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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How We Homeschool: Family School (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

This is probably our favorite post in this series. It's a new week, the letter F is up, and I'm blogging about Family School!


What is The Family School?

The Family School by Latter-day Learning is a wonderful curriculum that allows you to teach all of your children together using a "one room schoolhouse" approach. There are six topics covered and you can pick and choose which ones you want to teach: history, literature, science, geography, music, and art. Latter-day Learning is the worldwide outreach arm of American Heritage School, a private school in American Fork, Utah. So many people wanted to send their children to the school, or have the school open other locations, that they began writing The Family School curriculum to share with the world. It is a time tested teaching method that has only recently become available to homeschoolers!

The lessons are taught using the 4'R method - Research, Reason, Relate, and Record. There are flashcards that go with the lessons to help us remember what we've already learned, and timeline cards that we place on the timeline on our wall (or in our binders). The Record section of each lesson suggests different assignments and activities based on each child's abilities and grade level. Children are taught academic concepts with a gospel principle tied in through the Relate section. The curriculum is based on LDS teachings, and it is very easy to customize to your family's needs.

There are two levels to the program, K-8 and 7-12. Right now I use the K-8 lessons and I've been looking over some and comparing them to the 7-12 lessons. In order to teach everyone together, I can teach from the K-8 lessons and have my 8th grader do the middle (or next year the high) school assignments. Or, I can have her do the lesson ahead of the rest of us and teach it to her younger siblings. Or, I can choose to have her do the upper level assignments alone. There are even options for accredited courses with feedback, grading, and official transcripts.

The Family School is an online curriculum, with printed lesson manuals available to supplement the teacher. There are links to images, videos, stories, and more in the online lesson plans. I teach from the printed lesson manuals and have the lesson open on my computer to show the links. We purchase the flash cards and timeline cards so we can hang the timeline in our home (VERY useful for more than just school!), and have cards in hand to practice with. You can purchase packets of handouts for each child or just print them through your subscription. You can try the curriculum free for a week. If you subscribe through my link the account set-up fee is waived.

Why do we use The Family School?

When we were considering homeschooling all three of our oldest children, I felt overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. A friend in Texas at that time, sent me a message about The Family School, telling me how her family liked it, and how she thought she should mention it to me. That changed everything, after looking at their website for a few minutes I knew this is what my family would use. I showed my husband and we felt comfort and relief.

Here we are over 4 years later, with four children that we homeschool. Even though the youngest is only in kindergarten, imagine the costs of having to purchase separate curriculum for them. 4 levels of history, 4 levels of science, 4 levels of literature... it gets overwhelming to consider. Some other curricula I've looked at would allow me to teach two children from one level, but that still raises the cost for us. The Family School is one subscription for my whole family, and the cost is very affordable.

How do we like The Family School?

I can't say enough good things about it. We LOVE it. It's our favorite part of the day, and when we take part of the day off of school, no one wants to skip the Family School lesson! At the end of May when we finish a year of lessons, the children wait about one week before they beg to start the next year of lessons.

There are many ways to teach the lessons, but right now we teach one subject a day. Monday is history, Tuesday is literature, Wednesday is science, Thursday is geography. On Friday we do 3 weeks of music then 3 weeks of art. We've tried other schedules but this is our current favorite.

I worried that we would lack the in depth instruction in academic concepts that we were used to at our former charter school. That hasn't been the case at all. I worried that the gospel principles would take over the lessons or get annoying to hear daily. Not even close. We love seeing how the gospel ties into everything around us and we have a healthy balance of both parts of the lessons.

Latter-day Learning offers a lot of parent support as well, through online help chats, Facebook groups, and yearly retreats. This truly is an inspired program, and I am so thankful to have it in our home.

Year One printed manuals, spiral binding added.

A Net In Time Schooling


  1. interesting program, glad you found something that works well for you. :)

  2. Sounds like you have a good program that works for your family.

  3. This looks like a great curriculum! I love your schedule for the week, and I am trying to think how I can make that work for us. I love finding that just right curriculum that fits into our budget like what you found here!

  4. That looks like a wonderful curriculum. Thank you for sharing! (I especially like the picture of your kids in grass skirts - it brings back memories of our own activity days)

  5. How terrific to have found a curriculum your children clamor for! I like your weekly schedule. I'm thinking maybe I should consider something like that... And just do math daily because the punks need that.