But for now, I want to share what else is on my heart - finding my homeschooling groove. I am coming up to my 2nd anniversary in my homeschooling journey. I only believe that now I am starting to understand the direction that God would have me take in homeschooling. It has not been an easy journey, but one that I have grown closer to my King through and grown within myself through Him. But, 2 years after beginning my homeschooling journey, I have now found my 'groove'.
When I was first introduced to the world of homeschooling it was like stepping into another culture. Homeschoolers had their own lingo,and the culture is rich and diverse as any culture is. Homeschoolers are a passionate group of people with strong opinions and like to think outside the box. But like any culture, has sub-cultures who all have their own ideas. I felt so bewildered. Who is right? Which path do I take? Which method suits my family? My research left me with more questions than answers. That is when I had to step out and try different things to see if they worked for our family. I had to do a lot of 'trial and error' experiments to see what was the best way to function as a homeschooling family.
It wasn't just the curriculum that I had to make choices on. I had to choose how my time would be best spent. I had to choose how to I would schedule (and how stringent or loose to make the schedule) 'school' into the day. I had to choose how I would best manage my house. I had to choose to say 'no' to activities that would interfere with what my husband and I wanted to achieve as a family. I had to choose not to compare myself with what other families were doing. I had to choose to rely on Him or I would never make it!
I have learned so much from making mistakes, stepping out in faith when I thought I had heard Him - only to feel like my heart had been ripped out, and I had made a mistake. But that's OK. The lessons have been my teacher, and through the experience, I have learned things I could have never have learned from any book. I have learned that I want this for my children too. I want to allow them to make mistakes, in the safety on our home, and to learn from the experience. I don't want an artificial environment that cocoons them from all the world's evils. I aim to find a balance of protecting my children, while still allowing them to be hurt and make mistakes - just like the Lord does for me.
So what type of homeschooler am I? Hmmm. That is a hard one to answer and it may even change over the years. But for now, I am calling myself eclectic. We do a little bit of learning through workbooks, a little bit of learning through reading Living Books, and a lot of natural learning.What does a typical day look like for us? Well, there isn't one. Everyday we do our 'read-alouds' but other than that, everyday is different. I am so much more relaxed in the journey as I trust in Him, and trust in the process of natural learning.
But I will let you know what curriculum we use:
Bible - Egermeier's Bible Story Book and Jesus Storybook Bible and NIrV bible (bible for Early Readers)
Maths - Singapore Maths Workbook
Phonics - Explode the Code Workbook
Copywork & Narration - Writing with Ease Workbook
History, Social Studies, Geography - Sonlight Core Package
English Literature - Sonlight Core Package
Readers - Sonlight Readers
Besides the workbooks which are age-relevant for each child, we do every subject together. The workbooks are the only 'formal' schooling we do. Art is obviously 'hands-on'. Everything else are 'read-alouds' that I read to the children. I am very happy with the Sonlight selection of books. I do add my own books from time to time. We are almost finished 'The Chronicles of Narnia' which the boys and I have really loved. I am thinking of venturing into Note booking when the boys are a bit older. But for now I'm happy with minimal 'formal' schooling and am concentrating nurturing a love for learning.
I am amazed at how much my boys learn through natural learning. For example - Courageous Boy Warrior, at the age of 5, has learned basic maths through our 'token system' that we implemented a few months ago. He can count how many tokens he has, and can calculate how many tokens he needs to reach his desired target. In his maths workbooks, he is still learning about shapes and has not formally learned addition and subtraction yet. And then there was our little visitor that the boys displayed their knowledge learned form our 'read-alouds'. When we went to a local playgroup when fire fighters were visiting, Leader Boy Warrior was able to recall from one of our 'read-alouds' that we had read, "Dolphin Adventures", in incredible detail about how the air tanks that the fire fighters were showing us worked. I have learned to be a more relaxed homeschool mum and trust in the process. After all, homechooling is a journey and there is no right or wrong way to do it. It is different for each family. But I am glad that I have finally found my homeschool groove!
Still taking lessons from the King,
Still taking lessons from the King,