Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Your Homeschooling Questions Answered



The other day, I received some questions about homeschooling from a reader, and they were doggone good questions too! I asked her permission to answer them in a post, and she graciously agreed. I really wanted to write about them on the blog because I think they are very common questions that many newcomers have. Here's her question: 

I found your blog today and just have been pouring over it.  How much do you push reading and writing? My daughter is 8 and has the MOST ZERO desire to read and write. We are just now realizing that she is a true visual learner so we have re-adjusted our teaching style a bit. But should I worry that she couldn't care less about it? 
Do you push a curriculum, do what ever your children want to learn about? What's your thoughts? We have only 1 car and my husband takes that for work each day. We are in Arizona so going out in the summer is not an option. Any suggestions for fun things to do?

We LOVE LOVE LOVE homeschooling. This is our first year and I already love the flexibility and the time we spend together.

Let me know your thoughts.
E


See, ALL great questions! Well, let's get right to it! Nope, we DON'T push reading, or anything else for that matter. If our homeschooling method had a mission statement it would be: 'We want to infuse a love of lifelong learning into each of our children'. That's it. That simple. I don't believe that you can do that, if you are pushing any subjects at your child when they're not ready to learn that particular task. If anything, you may be achieving just the opposite. You may be totally turning them off against that particular subject and they may always think that they don't like it, but not really know why. I've done a few posts recently on our style of learning here and here. We began our journey using curriculum, but eventually, moved on to a much freer, more natural method of learning called unschooling.



If you've discovered that your daughter is a visual learner, then let her {with your supervision of course} view lots of youtube videos and learn how to do anything in the world that her little heart so desires. Let her watch documentaries on hundreds of subjects. I wrote a post a while back on how much our seven year old loves documentaries and is quite a fan of science and nature. You can read that here.

When we began homeschooling some 16+ years ago, we only had one shared car too. Does that make it more challenging, yes, but you can work around the one car issue. If there was a special field trip coming up, we would drive my husband into work on that day so we could have the car. As we would meet other homeschoolers in our community, we would invite them over to our house and host a get-together. That's a fun indoor Arizona activity! Host a craft day with friends or ask everyone to bring an item for an ice cream social. We still LOVE hosting homeschool friends at our house even though we have a second car now.


{totally random dog shot....we found him on one of our adventures one day and I just couldn't resist photographing him}

I hope that this has answered some of your questions and from one homeschooling mom to another- I'm so thrilled that you are interested in giving your child the absolute best learning experience that you can. Thanks E. for letting me address your questions here on the blog today!

5 comments:

  1. When I saw the dog photo I immediately thought, she adopted another dog!

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  2. I love how absolutely honest your are with your readers, and the different approach you take with your children to teaching them. You are truly inspiring! Thank you for linking up with us each week at the Merry Monday Link Party!

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    1. Amanda, you've made my heart swell! Your comment is so appreciated!

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  3. I've been reading up on all your posts on homeschooling and unschooling and I love the idea of unschooling, but I just have one question about it that I can't seem to find the answer to even on other unschooling blogs. What do you do about satisfying the requirements for your state regulations for homeschooling? In Florida, we are required to have a certified teacher look over their work for the year and sign off that they are where they need to be academically. Since unschooling allows them to learn at their own pace they may not always be "where they need to be" at that particular age. Also, what "work" would you have to show them?

    I am pretty relaxed with homeschooling already, I don't follow any specific curriculum, but we do focus on the basics of reading, writing, and math. My 7 year old is working on memorizing math facts, some days it's drudgery and just simply memorization, but some days we change it up and play math games instead or find some other way to make it fun. I'm fortunate that she LOVES to read. She learned to read when she was 3 and by 4 she was reading at a 1st grade level. I don't have to "make" her read every day, she already loves to do that. I make sure to supply her with not only the fun horse story books that she loves, but also informative books about different things as well. We make lots of trips to the library and she picks out books on things that interest her. Writing right now consists of learning/memorizing through copy work (she's learned many a memory verse this way as well as all of the books of the Bible), and learning simple grammar concepts through writing exercises. And that's basically all we do that's actual "school" work. But there is plenty of learning going on just in every day life. For example, she has learned to tell time just by asking questions here and there and by me taking that 1 minute to not just simply answer her question, but to teach a concept. There has been no formal teaching session on learning to tell time. My 4 year old boy is not so quick or receptive to learning to read as she was. He's coming along bit by bit, but not nearly as easily or quickly as she did. It frustrates him sometimes, so I don't push too hard, a lesson here and there. But on the other hand, he's a little goof ball that would rather be silly than to actually put any effort into things, so sometimes I feel like he needs to be pushed. I do feel like he will catch onto math a whole lot better than his sister has though. He's a smart kid when he actually tries. :) Anyways, that was a lot of info, just to ask one question, lol!

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When y'all leave comments, my heart just swells! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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