Friday, June 17, 2016

Educational Philosophy? Anyone?!!?

We've begun meeting other homeschoolers and have enjoyed our interactions thus far. Isaac will make anyone a new friend instantly (even if he can't remember their name 2 minutes later) and Keila likes reaching out in her shy way with the small intimate group setting. I just like hearing adults speak ... I'm often preoccupied with watching Bubby or Pumpkin and lucky to finish a sentence before chasing after one of them. While visiting doesn't happen much for me it is still nice to know there are people out there that talk in a boring adult-ish manner who's response is more than just, "Why?"
A meringue cookie Keila and I tried from a recipe book she borrowed from the library. Pretty but not particularly tasty.

In the process though, I've discovered there are sometimes questions as to our philosophy of homeschooling. Back in college we had to study and write our own philosophy of education. Montessori, Mason and Holt are what I remember from those days. With the growing popularity of homeschooling, other visions of education have risen, oftentimes based on these people or developed from studies of them. TJed (Thomas Jefferson Education) being one of them. It's been interesting to read them and think of them along the line of what works best for my family. Whether you simply provide many materials and children learn in self-directed activities (Montessori), or that you provide a broadbased study in liberal arts and sciences (classical approach) the ways of homeschooling are endless.
Backyard goofiness in the pool.

When asked I simply reply that I'm Eclectic. To some that might mean, "She hasn't a clue and is just winging it!" or others might think, "She can't decide." and yet others might think that's the easy cop-out reply. Whatever the opinion, I feel that I cannot truly honor my child's education to their unique personality by adhering to one particular dogma. I have one child that develops a passion and will learn and study everything about it, but lacks any discipline to continue when it gets hard. To them it means it's time to change their 'passion' which really just doesn't work in real life though it might for TJed. Another child is so timid and terrified to make a mistake a box of supplies with no definitive direction would overwhelm her and have her in tears constantly.

Homeschool day at the Vertuccio Farms. Kent took the day off for some family fun!
Absolutely love that I caught this wide mouth smile from Bubby!
While all the games were fun at the farm, EVERYONE wanted to pick the peaches! Nothing beats fresh sweet peaches off a tree! Little noses pressed into the sweet flesh to dig as deep a bite as possible, front shirts soaked with the fragrant juice ....

Right now we read a book, inevitably questions come up and we take these and look for videos or info online or at the library. Currently we are reading The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (author of Witch of Blackbird Pond) a Newberry I read every summer at my American Grandparent's home. It has them asking all sorts of questions about the Roman empire. We've watched re-enactments of how they fought, looked at maps of their empire, watched parts of Ben Hur and talked a great deal of how this all played in biblically with Christ. I learn right alongside. I can't really plan all of it, it only frustrates all of us if I force an activity or study. It'll probably lead us on to the next subject of interest which is a journey in and of itself. The one thing I can count on is the fact they love to hear me read to them. We still do books on CD (currently Anne of the Island) but nothing quite beats folding laundry while listening to me reading a story or snuggling up to discuss characters and their motivations. Anything and everything could be our curriculum - the world itself! Not being in total control has never felt as natural as it does now!

This picture cracks me up, as if she's studiously taking notes from a presentation!
Hark back to my days in junior high with an unwieldy camera in drama class! This find was at a thrift store and I bought it with the idea of the kids having some fun taking it apart. Major parts were missing so there was no real hope of having it in working order.

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