We are a relaxed, free-flowing, eclectic homeschooling family with a bit of a classical and Charlotte Mason bend.
What does that mean? It means that the longer I'm with my children and we're learning and growing, the more I see the importance of letting life happen. Letting the good come. Instead of trying to wrestle with it and 'man-handle' things into some sort of strict time frame, we breathe, make the most of our time together and look for opportunities to learn in context.
Does this 'free-flowing-ness' happen every day? No. Most of the time yes, but I do have days that I'm pulling out my hair. Do I use curriculum? Sure, for certain subjects. But I'm not bound to it. Do I have to plan and map out our learning time? Yes. However, I also know that things will change throughout the course of a week. What I've planned may not be what my children need on a given day. I'm learning to be flexible with regards to this and in so doing we give each other space to identify what's important at the moment.
I want my children to be well-rounded, independent contributors to society. People who are compassionate, helpful, thoughtful and seek the good of those around them. I want them to be prepared to take care of themselves, to make wise decisions, to understand how to use money, to know how to live in harmony with nature, to find what makes them passionate about life, to see how they fit into God's ideal for them and go after that. I want them to also know how to accept defeat and not let it take them out of the game; how to meet challenges with determination; to have successes yet not become complacent. This is no small feat and to produce this outcome requires a lot of patience and a lot of thoughtful planning on my part.
Not only will I need to model these traits, I'll need to put others in our lives to do this as well. I will need to give them many opportunities to practice and refine these skills. This learning takes place daily in our home through chores and other responsibililities. They also get to practice it when learning new things and experiencing new environments and people.
Simply put, my philosophy for our homeschool is learning takes place all the time and it is my responsibility to teach my children this. Learning can happen with a book, even while sitting at a table, but this is only one way to learn. I want them to embrace a variety of ways so that they can truly learn from our life.
Older Posts about our Homeschooling Journey
Finding Our Way
Owning Our Learning
The 'S' Word