Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Memory Keeping and the Homeschool Experience

Homeschooling takes a lot of time and dedication. It's always been worth it for me. I love seeing how my son has grown and developed during his academic career. I love being able to be there and gain a first hand insight on the way his mind tackles learning. I love spending my days with him completing projects or setting out on field trip adventures.

 Today,I got to sit down and talk about memory keeping and the homeschool experience on the Paperclipping Roundtable. We talked about finding ways to fit scrapbooking into the homeschool schedule as well as what parts of the homeschool experience we choose to document. I thought I would share a few of the layouts I have made which features our homeschool memories.

Our family began our homeschool journey when my son was in preschool. We connected with a homeschool group that offered activities for little ones. It was a wonderful way to see if homeschooling would work for us.We found it fit well with my husband's non-traditional schedule. He has worked in the theme park and resort industry for many years. Often, he is working when many kids are usually out of school.Homeschooling allowed him to be a big part of my son's life. I also found that I loved being involved with my son's education. Homeschooling meant I could continue to be there first hand. We continued our involvement with local homeschool cooperatives. This  made it possible for my son to experience being part of a classroom,class parties and ceremonies. Basically,  he was able to join in on many of the same experiences that are a part of the traditional school experience.

Graduation ceremonies are just as much a part of the homeschool experience as they are in traditional school settings. For this layout,I copied the cover of my son's graduation program and added it in with photos of him receiving his certificate. ( this layout originally appeared in an article for Get It Scrapped featuring ideas for Milestone Ceremonies) This was one of several Milestone ceremonies my son attended. 

While I often use school themed supplies to tell my stories, I also use other themed product to match the story's theme. This layout documents my son at his first homeschool Valentine's day party.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is having pajama days. I went to a traditional school growing up but would have preferred this far more. I sometimes make comparisons in my journaling about my school experience versus my son's school experience. Though I will admit that those comparisons need to be made more often.

 Many of my earlier layouts were about one aspect of homeschooling at a time. My goal during my son's high school years will be to do some day in the life or week in the life style projects. These will highlight his daily experience as well as giving me more opportunities to highlight differences in our childhoods. This project life spread was made at the beginning of our Spring Term last year. I included a card about our schedule of classes. I love that my son gets some choice in the classes he can take.

Since my son is home with me, he is very involved with housework. Now that he is older, he often helps me with my chores or cooking meals.I appreciate the help for it allows me more time with him and with my scrapooking. I try to snap photos every so often to document the way he helps me out.
I do my best to document my son's classes. This can be an excellent opportunity to use themed supplies. I try to take a photo with him and every completed project. In some cases, I try to be mindful of an ongoing project and take pictures at each stage. For example, my son has been learning to mod Minecraft. The project has spread out over almost a year. I take a picture every week or so when he has made a significant change to his project. I hope to make a Project Life style spread showing his progress all the way to completion.

One of the advantages of having a high school age kid are the online classes. My son is becoming more independent which means I have more time for scrapooking and working with the DigiScrap Geek Podcast. While I am podcasting, my son is often working on his own. My creative space is shared with our homeschool space. I like to snap photos of my son working in the background. It provides a bit of perspective for me. Though this layout is really about my cat pestering me during my podcasts, I love that my son can be seen hard at work in the background.

As my son gets older, the focus on school work has changed. Some of the way I tell his school stories has changed as well. It's not just about him on the first day of school or completing a project now. This past fall was my son's first day of high school.For the first time in a long while, we talked about grade level.I am struck with the fact that our homeschool journey is nearing completion.I often reflect more about that in the journaling of my layouts.

I wouldn't trade out homeschool experience for anything. Sure, there are hard days. The good days far outweigh those.  Looking back at these layouts has done two things for me. One, I have seen my son's progress through his academic career. Two, I have gotten to see how much I have grown and changed as a memory keeper. There are still things I want to document. Talking with the panel of the Paperclipping Roundtable today reinforced this and also gave me a fresh perspective. If you are a homeschool family, I hope it does the same for you.

Head on over to the Paperclipping Roundtable to check out Episode PRT238- Yellow Schoolbus. 


  1. Very thoughtful post, meaningful and a joy to read. I'm not a homeschooling mom, though I'd considered it very seriously when my twin boys were going into kindergarten. I ended up not, there are health issues and other circumstances that needed to be considered, and as it turned out, I had made the right decision. They are sophomores in high school now, honor students, and my daughter does well in 5th grade. I still find it interesting to read about homeschooling, and sometimes do wish things could have been different. I enjoyed your layouts. I'm in a time is passing so fast phase. Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading your perspective and seeing your amazing layouts. Michelle t

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Choosing a school option for your child is always a very personal decision and it's unique to every family.

  2. I love your perspective here! I will have to talk with my Mum some day to see her perspective and remember to share my own on the pages I cent about homeschooling too. Even though I remember the home school days well (I was 13 when all came home for school) I haven't really thought about her side of the story.