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I have loved documenting our journey towards all things ranch life + raising kids rural.
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First Year Homeschoolers

posted by

Brittany Johnson

March 14, 2022

Homeschool Newbies

I can’t speak for all parents who find themselves pondering homeschool, but I really did not imagine myself Homeschooling our kids.

When we first purchased the Ranch last year, we were commuting back and forth across the State a couple times a week. We would leave every Sunday morning and come home Wednesday night — this schedule really didn’t allow us to enroll our kids in school on either side of the State.

We called a small local school and asked if our kids could do part in-person learning on the days we were at the Ranch and remote learning when we were in Western Washington — the answer was a definite “no” ☺ And we were 100% at peace with that.

We realized that long term, we would rather Homeschool our kids anyways so we jumped in with both feet and started them on The Good and The Beautiful curriculum.

So far, I absolutely love the curriculum — Landyn started Kindergarten and Sawyer started Preschool.
The Good and the Beautiful program makes it nice and easy to navigate as the “teacher”. Text like “parent, read this to child… child, fill this out, etc.”

Both kids really love that there are visual resources online for letter sounds, songs, etc. on their portal which you gain access to with the curriculum. They also have free videos on their youtube channel. We have found that there are more videos on their youtube vs. the portal.

Also — just an FYI because I was honestly very unaware. Some States have requirements for parents to take a class or show proof of college education. Washington is one of those States. Also in Washington, you will need to send an annual Declaration of Intent to the school district by 9/15 if your child is between the ages of 8-18, informing them of your homeschool decision.

We are definitely new to the Homeschool world. But I will say one thing I have learned throughout this first year is that our kids are learning how I teach and I am adapting to how they learn. So giving yourself (the teacher) and your kiddos some grace is much needed.

I am big on keeping things fun and as relaxed as possible. No one wants tears at the table over schoolwork. I have found that it escalates the stress and can inhibit their learning.
When we are facing a hard day or it seems like they aren’t retaining what I am teaching we take a break.
Go on a walk, let them do something else for a little bit but definitely take the break.
With my kids, if I keep pushing the agenda — it really takes away from the time we have set aside to learn.

I also really find it is best to teach them individually instead of managing two different work books at the same time. They love the one on one attention and it helps us focus on what they are learning.
While I have one child learning with me, I have the other child quietly playing with a bin** in the background.
We don’t have the TV going because it just creates an extra distraction for the child learning.

(**I am BIG on sorting toys into labeled bins. Call me crazy but this system has worked for our kids since they were still crawling. I purchased these bins and keep them in this cube organizer in their closets and labeled them with this label maker.)

I don’t necessarily think everything listed below is a MUST HAVE or that Homeschool won’t be complete without it. These are just helpful things that I purchased over time to help aid in our Homeschool journey!

Numbered items on the list are links + images in grid below are clickable links.

  1. Magnetic Flash Card Letters

  2. Magnetic Soft Letters // Case for Letters or similar letters + case on Amazon

  3. Small Magnetic Board

  4. Large White Board

  5. Dry Erase Markers

  6. Storage Bags

  7. Play Money

  8. Matching Letters Game

  9. Math Cubes

  10. Pencil Grips

  11. ABC Game

  12. Sight Words
Homeschool Newbies
Homeschool Newbies
Homeschool Newbies

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