Thursday, June 23, 2011

Part 2 - Reflections As We Enter Our Fifth Year

As we enter our fifth year of home schooling I am beginning to see clearly just how ingrained the ‘school mode’ is in all of us, well especially me. I thought I was doing a pretty good job with leaving school notions behind, why we’ve become so much more relaxed over the years. Often at times verging on the, oh my gosh, dare I say it, ‘unschooling’ mode of home education.

That’s not to say that I have felt my share of angst during those periods because my golly I have. It is though, always my children that show me time and time again that they are learning, regardless of whether we sit at a desk with an open book or we simply live life to the fullest. Living and learning and growing as it should be, not confined to a square room, sitting at desk for the best part of the day, being told what to do by a teacher who is told what to do by someone else, whether that be the right thing for the children or not.

However I have come to realise that complete letting go, total immersion in an unschooling life is not for us, any of us really. The kids do so much better when we have some kind of routine and structure to our day/week in place. So do I if truth be told, without some structure there are days that I simply forget I have children that I am supposed to be educating and just go about doing the things that I need or want to do.

Plus, low and behold I have found out that I am book/curriculum junkie, love searching for stuff and love finding things that work, really work for the kids.

So whilst we are very relaxed with how we ‘should’ be learning these days we do still use a good deal of structured curriculum. I do not allow us to become tied to it though. I always disregard the number of lessons and simply work at our own pace. I am not bothered by having to work out how many lessons of Math we will need to complete each week to ensure we finish by the end of the year.

My children move on to in their programs, when they are ready, if that is well before the year ends then so be it, if it is well after the year is over then that’s totally fine too. This also allows us to follow rabbit trails or even still, if we are ever a little bored with one of our programs we can simply do something else for a while. Because you know I will definitely have something here on my shelves to cover what is needed to be covered ;-)

Part 1 of the this can be found here.


April said...

I totally agree! It is hard for me also to break away from the concept of 'school'. I would easily fill a day doing whatever I want to do and neglect my educating no unschooling for us. I'm glad you have found a balance. I'm still working on it :)

The Adventurer said...

we have a little bit of structure each day too:) My kids need it or else they would be teasing each other and driving my insane:) I do let them decide on the topic for science and history and we study in depth but I do English, reading and math most days.

Joyful Learner said...

I'm kind of the same way. I love research curriculums but try to be very relaxed in approach. I'm discovering that our daughter is learning so much on her own I feel less pressure now to "cover everything". Once in a while, I go through panic attacks because I feel like I'm not doing enough. But then I remind myself, "How much does a 5 year old need?" We focus on play dates and exploring our environment.

Melissa said...

Lovely, realistic post Kylie.

I have an award for you at my blog! If you've already received it, feel free to decline...

Raising a Happy Child said...

I wonder if there is any homeschooler out there that can get by without a curriculum. By the way, I have to give it a fair warning - I plan to write a response to your first post. I was mulling the quote that you posted and found it so terribly disrespectful.

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