As a mom of five kids, one of the best decisions I’ve made in our homeschooling journey has been to prioritize learning as a whole family, instead of just focusing on individual curriculum for each child. This has simplified our days so much, and created a beautiful family-focused atmosphere within our homeschool. Family learning has been such a blessing to us!
There are so many ways that you can incorporate family learning into your homeschool. Many families do a Morning Time together or a family Bible time. Some families do literature based unit studies together as a family or just do family read alouds. Many families choose some subjects (like history) to learn together as a whole family unit, instead of doing them individually.
Why family learning?
If you have multiple children, you’ve probably at times felt the pull of going in several different directions at once. One child needs you in one place while another needs you somewhere else. If you homeschool, and you are trying to teach each child different subjects at different levels, this can make your days more complicated. Doing some subjects as a whole family simplifies your homeschool day, your planning, and can also save you a lot of money!
Curriculum that uses workbooks for each different subject doesn’t lend itself well to family learning. We don’t use many workbooks in our homeschool (only for math). Using books and journals, we can cover every subject, without any workbooks, and do it together as a family!
There are some curriculum companies that make it easy for you to do learning as a family – My Father’s World, Beautiful Feet Books, and Gather Round are a few that make it easy to learn together as a family. We love doing literature based unit studies and incorporating journaling into our learning. This is much less expensive than purchasing a boxed curriculum, and for my family, this has been the best option, because it has allowed us more flexibility than a full curriculum does.
It also makes it very simple to adapt the subjects to each individual child – they absorb and learn what’s appropriate for their age and ability. My older kids then go deeper on their own, beyond our family learning time, building on the things we learned together. But the family learning time serves as an anchor and a base for what everyone is learning, so we all have the shared experiences of learning together. This leads to so many great conversations throughout the day and weeks, since we are all learning the same things!
This YouTube video will be super helpful in seeing how we do family learning and which subjects we cover together:
How to start family learning
If you need help incorporating family learning into your homeschool, I’ve created a couple resources for you.
Whole Family Learning Course
This course will teach you how to create your own literature based unit studies, use journals to adapt the learning to different abilities, and feel confident in teaching all of your kiddos at once – from your littles to your high schoolers!
Homeschool the Non-School Way
This course includes Whole Family Learning – so it will teach you how to create your own literature based unit studies and journals to teach all of your kiddos at once. It will also help you to ditch the system mindset, find ways to homeschool without curriculum, and give your kids more independence and ownership over their own learning.