Posted in Homeschool Information

Homeschooling: A Way of Life

Welcome to the September Carnival of Natural Parenting: We’re all homeschoolers

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared how their children learn at home as a natural part of their day. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Homeschooling is a way of life for our family.  It began long before we had children.  My husband and I would chat about how we would raise our future children.  We understood that       every parent is a child’s first teacher (even teachers will tell you this).  We recognized that there were some holes in our public education and chatted about how we would teach our children things after school that they wouldn’t be taught in the classroom.  We were talking about homeschooling after school and didn’t even realize it!  This eventually evolved into homeschooling our two children, and we are now entering our 6th year of homeschooling 🙂

As homeschoolers, our days don’t revolve around the school bus.  We can take  “field trips” when we’ll have the museum or park all to ourselves, and take a vacation on the off-season.  If my daughter emerges from her room in the morning and just *has* to complete 5 works of art before she does anything else, I don’t have to rush her.  When my son gets an idea for a novel, he can write it down immediately.  Even though our children are almost 5 years apart, they are very close and love to spend time with each other.  When they get the urge to perform skits, plays, and puppet shows together all day long, I simply put aside the planned day’s lesson until tomorrow, and enjoy the show.

My two children have a lot of time to pursue interests.  Because I am not managing 20 children in a classroom, it takes much less time to cover everything.  We are also able to have fun learning, using various board games and card games.  After we’re done with our lessons for the day my children normally engage in various pursuits including:

  • fibre arts such as spinning, knitting, and weaving
  • wood-working and whittling
  • art with various media (playdough, clay, paint, pencils, etc)
  • photography
  • bird watching
  • painting miniatures
  • archery

The learning just never stops, because they have developed a wonderful love of learning.  My children have many “aha” moments in the car, at the beach, or in the pool.  Getting out of the pool one day on the weekend, my 6 year old daughter suddenly discovered the delight of homophones (where and wear), and has been discovering more on her own each day.

In addition, my children spend a lot of time with their parents and thus have learned a lot about how to run a household and do repairs.  They help clean the house and each have daily chores.  They do their own laundry, know how to bake and cook from scratch, and take care of our chickens on their own.  My 11 year old has been known to wake us up for his homemade pancakes and bacon since he was 6 years old, or surprise us with chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon.  He also knows how to chop wood and use tools.

Because we homeschool, my children are able to engage in many pursuits outside the home, as well as music lessons from their mother.  They are in various dance, fencing, drama, and musical theatre classes and summer day camps.  My son in particular is heavily involved in the local drama community and has appeared in 6 plays/musicals since January.  He is having so much fun that we are all going to join him and appear in a play together in December 🙂  My son uses his culinary and dramatic talents to serve on teams at our church as well.  We also volunteer as a family weekly for Meals on Wheels.

If you are thinking of homeschooling, or after-school homeschooling, here are a couple of terrific books to read on the subject:

In addition, there are many wonderful resources and reviews on my blog to peruse, as well as Free Homeschooling Resources.  Enjoy!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated September 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • A is for Apple {But right now it’s more fun to pick apples!} — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment has a four-year-old who wisely knows she must forgo the worksheets for now and do things with her mother if she’s going to learn.
  • Baby Talks — Amy at Anktangle talks, talks, talks all day long to her preverbal baby, about simple things and complexities. (@anktangle)
  • Baby University: Little Man, My Teacher — The ArtsyMama shares how her relaxed and patient “teaching” at home resulted in a confident little one when she returned to work.
  • Creating a Sensory Garden — A sensory garden has given Marita at Stuff With Thing and her girls practice in math, science, budgeting, fine motor skills, and more. (@leechbabe)
  • Despite the Big Yellow Bus — Seonaid at The Practical Dilettante has surprised many friends by sending her kids off to mainstream schooling — but their learning doesn’t stop there. (@seonaid_lee)
  • Down on the Farm — Megan at Purple Dancing Dhalias describes the multitude of skills her children learn by homeschooling on a farm.
  • Early Childhood Education — First Do No Harm — Laura at Laura’s Blog provides an incredible list of tips to facilitate learning at home.
  • Education Starts At Home — Luschka at Diary of a First Child was happy to realize that learning at home isn’t limited to older children. (@lvano)
  • Every Day Is A School Day — Summer at Finding Summer lists the ways her family learns in this poem of a post. (@summerminor)
  • hands on — the grumbles at grumbles and grunts read her little one Sherlock Holmes in utero. She’ll continue to make learning fun now that he’s on this side of the womb. (@thegrumbles)
  • Have a Happy Heart — Erica at ChildOrganics has days of poop on the couch and oatmeal down the pants when sending her children to school seems like the perfect solution — until she regains her perspective. (@childorganics)
  • Home Sweet Home Schooling — Check out CurlyMonkey’s Blog for a photo montage of how her kids are learning anatomy, architecture, and more — all at home. (@curlymonkey_)
  • Homeschooling — My Needs? — Do you homeschool for the kids, or do you do it for you? Read some thoughts from Home Grown Families. (@momtosprouts)
  • Homeschooling: A Way of Life — Kimberly at Homeschooling in Nova Scotia has children who meet learning with enthusiasm and are becoming self-sufficient at a young age. (@UsborneBooksCB)
  • How We Homeschooled — Deb at Living Montessori Now details in retrospect how her two lifelong learners spent their homeschooling years. (@DebChitwood)
  • Learning at Home With a Preschooler and Toddler — Need some inspiration? Michelle at The Parent Vortex shares her tips and resources for lifelong learning. (@TheParentVortex)
  • Learning at Home: Are We All Homeschoolers? — Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings incorporates homeschool ideas even though she plans to send her kids to school. (@sunfrog)
  • Learning From Life — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting doesn’t even have to think about how her daughter learns. She just does it. (@mamapoekie)
  • Learning Through Play — What better way to learn at home than through play? Dionna at Code Name: Mama lists the many ways children learn through play, whether they know it or not. (@CodeNameMama)
  • Learning With Savoury Pikelets — Deb at Science@Home breaks down how cooking facilitates learning. (@ScienceMum)
  • Lessons Learned by Bowling (Yes, Bowling) — What life lessons can you learn from bowling? Ask Jessica from This is Worthwhile. (@tisworthwhile)
  • Life is learning, learning is life. — Kristin, guest posting at Janet Fraser — Where birth and feminism intersect, defends the truth that children are hardwired to learn. (@JoyousLearning)
  • life learning… — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children found that structured schooling is about teaching, whereas unschooling is about learning, and her family resonated with the latter.
  • Live to Learn Together — RealMommy at True Confessions of a Real Mommy knows that children learn in all different styles, so only one-on-one attention can do the trick.
  • Natural Parenting and the Working Mom — Jenny from Chronicles of a Nursing Mom shares how natural parenting in the Philippines — and learning at home — includes “yayas” (nannies). (@crazydigger)
  • Not Back to School: How We Learn at Home — Denise at This Holistic Life has learned to describe what unschooling is, rather than what it isn’t.
  • Our Learning Curve — Andrea of Ella-Bean & Co. has a special bookshelf set up where her daughter can explore the world on her own terms.
  • School at Our House — Where is learning happening at Kellie at Our Mindful Life’s house? It is pouring all over the floor. It is digging down deep in the earth. It is everywhere!
  • Schooling Three Little Piggies — Despite the mess and the chaos, Melissa at White Noise lets her children into the kitchen.
  • SuperMom versus The Comic Books of Doom! — Mommy Soup at Cream of Mommy Soup realized that if “getting the kids to read” was the goal, it didn’t matter what the kids read. (@mommysoup)
  • The joy of learning at home — Heather at Life, Gluten Free has a daughter who sees magic in the stars and understands the honeybees. (@lifeglutenfree)
  • those who can’t teach — Do you need a superiority complex to homeschool? Stefanie at Very, Very Fine wonders.
  • Too lazy to unschool? — If unschoolers aren’t lazy, Lauren at Hobo Mama wonders if she’s too lazy to live her dream of free-form education. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • Unschooling the School of Me — Rachael at The Variegated Life considers what she’s teaching her son about work as a work-at-home mother — and the extreme work ethic she doesn’t want him to emulate. (@RachaelNevins)
  • What We Do All Day — Alison at BluebirdMama discovered that it’s easier than she thought it would be to quantify how her child learns all day. (@childbearing)
  • Who taught that kid ‘exoskeleton’? — Nervous about how you will facilitate learning at home? Don’t be – they will absorb things on their own! Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma shares her story. (@kitchenwitch)

Author:

Kimberly is a homeschooling mother of two living with her dear husband of over 25 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She works from home as a homeschool coach and offers OBM, writing, editing, social media, and tech services. In her free time she likes to hand-spin, knit, read, volunteer in local theatre, and horseback ride.

7 thoughts on “Homeschooling: A Way of Life

  1. Pingback: Who taught that kid ‘exoskeleton’? | Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma
  2. Pingback: Unschooling the School of Me
  3. Pingback: Cooking Savoury Pikelets — Science@home
  4. Pingback: Guest post: life learning with our children « Janet Fraser
  5. Thanks for those book recommend! I’m definitely going to get them!

    I love the ideas you put forward here. I still have trouble with the idea of unschooling – I keep thinking that they NEED to learn school things – until I realise how little of what I learned at school I’ve ever used!

  6. Luschka, we don’t actually “unschool” per se – but as you’ve observed, we are often unschoolers at heart and learn a LOT just by living life 🙂

  7. Pingback: Every Day Is A School Day | Finding Summer
  8. “Because I am not managing 20 children in a classroom, it takes much less time to cover everything.” This is so true! It also means that our kids can learn at their own pace, they are not constrained by the calendar forced on teachers. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!

  9. Pingback: This Holistic Life » Blog Archive » Not Back to School: How We Learn at Home
  10. Pingback: Creating a Sensory Garden – September Carnival Of Natural Parenting | Stuff With Thing
  11. Pingback: Tweets that mention Homeschooling in Nova Scotia, Canada » Blog Archive » Homeschooling: A Way of Life -- Topsy.com
  12. I really love the enthusiasm with which you and your kids seem to approach each day and all the fun and activities you’re able to enjoy. How fun that you’ll all be appearing in a play together, for instance!

    I’m also really impressed and inspired with how independent and capable your kids are, which is inspiring me to continue leading my son in that direction.

    I think “homeschooling after school” is what my husband is leaning toward, although we’re trying to decide what works best. I’m just glad to hear it has a name!

  13. Isn’t homeschooling great! I sure hope a lot of unsure about homeschooling mamas read this! very informative and inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    Melissa

  14. Pingback: Education Starts At Home : Diary of a First Child

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