By Katja Kromann

Yes, we started homeschooling - part I

Yes, we started homeschooling - part I
This morning I decided that I would post a little bit about a new adventure that we have taken on: Homeschooling!

Interesting word, right? It conjures up pictures right away!

Why homeschool?

I can only speak for our family as there are as many reasons as there are homeschoolers. I can pretty much sum it up like this.

I want:

But that is way too short you say? You want to know more?

I have been very inspired by Alfie Kohn's work such as: The homework myth. Here is an article as well. And Punished by Rewards, also by Alfie Kohn.

Here is another great website: No Agenda with some interesting statistics:

Homeschool kids
  • Perform 30-37 percentile points higher on standardized testing in reading and math
  • Read at or above grade level
  • Participate in 5-7 activities outside the home (on average)
  • Are more likely to attend college and finish with a higher GPA
  • Are more likely to say They're happy (They totally got me with this one)
  • Are more likely to feel capable of changing the world
You might have questions about socialization as well. Many people have written about it here and here and many other places, so I will leave it at that.

There is lots of great information in the those two links alone and if you want to learn more about homeschooling in general. What it is and what it is not.

But all that aside, we truly homeschool because now that we have tried it out for half a year   we just love it!!

Ok, so with that out of the way, what I really wanted to talk about is what we have planned for this years first semester of 5th grade.

First off, I have given some thoughts to what our essentials should be. We live a pretty uncluttered life and I do not want that to change drastically even though I do realize that we are going to be buying some materials. Of course.

Here is what I have narrowed down so far.

1 Microscope - I have not bought one yet, but this is the one I am considering. You can get a camera attachment for it to transfer images to the computer., 2 Calculator, 3 Tablet, 4. Markers, 5. Pencils (+sharpeners, erasers and paper), 6. Paperless writing tablet. Write with a pen - click button to erase. This is going to be great for on the go!

We are going to cover the five subjects: Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts and PE (Physical Education). To that, we have added one back in that the public schools have taken out: Arts.

We have chosen a science based path. Again, there are a million ways to do this. That's what is so great about it!

We have decided in our family that the earth is probably more than 10.000 years old and it was probably not created in 6 days. I am just putting that out there so that you can immediately identify if our curriculum choices will be of interest to you without having to guess or speculate.

We do have some "Christian" curriculum, which comes highly recommended by the secular community and I will identify those when they are mentioned.  


1. Singapore Math, 2. Math facts flash cards, got them in the Target $1 section, Khan Academy, Life of Fred (Christian content - very little)

For math our main book is going to be Life of Fred because that is by far the most interesting math book we have come across and my son thinks its fun! What we like about it, is that we can read a chapter together about the dog, Fred, and his life. At the end of each chapter there are 7-10 questions relating to the chapter. All different, no repetition.

Last year we did Life of Fred Jellybeans. It worked out that we read a chapter a day and then did the questions. We would supplement with Khan Academy by watching the videos on whatever topic we were reading about. I would also print out some work sheets to learn about the same topic from a different angle.

This last part was a bit time consuming so this year we are going to supplement with Singapore math 4a+b (which is 5th grade level). This way we will also be sure that we are not skipping a topic.

After receiving 4a and b and thumbing through them, I think they are bit on the easy side for my son, but that is ok. We can go at our own pace and then continue on to 5a+b when we are ready.

This year I asked my son if he had any goals or wishes for the school year. What would he like to learn and do, and here is his list:

1. Learn more difficult math
2. Do wood working with Dad
3. Learn computer programming
4. Learn Japanese
5. Learn to cook

1. To know the math facts 1-10 by heart
2. To know the names of all the states and their capitals.

So, we are going to look more at algebra and accelerate math to his pace.
We have also set aside a half hour every week to go over math facts. We have flash cards. We play a ball game where you throw a ball back and forth, and say the facts on the rhythm. I found an online game: Timez Attack, and there are some card games we are going to try as well.

Check back tomorrow for my next post where I will share our plans for Science, Social Studies, PE, Language Arts, and Arts.

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This article: Yes, we started homeschooling - part I first appeared on

Katja Kromann
About Katja Kromann

I am a Danish American decorating life in Seattle. I love all things design and DIY.

I can’t think of anything more fun than coming up with project, making it, photographing it and sharing it with you on my websites.

I am a Graphic Artist, a remodeller and home maker by day. My Portfolio
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