When you hear the word “deschooling,” what image usually comes to mind?
I usually think of a child playing, or watching TV, or reading a book in a leisurely way. After all, isn’t that what deschooling is all about? Giving a child time to let go of school and embrace learning in a more natural way?
Well, yes and no.
You see, the above description certainly is a part of deschooling – a very important part, I might add – but there is another crucial element that many homeschooling families overlook:
Sometimes it can be extremely hard to rid ourselves of an accepted concept that not only we grew up with, but so did our parents, grandparents, and, sometimes, our great-grandparents. The educational institution we know of today has only existed for a very short time when compared with the rest of history as we know it; however, since the past several generations have never known anything different than the brick-and-mortar school setting, oftentimes our idea of what “real” education looks like gets crammed into a neat little illustration of what’s going on within the four walls of the public school down the street. Continue reading “10 Books That Will Forever Change the Way You Look at Learning”
I think it’s pretty safe to say that being the parent of a child with ADHD can be difficult at times. As the mother of a teenager with this disorder, there is but one thing we’ve done that I truly feel has made a difference in an otherwise volatile situation.
We made the decision to homeschool.
My son was not always homeschooled. He spent several years in public school- long enough to see that it was a terrible environment for him to be in. He was miserable; therefore, the entire family was miserable and trying to cope with an almost unbearable situation.
I’m going to be honest with you right from the get go…I almost didn’t write this post.
The thought of writing about how we organize our homeschool was almost laughable to me because it is so no-frills and just plain ordinary that I thought, Who would ever be interested in our utterly no-nonsense organization plan? But then I realized that I surely can’t be the only homeschool parent who truly needs something that is easy, affordable, and not time-consuming. Continue reading “5 No-Nonsense Organization Tips for a No-Nonsense Homeschool”
I just wanted to give everybody a heads-up on two events you just might be interested in.
Do you struggle with keeping your homeschool organized? Do you have papers strewn everywhere, dozens of missing pencils, and a table that you can no longer see the top of? I’m going to admit that those things happen to me quite a bit. Thankfully, I’ve come up with a simple way of keeping our homeschool situated and presentable. Continue reading “Looking for Advice on How to Organize Your Homeschool?”
Of all the topics I write about, the one that generates the most interest is how to homeschool multiple children. I totally get it. If you apply the methods used by traditional schools to a home learning atmosphere, this could undoubtedly prove to be a stressful and hectic situation.
Fortunately, we homeschoolers are not bound by the routines held by compulsory schools. We have the freedom to tailor what we do to fit the indiviual needs of our own families.
Isn’t that awesome?
Today I would love for you to join me over at Busy Boys Brigade for the 20 Days of Homeschooling Encouragement Blog Party, where I’ll be tackling this very issue. While you’re there, take some time to read some of the other amazing posts in htis series. You’ll be sure to feel refreshed and energized to start your new homeschool year!
Happy Monday, everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that I am officially a guest contributor on They Call Me Blessed! I’m so excited to be working with so many talented bloggers on the 30 Ways We Homeschool Blog Party. Today I’m inviting you to stop on over and read about our family’s homeschool routine, including how we do it, where, when, and what we’ve chosen for the upcoming year’s curriculum. While you’re there, think about looking back through the other posts in this series. It’s always so amazing to see the many faces of homeschool!
It’s been about two years since I’ve written a weekly review post, and there has been one major change since then- we no longer identify as unschoolers and have settled in as relaxed homeschoolers. While unschooling can and does work for many families, the lack of structure and direction created some chaos in our lives.
I’ve learned a lot from our stint with unschooling, however, and feel that while some book work is necessary, it is hardly the most important part of our homeschool. Having said that, I’ve decided that if I am going to resume these review posts, for the most part I will not be focusing too much on our seat work and will instead focus on the parts of our weeks that I truly consider to be either highlights or developments that made this week different from the last.
Since I know so many people are curious as to how homeschooling can work with ten kids in the house, I have written a post that better addresses the technicalities of our daily routine.
Now on with the show!
This week has been one of those weeks that we really let life take the lead and backed off a bit on doing much structured learning. Our week started with two of my children taking their state-mandated standardized tests. (One on Monday and one on Tuesday)
We are really blessed in that our state only requires standardized tests in grades 3, 5, and 8 and in that my children were able to do these online at home, but it did not take away the stress that both of my children felt from doing them. After having one child in tears and another loudly complaining that she hates “school.” I am dreading having to go through this again with two more of my children next year.
While I’d be perfectly happy if we never had to see another test like that again, it was so refreshing to watch my son outside playing with the water table during his breaks. It just absolutely reinforced my beliefs in the benefits of homeschooling, because how many school children get to do things like that during their testing time?
Earlier in the week, Sunday to be precise, I went out to get the newspaper and found a headline glaring at me, stating how unsafe our city’s schools are. Apparently our school district had almost 3,000 incidents of violence by students that had to be reported to the Department of Education in the 2014-2015 school year alone. Add to that the fact that during that school term, the police had to be called 500 times and students were arrested 300 times. And the cherry on top was the story of a third grader who wrapped his hands around another child’s neck during breakfast in the cafeteria, and it turned out that this was the child’s 14th discipline report in seven weeks. Again, all I can say is, hallelujah for homeschooling.
Wednesday I helped take my disabled brother to a doctor’s appointment, so we actually did not do anything school-related that day at all. It was a well-timed break, though, after the stressful testing days. The rest of our week has been mainly activities-based, which is how they like it. Since I break my kids down into three groups in our homeschooling routine, I’ll do the same here to give you a picture of what was accomplished this week.
The Littles- Ages 7, 6, 4 (and sometimes the 2-yr.-old)
We’ve been reading the book Lentil this week and did some accompanying activities from our FIAR curriculum, such as mapping, coloring the US flag, and learning some shading techniques for an art project. We also talked about uniqueness and jealousy and worked on some character trait issues.
The Big Kids- Ages 11, 10, and 8
We’ve been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone together, and the kids have been reading books from the Encyclopedia Brown series because they work well with the research/reference unit study we’re doing right now. We’ve been practicing looking for information using library resources and actually took a field trip there today, so that they could choose books for their upcoming reports and better learn how to tell the difference in the placement of fiction and non-fiction books on the shelves.
As an aside, I’ve got to say that I was horrified when I found out today that a young boy was assaulted in the men’s room of our library. Our library. Add to that the fact that our mayor is being investigated by the FBI for bribery charges, and you’ve got a pretty clear picture of the state that our city is in right now.
The Teens- Ages 16, 16, and 14
My oldest daughter has been reading a modern English version of Dante’s Inferno, while my younger daughter just finished The Book Thief. My son isn’t much of a reader, so he’s just been reading through some non-fiction books about WWII from the library and taking some notes from them. The three of them actually did get the vast majority of their assigned work done this week since they mainly do it on their own (with exception to math, of course- sigh). Otherwise, my oldest daughter’s been painting quite a bit with her acrylics. She hopes to sell some of her work online in the future and has been working at perfecting her artistic style. My son has been out and about with his friends quite a bit, bike riding, playing basketball, and watching a volleyball game at the middle school. My younger daughter has been going through a phase where I pretty much have to force her to come out of her room and get some fresh air. She does go for walks with her sister and me, and we’ve been lamenting the fact that the cherry blossoms have already turned green! Sniff.
The Oldest- Age 22
Okay, I know he’s technically the 11th kid I’ve mentioned and the title of the post is “A Tale of TEN Homeschoolers,” and I know that he isn’t homeschooled (he’s actually in college), BUT I felt like I had to include him because he’s still one of my children, and, with all the editing and proofreading I do for his college papers, sometimes I feel like he IS my 11th homeschooler.
He has been having some issues recently with conflicting responsibilities because he has a huge workload right now for school, and he also has some classes he needs to take for the army (he’s in reserves) because he’s supposed to be going to Germany this summer for some training thing. (I don’t know the technical term). Hopefully, he’ll be able to figure something out that will satisfy both needs.
And that’s about it. I’m looking forward to a beautiful weekend and can’t wait to see what next week will bring!