It was around June that I realized that my 3 kids would most likely not be going back to school in person. I don’t really know how to feel about this, just as with so many things with this pandemic. One day I am excited because they grow up too fast and I get to enjoy them more, and the next, I want them all out because I want some space. But with so much uncertainty, I tend to focus on what I can control and what I will get excited about.
So I decided I’d learn more about homeschooling and set up a homeschooling space. Step one for the deep dive (because go big or go home, right?): join all the homeschool Facebook boards and follow the Instagram accounts. My first reaction: overwhelm. “Wait, there’s how many homeschooling methods? How many curriculum suppliers? Virtual school is not home school and our school is still working on our virtual plan? Where do I start?”
Deep breaths. I can do this. I find an Instagram account with all the expert home school moms talking about their favorite curriculum by subject. I read all the 120 responses per subject and identify some top favorites. I go to their sites, and fall in love with two: the good and the beautiful and beautiful feet books. Yay, I have a starting point! Many people tell me I need to know my child’s learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic?). I tell myself I’ll learn this in the first year because, honestly, I have no idea how to identify learning styles yet.
I ask which books to read on homeschooling, most people recommend “The Call of the Wild and Free: Reclaiming Wonder in Your Child’s Education.” I order it on Amazon, and cannot put it down. I am very surprised by how much I’m enjoying this, how much of this I agree with, how much of this I’ve actually tried to do without a method or a plan… and I learn more than I thought I would.
With a curriculum and a basic understanding of homeschooling, I move on to creating a space. I go to Pinterest and a Facebook board (Real Life Homeschool Spaces). I dive deep into creating a space for the kids to study.
I start by shopping around at my house. Did you know that those IKEA bookcases and desks keep being sold out? Lucky me, I have one that I move and repurpose. We also have an old IKEA round table and chairs that will be their workspace for now.
I am a book hoarder, and it serves me well because I have books on history, science, literature… I group them by subject and all of a sudden I have a mini library! I notice that my favorite books are Usborne, and I find out I know a consultant. I add to my library and plan an Usborne party.
I order maps from Amazon, and it makes me so happy to be able to learn the world and teach it to my kids. I may not be able to travel now, but I want to remember the fun times and share them with the kids. I find super affordable bookcases at Target (on sale for 25!) to complete the space. I am happy with the space I created, and so are the kids! It reflects what this family is and what I want them to learn.
Now the funny thing is, I am not going to fully homeschool them just yet. Some people think I’m crazy for keeping them at school virtually for now and trying to teach them with a homeschool curriculum as well. That works for me. If they want to go back in person and I’m not comfortable I’ll just pull them out of school, if I think it’s too much I’ll stop whatever’s not working… I’ve learned that in these times, accepting that your plan will keep changing is the best plan to have.
About Andrea Velez-Greene
Andrea Velez-Greene is originally from Colombia and has lived in the US for the past 20 years. She is a mom of 3, who is focused on learning how to live a healthier family life, incorporating oils, supplements, natural medicine, and clean food into her daily routines. Andrea has a Masters in International Management with focus in Marketing from Thunderbird, and has worked in Marketing in Tech for the past 12 years. She is also a Disney Travel Planner. Favorite things include traveling and learning about new cultures, interior design, reading and photography.