A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thoughts on Homeschooling

We are still and may always be navigating this sea of homeschooling life.  It has only been a few months and I as much as the children (if not more) am still learning.  After much research throughout the fall I knew that one curriculum wasn't the way to go for us, after all each child is his own person and deserves the right to express that.  Not to mentions that I found different ideas from different schools of thought interesting and/or helpful.  I also knew that I didn't want "school at home".  By this I mean I didn't want to ring a bell in the morning, pledge allegiance to the flag, and do the same subjects in the same order for the same amount of time every day.  After all that is what they were doing in school, and this is home.  Beyond that though I wasn't so sure where homeschooling would take us,  I got some workbooks, talked to everyone I knew that was already homeschooling and tried to learn as much as I could.
I would like them to be learning every day (which they do whether I'm involved or not).   I do think that things like math are important, and while we do incorporate it into real life easily enough through cooking, sewing, and such,  we do some strait up math work.  It's boring, but we get it done.
I also studied both the state and national expectations for kids their age as far as public education was concerned so I could have some idea of where they were at and where they should be. 
But this morning I guess I had a bit of an epiphany of sorts.
I had written down some assignments for them on our chalkboard wall, math, grammar, nature study and geography today.  However, the boy wanted to go outside first and play.  I almost said "no, finish your work and then go outside".  Luckily a little voice inside me said "Are you crazy woman!  Let those children be out in nature, school's not going anywhere".  Fortunately for everyone sake I listened to that little voice.
So off they went in their puddle boots and a few less layers to "play".   When I went outside to see what they were up to I realized "hey, they ARE learning"!  To those of you who have been at this for a while I'm sure your thinking "well, yeah".  But I guess I just haven't thought about it in these terms before.  But there they were, working together to build a structure of sorts.  Learning to work as a team, learning about physics (Corey was all wound up about kinetic energy and what would and wouldn't hold the big heavy branches up). They put their heads together and got what they needed, it was brilliant. 
When I first walked out the front door I found this:
for anyone confused this is indeed a sled full of mud on my front walk.  My mouth was open I was ready to say "get rid of this mess", but instead I took a deep breath and simply thought "let them be, it's only mud".  I'm so thrilled with the day of learning they are having right now. 

 I learned a valuable lesson today, let go and let them follow their interests and passions. The learning will be there with them in all that they do, this is how they are wired!  I am happy with the path that we are on.  I realize there will still be bumps and unexpected turns, but I will try as I did today to see these situations as opportunities to explore, learn and grow.


  1. It's it great...no matter how old we are, there are still lessons that we can be taught too. Welcome to the freedom of homeschooling!

  2. Wonderful post Angie!! I loved it! It is really hard to let go, don't I know it. Kids are living breathing learning machines if we can get out of the way fast enough :). Funny enough, we have had some unexpected turns recently, hoping to post on that this week :)...

  3. Such a beautiful post. Homeschooling is very appealing to me on so many levels but I feel totally overwhelmed by where to start. What curriculum to choose. I admire your decision to go ahead with it

  4. Rock on...Learning at home is just that, a learning process for all...I don't know how many times I have reinvented what we do, or just taken a time out for exploration...and we have been at it for just about a year now...who would have thought.

  5. Angie, I so appreciate this post! I think as homeschoolers we often are questioning ourselves "are we doing enough with them?" Oh gosh, yes- as you said they are learning every day.
    Taking a deep breath, stepping back and letting them "be" is such a huge part of it- and so very difficult too, isn't it?
    Your kids have a fabulous life. :) And they'll grow up knowing HOW to learn, how to experiment, ask questions, get answers- on their own. And they won't be bored and worn out with learning.

  6. You are such a great mama, Angie! I love hearing about your homeschooling days and it is always good to be reminded to let go and let them learn. It is way too easy to get in the way with plans and agendas.

  7. lol. my kids are out 'camping' in the backyard right now...while a little anxiety in my stomach says, 'what are the neighbors thinking?' and 'school, school, school' The voice in my heart says, "play, peace, love, camping in the backyard in March on a 60 degree sunny day, who cares what the neighbors think!"


  8. What a great post! We homeschool our 6 children and are very relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers. We use some curriculum for guidance and my high schoolers are definately more boxed in to curriculum, but over all we're not a workbook oriented family. My oldest son will be going to college in a year and so our homeschool will be shrinking and it makes me sad.

    Have a great journey!


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