25 April 2014

Exposure

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?

15 comments:

  1. Wow, this sounds exactly like what I'm hoping our family dynamic as home-schoolers will be! Good for you, mama! Definitely linking back to your post : )

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  2. Wow! I need a nap just reading about your week. I love that you are learning right along with them. Sounds like you are choosing the path that is best for you and your family. Great job Momma!

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    1. Thank you, it is our way of life so doesn't feel exhausting to me!

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  3. Love how you are all learning as a family. It does sound very exciting but most of all it sounds like a journey that your children will be on for life... that you have nurtured thinking, wondering, creating and doing in them... and that sounds like a perfect gift to give your children!

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    1. It is most definitely a journey one that has no end and that you are never quite sure which direction it is going........

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  4. It is rather exciting. Thanks for the links, I love reading about how others homeschool their children. Homeschooling has always been something I've wanted to do but, to date, lack the courage and confidence to do it. Have a lovely weekend!

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    2. Sorry hit wrong button and deleted my own reply, doh! I am sorry that you don't feel that home education is something you are able to do. It does depend how you are trying to do it. If you are trying to replicate school at home that would be very hard and a lot of work especially with four children :). I wrote a post on Deschooling recently in which I was exploring the notion of thinking differently about education moving away from a school approach way of thinking which is curriculum driven in the UK to a child centred/led approach. The adult, in my case me, in the driving seat as I wrote in this post. I feel sure you would do an excellent job!

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  5. I can definitely relate to your homeschooling philosophy. When my oldest was little I read about every, and I mean this literally, educational philosophy. We evolved through each of the years, mostly waldorf (younger years) and unschooling inspired, just a bit different for each of the girls. I think there is no better way than to give kids the freedom to explore and for ourselves to take the backseat until we are invited for the ride. It sounds like you really trust that your kids will learn what they will need in life, whether or not they learn it at some arbitrary age that the school system thinks is the right age to learn it. Live this post.

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    1. Thank you Laura, it sounds like we have similar philosophies :)

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  6. You've reminded me of how truly wonderful the home ed-ing experience is ... I could almost be tempted to make a very late addition to the family!

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    1. Wow you must have some wonderful memories! I am dreading the day when they are no longer at home, it feels like a long way off, so I am living with the moment for now :)

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  7. Thanks for the book recomm!endation - I may have to buy that for myself

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    1. You're welcome, hope you find it useful :)

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