An Evolving Homeschool…

When we wrap up our books this year, we will have completed 5 years of home school! It’s been such a great adventure so far, yet also one of the most challenging seasons of my life. When we first started out, I had this idea of how things would go, what our typical day would look like…and boy have things turned out differently than that mental picture!

I thought our days would by idyllic – you know, relatively quiet, PEACEFUL, no arguments, lots of book reading, cool discussions, no television at all, lots of outside exploration and adventure…

Ha! What I didn’t factor in was my kids. Their temperaments, my temperament, the need for “de-schooling” for all of us, their mild addiction to technology, that I would get pregnant and have the worst morning sickness ever in our second year…the list goes on.

Needless to say, things were never idyllic. Ever.

But it has “evolved” over time…

We set up a “school room”…

which we used for about 2 weeks, then we migrated to the kitchen table, and the school room was avoided like the plague…Eventually we got rid of the school room and used bins for each boy and a storage closet for the rest, but it really just ended up all over the kitchen.

We originally used a curriculum that made all of us cry. So we switched over to some work books. (funny side note, 4 years later, I went back to that same curriculum for one of my kids, it just “clicked” for him. Over the years I’d say we’ve become more and more eclectic with strong leanings toward the Charlotte Mason-Thomas Jefferson-Classical methods.

After two years of chaos in the kitchen (and what felt like our whole life – mind you a baby was born in that time), we set up a Resource/ Office/ Play (ROP)room. Now we do learning everywhere – mostly in the kitchen/living room, but the “stuff” is supposed to be in the ROP Room. Though, looking at my kitchen today, a lot of the daily stuff has migrated to a shelf in the kitchen…

 

What’s different?

How we learn. We read a lot more together. The kinds of activities we do are more gentle forms of learning. We learn in our living – cooking, finances, organization, videos, observing, making messes in art and science and the garden, the kitchen, etc. The boys have learned how to work more independently, how to ask questions and find the answers (and it’s not always, go ask mom). We read aloud together, we read poetry, Shakespeare, good literature and we sing together more. We’re making baby steps in enjoying more of our days “together’ which has been the hardest lesson of all…because for every step forward, there is usually an argument to be had first.

What’s the same?

We are still extremely noisy (to my utter chagrin), mom is not as anal about the messes everywhere (as in I only freak out a couple times a week and not all day everyday) and still gets lost in books and in her writing – but now the boys do to. We still watch too much media, but try to balance it out with equal time outside and reading…

Mostly, we’re still trucking, we’re still at home, and we’re still learning.

 

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