Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making sense and moving ahead

It's hard to write when I'm stuck, and I've had myself in knots trying to put our particular way of homeschooling into words.  Kind of like writer's block, but more like life block ... I wanted everything to be easily defined before I made decisions about what to commit to this year, especially in activities for Miss 4 and Mr 5, as kids (mine at least) need lots of time to just BE kids, play and relax at home.  Plenty of things happen each week, without deliberately overscheduling.

I've been trying to reconcile my views on everything I've learned about homeschooling so far.   I love many aspects of Natural Learning, some Charlotte Mason ideas, Thomas Jefferson Education, Unit Studies and some Traditional Ed done creatively.  Training up my children in the Lord is the most important.  When I was praying about it, one message I heard was "don't hang onto GOOD things which are holding you back from BETTER things."  

I decided my main problem is that everything I've read about HOME EDUCATION is SO GOOD!

The reason this is a problem is that you can't do everything.  Even just picking my favourite aspects of each philosophy was too much to think about for a while.  For a while, the abundance of possibilities in shaping our home school stopped me appreciating all the success we've already had.  

AT LAST I'm ready to decide!  It's better for us to do something positive, which we are comfortable with, than be paralysed by indecision and worry about loyalty to any method in particular.  I've always tended towards respecting my students, giving choices, showing possibilities and making interesting resources available, so I'm already using what I consider to be the best bits of Natural Learning. 

So once again we're "Christian Eclectic Tidal Homeschoolers" ...  a messy label but one I'm comfortable with.  As always we'll have scriptures, prayer, and share lots of books.  We'll be back into phonics, copy work, fun reading and maths, but more delight-based than adhering to any program.   I believe any resource we use should serve not enslave us.  With some fun unit studies and following our interests in everything else, and some natural learning principles woven throughout, I know my kids will learn all they need for this year ... as children have a tendency to do! 

I'll keep you posted about how it's going ...


  1. Eclectic is a great word - even though I'm primarily natural learning (at this point in time), I still class us as eclectic. It gives me the freedom to make up my own 'rules'! I'm appreciating that more now that I've gone no mail on the groups that are telling me what I *should* be doing to fit into any particular philosophy.

  2. We'll see how it all works out in reality : )
    But at least my head's not so muddled anymore!

    Making up our own rules is one of the HUGE benefits of home ed ... yet we're so conditioned that we might obey any rule someone tells us, just because we're afraid of being different. That's a danger for me, anyway. An overinflated desire to please others is another. Kez, you're one of the people who've encouraged me to find my own way ... thanks!

  3. I agree sometimes it's hard to know exactly "how" we should tackle this great task of home education. Each year I change. My changes are for many reasons.
    1.They change as my kids get older their needs and skills change.
    2.I change as I learn more and endeavor to do things better.
    3.I need a change so we try something new.

    As I continue on my home schooling journey I like to lable myself less. I adapt many homeschool theories and tweak them to suit me, my family and our personality.

    I continue to pray for wisdom for the next leg of the journey.

  4. That's one of the things I love about home ed. ... it IS all about what's right for each person at the time, and we have the freedom to change when we need to. I think I'm letting go of my need for a label too. It's just holding me back, and my noisy thoughts are probably interfering with what the Lord might be trying to tell me.

    Thanks for your comment Michelle!


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