I believe any form of schooling/education can work and produce good individuals. There isn’t one right way for everyone, and it doesn’t matter how much we shelter or how much freedom we give to our children, they will still make their own decisions. Success in parenting is: having a relationship with our children and that our children know how to make a decision.
I’m more of an unschooler, in the sense that I want to instill in my kids a general love for learning and help them to learn about things they are interested in.
Recently, our daughter fell in love with butterflies. I spent the summer taking macro shots of butterflies and moths she found where ever we went. We got detailed books from the library about the life cycle of butterflies. I enjoy being spontaneous in our studies in this way.
I have learned to relax and understand that not everything clicks with everyone at the same time. For our daughter, who is 7, reading is just now starting to come easy and “click” for her. For our son, who is 5, he’s tracking right along and learning everything that she is learning.
For a long time I felt it was wrong to have children in different grade levels learning the same thing (which is why homeschooling seemed so daunting to me before now).
Now that I know that they will be ok, as long as they know how to learn and enjoy learning, nothing can stop them. I don’t need to be a drill sergeant, instead I get to be an observer and guide. How great is that?!
But I do want some structure and I enjoy having things laid out for me, so there isn’t a ton of prep work.
Classical Conversations has just started in our community and I am so thrilled to join up with this group! My kids already love music and setting memory work to music is an excellent idea.
This is the first year that CC has been in our area, I offered it as an opportunity for my older boys, but they have their next few years planned out and are taking some really cool classes at the local Career Center. Homeschooling, at this point, is not something they want to switch to, and that’s ok.
Classical Conversations doesn’t take a huge amount of our daily time. And even after our “school time” the songs end up being sung throughout the day and our daughter loves the hand motions. The community aspect is awesome for my little social butterfly and I love that they have a strong emphasis on public speaking.
On the days we don’t have co-op, our day looks like this:
7:00 AM Breakfast
8:00 AM Chores/dishes/morning routines
Then the kids play until Paul (now 9 months old) goes down for a nap.
9:00 AM-ish Listen to all the Classical Conversations memory work and sing songs
9:20 AM Do a reading lesson from Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. So far, we are all doing this together, hopefully it will continue that way the rest of the year, but if one takes off I will slow down for the other and make sure they don’t get frustrated or overwhelmed.
9:40 AM Read a chapter in Life of Fred. This is our math program and the kids absolutely LOVE it! They think Fred is hilarious and they beg to do more every day. I am so impressed with how much info is packed into this- months, days, seasons, algebra, geometry- and we’re just in the first book. They are learning at an amazing speed.
That’s it. The rest of the day is free! We read, play games, work in the garden, take pictures of butterflies, draw & paint, cook (more math!) and have a lot of independent play. I believe it is important for kids to pretend and play independently.
More on kids:
- How to Organize Children’s Clothes for Effortless Mornings
- Simple Children’s Birthday Parties
- Curbing the Children’s Craft Clutter
- Inspire Kids to Play with the Toys they Already Have