Kitchen Sink Homeschooling

I sometimes struggle with what to call our approach to homeschooling.

Calling it laid-back homeschooling somehow implies at least some small degree of laziness.

Calling it eclectic homeschooling seems negated by regimented aspects such as flash cards for math and spelling lists downloaded from

Organic homeschooling was a winner for a while…





  1. 1.

    relating to or derived from living matter.

    “organic soils”

But in the end, it just seems to include everything “and the kitchen sink” under the homeschool umbrella.

As I read from What’s Happening to My Body for Girls, Emily listened intently, while coloring in her new coloring journal from Aldi’s. As the text described the different parts of human ovaries, she colored in the words “Believe in Yourself” in a rainbow of colorful choices.

Her spelling list aced for the week, she puzzled over a math problem from Life of Fred Honey and we reviewed how 2 to the power of 4 worked. She wrote the answers down in the same notebook as the spelling words, her numbers sprawling over the page.

As I read from the Time Life for Kids reader Freedom Quilts, she added more details to a drawing of her new character Bumblebee and described her in detail, along with her alter ego.

We watched two TED talks – one about how the Litterati app is enacting social change while cleaning garbage up and about how there are only two hospices in the country for dealing with pediatric end of life. That one made us both cry.

The next day, we went on a long walk and picked up and filled to grocery bags full of trash and disposed of it in a public trash can. I find myself deeply invested in helping Em learned social awareness – championing the rights of the disenfranchised, improving our immediate environment by picking up litter, and generally promoting good citizenship.

And one of the best home runs came today, Friday, March 10th when I suggested she take all of the words she had missed on her first run at the spelling test this week and turn them into a story. Here is the result of that effort…

That’s a little difficult to read, so let me reproduce it, just as she has written it. I have put the spelling words in bold.

The Advenchers of the Sheriff

Vollum: 1

by Emily Shuck

onece there was a sheriff “Next week i will win the rodeo” said the sheriff the next day he packed up the wagon and took it to the train after a while the conducter said “sorry folks this is the end of the line!” “what?!! Said the sheriff “sorry but the railroad is geting worked on” said the conducter so the sheriffdeveloped a plan, on the train the sheriff had seen alot of wild horses out his window “hope yall got saddles!” said the sheriff smileing “why do we need saddles?” asked the other pasingers “you see them carbon life forces?” said the sheriff “we could ride em!” say the other passengers “yeah but do any of yall know the coordinates to the rodeo?” asked the sheriff. “I do! it’s to the south!” said a random person “grat!” said the sheriff after awhile thay came across a clearing in the trees and it was geting dark so thay decided to stay the night there. “i’ll cut down some trees for the fire yall can put the pit in one of the quadrants” a while passed and it was really dark the fire crackled and poped the sheriff looked up “wow an aurora” he said sleepilly the next morning “we shuld tack the charcoal!” said the sheriff. The End.

She has told me this is only part of the story.

If I had known how well she would have done, or how much it interested her, I would have done this a LONG time ago!

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