Introduction to homeschooling

A quick-start guide to homeschooling, or at least how and why we're homeschooling.

A young girl in a yellow dress is hovering in midair over a bed, her hair flying. Overlaid text in white: JUMP ON IN!
My daughter doing homeschool PE (jumping on the bed).

Welcome to Homeschool Humuhumu!

I'm Humu, my daughter is Wanda, and we live in San Francisco. (More about us.) She's currently in third grade, and is gifted and has ADHD, which is a combo called "twice exceptional" (2e for short).

Here is a handy collection of posts to learn about how we homeschool. I don't know what I'm doing, but don't let that stop you. I don't let it stop me.

This is what homeschooling looks like for us, but other families' homeschool experiences look completely different. There's no one way to do it—that's the beauty of homeschooling. Your own homeschooling experience will look different, too. You'll tailor it as you find what works for your family.

How and why we decided to homeschool:

Deciding to homeschool
How did we know when it was time to make the leap to homeschooling?

What I worried about (and don't anymore):

Homeschooling fears
What worried me about homeschooling before we started, vs. how I feel now.

How we told our daughter:

How we told our daughter we were switching to homeschooling
I used an analogy about a one-size-fits-all jacket to help our daughter understand this big change.
How I got started with homeschooling
Here are the steps and phases I went through as we were first getting a foothold on homeschooling. If I knew back in 2019 what I know now in 2021, I’d skip some of this and get straight to the good stuff. First stop was figuring out the legalities and

The mechanics of our day:

Our daily routine
A peek into a day in our homeschooling life: the lessons we cover, and how it all fits together.
Lesson planning
Here’s a peek into what my lesson planning looks like. Typing it up for this post makes it seem a bit more organized than it is. This is an accurate picture of what I do, but I haven’t thought of it as a formalized system or anything. These are just
Homeschool schedule planning with Tick Tick
How I use a calendar-based to do app to organize our homeschool lesson planning.
Seesaw for homeschooling
Using the Seesaw class sharing tool to document our homeschooling and keep family connected to our learning.

What do "deschooling" and "unschooling" mean?

Deschooling and Unschooling
When I was first wading into the world of homeschooling (with more than a little trepidation), one thing that threw me was two terms I didn’t understand, and kept getting mixed up: deschooling and unschooling. They sound very similar, almost interchangeable, and they’re not! In case you find

Homeschooling methods I find work for us:

Connection in homeschooling
The secret to successful homeschooling is building a strong connection with your kid.
How I encourage collaboration in our homeschooling to model real world workplace teamwork skills.
Growth mindset - Homeschool Humuhumu
Understanding how our brains grow has been a foundational piece to our learning.
The science of learning
Seeking to better understand the science behind how our brains learn has been a big part of how I try to be a better homeschooler. I’ve written before about how our brains physically change when we learn new things, and how learning about the brain has helped Wanda to develop
Scarborough’s Reading Rope
I like this metaphor to help break down the pieces that go into developing strong reading skills.
Some days are duds
We have good days and bad days, just like anyone else on the planet.
Abilities ebb and flow
I’ve learned I need to remember that a high-water mark is not at all a reasonable everyday expectation.
Methods - Homeschool Humuhumu
A collection of posts about the homeschooling methods I find work for us.

Taking (and returning from) breaks:

Breaks as needed
A look at how we take long and short breaks in our homeschooling.
Easing back into homeschool routine after a break
One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that we get to take break whenever we feel like it. On the other hand, my kid does better with a certain amount of routine in her day. I’ve figured out some things that make the transition between vacations and our more
Our winter break
How we spent our winter break from homeschooling, from the day after Thanksgiving through to the week of Wanda’s birthday in early January.


Homeschool socializing
A look at what homeschool socializing was like in San Francisco, before the pandemic goobered everything.

Assessment testing:

Assessment testing
Standardized assessment testing is not required for PSA homeschoolers in California, but we wanted to do it anyway.

Curriculum posts:

Free homeschool curriculum
There are outstanding free educational materials available to homeschoolers, including many aligned to common core standards. I’ve collected a list.
Math - Homeschool Humuhumu
Our main math curriculum is Beast Academy, and these posts also discuss other great resources and methods we’ve found.
Language arts - Homeschool Humuhumu
Our current main language arts curriculum is Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts; we have also used Logic of English Foundations and many other resources.
Writing - Homeschool Humuhumu
We use The Writing Revolution to learn great academic writing. My daughter also does a lot of creative writing, which we approach quite differently.
Science - Homeschool Humuhumu
Our main science curriculum is Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, and we’ve found many other great resources, as well.
Book recommendations - Homeschool Humuhumu
We’ve shared many reviews of books we’ve found and loved.
Media recommendations - Homeschool Humuhumu
Educational movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, and apps we’ve loved.

Looking for more subjects?

Check out the Topics section, with post collections on subjects like Geography & Cultures, History, Civics, Sex Ed, Art, and more!


We have a lot of fun homeschooling!

Fun stuff - Homeschool Humuhumu
We have a lot of fun homeschooling!

Overwhelmed? Take it all with a grain of salt:

Homeschooling doesn’t have to be a big deal
Homeschooling can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be simple, it can be involved, it can be whatever you need.
A full text search of all of the posts within Homeschool Humuhumu.
I love to help new homeschoolers, especially ones with neurodivergent kids like mine. Shoot me a message via email ( or Facebook, and I'll try to make some time to give you a leg up.
Join the discussion of this post over on Facebook.