or so. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on how we, too, may live in a more chic and civilized way in our daily lives.

Anna said...

Hello, Jennifer! My daughter (she is 9) is't homeschooling, but it was so pleasant to know, that we read the same book! The wind in willows is really great and we had a lot of pleasant winter evenings to read it! And l'm so glad too that my daugtef become to read by herself. This summer her fauvorite are Astrid Lingren series about Madiken and Lotta. As for the art recently we visited the Tenors bel canto (Ukrainian quartet of amazing tenors) concert and fall in love with their voices!

Kim said...

My mom told me about the earthquake (my family lives in the Bay Area) and I'm glad you're all ok!
I enjoy all your videos, but I loved this one especially. Having read the Madame Chic books starting in 2016, I found your YouTube channel last year, and your first year recap was one of the first videos I watched. I began to think hmm, she's more like me than I thought. =)
I taught private school, wrote and edited for a traditional home school textbook company that you've probably heard of, and finally, homeschooled my three daughters beginning when they were 6, 4, and 5 months. We homeschooled all the way until the youngest graduated three years ago, and I was sad when it was over (even though there had been many days, especially in those middle years, when I said I would not do it again the next year ;). I used that traditional curriculum for a long time because I didn't know there was so much out there for homeschoolers (there is a lot more now than in the early 2000's), but I read A Charlotte Mason Companion later on, and implemented some principles with my younger two after the eldest had left for college. We loved it! My middle daughter enjoyed school more those last two years than she ever had before, just because I added some Charlotte Mason-inspired subjects, such as art and music appreciation, that she had never experienced before. I was glad her schooling ended on such a happy note. If I had it to do all over again, it would be Charlotte Mason entirely.
I love what you're doing with your children, I enjoy your videos, and I love when you have your family in them as well. Thank you for all the hard work you do to bring such great (or should I say "chic") content. It is appreciated! =) Kim

Erica said...

Hi Jennifer, I have been reading A Charlotte Mason Companion this summer and have been eating it up! I would love to see more homeschooling videos from you about how you're implementing art, music, and nature study and how to include children of multiple ages...I agree it's tricky to homeschool with babies and toddlers at times. It sounds like the Charlotte Mason method is a perpetual, ongoing chic assignment for the whole family. Living books, poetry, art, music, and nature studies for everyone! And I completely agree... not too much structured activities. Kids need free afternoons to catch butterflies and make mud pies. Best of luck in this coming year!

Lisa said...

I just wanted to chime in and say that I've been homeschooling for 13 years now. I've been all over the place with different curriculums and methods. But 5 years ago I tried Charlotte Mason and we've never looked back. Of course I do some tweaking for the uniqueness of each of my children, but Charlotte's methods are at the base. :) We too like to be done with school by lunchtime and then my kids have all afternoon for various projects.

BusyBoys said...

I’ve recently been enjoying your books, which led me to your blog and videos. What a fun surprise to learn that you’re also homeschooling! This is our 13th year, and we’ve loved the rich community and curiosity that has grown in our 4 children. And yes, I know what you mean about almost too much socialization—I too am a home-body, so every year we re-evaluate our outside activities. Our style is eclectic, and my kids range from 10 to 16, so it’s a full (even relentless at times) life. I’m enjoying getting to know you virtually and appreciate your emphasis on compassion and graciousness—we seem to share some of the same values too. Thank you for elevating the conversation! — another Jennifer (yes, we share that too...)

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Ladies, thank you so much for writing in. It is so fun to meet fellow homeschoolers. I have been enjoying this journey so much and it has been truly the highlight of our past two years. I appreciate all of your input and recommendations and I look forward to doing more homeschooling in the future. Thank you, as always, for participating in the comments!



Bev Parker said...

Hi, Jennifer,
I just gave my beloved and well-marked copy of At Home w/ MC to my most discerning cousin, Lisa, knowing she will love it. Sacrificial giving! Which is also what home schooling is. My four homeschooled kids are raised and boy are they marvelous adults! What an incredible privilege it is to not only have children, but to homeschool them in the "nurture and admonition" of the Lord. SO MUCH FUN, and again, the results are beyond all you're asking or imagining! It just gets better and better.