A classical education for a flexible family

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Today I’m over at Simple Homeschool, participating in the 2011 Curriculum Fair. Contributors are sharing what tools they’ll be using this next school year, so it’s been a great month of finding resources for this upcoming adventure of ours.

I’m a newbie when it comes to homeschooling. This can’t be overstated enough — those of you who feel completely green at homeschooling, count me among your throngs. I’ve done a lot of reading and research, but that doesn’t replace good ol’ experience.

When Tate was four, we homeschooled for pre-K while we lived overseas, using Five in a Row. I had a great experience with that, but of course, that took about 30 minutes per day, more or less. At four and a half, she asked me to teach her to read. I used The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, and it worked wonderfully.

These two things were it for any sort of preschool. She didn’t need anything else but this, hours of play, tons of available books at her disposal, and plenty of outside time and sleep.

Then we unexpectedly moved to the U.S. last summer, and we decided to enroll Tate in a Charlotte Mason school here in Austin. Our family had a great experience — it’s not everyday you find a local school that reflects your educational philosophy.

But in a few weeks, we’re moving. Again. We’re going to homeschool for first grade for a variety of reasons, mostly to take advantage of its flexibility. Our lifestyle is so fluid, and homeschooling fits beautifully with that.

While we have a very nomadic lifestyle, I actually thrive quite a bit on structure, so my homeschool plans reflect this. Part of this is preemptive: I also have two other little ones, a business to run, a book to start, speaking engagements, and travel plans. If I don’t somewhat structure our school, I’m afraid it’ll never happen.

So. Here are our plans for first grade this next year.

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