Advice from Homeschool Moms

How to Get Started Homeschooling and Why – Our Journey

Both my husband and I went to public school.  Our kids were going to go to public school too. Why? Because that’s how it was done. That is until when our first child was around 9 months and I started to search the internet for fun things to do with him. We did all kinds of things. For example, I had an under the bed tote that I used as a big sensory bin. I filled it with Cheerios, fabric, hard and soft toys, just to name a few. I would sit down with him and teach him his colors, shapes,  and animal sounds through songs, games and silly play. I was homeschooling. I just didn’t know it yet.

I was homeschooling. I just didn’t know it yet.

Flash forward a few months later and he is now little over a year. I began to look for more ways to incorporate learning into what I was already doing. I started a weekly learning board, mostly to keep me from teaching him the same things over and over. I’m a visual person who likes structure.

This is what our “school time” (but we didn’t call it that) looked like:

  • Monday – Theme of the Week
  • Tuesday – Letter of the Week
  • Wednesday – Color/Shape of the Week
  • Thursday – Number of the Week
  • Friday – Gross Motor


Lets go off this picture (the only picture I could find of our old learning board,  a quick cell phone shot to show Grandma where Elfie was)

Monday – I would tell him we are learning about birds this week! We would read a book or two I got from the library about birds, do a craft, and learn a new song.  I would also, at some point in the day, introduce a vocabulary word. For that entire day, we would talk about birds. Play with any bird toys we had, pretend to fly, and look out our window at birds on our bird feeder.

Tuesday – I would read him books about birds and show him the letter B. We would then do a craft about the letter B (not pictured because Elfie took it down…silly Elfie) and for that day we would talk about the letter B. Our lunch would maybe include berries and broccoli or black beans. We would play with alphabet puzzles and find the letter B. We would build with blocks. You get the idea.

Wednesday – This week the color and shape was yellow triangle. You could do these separately but at the age of 1 he knew colors and shapes very well. I had flash cards that we would play games with. I would lay a bunch of cards out and say, “find the triangle”, or “find the color yellow”. We would go on searches around the house for the color yellow or things that were shaped like triangles. I found so many ways to teach him through play. Again, I would try and include the “lesson” of the day in everything we did, including meal time, where we might eat cheese and bananas.

Thursday – I’d start with coloring a number or a craft that related to our theme and number. For the week in our example, we did two birds in a nest (paper plate & construction paper) Then, again, we would eat 2 sandwiches or have something silly, like two drinks, water and juice. Kids love things out of the norm! We would play a game where we jumped twice, clapped twice, that day it was all about the number 2.

Friday – I’d do some kind of gross motor activity. I believe this week we flapped our wings, “flew” around the house, and built a nest out of blankets.

That’s how it went for many months.  You might be asking HOW? How did I come up with the ideas? How did I find time to plan the activities? Well, the internet was a big help with ideas. Most of the time I would just wing it. As you can see from the picture below, we had just purchased something big (I can’t remember what) and I used the box to go with our space theme that week to build a rocket.


We would go to the library once a week as a family.  My husband would entertain him so I could look for books pertaining to that week’s theme. I always started with a letter of the alphabet and went of that. A for airplanes, B for birds, or C for cars. The possibilities are endless and so easy. Just go with the first thing that pops into your head. Some themes are easy to find books for like cars, airplanes, or dinosaurs. Some are more challenging; like foxes, or squirrels. It can sill be done, it just requires more creativity. My best advice on themes is to use what’s relevant to your child. If it’s Halloween, use P for Pumpkins. If they LOVE Pete the Cat, like my son, use P for Pete.

At this point, we still weren’t “homeschoolers”. I was just finding ways to have fun and not do the same thing day after day with my 1 year old. I wanted him to be well rounded and be exposed to all sorts of things. Then, as friends from the library and playdates started thinking about putting their children into preschool, I struggled with the idea. He already knew all his letters, the letter sounds, and the numbers 1 through 20. I didn’t want him to be bored and start to not LOVE learning the way he does. I really wanted to encourage his curiosity and love of learning.  Everywhere we would go people would comment with how advanced he is. Now, I’m going to say this. I DO NOT THINK MY SON IS A GENIUS, I just think we give him plenty of opportunity to learn and grow.

I DO NOT THINK MY SON IS A GENIUS, I just think we give him plenty of opportunity to learn and grow.

Where do we go from here? How long are we going to homeschool? I can honestly say we have no idea. We plan on doing what feels right for us and our family.

These days, we “school” differently but still the same in some ways. I never push him. If he doesn’t ‘get’ it that’s A-OK. Its about the exposure and experience. Learning should be FUN! We also still learn through play every single day.

I never push him. If he doesn’t ‘get’ it that’s A-OK. Its about the exposure and experience. Learning should be FUN!