How I Do It (Literally)

“I don’t know how you do it!”

Most of the time, when people say this to me with regards to homeschooling, they mean, “I don’t know how you find the time to take care of your kids, your home, yourself and also fit school into the equation.” Usually, when this is the actual meaning, I smile and say that it all works out for us.

But, sometimes, they mean this quite literally. “How DO you do it? Do you borrow textbooks from the school? Follow a certain curriculum? Visit Borders every week?”

That is a much more interesting question to answer.

Before I started this journey, I had no idea how much was out there for homeschoolers. And, I don’t mean just educational toys or games or books, but entire curriculum written specifically for families who choose to educate their kids themselves. Rainbow Resource Center publishes an enormous catalog with over 1200 pages of educational materials to order, and I’ve been known to sit down with it as if I am reading a good book.

Had I known how much there is, I may have run the other way. . .all the way to the school bus stop. Or, I could have maxed out my credit cards purchasing everything that sounded good. Or, just decided to go straight to an all-inclusive curriculum.

Instead, I did what many of us do. I read about different programs—be it math, reading, writing, history or science. I talked to other people I knew. I attended a homeschool convention. And then I started buying.

Some things I bought didn’t work. We’re on our second math curriculum after crashing and burning with the first. I haven’t sold the first since one of my other kids may end up preferring it over the one Belly uses now. I have so many reading/writing/spelling options I am embarrassed, although it gives you an idea of how panicked I was that Belly would never learn to read. I have books I’ve never used, namely a classical music coloring book that came with a CD. Apparently coloring in pictures of famous composers is not all that interesting.

Tonight, I am hosting a Curriculum Night at my house. At about 7pm, women carrying heavy boxes and bags will come through my front door to share what has worked with them. We will eat, drink, talk and pour over each other’s materials, asking, “what do you like about this”, “why don’t you use this anymore” and “how must does this cost”?

And, in a few short weeks, I’ll be online, putting in my order for September and crossing my fingers that I chose wisely.


  1. SuburbanCorrespondent says

    It’s addictive, isn’t it?

  2. SabrinaT says

    We just had a small get together here. About 4 families, but still a great time! I have learned so much!

  3. If there were ANY other homeschoolers in the area, I would hop on board. But as it is…. 🙁

  4. It is pretty amazing all the stuff. I need to go to a curriculum night to get some more ideas.

  5. Oh, I wish I lived in an area that did this. We’re homeschooling and it is just so daunting. I have built up a variety of materials and I have a plethora of ideas but there aren’t a whole lot of people to talk with about this journey to share concepts and concerns. Of all the homeschoolers I know, they’re taking an unschooling approach and that really isn’t for us.

  6. Traceytreasure says

    I wish that I could be there tonight!

  7. Alpha DogMa says

    I wish I could’ve been there.

    Because I’m getting scared! Just when I thought we’d found THE perfect solution for our home schooling needs (IE the BC government’s Distributed Learning program) comes word that we may be moving elsewhere and now I’m back to researching options. Not that I REALLY mind — it’s so interesting.

    Did I tell you that the kids and I are reading one chapter of The Story of The World every lunch time? They love it. They beg for their fix — so I’ve just splurged on the workbook and next time chicken goes on sale I’m going to mummify one. Yum!

    Have a good weekend!

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