Our Homeschool Days - what we love doing as a homeschooling family!
Updated Family Photo:
For those who have followed my website for a few years, you might like to have an update on what our homeschooling family is doing now.
Since beginning this website, our homeschooling family has decreased from 6 students to 4 - as our eldest two have now finished their home school studies (...but.... education never stops!) and they are now entering the work force.
I have been reminded of the benefits of homeschooling and what makes it so special and I tried to capture those benefits into four main points below:
The whole premise on which this website is based is the fact that your children and your family are unique! That is why this site is not out to sell you any type of curriculum or push you into a certain direction. Rather, the aim is that you discover your uniqueness as a family as far as goals, direction, children, personalities and therefore learning styles and curriculum.
I stand in amazement continually as I watch my children as individuals. Not only do they learn differently and at different paces, but their interests are so varied.
Their individuality spans from making bows and arrows, fixing up computers, setting up sound systems, creating games and planning big events, to performing, giving speeches and dancing in front of the family as an audience.
My daughter, Talitha, for example will love to write a puppet play and perform it and is happy to plan the draft and re-write the final copy. However, her older brother, Joel, would be in agony if I asked him to do that! He is happy to watch and enjoy what she does, but he loves to go on his free-lines outside, make a bow from the bush, and take time to perfect an arrow.
Another son, Micah, will fiddle with computers and speakers and sound equipment constantly. He hardly ever gets to use his computer on his desk, which he made from odds and ends, because he always has it open and is in the process of adding or trying another piece!! How many times Joel and Micah have installed and re-installed all sorts of programs and re-formatted the harddrive I don't know!
Ben, is the creator of games, card games, board games, people games and he is forever walking around with a scrappy piece of paper is his hand which is the beginnings of a new idea. Not all of his ideas come to fruitition,but his ideas are boundless! He loves statistics, timelines, genealogies and history writings and he has the most wonderful History Books in which he adds all sorts of interesting details. He loves putting on history days - especially in his head - and hopefully we will soon see another day coming up - the Trojan War Day! Go the Greeks and the Trojans!
So, I love the fact that as we homeschool, our children have time to develop their own creativity and enjoy expressing their own personality.
Of course that leaves us as parents with the challenge of giving our children time... and also realizing that our children will express their learning in different ways.
Oral narration, written narration, puppet shows, powerpoint presentations, book work, art expression, creative sculptures, video editing, play writing, performance can all be equally valid ways to express understanding of a given concept. We need to think creatively.
For our children to develop a love of learning and follow their passions and interests, we have to allow them to have time. Spending quality time as a family around books, exploring a theme, working together is a way in which we can get our children involved in their own education. Be excited about what we are learning together and be interested in what they are discovering on their own.
Give them room to explore, and time to show what they have learned.
Find more ways to create a stimulating learning environment and also ways to make your home an exciting place where learning happens naturally.
Although my aim is to enjoy weekly nature walks, it does not happen in that organized way. Instead, our nature studies come up spontaneously and we delve into the subject at hand when it arises. The nature study may continue through the life cycle on an animal or just be a short topic of interest for 15 minutes.
But, the best part of all, is the time we have to be outdoors enjoying the sun, the experiences that do come our way, the ability to research those which interest us and to add it to our online nature journal.
As I reviewed my own photos I was pleasantly reminded of some of the experiments the children have conducted over time arising out of their own interests.
We also really enjoy our excursions. The children are involved in Drama and Choir on a weekly basis and this is certainly a highlight in their week!
We have also been Zoo Friends in 2009 and have enjoyed many Zoo visits, seeing the baby elephant born at Taronga Zoo this year. Joel wrote about that here. We have also enjoyed our Museum visits and are looking forward to the antiquities museum soon.