Thank you for joining us for the 2017 Virtual Curriculum Fair! This is my first year joining, so I am excited to give snapshots of our homeschool, along with other homeschool bloggers. A big thanks to Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds for hosting it!
This week’s topic is See How We Learn- to be completely honest, how we learn really encompasses SO much, it would be easier to tell you how we don’t learn here. =)
We do not learn all willy nilly all the time, but we do not use textbooks for everything (math is about it). I know some people have negative opinions about home schooling but for further education, like university and college, I have found hundreds of great companies who help tutor and create research papers, for children and teens.
We do not settle for a world view we don’t agree with, or follow something because everyone else does. We use what works for our family.
We do not prescribe to beginning school at a strict time, on a strict schedule. We do prescribe to a routine, a rhythm if you will, while the baby sleeps and eats on a schedule (for mama’s sanity, and the baby’s).
We do not mark off all the things, we do try to accomplish meaningful lessons that help us all grow and learn.
I do not plan all our lessons in advance. I do tear out the workbook pages, and divide into 36 weeks, place them in folders for clipboard work each week (math, grammar, and handwriting). I occasionally use the best student learning guide 2020 has too if there’s a particular topic we would like to go over. But everything else, I divide into 36 weeks so I know about how many lessons we need to hit each week. When and how we hit them is up to us. And I use 36 weeks as a guide, but we school year round, and start the next level of whatever we are working on when we finish. =) My children do small tests in English, Maths etc. and I use Grade Cam Test Grader to mark the tests. It’s super easy to use which allows me to spend more time teaching rather than marking!
Mostly, my children learn through hands on and reading. We use literature for just about everything; I haven’t found many math books I am a super huge fan of, so we do a lot of hands on for math. When they’re older, I’m going to show them learning cloud NZ and let them pick an online course to study. Learning is so important no matter how old you are!
Our Homeschool Day
Our homeschool days, that aren’t interrupted by errands, play dates, co op, or field trips mostly look the same. Our mornings begin at 7am, followed by breakfast, morning basket, morning chores, time outside (or downstairs if it is too cold out), reading together in the chair (just getting back to this in this season of life after baby), and then work at the table.
I don’t plan out our week (like certain subjects on certain days), I just plan that we get Xnumber of days or lessons per subject, how we get them done depends on the week. =)
Some days we get through a lot in one day, while others end with me feeling like we didn’t accomplish anything (but we actually accomplished a lot … that’s another post) I don’t measure our success by how many papers we complete, or lessons we get through. Often we bunny trail on topics, go looking for videos to supplement something that catches their interest, or just go outside and focus on something they’re interested in.
However, we do enjoy the workbooks and papers that we do use, which helps tremendously. If something doesn’t work, I scratch it and we do something else. Thankfully, we haven’t had to do that hardly at all.
After we are done with hand writing, reading, writing, spelling, math, history, and science (if done at) the table (not all in one day, and not in that order..) we do whatever extras I may have planned. Sometimes we are reading about a topic my kids love, like Native Americans or the pilgrims, pioneers, or astronomy, and I will get a bunch of books from the library to read on the side, have a few videos in my notes for us to watch, or a field trip for us to go on (though at this time, field trips aren’t happening a lot). We like to do nature study, take nature walks around the pond and in our woods, and journal outside.
I keep these extras written down and we pick and choose what we want to do, or what we have time for. I do not live by my planner, I use it for my thoughts; it is much more like a journal for our homeschool. I have journaled since before I could really write, so for me, this feels more natural. It helps me keep track of my notes for the kids, what I want to review, what we want to look into later, interesting field trip ideas, etc. But just because I write it down doesn’t mean I have to do it.
**You can’t let yourself feel like a failure for not marking off every single thing. Or where would you find joy in what you have accomplished?!
If you aren’t a planner person, but want to keep track of things, you may look into using a traveler’s notebook!
What I really love about homeschool planning in a traveler’s notebook is the freedom that comes with it! I can write down things I want to remember that the kids did during school, and all the other things I mentioned above. I keep other pages in my notebook with all those lists and thoughts.
So, how do we learn?
I love Charlotte Mason and classical styles of education, mixed with Montessori and Waldorf philosophies and activities. I learned about so many wonderful philosophies in college, and I like implementing parts from many of them into our homeschool. Homeschool isn’t about school at home, I think we’ve all heard that. It is about living life, floowing Christ, becoming life long learners, and finding a love for learning that grows and grows! That doesn’t look like 4 brick walls and a couple of recesses for us. It looks like … life!
I invite you to see how my fellow bloggers learn in their homeschools (note: all posts will be live by noon EST, Jan. 2nd):
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