Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homeschool: Sharing "What's Mine"

Mom, sharing what she loves!

First, and foremost, our homeschool does not look like public school.


Why not?

Because we live there, we pray there, we play there, we LOVE there. Our focus is on the "Home" part of the word, not the "School" part.

Our home is a Home of Learning.

The picture above is a photo one of my kids took during our school time. I was busy sharing "what's mine."

What's "what's mine?"

"What's mine" is a term my friend and author (who happens to also be a homeschooling mom), Rachel DeMille, uses to explain what she teaches to her children. Basically, "what's mine" includes the things I, as their mother, want them to know and understand.

Every few months, I sit down and I plan what I want to present to my children. I use a four year rotation as a personal preference, just because I know that if I don't plan, I forget what I want to share. It's just how my brain works, so I've learned to accept and embrace who I am and how I function.

(I also adore making spreadsheets. It's a disease, really, but thankfully it's been a useful one...)

Every day, my kids clean, cook, study the Gospel, do math exercises and read. Those are the basics around here. Then during our "school time," I share the other things I want them to learn.

  • Mondays we clean the house and I have Mentor Meetings with our scholar kids (12 and older). 
  • Tuesdays we go to our Commonweralth School classes (see more about that here:
  • Wednesdays we study history together.
  • Thursdays we learn about music. (Composers and music theory lessons)
  • Friday is our science day.

Four Year Plan

Because there are so many things to learn under each general subject, I put them on a four year rotation to be more organized. Here's what that looks like:

Year One
  • Gospel: Old Testament & Pearl of Great Price; 
  • History: Ancient
  • Science: Chemistry

Year Two
  • Gospel: New Testament
  • History: Modern World
  • Science: Biology

Year Three
  • Gospel: Book of Mormon
  • History: Geography
  • Science: Physics

Year Four
  • Gospel: Doctrine & Covenants/Church History
  • History: United States
  • Science: Astronomy & Earth Science
We are currently on Year Four.

Learning Resources

Obviously, we have a variety of ages and levels in our family. But we use materials that all can understand, and that are more hands-on and fun. Then the older kids can go in more depth on their own-- which they do.   A great resource for more in-depth, advanced learning that we frequently use is Khan Academy. (Our scholars do more advanced math there, as well.)

We also have a MULTITUDE of books the kids can read, too-- especially for history, which I think is one of the most important subjects anyone can know! 

Here's one of the great resources we are using for our U.S. History studies this year:

Found at Deseret Book

For Science, we are using this awesome book:

Found at Latter-Day Family Resources

For our music study, we read about a composer, listen to his music, and then we learn a little about music theory. My favorite composer book is this one:

Also from LDFR

We also read aloud as a family-- one of the most important things we do for our learning AND our family culture. Right now, we are reading this:

From Deseret Book

(And it's AWESOME!!!)

How much time?

Our "school time" is not very long-- about an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. Then the big kids go off and study on their own, and the little ones play. The middle ones are always working on some project or another. Those projects are usually hands-on, and often messy, but they have a lot of fun learning!

A lot of time is also spent cleaning, organizing, cooking, and fixing things. I believe that ALL of life is learning, and the practical life skills we all need are a major focus of "what's mine." 


I hope this little glimpse into our homeschool day might help others see that homeschool does not need to look like public school. I always try to remember that we are running a HOME, first and foremost. The rest happens organically.

I am so grateful for the freedom to teach my children the things that Heavenly Father wants me to teach them! I could not do any of it without Divine Inspiration. So, in reality, when I'm teaching "what's mine," I'm also teaching "what's His."

Love, Mama Rachel


  1. Love it! I'm always wondering what other's people's Kidschool time looks like. I used to have a plan... somewhere it fell off the turnip truck. LOL! Now I'm following the tracks of what I feel needs to be brought to the surface. We're focusing this year on history (back around to Ancient history this year) and personal management. Personal management includes 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, finance books, and education planning.

    I love your 4 year plan.

  2. I really need to get that new beyonders book! My kids have been on me to do it for a while now. :) Glad to hear it is awesome, I expected nothing less!

    It is always fun to see what others are doing in their HS time, so thank you for sharing yours.

  3. I like seeing what you do with your kids (most who are older than mine). I am so glad you share what's "yours" with us Moms, too! Even though you and I use different terms for what we do and how we do it, I see that you and I do many things alike. I think that is fun to see...running a home and family with a focus on service and education often ends up looking really similar sometimes! Oh, and another thing we have in common: Diane Hopkins' store at LDFR is fantastic. We shop there (online) each year (and for Christmas), she has great stuff, and I think especially for families teaching good values.

    Blessings to you!

  4. Thanks for sharing! Our day is pretty similar, but I'm often wondering if it's enough, or the "right way", so it's great to find another mama out there doing more home, than school and loving it too!


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