A Simple, Gentler Approach

Thursday, October 12, 2017

 It's taken me quite a while to figure out what I want our homeschool to look like.  I tend to be the person that has to try just about every possible option before I figure out the right one.  We started the year strong.  I had a plan in place for Kaitlyn to finish out our Bitty Beginnings printables.  I had Summer covered with Abeka K5 and Abby was moving into fourth grade with a mix of Abeka and a brand new (to us) spelling program, Spelling You See.  I had curriculum purchased in July (which never happens), plans printed, worksheets organized, plans for a 4-day school week to correspond with my husband's work schedule and thought we were good to go.

A few days into our year, things weren't working. I was spending too much time with Abby--which left both of us frustrated--and not enough time with the other two girls.  We typically try to knock out most of our school during Callie's nap and were spending 2+ hours just completing math and language worksheets.  While I've had a love/hate relationship with Abeka in the past for several reasons, I always came back to it.  Why?  Honestly, I'm not sure--maybe it was an easy purchase that gave me some reassurance that subjects would be covered without much work on my part.  Problem is--it just doesn't work with Abby.  Eight days in we switched to Teaching Textbooks and Abby is enjoying math!  I also purchased IEW's Bible Heroes to help with writing, but haven't actually started using the program...yet.  Summer, on the other hand, does fine with Abeka. She could sit and do worksheets all day, whereas Abby cringes at the sight.  On a positive note, Abby does love their science and history.

The new changes made our day go somewhat smoother allowing me to spend more time with Summer and also with Kaitlyn, but I still felt a slave to the curriculum and also my own plans for Kaitlyn.  I was becoming so stressed and burned out that I was losing motivation, creativity and felt so uninspired.  It was basically--let's just get this done so we can get on with our day.  My to-do list was growing longer by the day, fun activities were being pushed back further and further and I never felt like we could really dive into the subject or branch out because it would set us back.  On top of that, I had theme related toys, books and manipulatives piling up from our latest preschool week.  The amount of "stuff" was creating a problem.   That's not how I envisioned our homeschool.  I am not looking to re-create school at home, teach by the book, spend all our time indoors, compare our preschool week with others and spend countless hours preparing activities--but that's what was happening. 


At the same time I realized my blog and social media had both moved away from sharing about all my girls to just my preschooler.  I started this blog to document our journey through the years, not just focus on one age range. Since Kaitlyn is nearing the end of her letter of the week activities, I saw the chance to make a big move. I wanted to do something completely different than what I've ever done before.  I wanted to embrace a more simple, gentler approach which I talked about here. I'm not even sure how I found it, but I stumbled on The Peaceful Preschool.  It took me several weeks of researching and debating if this would be a good fit for us.  Was it too simple?  Would we get bored?  Would we love it? I envisioned this gentler approach as being a way to include all my girls in many of the activities they already enjoy, while also introducing them to new ideas.  


That same night, I stumbled onto Exploring Nature with Children.  It seemed perfect and a fun addition that would enhance our week allowing all the girls to participate and encourage more outdoor exploring.

We are really excited about this new direction and I can't wait to share how we make it work for our family!


  1. I am so excited for all of you!!! This is an exciting new adventure & I can't wait to follow your progress. Keep us posted.