Not all home-school families are the same. In fact, there are many approaches to learning at home. You have the “School” at home, which is home-school mirroring public school. You have Curriculum based learning (many styles I don’t care to get into) which is very structured. Did I tell you how I am the total opposite of those?
I have never been very good at sticking to schedules, lists or curricula. It never works and things are always changing for us. My kids grow and with it comes the changes. So after 5 good but challenging years I’ve discovered that a laid back approach is best for my family. I call it unschooling.
Unschooling does not have one definition. For many, it means different things. It could be workbooks and field trips or some curricula with videos & music. It comes down to NOT mimicking the public school setting. To let it mold you while going with the flow.
Kids learn through everything you can imagine. Cooking (math), cleaning (responsibility), nature walks and much more. Kids get to learn more compassion and they are able to be closer to their parents and siblings.
I’m learning too!
Seriously, I learn just as much. Not just about math concepts, regions of the world or 100 of the deadliest animals. I learn more patience, balance, compassion and understanding of life and of my children.
Gosh, but what about socializing?
I cannot stand this question. It really gets under my skin every time it is brought up. Most homeschool kids get as much or more socializing than public school kids. I will give you a truth bomb about me. We probably do not get much. I have five kids, one is 6 months old and we don’t have a big enough vehicle right now. Yes that sucks and it can make it much more difficult in so many ways. But guess what?
It has not made my children weird or awkward. They are a bit shy but I like them that way. It’s a big scary world out there and they shouldn’t trust many. We make our life situation work the best we can. They do get away for library trips and such. At the end of the day my kids are fed, learning, happy and have a place they can lay their sleepy heads at night. They have parents that love them unconditionally…can’t be so bad right?
Life has been extremely busy since the birth of our baby boy last December. We are working on things this summer because we took a long break. I’m almost positive they learned a few things. I now have 3 fluent readers. Let me tell you how hard it is to teach your child to read. I haven’t really taught so much, but guided them through it. It is the most challenging thing about homeschooling. Once that is accomplished it is much easier for them to grasp subjects and learn independently.
I try not to focus on grade levels but it helps them get a feeling of accomplishment when I tell them “Yay, you passed 2nd grade!” So with that said, I now have a 6th, 4th, 2nd and Kindergartner! Oh my are my hands full. It can really get overwhelming and you always worry a little that you aren’t doing enough. I don’t think that feeling ever goes away. I have to pray about it and rely on those “aha!” moments.
This extremely important job I have is hard, rewarding, frustrating, fun and downright tiring….and I love it!