I used to review curriculum, now I create it

#44 Can You Homeschool Without Curriculum?

If you follow me on Instagram you have probably heard the melody of change. Something new is on the horizon and I am in the middle of processing what it is and what it looks like.

I feel a calling, a stirring deep within, to step out of the shallows of homeschooling into deeper waters. Let the tide pull me out where my feet leave the ground and I lose my footing and am lost in the waves, the rhyme and rhythm of the flow of our days.

Lately I feel like God is asking me to evaluate what education means to me, my vision for homeschooling and to consider something new. To break away from the pressures of bookwork and to consider a deeper, more enchanted education. It doesn’t feel like a command of obedience, it feels like a whispered invitation, a dare even: “Rebecca, can you homeschool without curriculum? Without the tests and the blanks and the “proof” that you find your security in? Can you let go of your security blanket and find TRUE homeschool freedom?”

I don’t know… can I?

Can you homeschool without books?

This new melody is thrumming in my veins, a drum beat grounding me, propelling me to search for something new. I am not certain yet what the full song will be, but I am on an adventure into something different.

Today’s podcast episode is my musings, my ponderings on a subject that is still an infant thought in my mind. Let’s consider that education could be more than just filling in the blanks and perhaps there is another way.

I have been so inspired and at the same time thrown for a loop that I have been losing myself in art. The deadlines are piling up and yet all is ignored while I paint and sketch and doodle and write and plan and work out the message of my head vs. the message of my heart.

If you want to see my hand painted journal and travellers notebook, I made an Instagram story and pinned it to my highlights. To view it simply go to my Instagram feed and look at the little circles under my bio. Find the one that says homeschool planning.

Links mentioned in today’s episode

Book I am reading: The Brave Learner (life changing)
Learn more about Brave Writer
Check out my Brave Writer course
Start a blog with me!
Enter the giveaway!

What do you think? Can you homeschool without curriculum?

Join the conversation! Post your comments below!

can you homeschool without books


  1. I have been so excited to listen to this podcast!! Oh my goodness. You like spoke exactly what is going on in my heart and head right now. I have a 6th, 4th and dyslexic 2ndish grader and a 5 and 2 yr old. I feel so dissatisfied with pushing through books. I want more. I want to experience life with my kids, not just pushing through my days. I’m reading through the Brave Learner and I feel like Julie is giving me permission to let go and chase my dreams for our homeschool. I feel like God is changing the whole way I view education. Anyway. I’m still processing, but I loved listening to your thoughts. I don’t feel so crazy now. ?

  2. This has been my struggle for years- yet I keep going back to traditional book work…?I want school to be natural… today is a new day! I even bought field guide that you colour so we could walk the woods, ID, and then colour the plants we have found…. hasn’t happened.. maybe this spring…

  3. I am with you on wanting more. I don’t homeschool to march through the essentials leaving no time for the beautiful… But I have no idea how to make that happen. My prayer this morning was for vision and guidance. I’ll be curious to follow this discussion.

  4. Love the podcast! I struggle with these ideas too. I find some comfort in traditional book work but am sometimes drawn to unschooling. We do book work for 6 weeks then spend a week unschooling where we focus on art and other non-bookwork learning. Last unschooling week we watched Drive Thru History Holy Lands which was great. I’d like to try nature study, art and guitar lessons for our next break.

  5. I’ve been thinking along this same line ever since reading the Brave Learner. Lol
    Love it! I love that you’re sharing your processing because as I process as well, it’s nice to see what that looks like for someone else.
    I hope you do a follow up to this podcast (or 2 or 3. lol) as you figure this out and make changes!

  6. I totally get this! I am reevaluating our year and what I want to do differently next year. I plan on implementing the enrichment activities from Simply Charlotte Mason. It sounds a lot like what you are wanting to do. They will be at the TTD convention in Nashville. It’s one of my favorite booths to visit. I’m sure you will see me in that’s booth if you visit!!

  7. It sounds like you and your family are searching for that love of learning again! I love hearing your thoughts as you search for what is missing and what needs to change. May God bless you on your journey. I love the sound of your mornings! They sound refreshing and beautiful, and make me totally want to join in. 🙂 I hope that it leads you back to your love of the traditional subjects too so that they don’t feel like a burden or a weight around your neck. Nothing is worse than feeling like you’ve lost your awe and wonder for certain subjects in homeschooling! That is my constant battle. Change it, girl! Keep fighting the good fight! Find your love for your day and your schedule again!

  8. Thank you for sharing your thought process. I feel like mine are similar. I am feeling that I am doing a disservice to my younger two because we spend the morning doing bookwork and then my older 2 get to relax while the other 2 nap. When do the younger 2 get to enjoy the day? I am wondering about a similar type of morning to what you are describing followed by a concentrated bookwork time for the older 2 in the afternoon. The problem is that we have a home business that I work on in the afternoon so my time for schoolwork is limited at that time. I need to really think through priorities and what is important. I will definitely be following any further posts along these lines.

  9. Oh my word. Monday, it was like I was sitting in our classroom watching my children all in their pages, and I woke up. There they had sat all morning, somewhat bored, and this is what we had become. Stacks of workbooks in our baskets. Something ached in me that I had let us come to this place. I couldn’t explain it except that it was a wake up call to realize the freedom I had to make this better, and do it joyfully, change is needed. I had put all these components together to COVER, not to explore, inspire, or enjoy. To cover material. I don’t know what the next step is yet, but waking up is step one. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  10. Hi Rebecca! Love your website, love your reviews! Love your thoughts! It sounds like you are craving a pure Charlotte Mason education, but with the afternoon schedule as your morning schedule.
    The struggle with not having much of a paper trail is real! But having a journal or portfolio is sufficient proof of your homeschool journey, at least it is in Ohio!
    May I point you to A Delectable Education podcast, they are wonderful!! Full of pure Charlotte Mason ideas and philosophy. I have read that you favor Charlotte Mason’s ideas, but maybe you can dig into it a little deeper. I have, I dont regret it, and my 2 kids ages 6&9 have blossomed!! I wish I was more faithful in our Nature Studies and journaling, I just get so burned out in the winter finding nature activities!
    I’m considering using A Gentle Feast curriculum for my next school year, instead of just putting it all together myself.
    I hope you find your route on your journey, I’ll be looking forward to hearing more from you on your journey! ☺ Pray and let God direct you!

  11. You just about described our homeschool day ? we are laid back Charlotte Masoners. We focus on all the beautiful things you mentioned, go for a walk almost every day, and do a bit of structure learning. The lessons are kept short and vitually no worsheets. Start by reading A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. It will help you create a vison for your homeschool day. From there visit Simply Charlotte Mason. They have a series about making the switch gently.
    Hope that helps!

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I used to review curriculum, now I create it!