Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Lifestyle of Learning ....yes that's Home Education!

“I am resolved to be a good mother to my children, to pray for them, to set them good examples, to give them good advice, to be careful both of their souls and bodies, to watch over their tender minds; to carefully root out the first appearing and buddings of vice, and to instill piety, virtue and true religion into them.“ 
Eliza Lucas Pinkney

Lately I  have been thinking about our lives as a home educating family. I guess it must be all the back to school talk form my US friends.
As we are about half way through the year here we are really into our stride, well as much as we can be with a large family and all the distractions

I also was thinking of how much we have changed over the years too and truly have grown into the Home Educating lifestyle. Really this has been a lifestyle for so long that I can't imagine life any other way, but the reality of the issue is that we DO NOT school at home.
In fact we do not come close. Instead we life a lifestyle that promotes education in the home environment.

What does this mean?
It means that we go about our learning on an everyday basis with the family structure being the core of our curriculum.
Yes, the way our family culture exists means that we do things together as a family. We eat, sleep, play , pray and learn right along side each other. This constitutes our learning.

You may be saying something like this "that doesn't sound like the children are learning anything at all" or "sounds like you are unschoolers to me"

I would have to say that no, we aren't unschoolers BUT yes we are very relaxed about things now. Yes, we do follow through plans and routines for learning. I have plans and ideas on a whole other blog (sadly I haven't updated on the day to days recently) and I even  record on this blog some of the things we do.
We do not follow what I call a 'canned curriculum' but I tend to pull together interests and ideas that are interesting for our children and try to encourage them to follow those interests that they desire.
I will change a resource if a child particularly does not relate for it BUT then there are other times I insist they follow through. This usually happens when I am sure they just find it difficult or are being less than enthusiastic about their studies.

All in all I really think it is knowing your children and each of their particular strengths and weaknesses and encouraging them in their weaknesses and helping to strengthen those already strong areas.

You won't find everything we do to educate our children on either of these sites though.
The reason being  I do believe in the the statement at the start of this post as being a most thorough statement of a great education.
When I focus on these ideals it ensures that I provide the tools and resources for our children to enrich their lives with  the education they need for ensuring their ability to continue education them selves on a life long journey.

As we have discovered in our later years that we have some more challenging issues with learning for some of our children I really do believe that learning at home has guaranteed them the best opportunities for learning to their best ability.

I also believe that continuing my own learning in being open to new opportunities myself show the children that yes, you can continue to be educated at any age. You can continue to expand your horizons and not be forever stuck where you are. So when I find it hard to learn a new skill whether it be a new craft or research I am reminded that this is a life long journey and I am so pleased to be able to share it with the children.

As I was looking on Facebook the other day I saw this article and was struck with how sad it must be for children to be continually expected to not do their best, but to be performing at more than 100% all the time. It certainly does not allow a child or adult for that matter to be able to actually really learn but simply to sill in the blanks to get to the nest level with out any of the enjoyment of really obtaining knowledge.

What a poor example and lifestyle for our children if this is the sum total of education.
How I pray that I can give our children the tools that will allow them to be the very best person they can be at what ever God has called them to. To encourage them that perfection is not the goal to strive for but the ability to do the best with what you have and to use those gifts for the benefit of others as well.

I hope to share (given time restraints) some of the styles of learning we use and the reason why we combine these together into our own unique family learning!

>Blessings to you and your homes,


Vicky said...

This is a lovely post, Gae. I feel the same way about my own children's learning.
God bless:-)

Gae said...

Dear Vicky,
Thanks for the encouragement. I love reading about your family's lifestyle too
Blessings Gae

Kim said...

Hi Gae,
I homeschooled my now grown sons for many, many years, and your way of homeschooling sounds very much like the way I homeschooled . . . the books and reading, gardening, cooking, creative writing, carpentry, music, drawing and crafts, it was all good and educational. A simply lovely way for children to learn.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I really enjoy reading your blog.

Lisa said...

I don't think I've ever read a description that comes closer to our "method" and philosophy of education, Gae. It's taken us many years to come to many of these same conclusions and understandings of a relaxed home "school" -- that is really, for all intents and purposes just *home*... Such a pleasure to meet like-finded folks! Blessings to all of you!

Erin said...

"It means that we go about our learning on an everyday basis with the family structure being the core of our curriculum."
I love this!
Thanks for joining in the carnival:)

Sweetness and Light said...

Beautiful thoughts Gae! So glad to catch up.


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