Check Out What We Don’t Do In Homeschool!


There are things that we don’t do in homeschool. Why? Because this is what works best for us; not doing all subjects every day, following what the schools are doing, having a set time, pushing them to stay on track or get ahead, among others. Are these things that you do or don’t do?

I love the flexibility there is in how we homeschool. We don’t all have to do it the same. If you want to be school at home you can. If you want to be unschooling you can. This is one of the beautiful aspects of homeschooling. There are certainly things that we do that are “normal” and there are things that we don’t do. This is how we roll. 

I am often asked. Oh so what do you do for this and what do you do for that? And many times I have to answer and say I don’t. We don’t actually do that in our homeschool. We have made choices about how we’re going to do it and that means not doing some of the state of things that might seem a little counter to what schools are saying. But I am choosing to not live in a school fixated society that says what my children must learn and when.


Every subject every day

We don’t do every subject every day. It is not language arts, math, science, history and whatever it is that needs to be done and done every day. In fact, we don’t do every subject. History and science and not daily occurrences for us. We are not following a curriculum for these two subjects. Some days we might not do math, but we’ll do two lessons another day if we feel like it. 

I am a huge proponent of skills based learning so I focus on the skills that are needed for their age and I let their interests lead us in what we are learning. When they are interested in science, we do science. When they are interested in history, we do history. That is not to say that we will never do them more regularly. I love history and I want my girls to discover all the ancient worlds and even our modern history. It is important for us to not repeat some of the mistakes aof the past. But I am not going to force things on them that they are not interested in because all I will get is pushback

children in classroom, two children raising hands

Follow what other schools are covering content wise

We don’t follow what the schools are learning curriculum wise, subject-wise. Oh, should we be learning GA history? Oops. No, not really – we have chosen not to do it as they are not interested in it. 

When we do interest-based learning I find that my girls are more excited about doing anything that looks like any sort of form of formalized learning. When I try to move them into a subject that their friends are studying at school, I get pushback.  I’m happy to not have that pushback because I’m happy for them to learn what they want to learn as long as they are developing the skills they need. I follow skills based learning so following the schools is something we don’t do in homeschool.

Have a set time to do school

Did they start crafting and are engaged even though I wanted to start school work? Oh well. Let them craft. They are learning a lot there. 

In my mind I think it is best to get our learning done early because then it’s out of the way and then we have more informal learning through a play and crafting and all that jazz. But that is my mind. We don’t have a set time to do school because things come up like big ideas on what to be crafting. There might be a new cardboard box and look at all the things we can do with this! There might be the call of the hot glue gun that is wanting you to make something. Coloring pages might need to be completed. Or maybe it is the new Noodle bar Cafe that has been set up so that all the plushies can come and enjoy some fantastic noodles. Why should I stop this imaginative interactive creative play to say hey, let’s sit down and do some reading? That can wait.

It is totally okay if we do not get any of our to-do list school ways done until the afternoon or even just before dinner. It got done. But learning happened in so many other ways throughout the day so we don’t have a set time for schooling.

Have a dedicated homeschool space

We don’t have a big house that enables us to have a dedicated school space. I am 100% fine with this. Upsizing my house so I can have a room isn’t going to happen. I like the freedom to be able to learn wherever. We have a basket with materials, the girls’ Chromebooks and a box of pencils, erasers and sharpeners. We learn where they want to learn. Maybe that is at the kitchen table or maybe it is in their bedroom. Sometimes it’s outside on a blanket under a tree. Sometimes it snuggled up in mommy’s bed. We learn where they want to learn and not having a dedicated space is a wonderful thing.

don't do in homeschool - focus on handwriting. Child with handwriting sheet

Focus on handwriting and spelling

This might seem a little out there for those that know that I am a teacher. But I do not focus on handwriting and spelling. I have found that when I make it more formal and say “oh this is what we need to be doing. Let’s do handwriting. Let’s do spelling” that it becomes a giant suck and it takes us a while to get back on track. As we continue with reading and creative writing their spelling and the handwriting will get there. As long as they can physically write with a pen or a pencil I am fine. With all the technology that enables us to do talk to text or just record our stories, it can be hard to say “hey, this is what you have to do and if you don’t do it you are failing.” Because honestly that’s a message that gets spread out there and we don’t use that verbiage in our family.

Do I want them to have good handwriting and to be able to spell? Oh yes. I do think that it is important. But again, I am not going to force it to a point where I get so much pushback. I am not giving into my girls when we are not focusing on these things because of pushback, I am choosing to ignite a lifelong love of learning. That is the most important thing to me. As they are excited to learn they will learn. 

Pushing our kids to stay on track

As a society, we are pushing our children ahead earlier and earlier. This is something I struggle with in many ways. I do not believe that we need to be pushing children so that they are far ahead of what the standards say they should be. What is wrong letting children learn at their own pace? And who decided that certain things needed to be done at certain ages? As long as we are moving forward and getting better at what we are doing, that is the most important thing. 

So, we don’t force our children to stay on track with what the school system says they should be. We have talked about it, and we talk about where their friends are at, but I am not saying at all that they need to be matching where their friends are. All I want for them is to enjoy learning, to practice, and to get better. And in some things it will be faster and in other things it will be slower and they cannot compare with each other as twins. They each learn in different ways and so that is what they need to focus on.

Little girl standing on a field road on a summer sunset evening

At their own pace

Yes, I do have my girls sit the standardized tests at the end of each school year. This is not to be looking at how advanced or how behind they are, but to see what holes they might have and what I need to be focusing on with them in the coming school year. I personally do not care if it says they are reading two grade levels ahead or are exactly where they should be or they might be a little bit behind. I do care to see a progression each year that shows that they are learning, they are growing, that they are developing skills. But I’m not going to force them to stay on track. I want them to learn at their own pace.

So these are some of the things that we don’t do in homeschool. I know that that might cause some anxiety for others, but I’m okay with that. We have to do what works for us. Just like I say to everyone “do what works for you”. For us that means not having a set schedule, not following what the schools are doing, not doing every subject every day and all of those other things. In that, we have a good homeschool life and that is what is important.

Check out other posts:
Expectation – Advanced Early Development

Getting it Right – The Home and Homeschool Balancing Act
Gentle Parenting – What is it? Is it easy?

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