Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Homeschool Recipe

I never fit neatly into any one category. The same is so true of homeschooling. I am not a “traditionalist”, not a “classicalist”, and not an “unschooler”. I find myself drifting though the categories and settling down wherever it feels right for the day. Some days I may be all three and some days I invent a new category. Either way, we all have our recipe; the ingredients which are vital to our successful homeschooling experience. The proportions may change from day to day, but the key ingredients remain and fluctuate depending on that day’s taste.

Nature: We try to experience all different ways of observing, participating, and studying nature. Be it through our garden, exploring the creek, hiking, or camping, we are always involved in nature. Always.

Critical Problem Solving: I love inventing problems and finding answers. The kids look at things critically and develop rational solutions and sometimes inventions to solve problems. In addition to probems within everyday situations, they get to play some video games and computer games that involve solving mysteries and problem solving.

Exercise: We are big on physical activity. Bike riding, trampoline playing, karate, gymnastics free play, hiking—we do it all. It balances our lives by rounding out the day. Our philosophy: if you aren’t tired by bed time—you did something wrong today!

Math: No, I’m not going to start discussing curriculum. We “live” math just as we do the other key ingredients above. I do not look at it really as a subject. It is as fluent in our day as any of the other topics. As we go about our day we speak math, calculate, and study numbers. My kids have learned multiplication—as a logical expression of addition, and division as a way to part out a whole. My kids are 4 and 6. Math is critical to daily living and we learn it and live it that way. No textbooks required on a daily basis.

Language: I read to them daily. This may be SpongeBob on one day and Greek Mythology on another—whatever we are in the mood for. Sometimes it’s a combination—we think of literature as a buffet or salad bar—take what you are in the mood for. The kids also read to me practicing both their fluency and decoding. We discuss all of the key components and comprehension skills as well as reflective reading practices. To me language also means our ability to speak and interact with one another, as well as expanding our language horizons. We are working on learning French and try to incorporate it through out the day when ever we can.

Socialization: Yes the good old “s” word. For us, it almost isn’t even something worth mentioning like breathing—of course you do it! We are part of homeschooling groups and co-ops in our area, we do park days and field trips with our homeschooling friends, we play in the neighborhood with the school kids, we belong to teams and other clubs, we interact with society everyday: the young, the old, those of differing socio-economic status, different cultures, and so on.

Free Play: How else will you learn who you are and what you like?

So that’s it—find your proportions to taste and enjoy.
My recipe was featured on:


||| laura frantz ||| on July 15, 2009 at 9:21 AM said...

Love it!! My favorite part: socialization is like breathing.

Sharon on July 15, 2009 at 9:30 AM said...

Love this post! I'm starting HSing in the fall and think much along the same lines. Have not committed to any "kind" of HS track. I have a whole lotta time to figure out what works for us. And yes, socializing is like breathing and it's never been an issue in the past 4 years! Our boys are more social than just about any other children we've met!

Lindsey on July 15, 2009 at 9:29 PM said...

I'm starting a HS this fall too! I've been researching and have found, like you, there's not really one that fits us to a T. I've been taking bits and pieces and incorporating them into our everyday life. And Sharon, my kids are the same way, quite social :-)

I found you on WATF's Works for me Wednesday and am so glad! I'll be coming back frequently :-)

shopannies on July 15, 2009 at 10:07 PM said...

its great to homeschool in the summer

Summer on July 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM said...

I love this! Especially the nature and free play, those are the biggest parts for me. :)

e-Mom on July 25, 2009 at 3:45 AM said...

Good thoughts! That purple eye shadow is cute!

Found you at the Carnival of Homeschooling. Nice to meet you...



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