Monday, March 31, 2008

Profiling Home Educators

Home Education Week at Principled Discovery

Here is the question:

What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?

Here is my answer:
Normal seems to change each year. So, I'll write about normal according to this year. I've tried over and over to label our way of homeschooling. I use whatever seems to work best with each child. I don't really know what you call it - maybe Eclectic.

My oldest, 14 and a high school freshman, loves to learn. He is self motivated, teaches himself, and he can spend hours a day on his latest topic of interest. I let him do a lot of delight-driven learning and unschooling. However, he is following a schedule for Math, because he knows that he will need to be well prepared in Math for his college major choice. For Language Arts, he wanted to learn Creative Writing. So, I got him the Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing. Sometimes, he spends hours a day writing fiction at his computer. He also choose his own electives, this year - cooking, Bible and Christian growth, logic and thinking skills, and computer science.

Two of my daughters, 13 and 11, do not have a natural desire to learn academically. They are both very active and could spend the whole day playing. So, I have homeschooling much more structured for them. They have daily workbook pages in Language Arts subjects and Math. For History, I usually read historical fiction books aloud to the family. For science we are unschooling, this year, and making the most of science activities, field trips, books, TV shows, etc. I also require that they read five days a week, alone or to me.

My youngest two daughters are 8 and 6. They each have Language Arts and Math workbooks and they read aloud to me. I don't assign work to them, because they are so anxious to do it on their own. They learn a lot through unschooling experiences and from their older siblings.

During the summer, we learn through unschooling. We have decided that learning is a way of life for us. It doesn't stop on the weekends, during the summer, or at a certain age.


Marbel said...

I LOVE reading posts like this - showing how different homeschoolers can be, even within a family - and be successful.

Dana said...

That is a wonderful thing about homeschooling...the ability to truly adjust for each child and be as structured or relaxed as is necessary for each.

Thank you for sharing a bit of your normal with us!

Heidi @ Southpaugh Homeschool said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts - - it is nice to see how everyone else manages.

Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

thanks for visiting my blog

an interesting read
I too believe learning is a life long experience that can happen everyday of the year


Celly B said...

We will begin homeschooling this fall, and it is wonderful to be able to read all these posts to see how different families do it. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

My husband and your oldest son are probably a lot alike. He never understood why I have to get my daughter curriculum ~ there is so much to learn. But, alas, she would rather live in the imaginary and play too.

momedu3 said...

Thanks for sharing your family with us. Great post!

Stacy said...

I love how in tune with your children you are. They are surely benefiting much from the way you have set up each child's schooling.

Have a good day and thanks for sharing!

Sassy Mama Bear said...

Nice to see another homeschooler with older children and to know that every day is different.

Heather said...

Isn't it great when they want to do it themselves. So far all three of ours do though each in their own way.

Karly said...

I love how your children are all different... and you are making it work! I pray for an easyness in my spirit with my kids. I am too analytical sometimes....

lahbluebonnet said...

My children are usually so busy during the school year, that during the summer we have summer phase homemaking, learning new skills and chores around the house and garden. As you basically said, always learning!

Crazy Daisy said...

Thanks for sharing! I was not homeschooled, and don't know a lot about it, so this is so interesting!