There is a lot of variety among the holistic homeschooling approaches. (More about what I mean by holistic here.) But when I found myself being pulled in that direction, I couldn’t find an approach that struck what I felt to be the right balance between structure, parent-guided, and interest-driven.

So I decided to create my own approach that included everything I was looking for.

The result was the Simplified Homeschooling Framework, and the more people I told about it, the more I realized I wasn’t the only one longing for something like this.

Homeschool burnout can be demoralizing, depressing, and demotivating, and after years of the same-old, same-old a lot of families start looking for something that isn’t just a change of pace, but is a complete change of approach.

Simplified Homeschooling after the stress of tight schedules, overwhelming curriculum, and constant head-butting with your kids is like taking a nice, deep breath, letting your shoulders relax from around your ears, and letting your head sink back into a feather pillow.

Read on to see if Simplified Homeschooling might be just the breath of fresh air you’ve been dreaming of!

There are three main themes that come together to create the foundation of Simplified Homeschooling:

  • Family-prioritized: This is not an approach for those who want to outsource the majority of their homeschooling and give up control of their children’s education to other organizations. Enrolling them in a class here or there, sure! A block of time set aside each day for Mom or Dad (or both) to work from home? Absolutely! But one of the jewels in the Simplify Homeschooling crown is that of a close-knit family made even closer by the amount of time they spend together not just learning but working, volunteering, and recreating. The more time together, the better!

  • Faith-infused: Simplified Homeschooling assumes and builds into children a Christian worldview. Religious instruction isn’t relegated to youth groups or Sunday school, it’s woven into the very fabric of the approach. While one could technically replace this aspect with generic “character building” or “wisdom training,” I believe doing so would be a great disservice to a child. Everyone is born with a God-shaped hole in their soul and there is only one way to fill it.

  • Life-focused: Simplified Homeschooling doesn’t compartmentalize learning into certain hours of the day. It breaks down the walls between life and learning and integrates them just as God meant them to be. If learning isn’t relevant to life, then what’s the point?

Do these three factors resonate with you? If they do, then let’s move on to the day-to-day, nitty-gritty, “Yeah, but what does this LOOK like on a daily basis?” and see what you think!

The foundation may explain what the philosophy of the Simplified Homeschooling method is, but the Seven Pillars help us to translate that philosophy into everyday activity.

The Seven Pillars are the seven “content areas” that Simplified Homeschooling parents pay attention to as they’re planning their time for their family. The Pillars are not necessarily equal in terms of the time one spends on each, and we don’t necessarily do activities associated with each Pillar every single day, but when we look at our month and what we’ve done (or plan out what we’re going to do) we would hopefully see each one represented.

The Seven Pillars of the Simplified Homeschooling approach are:

  • Religion
  • Reasoning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Arithmetic
  • Responsibility
  • Recreation

(Not gonna lie - the alliteration, while coincidental, makes me ridiculously happy.)

If you’re concerned about the fact that science and history aren’t there, don’t be!
That’s the biggest connection to the unschooling method that Simplified Homeschooling has. Think about the things children are typically interested in learning about – they usually come down in one way or another to science or history, or it’s easy to create a science or history connection to them. We use those subjects as the core of our children’s academics, and we teach reading, writing, and arithmetic through them.

However, this is also where the connection to unschooling is broken. In a pure unschooling approach, parents don’t require that their children have direct instruction in any particular subject. Simplified Homeschooling, however, recognizes that there are some things many parents are going to feel are absolutely necessary, whether their children want to learn them or not – namely, the “Three R’s,” but also religious instruction and reasoning. There is still a heavy emphasis on relevance in the instruction of these subjects, but also the acknowledgement that, as the authority, parents do need to sometimes remind their kids that just because they don’t see the relevance now in what Mom and Dad are teaching, the reason they’re teaching it at all is because eventually it will be very relevant.

Now, you might have noticed that the Seven Pillars are not limited to academics. In reality, the Simplified Homeschooling approach is not merely about homeschooling balance – it’s about life balance. Holistic approaches all tend to be life-integrated – hence the label of “holistic” – but most of the time the focus is on the child’s experience and not the family’s as a whole. But Simplified Homeschooling doesn’t just apply to the child’s education. It’s about the entire family doing life together, and part of what “doing life” together looks like sometimes is learning the stuff one needs to learn in order to function in society.

However, it also looks like the family impacting society together (volunteerism, which is one of the aspects of responsibility) and enjoying life together (recreation). And in that way, Simplified Homeschooling also helps parents to get out of their own boxes and ruts in order to teach their children the importance of margin, downtime, rest, and engaging in activities that feed your soul by modeling those activities and values and doing them along with their kids. And when parents do that, they themselves are changed, not just the kids!

If you are one of those people who has been longing for an approach like this – one that is family-prioritized, faith-infused, and life-focused, one that can bring your family closer together and allows you to learn, grow, and play as a team – then check out the Simplified Homeschooling Framework. This program is simple but powerful, laying out the foundation of the philosophy and each pillar in-depth so you can start envisioning what it would look like with your own family.

Think you might want some help implementing the Simplified Homeschooling Framework? Once you’ve completed the foundational videos of the Framework, you’ll receive an invitation to join us in the Simplified Homeschool Community! The Community provides extra resources, forums, the opportunity to brainstorm, crowdsource, and connect with other Simplified Homeschooling parents, and regular coaching opportunities to work out your trouble spots with an expert!

Build your homeschool on a solid foundation that guards against burnout, deepens your relationship with your kids, and provides them with the education you always dreamed of giving them. Check out Simplified Homeschooling!