How we homeschool

I hang out with a few different homeschooling groups, some are structured homeschoolers and others are complete unschoolers and the rest fall somewhere in-between. I call what we do community-based homeschooling. We’re not quite unschoolers and we’re definitely not structured homeschoolers. Thomas is free to do what he wants 95% of the time and a few days a week I ask him to do a little math (thus the disqualifier from being a true unschooler.) The other day I asked Thomas his thoughts on doing math, he said he planned to continue doing it, using the same curriculum we’ve been using. He said it was something he needed to do. In the past we tried going for a year without doing any math and he forgot a lot of it. I’m glad that he’s choosing to do the math and that he sees the benefits. It makes my life much easier when he chooses to do the work.

At the end of the year Thomas and I go through our calendar and make a list of everything we did. It helps him remember all the fun stuff and gives him something to talk about at our assessment. Plus it’s really cool to see it all put together in a list, it really makes you feel like it was a full year of learning. Last year was the first year for this “year in review,” I blogged about it here.

One thing about all these classes and events, before I sign Thomas up for anything I ask him if he wants to do it. These are all things that he wanted to do. I’m lucky that I have a very easy going child that loves to do all sorts of things. When we saw how many fewer shows we went to this year, he chastised me because he really wanted to see the Cinderella ballet and it was my fault we didn’t go. Having a child that is interested in all of this makes it much easier, if he didn’t want to do any of these programs for the most part we would have skipped them. Occasionally there’s something that I really want to do that he may not be crazy about but even then he’s a good sport about going.

So here’s this years list of activities in no particular order:

Science classes at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery:

  • Animal Diversity
  • A-Mazing Sea

Gym & More Fri Co-op:

  • Literature Class: Beowulf, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, The Lady of Shallot, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll, Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Overview of Medieval Times & architecture
  • Medieval science and scarecrows
  • A day in the life of…
  • Armor and chivalry
  • Medieval Feast
  • Holiday Party, Gingerbread Castles
  • Gym Class
  • Musical Class
  • Math Lab
  • Wrote and performed 2 musicals: The Gothic Canoe Musical and The Legacy of the Cookie

Columbus Metro Unschoolers Co-op:

  • Art
  • Tennis
  • Manga
  • Hip- Hop
  • Floor Hockey


  • Soccer
  • Indoor soccer
  • Floor Hockey
  • Ballroom Dancing
  • Gymnastics
  • Bowling
  • Homeschool Gym
  • Rock climbing
  • Field Day
  • Sailing

Zoo Classes:

  • Polar Expedition
  • Year of the Tiger
  • Rainforest Adventure
  • Circle of Life – Food Webs
  • African Safari
  • Treasure Quest: Handheld Computer Quest


  • Volunteering
  • Youth Volunteer Winter Event
  • Boys Discover…Engineering!

Trips to:

  • Seattle (Pike Place market, Waterfront)
  • North Carolina (Beach, need I say more)


  • Nutcracker, ballet
  • Legend of Sleepy Hollow, play
  • Just So – The Musical
  • BalletMet Up-close, various types of dance
  • Harry Potter (parts 1 & 2, how awesome is that!)

Columbus State Community College, Science Days

  • Polymers
  • Acid/base testing
  • Metals
  • Circuits
  • Effects of an Oil Spill I & II

Tours of:

  • Orville & Wilbur Wright Bike museum
  • Loveland Castle, aka Castle de Laroche
  • Mac-O-Chee Castle
  • Cedar Bog
  • Circle S Pumpkin patch
  • Ohio State House, judicial process in Ohio
  • Darby Creek, Bison
  • Newport Aquarium

Additional programs and classes

  • Went shooting at a shooting range
  • Science/ Interest Fair (did a project on yo-yo’s)
  • Chemistry classes (high school level Chemistry class)
  • OSU Football game
  • Pioneer Day at Mohican School
  • Homeschool Dance
  • Yo-Yo Event
  • Sky Zone
  • Zoombezi Bay
  • Columbus Art Museum (homeschool day)

Additional Art Classes

     Art with Heather

  • Polymer clay
  • Starry Night recreations
  • Encaustic wax artwork
  • Basics of drawing
  • Master Study class
  • Color Theory
  • Two Dimensional Art
  • Watercolor Painting
  • Master Study: Claude Monet
  • Chalk Pastels
  • Photography classes

     Art at Tuttle

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing & painting

    Art at the Riffe Center

  • Deep Space, photo collages


  • Halloween Party at Tuttle
  • COSI (250 hours)
  • Game Day with Somali immigrants

2 thoughts on “How we homeschool

  1. Here’s how we “homeschool”: Boy, have you done your summer reading?
    “Gosh. We’ll get to it. Let us handle it.”
    Two weeks til school starts. Clock is ticking.
    Your way, the old way, looks like much more fun.

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