Episode 006: Seasons Based homeschooling Part 1

This podcast episode is about seasons-based homeschooling.

I love thinking about seasons. Seasons of the year, seasons of life, and seasons of homeschool life.

Specifically, I want to discuss seasons of the year. And how the seasons of the year that come every year without fail, spring, summer, winter, fall, how they affect our homeschooling rhythms and why it might be okay to embrace a seasons based homeschool calendar rather than a traditional school calendar.

Regardless of the climate you live in, the seasons of the calendar year affect your family’s rhythms. You will find so much freedom & joy in homeschooling if you embrace the idea of planning your homeschool work & activities around the rhythm of the annual seasons.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • The theory of seasons-based homeschooling
  • Ideas for homeschooling in the fall vs. winter vs. spring

Indoor Ideas & Resources

If you live in a climate that’s very cold or very hot, you might add more indoor schoolwork, activities, and opportunities during those seasons where you spend more time inside!

You can look into local gyms, museums, trampoline parks, indoor nature centers that have specific homeschool discount days or memberships.

I keep a note of field trip ideas that’s sorted by indoor/ outdoor so we can more easily gather friends for an indoor field trip when we need a change of scenery!

These timers come in handy for screen time and other things.

Everand (Audiobooks)

This used to be Scribd. It’s a monthly subscription audiobook app with no limits! You don’t pay per download like you do for audible. So we can have multiple people listening to various books on one account each month. They don’t have as many of the newer audiobooks, but for older books and classics, there are a TON! If we want to listen to newer books on audio, we usually use the library.

A Few Favorite Family Read Alouds (great for all ages!)

  • A Place to Hang the Moon
  • Narnia Series
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
  • Little Britches (we just read the first one… I’d say ideal for 7+)
  • The Wild Robot
  • Because of Winn Dixie (and anything else by Kate DiCamillo)
  • The Sign of the Beaver (and anything else by Elizabeth George Speare)
  • 50 Famous Stories
  • A good Aesop’s Fable collection
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Trumpet of the Swan
  • James Herriot’s Treasury for Children (especially fun if you’re also watching the show, All Creatures Great and Small… which our family really enjoyed together this winter!)
  • The Secret Garden
  • Heidi- we read this slowly while also reading more adventurous books
  • The False Prince – my kids love this series… good on audio.
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street – my kids like this one more than I do (also good on audio)

Typing & Coding

Typing club is a great (free) introductory program. Nitrotype is fun for improving typing speed.

Code Monkey (affiliate) – My husband is a programmer and has been looking high and low on the interwebs for something that ACTUALLY teaches kids to code. This is the one he picked & we paid for! There are probably others, but this is very accessible to any age kid and actually takes a kid from knowing nothing about programming to writing in python. *Note: Strongly recommend a home row typing program first.

Code Monkey can be done on a tablet or computer. We use both!

code monkey review for homeschool

Online Math

Beast Academy Math – I made a video showing what this program looks like and how we use it as our complete math curriculum. But it can also be used supplementally. (You can access Beast Academy Math through the web on a tablet or computer. We use both.)

Online Art Classes

Watercolor School Online Classes (affiliate)- This program has more videos than you could ever possibly get through!! Something for everyone. I’d personally say, they’re better for older kids… 8-9+

For younger kids, we all enjoyed these Brighter Day Press Water Color tutorials.


Beads – My kids have various styles of beads and tiny craft activities they love! These are fun with friends or during audiobooks. Polymer clay beads (pictured below) and perler beads (these are the templates we have)

Crochet – one of my daughters loves to crochet! She learned the basics in person at a local class for complete beginners and then learned the rest of her skills on youtube. She strongly recommends Rose & Lily crochet channel on Youtube.

Online Music

Ukelele – This beginner ukelele book & video based course is VERY cute!! Totally doable for kids. She teaches them to tune the uke and everything… 10/10 recommend. This is a great beginner ukelele! It comes with a case.

My son pictured plays violin and I sorta know how to play ukelele, so I was able to help him work on it at age 7, but I’d say it’s more ideal as an independent activity for a beginner around age 9-19.

Piano – I used to be a piano teacher so I got all my kids started at home. BUT – I’ve looked into Hoffman Academy extensively and I think it’s the best option if you want to get your kids started online. At first, you’ll want to sit with them and learn alongside them. After a little while, they’ll likely be able to work independently. I think Hoffman Academy has the potential to give your kids a gentle intro to piano. That said, it won’t be the same caliber of instruction as one on one 🙂 Use the code LEARN for 10% off!


We play a lot more board games when the weather isn’t as nice! A few recent favorites have been:

  • Rummikub
  • Azul (the original one)
  • Catan
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Monopoly
  • Phase 10
  • Cover Your Assets (taught all my kids skip counting by 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50)


We do a bit more academic work when the weather is less conducive to being outside. One of the things we add seasonally is varied geography practice.

Geography 4-8 years old

I start out introducing 4-6 year olds to the map and globe when any location is mentioned in a story we’re reading. We also use this process for continent blobbing and learning the 7 continents and 5 oceans. (I keep the lined paper in a page protector for dry erase practice.)

We also do puzzles and play games to reinforce map locations of modern countries.

  • USA puzzle
  • WORLD puzzle
  • CONTINENT puzzles
  • USA Bingo Game

I’ve found this History of the World Map by Map Book to be a helpful reference of historical maps when reading!

Geography 8-11 Years Old

In addition to the above resources (puzzles, games, books, etc.), my kids this age work on USA states and country naming with Seterra online.

Again – you don’t have to do all the things all the time!! Seterra is free and it’s a great way to practice all the states in the USA or all the countries on another continent during the seasons where you’re going to be indoors anyway.

Geography 12+ Years Old

My kids will work their way through world map drawing beginning around age 12. They’ll be able to choose whether they want to just copy from our giant wall map, print sections of the world map from Seterra to copy, or work through the Drawing Geography series by Kristin Draeger.

Get Out of the Way

Our kids have free time many afternoons a week… Give your kids access to cookbooks, the kitchen, cardboard boxes, craft supplies, a camera to make home videos, a basket of sheets and giant utility clips and just… let them be bored.

General Links & Resources

Kid worklist templates that you can edit – I vary the work my kids are doing each season and I let them choose fun backgrounds or icons to make things fresh. We print them and pop them in dry erase sleeves or menus.

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