At Home,  Homeschool

“Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Eat a lot of good food. Spend some fun evenings watching movies, reading with, and doing music with your kids.”  

Two homeschool master theorists came together for an hour long zoom chat this week. Susan Wise Bauer, author of the four volume Story of the World (a series that tells history in the most fascinating read-aloud-friendly way) and The Well Trained Mind: a Guide to Classical Education at Home. And Julie Bogart, writing coach and author of The Brave Learner, an energetic and creative go-get-em homeschool book.

This is something that may have happened at a conference in the pre-COVID days, but instead I was able to watch on my couch with a heated blanket and a mug of sweet black tea. I put it on my calendar, announced it to the family, and lo: I listened in at 4pm in attentive silence.

Both women homeschooled their 4+ children. Susan classically, and Julie in a free-form unschooling “magic,” yet intensive way. Their books are full of ideas for curriculum, method, and approach. I can become overwhelmed reading their work, saying to myself “I might do one of these twenty ideas.”

As intense as that sounds, in Thursday’s talk, they were commiserative about life these days. It was an excellent call. I definitely recommend watching it, no matter which stage of homeschool-acceptance you are in right now. Julie compared grocery shopping now to doing an errand in a foreign country: you go to the Italian post office and come back home, ready for a nap. That rang so true for me. I’ve been anxiously hyped before each grocery visit.

Susan said seven-year-old boys who don’t like writing were about as common as autumn leaves in the fall.

Julie said to pick one or two subjects every day, and plan for no more than two hours of academic work of any sort each day total. Susan said she wishes she hadn’t been so dismissive of video games and comic books when her boys were little.

“Take a super short view and say: what do I want to do over the next two months? For each child, what is my number one priority, over the next two months? Put it in your calendar, make a physical note for two months from now. Decide then–do I still want to focus on this, or do I want to focus on something else?”[…] “Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Eat a lot of good food. Spend some fun evenings watching movies, reading with, and doing music with your kids.”

I hope you have a chance to enjoy it as much as I did. Link to the video of the call, posted on facebook.

dreamy sheep farm image via Thankful Sage Farm School




  • Darley Boit

    Hi, I’m Darley, and I am a junior in high school currently organizing an online conference with the goal of inspiring middle and high school aged girls to follow their goals despite sexism. My hope is that the conference will provide teenage girls with strong female role models. I have several amazing speakers lined up from all different professional fields, including Ashley Judd as my keynote speaker. However, I need help spreading word of my conference. The conference is free and I can host up to 450 girls (so space is somewhat limited). There are also volunteer opportunities for older teenage girls to host breakout room discussion groups during the conference, if anyone would be interested. I would love it if you all could share the event with your family, friends, and any other teenage girls you know!

    • Rachael

      Hi Darley, I’m not exactly sure how to help because I don’t think I have many teenager readers, however I will try to come up with something! I absolutely love the name of your conference! Very cool and best of luck!

  • Susie

    I watched this conversation while sitting on a stepstool in my pantry. It was encouraging and I’m looking forward to the next zoom meeting. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *