A year of homeschooling in review

One of my proudest moments (I say sarcastically) as a homeschooling mom is when people ask my kids what they do for school and inevitably their response is “nothing.” Through the years, with all three kids, that’s the standard response, then they usually look my way waiting for me to give a better answer. I never really have a better answer to supply. I stutter about trying to explain that we don’t really do book work like people are used to seeing in a typical school environment, then I try to extricate myself form the uncomfortable conversation. 🙂

Today Thomas had his end of the year assessment, one of the options Ohio homeschoolers can choose to stay in compliance with the regulations. In an effort to prepare a more thought out response than “nothing,” Thomas and I went through our calendar making a list of all the activities he’s participated in this past school year.

Man when you write them all down it is an impressive list! There is no way anyone would think we did “nothing” after reading this list.

Science classes at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery:

  • Tree house Trek, Science focus: forestry
  • Space Adventures, Cross-curricular; Science focus: space exploration; includes Space Adventures exhibit and NASA curriculum
  • Crime Lab Detectives, Science focus: forensics; includes Crime Lab Detectives exhibit
  • Toying With Science, Science focus: chemistry and physics of toys

Fri Co-op:

  • Literature Class: Huckleberry Finn, Charlie Skedaddle, Red Badge of Courage, To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Physics Quest
  • Consumer math
  • Mythology
  • Gym Class
  • Music Appreciation


  • Soccer
  • Indoor soccer
  • Floor Hockey
  • Ballroom Dancing
  • Gymnastics
  • Street Hockey Tournament
  • Bowling

Zoo Classes:

  • Mystery & Crime solving (with COSI)
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Boreal Forest
  • Furry, Feathery, scale, slimy
  • Animal Defenses
  • Predator/ Prey

Geography Club:

  • Sept. Oceans & Sea
  • Oct. Mississippi River
  • Nov. Poland
  • Jan. Middle East; Afghanistan & Pakistan (Three Cups of Tea)
  • Feb. Haiti & Dominican Republic (speaker)
  • Tour; OSU Map Room
  • March; map making

COSI classes:

  • Light & Optics
  • Toying with Science: Simple Machines
  • Boys discover engineering
  • Multi-media, social networking camp

Trips to:

  • St. Louis (St. Louis Arch, Museum of Westward Expansion, Budweiser Brewery)
  • Seattle (Pike Place market, Waterfront)
  • North Carolina (Beach, need I say more)
  • Florida (Disney World, very educational!)

Cincinnati Field Trip:

  • National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
  • National Steamboat Monument
  • Ohio River to go on a B&B steamboat


  • Nutcracker, ballet
  • Madeline, musical
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream, ballet
  • Pierce to the Soul, play
  • Farfalle- Butterflies, modern dance
  • Alice in Wonderland, ballet
  • Treasure Island, play

Columbus State Community College, Science Days

  • Brain dissection (sheep)
  • Geology Rocks

Tours of:

  • Ohio Statehouse
  • Kelton House
  • OSU Map Room
  • Windy Hill Organic Apple Farm
  • Air force museum
  • Stratford Ecological Center, From Sheep to Sweater
  • All Hallows Eve, Ohio Village
  • Chihuly Reimagined at the Franklin Park Conservatory
  • Chihuly Illuminated at the Columbus Museum of Art
  • Abraham Lincoln Re-enactor Presents; Lincoln’s First Visit to the Statehouse on September 16, 1859
  • Re-enactment of the Repose of Lincoln at the Statehouse

Misc. programs

  • Ceramics
  • Made Hula Hoops
  • Went shooting at a shooting range
  • Science/ Interest Fair
  • Physics classes
  • Science of Gingerbread Houses; Workshop

5 thoughts on “A year of homeschooling in review

  1. Impressive. Of course, Thomas will still say he failed homeschooling. If it isn’t “sit down work” they just don’t feel like they’re working. That’s the key, though isn’t it? Tricky.

    • After our assessment Thomas now feels like he has officially “passed” 6th grade. 🙂 I guess he’s a middle-schooler now. We are adding a math program back into the school stuff, a year off from math did not produce very good results!

  2. Addition: Huckleberry Finn study (it went so well with the Underground Railroad Museum, Kelton House, and Steamboat trip on the Ohio)

    Good job, Sheila! And remember how you felt at the beginning of last year?

    • I don’t know why you’re telling me good job, you’re the one that organized all those trips. 🙂 I just tried to keep up! I knew that Huck Finn was in there, I kept telling Thomas he studied that but I guess his memory is worse than mine! How did I feel? Like we never get anything accomplished?

  3. WOW! What a year — you two did a lot!

    Does your Fri. co-op have room for any more or is it a private group?

    We’re currently planning out our year ahead and some of your ideas would work great for us. Thanks for sharing — I am taking notes 🙂

    P.S. Will Thomas be doing street hockey? My boys love it (coach John is fab) and we might sign them up — we’ll do that or ice skating Thurs afternoons, can’t decide 🙂

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