From Homeschool to Public School

Big changes are happening for the Creekside Family this fall.  Firefly, our 10-year-old, will be returning to public school for his 5th grade year, after 4 years at home.  This is not something that was even on our radar a few months ago.  But, after lots of family discussion and investigation into what a return to school might look like, we came to this decision.  

Most importantly, the reason we are going down this path is that it is the right thing for this particular child, at this particular time. That is, after all, why we went down this wonderful homeschooling path to begin with. That is why only one of our children is going to public school right now. That is why, odd as it may seem, I still consider this a part of Firefly’s homeschooling journey.

Will he go on to 6th grade in public school? I don’t know. Will he ever return home for his schooling again?  I don’t know that either. We will make that decision year by year, as we have done every year of his academic life. We will do what works for him and for our family. 

Firefly is happy. He is looking forward to going to school. We are doing many things to prepare him for this big change.  And, we are adjusting ourselves. We will all miss him. There are two younger siblings who have never known homeschooling without their big brother. There is the school’s schedule and time clock that we will all now work with and around. 

Creekside Learning will not change. I will still be writing about learning ideas and activities for preschoolers through elementary ages. My focus has always been to create a place where families and teachers can find resources and get inspired by hands-on learning, regardless of whether their kids/students go to school at home or in brick building. And that will continue. 

There is so much more I could write here, but it feels like such a personal part of our family’s story right now. Perhaps I will write more in the future. For now, I wanted the eyes who so graciously read my blog to know that we are, at this point in time, an academically blended family.  

We feel so very fortunate to have supportive friends and family surrounding us, a neighborhood school that is welcoming us and the experience to know that if our new schooling situation isn’t the right fit, we always have choices. 


From Homeschool to Public School | Creekside Learning

Firefly at age 5, our first homeschooling year.



Homeschool Curriculum : What We Love This Year!

If you start your homeschool year around September–good news! You’re in the home stretch in February. It’s a great time to take stock of your homeschool curriculum. What did you start with?  What’s really working, sparking learning and going well? What are you just slogging away at, trying to make it through? 

Homeschool Curriculum  What We Love This Year

Here’s what’s working for us so far this school year.  [Read more...]

Evolution of a Homeschooling Momma

I am in my own evolution as a homeschooling momma, who was publicly schooled herself, who was and is entrenched in the culture of “school” and what kids should learn and when they should learn it and how they should write paragraphs each day in neat grammatically correct handwriting starting in 1st grade. They should learn about history whether they care about it or not. They should do seated work for hours each day. They should experience the bulk of their learning by listening to teachers talk.

That is what my inner-schooly voice whispers to me when I start to panic because my daughter refuses to do formal reading curriculum, opting instead for her markers because she has another story in her head that she needs to draw on paper right now, Mom. And when I realize that despite all the math my son does, his publicly-schooled friends are doing complicated long division and we haven’t gotten to that yet.

evolution of a homeschooling momma

Panic sets it. Not because I doubt my kids can learn the things they need to learn. Oh, I know they will. They’re bright kids. I panic because [Read more...]

She Can Fly. Oh, Yes. She Can.

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Art Class

We were learning about Monet and Van Gogh, two of the world’s greatest artists, and my 7-year-old daughter asked:

Are there any artists who are women? Ok, I’m on it.

So I introduced her to George O’Keefe.

Then she asked, Are there any great artists who are women, who are alive?  Woah.

So I introduced her to Faith Ringgold.

She was transfixed. She loved Faith’s art. Faith Ringgold, she declared, was her very favorite artist. We didn’t know then, that in just a couple of months she would meet her idol in person.  [Read more...]

Feed Their Imagination

My 6 year old daughter, The Bee, stays up late every night, sometime later than I do, drawing and making books full of characters, with plot lines and humor and detailed drawings of their expressions and outfits.

In the morning, she shows me her stories. Sometimes we add words to them. We have stacks and stacks of these books in our house. We don’t say, “Maybe you will become an author and an illustrator one day.” because she already is. She has sold her books to friends and family and to strangers at a yard sale to earn money for something she wanted to buy.

As time passes, her drawings become more detailed. When we read books together, which is often, she studies the expressions of the characters, the shadows, the details of the way feet look when someone is illustrated as running or jumping.


This is how we feed her imagination. We could insist that she go to bed, lights out by a certain time each night, because that’s what 6 year olds are supposed to do, right? They shouldn’t be up at 10 or 11 o’clock every night, should they?

We made only a few half-hearted attempts to get her to go to sleep earlier back when she was five. Realizing that this was her most creative time of day, we switched gears, and instead, we ask her, as she heads upstairs for the night, “Do you have enough drawing paper?” This is her great imagination time.


Over at Kiwi Crate this week, we’ve been having some Valentine fun with Conversation Heart math. Stop by and see how we customized this activity for various ages and math levels.

conversation heart math