a three-year-old girl with shoulder length curly hair wearing a red dress feeds grass to a white bunny, inside a barn

Looking Ahead: Here's This Year's Preschool and Kindergarten Homeschool Plan (Fall 2022)

It's going to be a fun year, like every year!

September: The month the school bus returns to our street. Summer weather lingers, ideal for a few final beach days at the lake or the river, especially now that the annual tourists have left. But there's a whisper of fall. We're harvesting tomatoes from the garden daily. Nights are cooler and the kids stay out to watch the sky change colors at sunset—since now, as days shorten, they're still awake at sunset. There's the unmistakable feeling of a coming change of seasons, and accompanying change of pace.

I feel like I was only just writing about our 2020-2021 school year. How can it be time to write about schooling again, already?

Not much has changed in three months. We are continuing some weekly activities with friends, plenty of outdoor time, and our emphasis on play, curiosity, and exposure to new activities and ideas.

This school year, our kids will be 5 (soon, 6), 3, and 1. (Here's last year's 2020-2021 plan.)

three kids walking single file along a dirt trail through grassy pine forest
Going for a hike.

Weekly activities

The new thing this year is a Sudbury-style co-op at a local farm. The Sudbury philosophy, in brief, says children are intrinsically motivated to learn and can be trusted to direct their own education. This co-op has just started—there's significant interest from local families, but we don't know yet how many people will actually attend regularly, or what daily life at the co-op will be like. Per the Sudbury philosophy, everything will be self-organized and opt-in, offer a class if you want to, attend the class if you want to, play, learn, explore.

I'm excited about it. The folks organizing the co-op jibe with me on their education approach. Plus, the location! The farm has over 400 acres of hills and woods, not to mention the cutest baby goats and rabbits (plus sheep, chickens, ducks, a horse, lambs…). The downside is that it's a half hour drive. We have the option of attending up to 3 days/week; because of the distance, we'll probably attend only one day most weeks. I expect we'll add a second day if the weather's extra nice or if our other activities happen to be canceled for a week.

three young kids standing beside a sheep under a tree, petting it and giving it hugs
Loving on the sheep.

We are continuing our forest school co-op/nature play groups, which meet 1-2 days a week at local nature parks, year round. The moms take turns leading activities—survival skills, foraging, art, crafts, hikes, and more—or organizing field trips, such as outings to local farms or berry picking. It's a great group of families and leans toward child-led and interest-led learning. A couple moms seem excited about leading lessons and getting some "real learning" in; but more of them, I think, recognize that you can't force kids to learn; you can only offer opportunities and guidance.

I'm hoping the music class we participated in last year starts back up. I'm thinking about adding swimming classes in the winter, or perhaps a martial arts class for our 5-year-old. We'll see how the year goes.

(Read: How to Afford Homeschooling and Other Alternative Education For Kids on a Budget)

a one-year-old boys wades thigh-deep in a small creek running through a pine forest
Exploring a creek.

Literacy, crafts, math, and more

Our summer was full of attending local festivals, faires, and events: Art, music, blacksmithing, jousting, more music, beaver trapping, farm animals, old cars, curly fries, and huckleberry shakes! All kinds of inspiring stuff for the kids to experience.

When the weather turns, we'll spend more time indoors—which means art, crafts, cooking, reading, and board games!

(Read: How to Consciously Be A Role Model in Creativity, Curiosity, and Crafting for Children.)

We're learning math skills through board games and cooking. I recently got a set of dominos to add to our game collection.

Our new addition on the book front are some amazing subscription boxes from a small private library run by a couple women at Randy's parish. These boxes are awesome! We get two every month, one geared toward preschoolers and the other toward elementary grades. Each box has a title book, then a bunch of others expanding on various themes from that book. For example, the first elementary box we got had a story about a girl who travels the world collecting ingredients to bake an apple pie. The box also included books on measuring and math, on the different counties mentioned, on Johnny Appleseed and how apple trees change through the seasons, a children's around the world cookbook, and so on. It's awesome.

We continue to read aloud all the time, and make regular trips to the local library. We like picking out books related to daily life. For instance, for our trip to Glacier National Park, we got books about forests, mountains, bears, hiking, and the park.

(Read: Why Watching My Parents Cook Means I Can't Share Soup Recipe—And How I'm Encouraging My Kids to Cook Too)

In addition to hopefully continuing the music class and attending local summer concerts, we have a selection of instruments at home; we listen to all genres of music in the car and at home frequently; we watch videos of orchestras.

As far as arts and crafts go, we will continue to do a mix of things. Drawing, painting, stamping, cutting, gluing, making necklaces and stringing beads, seasonal projects, helping with my projects (like sock rugs and rags rugs!). Our 5-year-old has shown an interest in sewing after watching me patch my favorite baby carrier; I'm thinking they might be old enough to make and enjoy puppets; we'll see what else!

(Read: Tutorial: How to Make a Hobby Horse From Socks and Scraps in 7 Steps)

a three-year-old girl and five-year-old boy standing in a dim hallway holding glowing paper lanterns
Paper lanterns!

Four furry robots sitting around a wooden table inset with a tablet. From left to right, a red dragonbot, a blue dragonbot, a teddy bear robot, and a green dragonbot.

Why I Went to Graduate School

Ten years ago, I started grad school at the MIT Media Lab. Why'd I attend? Because it was going to be fun. Here's how I made that decision, and why you should consider the fun factor in your own decision-making.
the cover of the book A PhD Is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman

Book Review: A PhD Is Not Enough! A Guide to Survival in Science by Peter J. Feibelman

While this book is a fast, easy read with straightforward advice, it also suffers a lack of depth and a datedness that diminish its helpfulness.

Join our community!

Did you know a group of owls is called a parliament?


We're Jacqueline and Randy, a blogging duo with backgrounds in tech, robots, art, and writing, now raising our family in northern Idaho.

Our goal is to encourage deliberate choices, individual responsibility, and lifelong curiosity by sharing stories about our adventures in living, loving, and learning.

Learn more about us.



Start here

Curious about our life and journey? Here are some good places to start reading:

Jacqueline and Randy leaning their heads together smiling at the camera

A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community

A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.
Priests in red and gold celebrate a traditional Latin Mass

Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass

How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.