Over the past six to seven years I have read quite a lot about education methods, those adopted in schools and in the home. There are good parts to all of them, and like all things some parts that are bad or no good for us. Like a magpie I collect together all the bits I like and use them, I am continually doing so to adapt to the needs of my children. As a home educator I am in the driving seat when it comes to their education. I am not a director or a teacher we don't sit and have lessons which I have spent time preparing. My role as the driver changes from day to day, month to month, year to year. Sometimes I am a facilitator, a fountain of knowledge, a researcher, a guide, a hand holder, a questioner, a supporter and I could go on and on.....
Sometimes a project is on the go, which we might investigate for a few days, weeks or months often using this book and blog for guidance and ideas. We might visit the library, draw pictures, research on the Internet, find museums or the like to visit and make these all part of our learning.
Often we talk about stuff, anything that is in their stream of consciousness as they explore ideas and make sense of the world. Sometimes I can answer their questions, sometimes, if it involves numbers we do it together, sometimes we have to look things up as they are new ideas to me. I love where these conversations can go starting from one place and ending up somewhere completely different. It keeps my own brain whirring and active.
We read a lot, we have a house full of books. There are shelves of them in every room except the bathroom, you will still find them in here left by my children reading on the loo. You can follow a trail of books round the house like a marker left behind by my eldest as he reads his way through the day. I feel like a packhorse when we visit the library once a week, with a storysack in one hand and a rucksack stuffed to the gunnels with books on my back. We even have special shelves for our library books.
I offer activities which I think they might be interested in following a rhythm which evolves all the time. At the moment the focus of our days is maths on Monday, craft and art on Tuesday, music on Wednesday, language on Thur and science on Friday. The activities we do are sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, sometimes ignored, they are left out along with books related to the theme of the day. A form of strewing an art which I am becoming adept at, I also think of this as exposure. Showing the children what they could do, what is out there that they don't know about, they are free to choose, taking it further if it piques their interest. It is a journey with no end which is rather exciting don't you think?