Wednesday, January 27, 2016

P,H,F,R: How I do it.

I have had various people ask me how in the world I home school.  I have had new home school moms ask me to go through my day for them.   I once asked a wonderful mom named Shirley to show me what she did and she invited me over for lunch, showed me her classroom, all her books, and her record keeping tricks.  I am forever indebted to Shirley and her open and kind charity towards me.  I don't think I would have ever had the courage to go forward without her "visuals" which is the way I learn to do things. My sister always read the directions to games, sewing projects, puzzles,etc first and then she would SHOW me how to do it.    In that same spirit, I will show you how I do it.  And remember, everyone does it a different way as time goes on.  You'll find your favorite things, you'll find those things you can't school without, and you'll start buying and loving books which is a wonderful passion to have.

The Things I can't live without

1.  The copy machine.  For tests, records, scanning etc.

2.  3 ring binders of all sorts.  My favorites have a clear pocket in the front to slide a picture into.  Also crates and various containers of all sizes.  

3.  The highlighter.  God bless who ever invented them.

4.  My school room.  It's bigger now and has been tweaked over the years,  but I have always had a room where we did our school.  Sometimes half a room.  
All my teacher keys and books are in this crate by my desk.

5. Book shelves large and small.  I am a bibliophile and so are all the members of my family.  

6.  This daily school planner.  I love it very much.  

How I Use the things I can't live without

At the beginning of the year, each child in grade school gets four binders:  Religion, Language Arts, Science, and the History for that year.  Each of the binders is a 3 incher and contains Grades 1 - 4 and then 5 - 8.  These contain all writing, re-tellings, drawings, poetry, tests, papers etc.  At the end of the year, I put the binders in a tub and save all the work from the year.   Each child gets their own tub.  I have seen older kids go through those tubs on occasion to look at the writing and the drawings and laugh or get nostalgic.  In the front of the binders I put all certificates:  Presidential fitness, Latin exam awards, report cards etc. 
Here are some samples of things that go inside these binders.  Much of this is lower school.  High school is different.  

Religion binder with old calendar picture in front.  

In the Religion binder I put all their narrations of saint stories and illustrations and their Bible History

Love, love, love the baby bumps Lovely Daughter put in here.  
Samson pushes the pillars.  I love how his hair hasn't grown out all the way yet, but just enough. 
Jesus is baptized by John
This was St. Michael kicking the bad angels out of Heaven inspired by Michelangelo.  Creative Child even put in the "cracks" on the fresco walls.  

Example of the history binder:  these contain narrations, maps, drawings, and tests.

Hercules and his seven tasks

The Argos

There is also a binder with poetry, reading, and grammar.
Poetry and illustrations - Lovely Daughter age 5 

What we do all day

We start school around 8:30 am.  Now that my kids are older, we start a little later as I know they can get the work done.  

We all begin with the daily Mass Readings, the saint of the day, and a chapter of a read aloud book.  I still think you should read aloud even to older kids.  Contrary to popular belief, we do not do school in our pajamas.  But we do have quilts for the reading aloud time.

Then we do the biggies:  Latin, Math, Grammar, Religion

Then we eat lunch and take a break

In the afternoon, we do history reading, writing, and science. 

Then off to sports, drama, and work.    

What makes the day nice?

Coffee in a pretty cup.  You'd be amazed how a pretty cup helps many things.

Lunch together

Pretty things on your school desk. 

Windows for watching the outside world.

What makes the day doable?



  1. love this look into your homeschool is fun to see how others do it.

  2. I enjoyed reading this... even though I am not planning on homeschooling... but I do believe we are our children's first teachers...

  3. I love seeing how other moms "do it". This was fascinating! I want to come homeschool at your house, for sure!

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I am saving it for future reference. So helpful to see all your tools, binders, planner - where did you get that one - even your pretty mug! I love hearing what works for different moms with the hope of creating some sort of system for myself by the time my oldest is ready to "officially" start.

    1. Hi Laura,
      You can find the planner on Just type in the name. It's a wonderful planner! And so pretty, too. gotta be pretty.

  5. You look so organized. Their artwork is so wonderful! Great work!!

  6. I love organization anything and am glad that I'm not the only one thrilled when the dollar bin has beautiful new 3 ring binders and highlighters :)


  7. Thank you for this post. I love seeing how other people work. Your school room looks so cosy. I love the artwork!

  8. Lovely post! Thanks for joining us!

  9. Those baby bumps are the sweetest thing! I also have a love of containers for organization. Even my sock drawer has baskets to keep things manageable! I am many years from any possibility of homeschooling, but it seems to be well-suited to organized people, and I can definitely get behind that.