Do I really have to teach everything?

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Do I really have to teach everything?
There is so much to learn.
How can I teach it all?

Teaching the 3 R's

Let’s get right to it, shall we? Let’s discuss some of the subjects that need to be taught throughout your homeschool journey.

  • Math
  • Reading
  • Spelling/Vocabulary
  • Language Arts/Grammar
  • Phonics
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Literature
  • Social Studies
  • Geography
  • History (Both World & U.S.)
  • Science
  • Bible
  • Art
  • Music
  • Foreign Language

And let’s not forget that some of these subjects are broken down into sub categories in high school. Geesh! That is a lot to teach and learn.

Seems very overwhelming, doesn’t it?
The good news is that you do not have to teach all of that at the same time or even right away.

Here at Our Thrifty Home, I have some mind blowing information for you. Okay, so it’s not so mind blowing because you’ve heard it before. But maybe you haven’t heard it quite like this.

Teaching the 3 R's

THE 3 R’S:  

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

Question: Why do we call it the 3 R’s? Only the word Reading starts with an R.
{{ It’s a wonder that kids look at us adults like we’re crazy……we can be so confusing….. we make no sense!

Yeah, I know! This bit of advice wasn’t that impressive. You’ve heard it before.
But let me tell you why I brought it up and what I mean.


 Our philosophy is that if you can read, and you can write, then you can learn anything by research.
Math also falls in line with this.

From the beginning, I focused on Reading, Writing, and Math.  I figured out real quick that we didn’t have a bunch of time in the early elementary years to focus on things like History, Science, and a Foreign Language.

We focused on the steps it took to read like; alphabet recognition, phonics, and sight words. We focused on handwriting, learning how to form letters and then words, and sentences. Of course, Math is a main component in this as well. By focusing mainly on the 3 R’s in the beginning, we were preparing ourselves for learning how to find information we may need for the future.   Creating independent learners.

Creating Independent Learners


When the kids show(ed) and interest in something (i.e. why do we burp? where do inch worms come from? why does our nose make boogers? I want to know more about the creator of American Girl? I bet you can guess what questions came from our boys and what questions came from our daughter!)  we do our best to research their interests. It doesn’t have to be a long, in depth research activity, but just enough to answer their questions and their curiosity. You would be amazed at how much History and Science they can learn this way. Without a full or traditional (book style) History or Science curriculum.

Butterfly is now 10 (almost 11, if you ask her) and researches her own information all the time. She writes down events, people, subjects, or special interests she wants to learn about and when we go to the library she finds what she is looking for. She knows how to find it at the library and if she can’t find what she is looking for then she asks for the librarian’s assistance in finding it with her. *This is exactly my goal. Mission accomplished*

We also search the internet together (because the www is a scary place to just let them roam free. too much innocence can be lost too quickly there) for interests. This is teaching her to search the vast information that can be found on the internet. Because we live in a world that is consumed by technology, I find it super important to teach this form of research as well.

Drummer Boy and Mr. Funny Pants are learning how to do this, too. They require more of my help since they are younger in age. Right now they are more interested in researching things like Lego’s and Star Wars. But hey, that’s okay with me. They are still learning how to research.

Please don’t misunderstand me. We have done history and science, just not in the traditional form you might be familiar with. We read about certain subjects, create projects, and do science experiments.  We have done unit studies.

Have you tried Unit Studies? They are great for researching and learning. It’s a way that really instills researching a subject and kids will absorb the info better. Usually!

Unit Studies

The good news about doing it this way and focusing mainly on The 3 R’s, is that by the time they are in upper elementary they can learn and understand history and science better by doing some of the research on their own. Giving them the independence they need for their adult life.

There is time for the “other” subjects as they reach an older age. It has been my experience that when I tried to teach subjects such as History and Science (in the more traditional manor) to the younger age we were only repeating it at a later age anyway. By allowing them to research and find some of the info the older they are and when they can read it and write it on their own they seem to retain it far better anyhow.

Because we live a frugal and thrifty life, I have collected many American History, World History, Geography, and Science books from yard sales and thrift stores for our home library. We use them a lot to teach these subjects, thus eliminating the cost of buying an expensive history or science curriculum. This way information is there for them to find whenever they are reading to dive in and learn. Whether it be on their own or having me teach it to them.

We are now ready to do more history and science in our day because our kids are a little bit older and are able to read and understand more in-depth studies.

So please Mama’s (& some dads too) don’t fret too much in the beginning.

  1. Don’t feel like you aren’t doing enough.
  2. Don’t feel like you have to get it all in.
  3. Relax, have fun, and enjoy the early years.
I promise, things get easier with the more independent learners you create.



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