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.
I admit. I really don’t have pictures of our school room. I generally take most of our photos when we are doing outdoor activities because I prefer the light and I don’t take indoor pictures because of the lack of light in our home. (Even doing a quick search turns up results for no single room pictures not including people.)
Where do we school? Everywhere. Outside, inside. In the living room, dining room, bedrooms and kitchens. We’ve even done experiments in the bathroom. School happens all over for us and lessons never seem to end.
We have even converted our dining room into a library room to hold all of our books, crafts and supplies. Our dining table has become our school desk. The artwork on the wall behind it is simply our dry erase board and a small chalkboard for the kids to use. Our TV is our digital projector. We connect the computer to it for interactive lessons and we watch educational videos on Netflix with our Wii. We use the kitchen for experiments. And the list goes on and on.
Outside, we go on nature walks. We learn how others live, both human and non-human. We socialize with neighbors and friends. We construct. We grow. We learn.
Essentially, our school has no boundaries and is nothing like a normal classroom setting. It’s an all-in-one lifestyle and we enjoy the closeness and experiences that it brings us. We are able to enjoy this life as God intended, in every second of our days.
I have been attempting to keep up with what’s going on with my blog but I stay so busy with other things that there never seems to be time for that. It’s been a long week, with many thoughts involved and figuring out several things in my life. I feel God leading me into directions I have not yet been and I know I’m fully ready to rush into them full-force.
I’ve recently been asked many questions dealing with homeschooling, computers and antiques. In the past few days, I’ve had these things brought to my attention and being brought to my attention, I have disected what they really mean to me. So throughout this post I will try to express my feelings on each thought and how they relate to our life.
Just today a family member asked me to help them work on selling their antiques before they pass away. This is a sad thought but this family member is now 85 years old and knows her days are limited. She also knows that her family has no idea the value of her personal items and they will just toss them to the side, or give them away for practically nothing if someone doesn’t take care of the matter beforehand. It’s a sad fact that many people have no idea of what they hold in their hands before they simply toss it into a dumpster or hand it over to someone else to deal with. I’m more than happy to help this lovely lady disperse of some of her most prized possessions before her last day comes.
I’ve had several people ask homeschooling questions, as I mentioned earlier, and this has made me rethink our own homeschooling style. Are we Classical, Charlotte Mason styled, Relaxed, Eclectic, Unschoolers, etc? Thinking this over, I realize we are in fact many of these things. There are seasons in our homeschooling when we use Classical methods but mostly we are Eclectic, Relaxed homeschoolers with a bit of Unschooling mixed in.
I prefer to allow my children to learn through many different methods. I find this keeps them from becoming bored with their education. We use everything from television shows, websites, video games, textbooks, worksheets, even nature’s own provisions and much more to learn about every possibly imaginable subject each day. Our school is nothing like that of a public school and is exactly as God meant it to be. School, for us, is fun and exciting and definitely always a wonderful experience.
That said, the next few weeks bring a lot of busy-ness for us. My oldest daughter is turning 8 soon and we must prepare for her birthday party next weekend. She will not officially be 8 until February 17th but we are having the party a bit early. I’m also still working on the house re-vamping and hopefully tax money will bring lots of good things for organization. I’m hoping it will also bring some new homeschooling materials to use. Such excitement for us all!
I’m excited for these new things brewing in our lives. I’m excited to have new things to enjoy and share and be a part of. I look forward to the opportunities God is bringing into my life. It’s truly a blessing to be able to share my love and joys with others and I hope to be able to continue to do these things for a long time.
Many blessings to all!