Was reading my friend, Dana's blog the other day & found myself saying 'AMEN' to her little tid-bits of homeschooling wisdom & thought it would be worthwhile to share her tid-bits here too along with some of my own. I have been reading a really good book I found at the library called 'The Simplicity of Homeschooling' by Vicky Goodchild & thought I'd share some bits from that along with Dana's bits. So without further adoo.....
**Dana's tid-bits are in black.....mine added in are in italics**
I realize that I have not been homeschooling as long as some people and not the entire length of my kid's school careers. I also know that I have not yet graduated a child, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I think I'm onto some things though.
*First of all, you do not have to spend a ton of money. You can homeschool with paper, pencils and library books if need be. If you don't own the books, you'll have to keep checking them out and that would be kind of a pain, but not impossible. An internet connection, even a slow, cheap one like we have, is also helpful. A printer is a wonderful homeschool helper. There are tons of resources for free on the internet. Currclick offers a free product each week. Teachers Pay Teachers offers free products about once a month.
Google is also a great research tool that we use ALL the time! And I can't say enough about using the library as a resource. We do it ALL the time too. Ashley has come across several books that she has recommended for me to buy & have to use with the younger ones. In particular is 'Math Essentials' & 'Grammar Essentials'. Both really good resources according to her!
*Secondly, you don't have to have a dedicated room in your home for homeschooling. We originally started doing the first part of homeschooling at the kitchen table but none of the kids do their schoolwork there now; it's usually the living room or their bedrooms. They have also done school work in the car, at grandma's house, in doctor's offices, the library and outside in the yard.
Same here....we started at the kitchen table, but as the kids got older & started doing more & more on their own, they ventured off to their favorite spots to work/read. There have been several times I have found Ashley on a quilt outside under our famous Dogwood tree with her school books & several kitties curled up with her.
*Thirdly, you do not have to "do school" just like the schools do school. They are running an institution and crowd control is a concern. Homeschools are more like tutoring services than schools. One on one individual instruction is more efficient and it does not have to take as long. Your child does not have to wait while 15 others go to the bathroom, unless you have a very large family. :)
*And last but not least, homeschooling can and should be as much fun as you can make it. Even though you are running a school, you are still also a family and can and should enjoy each others company. I realize that this is hard when someone is whining about math (trust me, I have been there!) but most of the day can be pleasant and even fun.
Yep....so very true. I think of some of the 'work times' around here & how it can be fun too. The boys cutting/stacking firewood...in the fall when we were ALL in the kitchen working on putting deer meat in the freezer.....Jon cutting, Michael grinding & weighing & me bagging & freezing. It's FUN when everyone works together!! Oh & a recent wonderful moment like this was just the other night, when Clay, Jon & Alli ended up having an impromptu music lesson/jam session with the guitars from about 10pm til midnight. Not your 'normal' school hours, but there's nothing like music lessons from Daddy. ;-) And see #1 above....they have had some super guitar books from the library, books ordered from Amazon & dvds they've learned from, etc. Not only are they learning these different skills....the family bonding time is priceless!
Quotes from 'The Simplicity of Homeschooling' by Vicky Goodchild.
*Art is the gift of God & must be used unto His glory. That in art is highest which aims at this. ~~Michelangelo
*We are created in the image of a Creator. So we are, on a finite level, people who can create.
~~ Edith Schaeffer
*All great art is the expression of man's delight in God's work, not his own. ~~Ruskin
*I play the notes as they are written...but it is God who makes the music. ~~J.S. Bach
*The aim & final reason of all music should be nothing else but the glory of God & the refreshment of the spirit. ~~J.S. Bach
*GED Test--passing this test is equivalent to a high school diploma & this would circumvent having to meet any required number of credits necessary to graduate from the conventional school system.
*Learning Lifestyle or Unschooling-- If college bound, an extensive portfolio may be useful to prove effort & mastery rather than a rigid counting of hours....many colleges are now accepting home-produced transcripts without question or concern. Homeschool, by nature, is a learning environment & would more than meet the minimum hours. Homeschoolers are proving to be desirable on campus because of their leadership abilities, scholastic achievement, moral character, independant study habits & the list goes on!
*Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. ~~B.F. Skinner
*If our priority becomes the 'schoolhouse' instead of the 'home' we lose the real intent of the homeschool. We must nurture the home first; making it a haven for spiritual growth, peacefulness, security, acceptance & satisfying relationships. Nurturing these elements necessitates SPENDING TIME IN THE HOME WITH EACH OTHER rather than living fragmented lives with everyone doing their own thing. It's a lifestyle that gives us the permission we need to SLOW DOWN, relax & enjoy the life God has given us. It allows us to pursue our interests & model a peaceful, satisfied life removed from stress & worry. Karey is often asked how she finds time to move beyond the maintainance level of home-keeping to pursue her own interests which include cooking from scratch, quilting, soap making, gardening & canning. Her answer is simply: 'I STAY OUT OF THE CAR!' She wisely consolidates her errands, music lessons, grocery shopping, etc. so she is able to spend more time at home! AMEN!!
* When I become curious about something (such as gardening, canning, freezing) I throw myself into it, read & learn all I can, & then apply my knowledge. Our children follow that pattern & are always involved in learning something based on their own curiousity & interest in a topic. We spend less time at the desk & much more time on the living application.
* If your children are burdened with hours of conventional-style education every day, you will all be too tired & uninspired to pursue the best part of learning--- interest-based, self-education. Yes, you must teach the basics, but give your children the time, the freedom & the permission to, at least sometimes, apply those basics while studying their own topics of interest.
* Don't assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God. ~~Dr. Richard Swenson
* In the rush & noise of life, as you have intervals, be still. Wait upon God & feel his good presence; this will carry you evenly through your day's business. ~~ William Penn