Homeschool Ideas

I am terrible at homeschooling.

Except for the times I am not.

Consistency is what I lack most. And my kiddo has pretty severe special needs, so there are complications. BUT, I still believe it is our very best option.

In these crazy, COVID-19 days, where CDC guidelines run the risk of seriously altering public education, it is a great time to investigate other options.

For anyone who may be wondering IF homeschool 20/21 is worth it, the following is a compilation of resources and ideas. I wish desperately I could turn back the clock ten years and start then, knowing what I know now, but forward is the only option.

First, you do not need to create your own curriculum. There are plenty to choose from.

Here is a list of free curriculums.

There are also many places to purchase an all in one curriculum or individual courses. Try here. Or here. Or another one. I have used this one and really liked it.

That should help get you started.

If you have small kids, ages 2-7, I recently stumbled across Other Goose. The founder, Erin Loechner, blogs here. She believes in chasing simplicity as though it were an Olympic sport. She’s my newest favorite.

There are MANY, many different educational philosophies. Each have their own strengths and merits. Many homeschool families combine various parts of various notions. One of the beauties of homeschooling os the freedom to find what helps your child/family to thrive.

Several years ago the book someone recommended A Thomas Jefferson Education. There was going to be a book group conversation about it, and of course I had procrastinated the purchasing of it, unaware that it is impossible to find in a normal book store. So, I downloaded it to my daughter’s kindle and sobbed my way through reading it.

Suddenly, my whole life made sense.

The author, Oliver DeMille, breaks down education into three types.

The conveyor belt education, education for the masses, is designed to teach people what to think.

A professional education teaches WHEN to think. This is necessary for medicine, education, and law, etc. Under what circumstances do you apply this information?

A Thomas Jefferson education is based heavily on mentoring and the classics teaches HOW to think. I suddenly realized why I hated school and struggled in Bible Study groups.

I hate being taught what to think. In that spirit, I don’t want to tell anybody what to think about how or where to educate their children. Instead, these are just ideas and places to get more information.

Here is a quick overview of several different educational philosophies.

THE CHARLOTTE MASON METHOD

The Charlotte Mason method, from my simplistic point of view, focuses on habits, nature, and reading original sources whenever possible. If you want your child to spend hours outside every day, consider this method.

This website gives a thorough overview. This morning my daughter made the bed without being asked. This counts as a homeschool victory! (Habits make up a life, for good or ill.)

REGGIO-AMELIA APPROACH

Like Charlotte Mason. Reggio emphasizes environment for learning. Natural is best. Allowing a child’s interest to inspire deep learning is encouraged.

Here is a great, brief introduction. In fact, that website has an enormous amount of helpful information.

CLASSICAL EDUCATION

The Well Trained Mind is the modern go-to resource for information on a classical education. Here is their link, with an abundance of information.

In a vastly over-simplified explanation, the Classical Model teaches with history as the foundation. Learning goes through 4 one year cycles:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval History
  • Renaissance/Reformation
  • Modern

The science, math, art, and literature are all taken from the period of history studied. This does allow a unique insight into how the people, places, inventions, and culture influence what happens from one period to the next.

ABEKA

I honestly know very little about Abeka, except that they have been around and used by Christian schools and homeschoolers for decades.

You can look into their resources here.

Never has there been a better time to make hard decisions about education. Paying private school tuition for online at-home learning would not be my favorite thing in the world. Days full of mask wearing, small crowds, no field trips and no assemblies is not a winning formula either.

One of my biggest regrets in parenting is that I stopped reading to my kids. Once they started to read chapter books, I let them read whatever they wanted as often as they wanted. They started reading chapter books at 5 and 6. If I had it to do over again, I would have continue to read aloud every night.

She is my favorite resource on the topic. If you really want to understand the how’s and why’s of how much good it can do for your kids look here, or here, or here.

Not everyone has a choice. But for those who do, who are thinking about the third option: HOMESCHOOLING, I hope this helps!

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