Aug 1, 2011

Why and How We Homeschool

    I am going to apologize ahead of time for the lengthy post, I’m going to try not to ramble but there are a few things I’d like to get out.  I want to share our philosophy, what works well with our kids, and how we are tackling the challenges presented to us day by day. We do not use a boxed curriculum, we don’t really unschool, and we are defiantly NOT the school at home type, which leads to the question, what kind of homeschoolers are we.

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     First I need to point out I’m not trying to offend anyone or say your philosophes are wrong.

     We did not homeschool from the beginning, my two older kids attended daycare 40+ hr each week for most of there younger years. Boo attend a public preschool, kindergarten and half of 1st grade. I believe public education works just fine for a lot of children, I attended a public school from preschool to graduation and I’m just fine. Do I feel homeschooling is a better option? For the most part, yes, but it’s NOT for everyone. It’s not “easy”, it’s also not “hard”, it IS a lifestyle change, a different way at looking at things. If a family is not willing to change there lifestyle then they shouldn’t homeschool. We do not homeschool because of religion or to shelter our children from the world. We started homeschooling because I felt that the public school system was letting Boo slip through the cracks, I felt helpless over his outcome, alienated from my own son’s education . We now homeschool because it has become who we are, it’s just part of us, the way we work and interact with each other and the world. We are VERY involved with our children’s education, it’s a little scary at times, a little like standing in the dark, you have to trust your instincts. When Bean points out the T on the Target sign and says “T” and then the sound, I know WE taught her that, not a stranger, it gives me the satisfaction that what we do is “right” for us.

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     So what kind of a homeschooling family are we? We are a hands-on, Montessori, workbooking, literature loving, five in a row, hidden learning, real life application, child interest driven learning family. I know that sounds a little crazy, it’s what works for us. When I first pulled Boo out of school we tried the “school at home” format. That led to LOTS of crying (him and me), yelling and ill feelings, NOT what I had envisioned. Then we tried an unschooling approach, but Boo seems to need more structure than unschooling provides. Last year led me to some amazing revolutions in what works for us and what doesn't. Boo seems to LOVE the sensory input of the Montessori approach, which is a lot of what I will be using for Bean and Sis this year. I on the other hand can’t seem to get over the “kids need to be doing “work (papers)” approach”, so we have been using workbooks in a more relaxed way, Boo gives the answers orally and I write most of the answers for him. I’m not saying he doesn't write, he just picks what and when he writes, and what is SO amazing to me is he is actually writing MORE, much MORE, and with better handwriting.

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     I hope you enjoyed reading a little about the inner working of my family. What is your homeschool philosophy?

Len

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