Monday, July 30, 2012
My Controversial Home School Method
When I pulled my then 2nd grade daughter out of school we choose the very structured, textbook method of homeschooling. After all, that's what I knew and I turned out all right. One year of textbooks and lots of tears sent us down the path of looking for another way of schooling at home. In walked Charlotte Mason and we thought this was the answer to many prayers. Charlotte Mason was a part of our lives for almost five years when I decided this year to change things up a bit. When a parent discovers that they have a child not academically inclined, the first thought is what a failure you must be in the homeschooling world. Once I got over these feelings (still working on it) I realized that all children are different. Mine happens to have strengths in the fine arts and weaknesses in the academic arena. This leads me to the method chosen for my daughter's remaining years of education, unschooling/very relaxed homeschooling. The term unschooling really means different things to many families. To use it means if she learns one or two new things a day, or a week, we are okay with that. If she chooses her learning experiences she absorbs more of it as opposed to me choosing. As a family we have many learning experiences available on a daily basis: gardening, raising chickens, fine arts co-op, chores, reviews for TOS, anime convention, essay classes, and Jr. gardening classes. The biggest change will be not worrying about getting every subject accomplished every day. It will be her choice each day what she accomplishes. In unschooling a child there is a misconception that the parent is very hands off and that the child is off in front of the TV or computer all day. Nothing could be further from the truth. Unschooling parents are very hands on and always available to encourage and make opportunities available for the child's interests. This year will be full of many surprises on the horizons of learning for our family.