Saturday, August 23, 2008

Learning "outside the box"...musings about Home Schooling

I guess after 13 years of educating my children at home, I now have the title of "veteran home school mom"..ha.

Well..that's all fine and dandy I suppose, but one thing I have learned on this home schooling journey is that I too am learning...and being taught.

You see once you embark on this journey into the realms of teaching your own child/children you begin to see things afresh. You begin to find out about things that you too never learned in a public school setting, and gosh darn it!! ..its fun!!

Has it always been fun? ..O.k...o.k. you've pegged me on that question... hasn't always been fun....and I'll tell you why.

When I first embarked upon this journey..I was of the impression like most folks that are just starting out into the great wide world of undertaking this task...that "everything....and I mean everything...had to be "by the book".

What an erroneous thought that was! ...and what a tremendous amount of undue stress it put upon myself and upon my child.

So much so that we just about tossed in the towel a few months later.

But...I stepped back and accessed the situation back then and realized doesn't have to be "everything by the book"..and after all..who's book was it anyhow?

Every child learns at a different pace and in a different style.Unique to them. What works for one child, won't necessarily work for another.

So..after a few months of near tears trying to do things in a strict by the book method.... We decided to go a different route.

Of course we still maintain some structure to our home schooling schedule, but now it is no longer along a format of "you will tell the child this..the writing examples must look like this"..and so forth.

Now we utilize things like the Internet, videos, and found books, sometimes old text books from our local school board media center, and everything and anything "educational" to teach and learn with.

We have gotten "outside of the box" and learned to relax with learning and teaching.

And the journey just keeps getting better and better.

I think one of the first things I would say to someone wanting to look into home educating their own child is this...."Relax".

Don't get it into your mind that everything has to be done by a "rule book" of sorts, or by using any particular set curriculum.

Sure some parents find this approach to be easiest for the first year or two..we did..but after that..we learned to lighten up and relax.

Our children still learn, and sometimes more than exceed what is being taught in their grade levels in the public school arena.

We cover the requirements...reading, writing, arithmetic and everything in between.

If you just take the time to look around you..there are learning opportunities to be had everywhere.

For example:

In your kitchen when you are preparing breakfast...engage the children in a talk about farm animals and where the breakfast foods come from.

With the older children you can take a lesson about the egg and start researching embryology. See where I am going with this?
Teaching and the learning experience are only limited by your own imagination. Let go and have fun!

Learning is so much more fun..when we learn to relax..and to think "outside of the box"

So, in case you are beginning your journey on this route..I leave you with this little phrase..."Learn to'll be glad you did..and the journey will be amazing!"

~The Garden Goose~

1 comment:

Jeanie said...

A lovely post, Tina, like so many! One reason why I just gave you a blog award over at The Marmelade Gypsy! Stop by!