Monday, March 31, 2008
Home Education Week - Monday
This week is Home Education Week over at Principled Discovery. I don't promise to remember to do it every day, but thought I'd answer at least some of the questions. Today's is:
Describe yourself, your family or one of your children. What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?
I'm not sure there's such a thing as "normal" for us. My daughters just turned 5 and we've been taking a laid back approach to preschool for the past year or so. I strongly believe that as long as my children have a thirst for learning, it is my job to answer their questions and encourage them to learn about the things that interest them. When they watched Fetch! on PBS and ask me what the redcoats are, I went on a hunt for age appropriate story books about the American Revolution (hard to find, btw) to help them better understand who the Redcoats were. When A developed an obsession with armadillos, I helped her learn about armadillos. I also make sure to have a list of ideas for when my kids say "lets do school" I can pull out a painting project or a cooking project or something they'll enjoy and learn from.
I believe that young children learn best through play & so, while I have crafts and books and such available if they ask for them, I'm also happy to let them spend an entire day in unstructured play of their own choosing.
Most days I try to have circle time when we talk about our day, read a Bible story or two, review that week's memory verse for Sabbath School. Read another story or two, practice that week's lesson for Kindermusik . . . Most afternoons we also have "tea time" where I make tea & we all drink our tea and I read to them from the book of Proverbs. It gives us some time to reconnect and talk about whatever is on their minds. On days when they're interested, we do art at least a couple times a week, sometimes following the suggestions in the curriculum we're loosely following, sometimes doing a project based on current happenings in our life (a couple weeks ago we used art time for the girls to make invitations for their birthday and then another day (or 2) decorate goody bags. This week one of our "art" projects will be making thank you cards for their birthday gifts). On days when the weather is nice we go outside and the girls ride bikes, or take their babies for walks in their stroller. Most days we play a board game or two, mostly cooperative games that encourage us to all work together toward a common goal, instead of competing against each other. We cook together, do laundry together, and clean bathrooms together.