We usually start in early August so that we can take advantage of taking time off during the school year, and by August the kids are usually ready to get back to some kind of structure. This year the girls did some math over the break so that they would not lose their momentum...neither one likes math very much.
When we started to home educate Tim was okay with it, if I wanted to do it. Several years into to it, we both decided that this was something we were in for the long haul. We saw the blessing of being able to disciple our kids as well as teach them. I have taught all 6 of my children to read, and have opened up the world for them through it.
Reading forms the basis of the way we educate. We read history together and discuss it. We do projects like maps, make clothing, food, use writing instruments of the time period we are studying. Our history often is the basis of writing assignments. Language arts and history are perfect companions as every time period had its poets, its historians, its biographers.
We listen to music and learn about instruments and composers, these people also fall into history. The kids also get the opportunity to learn to play an instrument.
www,allposters.comScience is generally a topic they are interested in. Last year it was astronomy, this year it is marine life.
I teach all my children together though they are in 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade this coming year. Each child gets an ability appropriate assignment, sometimes we do projects together.
This is a gentle way to learn, to use my friend Karen Andreola's phrase. It was her book on the Charlotte Mason method that so encouraged me and showed me a better way to educate my children.
You can purchase this book from Christianbook Distributors. Her books, "A Pocketful of Pinecones," and "Lessons From Blackberry Inn" follow a fictionalized story of a family in the 1930's teaching their children at home and following Charlotte Mason's writings. These two books can also be found at CBD.
Another author, Sally Clarkson, has also been a great encourager to me. She really emphasizes the discipleship of our children and this high calling we have as mothers. She has written many books and along with husband Clay wrote "Educating the Wholehearted Child."
I do not believe that there is only one right way to home educate your children. However, I do believe that it should be done mostly from home (that seems obvious but surprisingly many do not do this) and that it does not have to be stressful! I have talked with dear women who were trying to replicate public education in their homes. Dear friends, please don't do this! Home education is more like tutoring of long ago, nearly one on one with the teacher the student does not need nearly the time that it takes in school, and also they do not need busy work, for "seat time." I have also seen parents by full curriculums for many children in different grades. That means that in a normal school day, that Momma is going to do 4 to 5 sciences, language arts, histories, maths...Math is the one thing that our children do individually as they are all in vastly different places. Home education is also best done by one or more of the parents who know the children and their learning style, well.
I have found our way of educating our children to not be something that is going to burn me or them out...
This year we will study:
3rd, 5th and 8th grade math.
Reading, lots of reading
A writing curriculum
Physical education - In addition to horseback riding, Lindsay is going to teach them a course on archery.
I get excited every year to begin. I love reading aloud to them, enjoying both academic subjects as well as biographies and fiction. Right now I am reading "A Year Down Yonder," by Richard Peck. We are enjoying this book a great deal.
Home education is a way of life for us now. It has shaped us and lead us in directions that we never thought it would. We are thankful and pray that this RIGHT will continue, so that our children can teach their children, and then our grandchildren can teach our great-grandchildren.
What a wonderful blessing that is!