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Day in a Homeschool Life // Patty-Jean St Hilaire

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This post is part of a series called Day in a Homeschool Life. This community of homeschoolers would love to hear from you about your typical learning day and how your homeschool family rolls. Head over to the Day in a Homeschool Life page for submission guidelines. It’s super easy and stress-free. Come on over and help us build community so we can all feel a little more connected on this journey! 

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PATTY-JEAN ST HILAIRE  // ECLECTIC // 5 CHILDREN


 

// From Kris: I’m thrilled to share Patty-Jean’s post with you today. The only sad part on my end is that she is living up North. I feel like we’d be fast friends with a shared interest in Waldorf education, attachment parenting, blogging, and owning a couple businesses. Hopefully one day we’ll meet! 

 

 

Tell us about yourself…


Thanks so much for welcoming me in to your Day in a Homeschool Life event! It’s an honour. I’m Patty-Jean, an average Mama, along with my Francophone husband René, we have our ‘Little Quiver‘ of five creative souls. Our oldest girl is 10, then boy, 7, girl, 5, boy, 3, and 18 month baby boy.   After stumbling into birthing at home and some attachment parenting philosophies…homeschooling seemed to blossom naturally out of that.

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What method of homeschooling do you practice?

Today our homeschool may look like a mix of some Waldorf Inspired {story/fable telling, character development before academics, and copywork}, some Charlotte Mason and some Unschooling.

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Do you use a curriculum? If so, which one?

When I first started to tip-toe into homeschooling {our oldest would have been preschool aged}, it was clear she wasn’t naturally bent towards academics. She was unlike some of my hardcore peer’s children who could spout off the spelling of triceratops at age four. I knew if she or any of my other children were anything like “this ADD-artist person” {meaning me}, a creative approach might be a good direction for us…so I delved into reading about Waldorf inspired homeschooling, and later Charlotte Mason. In the past we’ve used Christopherus Waldorf curriculum, Oak Meadow,  and Ambleside Online. Today it’s a mosaic of this and that, some online resources, and recently we started making our way through the Essential Oil Integrative Medical Guide for Science.

 

Describe a typical homeschool day for your family. Or, as you may have been asked – What do you do all day?

We arise in the morning casually. It’s not obscenely late…but children are sitting down to eat a wholesome nutrient dense breakfast in their pj’s while they see the school bus go by. And the rhythm continues a little like this:
Morning Chores
{In Spring/Summer/Fall; a Morning Walk outdoors or Gardening}
Family Worship/Music/ListeningPrayer/Meditation
Family Lesson {Mama reading Geography/History/Science text and chatting about it}
Copywork {Waldorf inspired for the youngers, Charlotte Mason inspired for the olders}
Math online from Khan Academy
Reading to another sibling
Lunch; Green smoothie, with some protein and a carb
Outdoor play
Quiet time  {naps for the youngers, reading or quiet activity for the olders}
Supper prep and Prep for evening extra curricular activities like Dance, Taekwondo, Girl Guides etc…
That is a run down of an ideal day…I don’t fret if we miss an activity or two. Life is School.

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What is your favourite homeschooling resource – book, website, etc.?

With five children, it’s like having a one-room school house. I love implementing family lessons because the children learn from each other and learn at their own level. Math became quite a chore in the last year or so, trying to address the different levels. Khan Academy online has been a great help to me for that. I also love www.MainLesson.com where many classics are published online for free, including  Charlotte Mason and Waldorf homeschooling outlines. I love, love the fairy tales, fables and classics…we could probably be categorized as possible classic literature hoarders.  My other favorite resource is the outdoors – experiencing nature, creation, gardening, the dirt, bugs, plants and all sorts of this exploration. We currently live in northern Manitoba surrounded by this great education!

It was a great joy to me when one day my newly turned seven year old son ran up to me extremely enthusiastic because he had correctly identified and found the wild herb, horsetail, all on his own just from guides and our beloved Wildcraft board game.  In some environments a child might be mocked for this innocent beautiful curiosity.

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Greatest joy in homeschooling (can be broad or a specific moment)?

Being near my children!

Seeing them grow up, learn and bloom before my eyes, this is a treasure to me. With the understanding that neural connections in brain development happen all the more concrete when there is positive relational connection in the learning, {for me} homeschooling is like choosing a living nutrient dense diet over a conventional diet. I love seeing them love learning! To see their own curiosity give birth to new enthusiastic knowledge, self taught is a bit of a miracle.

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Greatest struggle with homeschooling (can be broad or a specific moment)?

I struggle sometimes with thoughts like, “will my children have learned enough?” “are we doing enough academics?” But I’m at peace with the fact that every education has strengths and weaknesses.  If refugee children coming from no education are catching up within two years academically, I remind myself not to fret over the decade or more of home education we will do.

 

How to you manage homeschooling and regular household stuff? Any awesome tips?

If you’re new to homeschooling – what would you like to ask more experienced homeschool parents? If you’re a veteran, what nugget of wisdom can you off to those starting out?

 

I am far from a super-mom. I probably don’t have much to offer in way of “Tips”, I regret to say.  Organization and planning is a skill I could grow into more. It can be a delicate balance between the chaos and the rhythm of children getting along, housework, cooking and preparing food from scratch, homeschooling, teaching several dance classes a week outside the home, and we also own two businesses…but I can say that in all the busy revolution of daily rituals and commitments, taking the time to smell the roses, reading and relishing some stories with children on our laps and around us,  waking up in bed with ‘littles’ creeping in for some morning snuggles, taking time to smile in the face of our children…This is Living.

 

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For more about Patty-Jean’s homeschool journey, be sure to visit her beautiful blog, Little Quiver.

 

Readers – Please feel welcome to ask questions or share in the comments – let’s keep everything positive!

 

 

 


For learning resources, check out the Homeschool section in our shop – lots of free printables and more.

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The products – Amazon or otherwise – that I specifically recommend in blog posts are products that we love in our home – if they aren’t they are on my wish list, or highly recommended by a friend – such as in the Day in a Homeschool Life posts. Our bookshop has a mixture of tried and true, and wish list items. If you ever have any questions about a product we link to, please don’t hesitate to ask! Thank you for your support!