Okay, so we’re going for no “burn out” when it comes to home educating our children. I’ll answer a reader’s questions and share some practical application for our family’s ‘method’.
“…if you might share some thoughts on how to try new things without burning up the roads and constantly being ‘on the go’”.
Home Education not Road Education!
First off, let me tell you who I am. I love being home! So this one’s easy! And it translates into avoiding outings as much as possible. During our first years of homeschooling, we attended our homeschool group’s activities, until I was burning out trying to do what I wanted to do in our day, along with what seemed to be the ‘right’ thing to offer my children in extracurricular classes. Totally not my thing!
So we stayed home, and I finally stopped feeling guilty. Especially as we saw the new things we could take on that we were interested in….
Exploring Life’s Possibilities Through Home Education
“How do you encourage exploration within a large family and still manage to do homeschooling?”
Our philosophy – encouraging exploration is homeschooling! Discovery, investigation, and all it entails is the fundamental aspect of home education, along with the freedom to work with our family style and our children’s interests!
Here are some of the activities we were able to do once we let go of all the extras:
- Planted vegetable gardens and learn about soil, fertilizer, plant growth, and “putting by” our produce.
- Sewed warm lap quilts during the rainy/cold season. The children calculated their own fabric needs and designed and sewed their quilts – boys included! The guys still don’t hesitate to fix their own clothes or sew parachutes, gun bags, and other fun things.
- Participated in Civil War reenacting, which stemmed from our oldest daughter’s love – history. We researched, designed, and sewed our clothes and our tent. We read and read and read to learn behind-the-scenes truth about the political issues of the time. We visited historic sites. We learned to make pies in a Dutch oven over the open fire. We learned communication skills and how to instruct the “public” in historic skills.
- We remodeled our homes. Construction, fencing, painting, organization, decorating…
- We ran a certified organic orchard, which meant learning new rules of gardening along with pruning correctly and how to sell at the local farmer’s market. Again, communication and sales were learned by all.
- We’ve had chickens, goats, horses, cats, and dogs over the years. Much is learned from the care and breeding of animals. Our sons have had “egg” businesses for years, selling to local customers. And our daughters had raised registered dairy goats to earn money.
- All our children create and sell hand made items at local craft fairs. Again, sales, accounting, marketing, research, creativity, skills training….
And beyond all these areas, which teach so many skills it’s hard to count, there are all the children’s individual interests and work experience. These included: violin, piano, harp, mowing properties, nanny-ing, house cleaning, teaching music lessons, small scale remodeling, alteration and sewing, filing and medical assisting for a local doctor. And that’s just what I can remember!
So you can see, staying home to ‘home’ educate certainly has advantages. It offers us the time to learn and explore our children’s bents and talents, all the while adding to their wonderful and fulfilling education!
In my next post I’ll talk about educational requirements and answer the next question.
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6