Monday, January 7, 2013

Learning with Change............

 " Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline  a Life"

This month's Homeschool High School Carnival is all about Finding our Stride....Homeschoolers with highschoolers, particularly long term homeschoolers tend to find a groove. How has your family's educational philosophy evolved over the years? Where to you find yourself in the high school years?

These words " Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline  a Life" by Charlotte Mason have been the guiding principles of our whole Learning At Home experience and philosophy of our family culture.
When our children were small and we were just learning ourselves the best way to implement them in our home I had them on a blackboard to remind me of the importance of them.

In fact I believe they are the foundation of all learning for all people. To utterly submerse yourself in real life experiences, real life learning and then you can share this with the world and  have the world at your fingertips, ready and waiting for the gifts that only each one of us can bring to what ever path we choose.

First off let me get this off my chest!
I do not believe in the term teenager. In fact I really hate the term teenager, and don't use it in our home (just my personal preference so I have difficulty using it in these context) and believe the coining of the term and all it's implications of that term is a destructive influence not only on our youth but on society as a whole.

So when we talk about Atmosphere and discipline where do we see this mainly but in the lives we share with others and for this reason I believe that especially with our young emerging adults that education and the pursuit of knowledge is like ashes if you are not able to maintain relationships not only with those closest to you but with those you relate to in the outside world, away from family. In fact this is so important I believe in a Lifestyle of Learning that I have shared on it before here.

Now with respect to our adolescents learning at home I would like to share this piece of information with you.
We actually don't 'do High School' in our Home Learning!

What, how can that be?
Yes, we do continue on with learning but I have never graded our children into 'school age equivalent years of school.'
From our earliest years we continue on with learning as a continual process and this continues on  into those 'highschool' years until our young adults then move onto their life works learning.

So what is it we do during these years?

Frankly I think it is here that we find a true lifestyle of learning. It is here that individual learning really can become a natural experience for those young people.
Again though as we have the guiding principles of our whole life being an opportunity for learning, it allows a lot of scope and variation for individual children, and these ideas of learning can change as the young adult grows, matures and learns too.

Allowing our adolescents to take charge of their learning, within certain parameters has worked well for us in our family culture. By doing this however means you have to be willing to allow the child to know that this term or this year they want to concentrate on learning poetry or finishing that maths text book or learn about that hobby that is so very fascinating.....................and then be prepared to change tracks along with them.

Being open to change I think is essential in maintaining a continual stride within our Learning Environment  Not being afraid to say OK even if we did not finish the French Revolution I have learned what was usual for me at this time and am now ready to move on. That does not say that that child will never come back to The French Revolution but that simply they are ready to take on some other learning curve.

I often spend hours and days in planning and recording our plans for our coming year or week or sometimes even a day of activities that I feel will be beneficial to these young people, often at their request, but I have to be ready to move with them or lose the opportunity to keep the enthusiasm alive for learning at it's best.

So strange as it sounds - change and the willingness to change tracks is actually a very comfortable stride for us in the learning opportunities for the youth in our family. Being open to the personal interests of each child/adolescent within our family is

As we look at planning the coming learning year I have four very excited young people as they ask me if they can pursue a few of the interests they have in a unit study. Each of them are different and yet each has it's worthwhile aspects for the person involved.

In the day to day aspects of learning with our adolescents we do have some stipulations.
We as a whole family try to live The Liturgical  Year with various feast days that we prepare for as a family.
We also have other important family culture days that we spend time celebrating and preparing for.
While I would not like to give the impression that learning is a life long pursuit and there are many non academic aspects involved in our learning the way we do we do have some Academic aspects that are required in our home~

Assigned Reading covering covering these genre:
G.A. Henty
This is a foundation of our home leaning.
We do require maths from Maths Online, we supplement this with Understanding Maths books and other books and resources we have on hand.

We also require English with various resources being used at differing times.
Also Faith, Writing, History, Geography, Art and Music,

Now these can be done as individual subjects or can be combined to make a nice little unit study. And of course they do not necessarily all have to be 'equal in wight' to each other every day.

In summary I would say that our family's groove or stride that we have developed over the years is one of  Lifestyle Learning. Our home is the start of our educational adventure and we try to make that learning as much a apart of our family culture so that it is an integral part of our lives.

Of course our lives have ups and downs, which is reflected in our academic work. However it is also reflected in the timeless attributes of relationships, personal achievements and character development that in my opinion far out-way simple academics.

So again our 'High school Home-school' is based around this tiny little phase, which is essentially a whole lot more than it seems.................." Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline  a Life"

By the way: All our Learning at Home posts are here
Blessings to you and your homes,

1 comment:

Kelly Casanova said...

I'm so glad to read this!
My son (I've been told by other people) is starting high school this year and these people have been asking me what I'm going to do now. I tell them that we're just carrying on with what we've been doing, as you say, learning is a lifestyle and a process and doesn't need to be packaged into a little box.
I don't think in terms of "grades" either, I just cater to each child's level of learning and hope that I cover enough for the year.


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