When we started out 7 years ago, the only thing I knew about homeschooling was that it was learning done in the home. I was a former public school teacher, private school educated woman, who was about to embark on teaching her own children. I had no idea where it would lead or what it would look like, but my husband and I firmly believed it was the plan God had set before us. 7 years later, there is no question in our minds that we were correct in following what we believed was His calling on our family.
Was it always easy? Absolutely not. Have there been major sacrifices? Absolutely. Have the blessings outweighed the sacrifices and times when I was ready to pull my hair out? Without a doubt.
To this day I still get the “Well you must have so much patience. I don’t.” No, I don’t have any more patience than the next mom. What I have is a clear sense of what is right for our family and am passionate about teaching our children to learn.
And boy have they learned! But you know what? I have learned, and still am learning. I started with the belief that we had to “do school at home”. That was so wrong! We don’t seek to replicate what is done in a brick and mortar classroom. We seek to go beyond that. We now have lifelong learners. Children who learn 24/7, 365 days a year. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, learning is taking place. Most times it is not even me pointing things out to them. They now seek out new learning opportunities, questions they want answered, concepts to discover, and experiences they want to have.
We started out as more of a classical curriculum family. We had books for everything, and that served us for a time. What we found was that we were looking outside of the curriculum for more. We added in a computer component where some lessons were completed online instead of in a book. What our children learned the most throughout the years was the ability to be independent. Fast forward to today where our 10 and 12 year olds have a daily planner and are able to work independently for the most part.
Now we are more of what I call a hybrid homeschooling family. We are part classical in that we still use a curriculum, but the books are based on the Charlotte Mason way of homeschooling. Educating the whole person, not just the mind. We are also a bit of an unschooling family because we learn in a more organic fashion and also belong to a co-op that has non-structured learning opportunities. It may be unstructured, but they learn about so many different things. We also add in STEM learning, as well as foreign language immersion, fitness, life skills, finance, arts, design, community service, and more. As a family we travel a lot and use every trip as an opportunity to learn about a new area, culture, arts, food, design, you name it. Even Disney World is an amazing educational trip if you know what you are looking for!
That is the beauty of homeschooling. It is not a one size fits all type of education. And don’t get me started on the whole socialization myth! We actually have to say no to many opportunities to socialize simply because we treasure our own family time. There is an abundance of opportunities and they are growing each day as the homeschool community grows.
If you homeschool, what type of learning goes on in your house? Are you a hybrid like we are? Get in on the conversation on my Facebook page! I always love to see how other families are learning!