Saturday, September 24, 2011

A More Relaxed Homeschooling Experience

We pulled Grace out of public school in the beginning of 2nd grade and now we have started 7th grade. So if my calculations are correct we have started our sixth year of home schooling. When I look back over the past six years and can see lots of changes in the way we actually school. In the beginning the only thing I knew was school at home. I bought a boxed curriculum and went to work. After boring days and crying on both of our parts, we knew there had to be a better way. After that first year we slowly found our way to Charlotte Mason's teachings. It was a bright ray of sunshine brought in to my life. At that point the decision was between using Ambleside or Simply Charlotte Mason's curriculum guides. I researched Ambleside alot and felt with Grace's personality it just wasn't a good fit. As she grew older I am so glad I made that decision early on. Grace is not a motivated student. She has definitely gotten better over the years but Ambleside would have crushed her with their heavy load of reading. The choice then fell to Simply Charlotte Mason and I just love Sonya Schaffer. I have attended three of her workshops/seminars. After two years of using the SCM curriculum guide I started second guessing our choice just because again Grace is not a motivated student and we just weren't making any progress. Next we tried Unit Studies and just studying what we wanted or what looking interesting. After much thought we returned to SCM. That was the best decision we ever made. I am very committed to sticking with SCM and learning through living books through graduation. I follow the SCM guide pretty thoroughly but take it slower that some. This year we have more out of the home activities that I feel are very important for Grace. She is at that age where she really needs interaction with kids her own age. Now we get to the title of this post. The past few weeks I really haven't felt myself and we have had to step back and take things more slowly. I am finding that I kind of like it this way. We may not get through every subject that was assigned for that day - but you know what, it is okay. She is learning. She is making progress. Schooling into some of the summer is not a bad thing if we need to finish up some of our history or science. So we are taking it one day at a time and in a very relaxed manner at this point. It has taken us 6 years to reach this conclusion. I sometimes wonder about all those new home schoolers and thinking they need to sit at a desk for 4 1/2 hours every day doing book work to meet their state mandated hours. I don't think I could go back to that. We use exercise, drama, reading, classes outside of the home, etc. to meet those hours as well as sit down at the table work. Relaxed home schooling is a good fit for us at this time in our lives.


Fran said...

Over here, there is a real push for all children to be academics and meet set targets in school. I think this is such a shame as children should learn to enjoy learning and that means being more relaxed about school and including play and self exploration in the curriculum. I think you sound like you are going about things the right way. Hope you are having a good weekend xxx

Unknown said...

Sounds like you made the perfect decision. We too love the relaxed learning in our home. And you just can't beat the learning that comes through living books.