Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Finding my homeschooling style

I've encountered a variety of homeschooling styles in the groups I've gone along to. The first homeschooler we came in contact with back in Scotland was highly structured. Her whole house was a library and the walls were covered in educational posters and kids artwork. I felt overwhelmed and didn't know how I'd ever achieve that.

Kaya's typography art. It doesn't say anything in particular.

Then I met the unschoolers. And it appealed to me. It seemed simple and intuitive.

But I am an awkward sort of person. I need some structure in my life, to keep me accountable. I sort of like lists and organization. But at the sniff of over structure I completely rebel. When there are too many rules I start to just want to break them.

So we've been feeling our way through this and I think we're settling into something that works for us. Just the right balance for us.

We employ the unschooling approach for the most part. Which involves learning through play, spending time together, reading, going out and investigating flowers, reading stories, baking together, counting money, etc etc.

But I also take a couple hours between breakfast and lunch to do some structured school work. Even at that it's not very structured. I don't have a set curriculum to work through, I just make up a list of things I want to cover in the year, and we wing it. I have various work books which we make our way through, and it helps keep me accountable. I know we're learning enough to cover the material in the books. If something comes up which I haven't taught yet then I know what our next lesson will be.

Kaya's just finishing up her 1st grade year and Lana rekons she's done with preschool and ready to start kindergarten. She's finished the workbooks for sure, and is reading really quite well for a 4 year old. She reads the same books we get from the library for Kaya!

I think we're finally starting to settle into a routine - no that word smells too much like structure - a pattern that works for us. We have fun learning together. I learn so much too! Homeschooling has its pros and cons for sure, and I'm thinking I'll make a blog post about those at some point. I am just really enjoying getting to spend the day with my kids, from start to end, raising and teaching them and watching them grow and learn. It feels like such an accomplishment. And it's a privilege I am so grateful for.

Having said that...I am totally looking forward to the Summer break when we will take a much more laid back approach! Bring it on Summer. hehe.


Herb of Grace said...

You've pretty much just described the exact way we homeschool :) I bet our girls would get along great. And the boys, too, once Turtle gets a little more height on him.

Laura - Ex. Dir. said...

I think it is wonderful to homeschool - your children will have so many wonderful memories and experiences....and learn so much!

Keri said...

Very cool post and I love your photos. I debate myself and whether or not to homeschool my two year old when it comes time. I don't know that I could do it. I don't think I'm structured enough. Hmmm....

Elizabeth said...

Sounds alot like what we do! You take great pictures!