learning at home
I have four children. Three who are school aged and one sweet baby. I chose a long time ago to homeschool them. If you have been on my blog long, or are my Facebook friend, etc then you already know all of this.
We are not traditional homeschoolers. I don’t have time for that! But we are homeschoolers none the less.
I came to realize recently that I don’t talk a whole lot about our homeschooling adventures. I honestly have no idea why except maybe it’s because, to me, our homeschooling doesn’t look a whole lot different than the everyday normal. We play, we eat, we draw, write, color, watch tv. This list could get pretty long. We do all the same things you do when your children are home, only we do them as part of our schooling.
See we are Eclectic in educational style. We are extremely relaxed. We border strongly on Unschooling.
I can hear your sharp intake of breath. “Did she just say Unschooling?! Isn’t that doing no school at all?! You mean she’s not teaching those kids?! The shame.”
No, no! That’s not what Unschooling is at all! Unschooling is allowing my children educational freedom to learn on their own. Unschooling is having faith in God to lead our daily studies. Unschooling is letting my children be children as God intended for them to be.
I teach by playing with my kids or seeing to it they have the necessary tools to learn with. I teach as they ask questions to learn more about something they want to know. I teach by explaining that it’s not proper to say “I ain’t gonna play with she today” and why it’s not. This list can go on too.
What you won’t see in my home every day is me standing at a black board writing out words or me standing over my daughter as she practices her writing. You won’t find me patiently waiting while they finish up a test or timing them as they learn their math facts. You won’t find my children learning rote memorization of facts they don’t find interesting or us reading from a text book written just so they can be equal educationally to millions of other students.
What you will find is a library stocked with interesting books on 1000’s of subjects that they can and do pick up and read at will. You will find a stocked video area and a subscription to Netflix, along with a full channel satellite package so they can view documentaries and other educational movies at the drop of a hat as we learn. You will find the internet connected at all times so we can research things that catch their interest or puzzle their minds. You will also find tons of toys for interactive play, legos for building and math, crayons, paper, coloring pages, and a working printer for challenging them to absorb their world daily.
That is the way of Unschooling and Relaxed, Eclectic education. We learn every day about many different things in a way we love, making education something we love. And I, nor my children, would have that any other way.
Last week we began homeschooling again.
My oldest two had been attending a local public school but it just wasn’t working out for us. My son was falling farther and farther behind in his reading and other educational skills and my daughter was not working up to her potential in Kindergarten. Her skills were much more advanced then her classes were offering her. So we decided the best thing to do was homeschool again.
A couple of weeks ago, I contacted our local homeschooling organization and enrolled the kids for homeschooling. It took a few weeks to iron out our details and have the extra cash for our fees but as soon as we did, we were ready to go.
My information was officially approved this past Monday. On Tuesday, I informed the school of our decision to homeschool and also told them that would be my children’s last day attending their school. On Wednesday, we were home and ready to begin, but because it was Emmalee’s birthday and we had a ton of company coming in and out we skipped school this day.
Thursday was our first official day of homeschooling. It was a relatively simple day. We managed to cover all the basic subjects and we set up a schedule to work each day.
Our day starts with breakfast.
Next comes devotions. We read a daily devotional online using CBH Ministries, Key’s for Kids, then we write the verse of the day as our copywork for handwriting skills. While we are writing, we listen to a Christian Children’s Radio show online using OnePlace.org.
After devotions is Grammar, using Scott Foresman’s Grammar books. The kids really enjoy this workbook.
Next the kids do reading online for 30 minutes using Starfall.com. They do a few other online activities dealing with reading at this time too.
Next we do Scott Foresman Math, then science.
Finally we do Social Studies, using Lesson Pathways online. Each day provides us with new activities to use.
We have tweaked this schedule a little, adding more worksheets and also adding a Bible curriculum starting with Creation for History. Each day we discuss a new section of the bible in an explaination of where the world began.
The kids are enjoying being home again. They love the ease of learning at their own pace. They are working together well. Our only obstacle at this time is occupying a whily toddler! We look forward to many more days homeschooling and daily growing in our love of God and our learning to come.