Preparing for Homeschool

voices of your village Aug 20, 2020

Happy Podcast Thursday! Welcome to episode 134 of Voices of Your Village. Today we are hanging out with Amber O’Neal Johnson, who runs the Heritage Mom Blog, and we are diving into homeschooling. When I was researching this topic to find the best guest to bring on to the pod for you villagers, I just fell in love with Amber’s content and her approach to homeschooling. I am so jazzed to bring her into your ears today! Let’s dive in!


“We had a beautiful, beautiful year of school.”


Amber has four kids and she has been homeschooling them from the beginning. She was led to homeschooling by her husband and was reluctant at first, but then quickly fell in love with it and has been doing it ever since. Since she started by homeschooling a 4 year old they began by using the world around them as part of their classroom, such as attending “preschool days” at local museums and libraries. Then, Amber purchased the Sonlight preschool curriculum which set her up for success moving forward. It is a literature based curriculum that revolves around a curated list of books, it was a wonderful training in how to homeschool for parents like Amber who do not have early childhood education backgrounds.


“I wasn’t just homeschooling, I was also a mom and a wife. While it may not be necessary to purchase a curriculum, it was helpful for me to not have to think about it as much and instead focus on the time I spent with my daughter.”


I asked Amber where the waters blend when homeschooling. How do you transition between being a teacher-mom and mom-mom? Amber told me, “It is all woven in. I am always mom, even when I’m your teacher. The good thing about that is you can climb on your teachers lap and snuggle and kiss her, and we have to make sure that I remain serious about what we are doing. It helps to be the same person across the board whether or not “class is in session.”


“Real life means you can’t have a hard line of demarcation. Sometimes you are doing a lesson and the washing machine repairman shows up. Sometimes you have to ask one of the kids to wash dishes in between their math and history lesson. That is one thing that I personally love about it. School is life.”


I love this perspective from Amber, because it is how I view school in general. I think one of the failings of our school system now is the clear delineation of assignments instead of building them in naturally through the day. For example, I learned percentages through shopping for discounts with my mom. It was built into my everyday life and I think when we compartmentalize when we are “learning” versus when we are not, it is a huge challenge within the school system while being a perk of homeschooling.


“Sometimes I feel like we are putting our kids through Boring Bootcamp.”


The biggest difference between homeschooling and attending school is the pre-written curriculum. So the challenge becomes, can we funnel our pre-written curriculum through the kiddos interests so we can have an emergent curriculum that the students are excited to learn about.


“How do you teach what you don’t know?”


After diving into our lived experiences with emergent curriculums and homeschooling, Amber and I broke down the logistics of this process. For my full conversation with Amber and our complete homeschooling deep dive, check out the episode above. For more of Amber, you can find her on instagram @HeritageMomBlog or at her blog where she also offers one on one consulting. Also, Amber offers Heritage Packs which are an opportunity for people who don’t need to consult with Amber and instead just want to add some flavor to their homeschool curriculum. These Heritage Packs include Black History lesson plans that can be overlaid with whichever history lesson plan you are already using. Thanks again for getting nerdy with me, Amber!


Until next time, 






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