Well, we’re going for it! We’ve made the decision as a family to homeschool Abby through her high school graduation.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my kids both have a variety of unique learning needs, and we have tried just about every type of education option available in order to get them the best education possible. We’ve been in Montessori schools, special day schools, public schools, Catholic schools, schools for children with learning disabilities–but the one thing we haven’t tried is homeschool!
While this is a big undertaking, I am really excited for the opportunity to invest into my relationship with my daughter. We always want our children to be happy and fulfilled, so I am looking forward to the bonding that will happen as we endeavor on this journey together.
Even when I was a classroom teacher, my favorite way to teach children was through experience, and that’s exactly what I plan to do with Abby.
Our homeschool endgame is not a four-year university, so we have the freedom to structure our homeschool curriculum around what Abby’s career and life goals are.
To that end, we will be tackling four core classes–math, English, government, and economics, and four “electives”–culinary arts, animal science, health and wellness, and life skills. The overarching goal for all of this is to reignite her love of learning and ensure she’ll have the skills she needs to succeed as an adult.
So far, this has been the most challenging class to pin down curriculum for. We tried a purchase curriculum, and that didn’t turn out much different than the traditional math curriculum. We already knew that wasn’t working, so our first attempt turned out to be a bust.
What we are planning to focus on from this point forward is the math skills of everyday life. Rather than memorize postulates or graph lines, we’re going to be introducing some concepts that are essential to adult life but aren’t usually expressly taught, like managing a bank account, creating and sticking to a budget, and paying taxes.
English and Reading
My main goal is to inspire a love of reading in Abby. I love to read, but neither one of my kids ever gravitated toward it as a hobby because it was difficult for them for a long time. We’ve got library cards, and that’s about as much direction as I’ve given her. She will read one hour a day and report back to me what she is reading, and her thoughts about it.
Government and Economics
Abby’s already taken economics, but it’s such a passion of mine that I wanted to explore it with her! Again, I’m all about the experiential learning, so we are planning to take field trips and really dig in to what propels our government and the way we live.
I have researched a slew of documentaries and TV shows to enrich that education (see below!), and we’ll be watching them together and discussing them. I have to say, this is what I’m most excited about!
Abby’s interests and career options are propelling our electives choices. I’ve also incorporated the life skills necessary for being a responsible member of society. Currently, she’ll be studying:
- Culinary Arts – We will cook together, plan meals, watch cooking shows, and we have planned a special trip to Las Vegas where she can see the artistic side of culinary arts with some of the most renowned chefs. We have a great culinary institute here in Cincinnati that we will tour as well! Cooking is a passion of Abby’s, but not necessarily something she is certain about as a career, so this exploration will help her discern that.
- Animal Science – While in Las Vegas, Abby is also going to get the opportunity to be a dolphin trainer for a day, which is very exciting for her! We’ll be exploring veterinary science and zoology as well, looking deeper into some of the career options in those fields.
- Health and Wellness – Because Abby lives with a number of health conditions, an extremely important part of her adulthood will be managing her own healthcare and medications. I am starting the process of handing that responsibility over to her, so she will be do research on medications, alternative healthcare, supplements and nutrition, and will also be keeping a food log and managing her diet and exercise routines.
- Life Skills – Aside from health and wellness, there are some skills for life that even most adults don’t have. I teach an email and digital organization course as part of All Access, and we’ll be digging into that and other resources to learn about how to manage your digital life. From email to calendars to social media, organizing the digital world is where we are turning our focus in this elective.
How I’m Keeping It All Organized
I’ve worked with homeschooling parents and kids before. I’ve organized their homes, their school rooms, and spoke at their conventions. And I am always amazed at the amount of paperwork that comes along with homeschooling!
Of course, I’m using our very own Organize 365 Homeschool Friday Workbox to manage all of the paperwork. The Sunday Basket and Friday Workbox routines are second nature to me at this point, and I’m finding the slash pockets especially useful in dividing up our unique curriculum and tasks for both Abby and myself. As I recommend that everyone does, I’ve also customized the slash pockets to work for our exact purpose.
Documentaries and Movies
Here’s where you can source all of the documentaries and movies we will be watching as part of our government and economics curriculum (contains affiliate links):
|Title||About||President||Where to watch||Length|
|Bridge of Spies||U-2 Spy Plane is Shot Down||Eisenhower||Amazon $2.99||movie|
|Good Night and Good Luck||Senator McCarthy||Eisenhower||Amazon $2.99||movie|
|The Race for the White House||High-Stakes Presidential Elections||Various||CNN||series|
|The 60s: 2 the World on the Brink||Cold War||1960||CNN||44|
|Primary 1960||1960 Primary||JFK||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|Thirteen Days||Cuban Missile Crisis 1962||JFK||Amazon $2.99||movie|
|The 60s: 3 the Assassination of JFK||JFK Assassination||1960||CNN||44|
|JFK||JFK Assassination||JFK / LBJ||Amazon $2.99||movie|
|The 60s: 4 the War in Vietnam||Vietnam||1960||CNN||44|
|The Path to War||Vietnam||LBJ||YouTube $2.99||movie|
|The 60s: 5 a Long March to Freedom||Civil Rights||1960||CNN||44|
|All the Way||LBJ Passes the Civil Rights Bill||LBJ||Amazon $9.99||movie|
|The 60s: 7 the Space Race||Space||1960||CNN||44|
|All the President’s Men||Watergate||Nixon||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|The 70s: 2 US vs Nixon||President Nixon||1970||CNN||44|
|The 80s: 2 the Reagan Revolution||President Reagan||1980||CNN||44|
|The 80s: 4 Tear Down this Wall||Cold War Ends||1980||CNN||44|
|The War Room||President Clinton’s 1992 Campaign||Clinton||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|The 90s: 2 Clinton the Comeback Kid||President Clinton||1990||CNN||44|
|The 90s: 3 Can We All Get Along?||Clarence Thomas||1990||CNN||44|
|The 90s: 4 New World Order||Major Political Events||1990||CNN||44|
|Recount||2000 Election||Bush||Vudu $2.99||movie|
|The 90s: 5 Terrorism Hits Home||Oklahoma City||1990||CNN||44|
|W||President Bush||Bush||Vudu $2.99||movie|
|The 2000s: 2 Mission Accomplished||Global War on Terror||2000||CNN||44|
|The 2000s: 4 Quagmire Bush’s Second Term||President Bush||2000||CNN||44|
|Mitt||Mitt Romney’s Presidential Race||Obama||Netflix||movie|
|Snowden||Former CIA Leaker||Obama||Amazon – Included with Prime||movie|
|The 2000s: 7 Yes We Can||President Obama||2000||CNN||44|
|Title||About||Where to Watch||Length|
|The Help||Servants||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|The Butler||Servants||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|The Impact of Money|
|Cosby Show Pilot||Budgeting||Amazon $1.99||24|
|Trading Places||Impact of Money||Netflix||movie|
|Brewster’s Millions||Spending Money||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|The Coal Miner’s Daughter||Rise of Singer Loretta Lynn||Amazon $2.99||movie|
|The 80s: 5 Greed is Good||Materialism||CNN||44|
|Supersize Me||Gluttony||Amazon – Included with Prime||movie|
|Wall Street||Greed||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|2008 Economic Crisis|
|The 2000s: 6 the Financial Crisis||2008 Financial Crisis||CNN||44|
|Too Big to Fail||Greed||Amazon – Included with Prime||movie|
|The 80s: 8 the Tech Boom||computers||CNN||44|
|The 90s: 6 Information Age||Technology||CNN||44|
|The Social Network||Amazon $3.99||movie|
|The 2000s: 5 the i Decade||Technology||CNN||44|
If you tried any of my suggestions, I’d love to see them! Follow me on Instagram and join the Facebook group for more great organizing tips, then share your photos with me by tagging me @organize365 or using #organize365!