March Sonlight Blog Party - Best homeschool advice received

Sonlight Blog Party

For the March Sonlight Blog Party!

I think the best homeschool advice I ever received was: none.

I first came across a homeschooler when my oldest was 2 years old. I was working at a school that had a "homeschool class" and I met one of the families. I tucked it away in the back of my mind.

Fast forward a couple of years. Dd turned 5 at the end of September, and the cut off was at the beginning of September. He didn't understand why she couldn't start school, but left me with these infamous words:

"Well, you're at home. Teach her something."

Maybe that was the best advice I got.

We'd never heard of homeschooling but there it began. By December, I figured out I was "homeschooling" and checked out all kinds of books about it. I didn't know of any homeschool groups, so we just did a lot of things on our own. I learned about how she learned, and what she was interested in, and went with that. The Well-Trained Mind told me about "curriculum" and I found out about the forums.

The best advice I got from there was, (loosely translated),

"It's okay to play in the dirt. They are still learning something." I actually still have Paula's (of Paula's Archives) post with that lesson plan written up!

Now, I moderate an email homeschool group and I give "advice" all the time. It's actually the same I told my public school colleagues when I was in the classroom:

We're teaching children, not curriculum. Well, that's what I told the teachers.

I tell families: Get to know your children, how they like to learn, how you like to teach, what y'all like to do together. Curriculum follows that (the interests), not the other way around.

I think that will be my mantra as I look through all the Sonlight, My Father's World, Timberdoodle, and Rainbow Resource catalogs.

We're teaching children, not curriculum.


  1. Thank you for sharing the "play in the dirt" advice -- I'm trying to follow it myself!

  2. That's very good advice. It's so important to remember the children first, and no get so caught up in the curriculum. Thanks for sharing!


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