I’ve been putting it off and putting it off. Usually I have my order in by May, but the last few months have just seemed to FLY BY! So while I was sitting at the computer, overlooking the younger three children selling eggs at the top of the driveway, I figured I may as well do a final edit on my school book order one last time, and finish it off. Finally!
Hello, my name is Peggy (Pieternella, Pietra, depending on how brave you are in pronouncing my name)…
and I’m a curriculum & book
It’s simply because I LOVE learning. I feel if we have the knowledge on hand for just about any topic under the sun (and over it, I’ve ordered quite a bit of space stuff this year!) then the children will never lack any knowledge they could ever desire, or need.
Some days I wish I could download all this knowledge into our brains instantly!
So many books, so little time!
Our family has been homeschooling for many years. Since our eldest daughter just turned 5. She’ll be 20 before the next school year begins. She graduated two years ago. One child down, four more to go. Joshua will graduate soon as well.Then it’ll be two down, three to go!
For the younger three, Elsa was born in 1998 and then the twins, Shaylah and Julia were born in 1999. Since Elsa has some learning issues due to Aspergers, I teach all three together for pretty much everything. The twins have surpassed her in reading, but she catches onto some mathematics quicker. It all even’s out and we simply try to work with each child more in the areas in which they need it.
Our style of homeschooling? You could probably call it ‘unschooling’. I don’t much care for labels of any kind though, simply because not a single label can ever properly fit!
So I won’t ‘officially’ call us unschoolers.
I guess if we really needed a label for our style of schooling it would be something like, “Eclectic-almost-Unschoolers”
How’s that for a label?
Eclectic: because we enjoy such a huge variety of learning styles, which in reality, is how any large-ish family should/would/could be since every person learns differently from another. I also enjoy a huge variety of teaching styles and/or curriculums. Everything from Charlotte Mason to Waldorf to even some full curriculum.
Unschoolers: because the typical public school style text books makes me want to vomit.
Sorry, I know, TMI (too much info) but it’s true. I am so sorry to anyone who may be a public school text book author/writer or anyone who may be a relative of one (which I doubt, because I think most are long gone by now, the texts are all that old!), but that’s simply my opinion. Not calling it a fact. Just saying how it is for me. If a text book writer just so happens to ever read this, feel free to ask my opinion as to WHY I feel this way. I’ll be happy to enlighten you! But one word sums it all up, life. I don’t feel any ‘life’ in text books.
And you could say an “almost” unschooler: because I enjoy well written curriculum way too much to not use it. I also REALLY enjoy instructing the children with well written curriculum. Sitting around the table together, hashing out some well written problems, or learning something new, it’s a total bonding experience.
Text books… that’s more like pulling teeth for me, and that’s not so bonding.
Last fall we decided to try a ‘real’ schooling with our son, who was 16 at the time. He was ‘registered’ with a homeschooling school. One in which you do your work via the computer, with teachers marking and grading your work, and everything else, just like “real” school. WHAT you learn is decided by the public school curriculum and that is what you follow. TO THE LETTER. No rabbit trails there.
*sigh* rabbit trails are the biggest blessing of our schooling, our learning… our lives!
I’m not a fan of ‘quitting’ but I’m also not a fan of wasting one’s time and knowing when it’s better to quit then to pretend something is actually working. You know, like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. If it had been more like trying to put a round peg into a square hole, I may have considered trying it a little longer. Maybe. At least the round peg could fit into the hole, just not quite right. But this was definitely a square peg trying to be rammed into a round hole. It just was NOT going to fit.
The biggest reason we quit? Because he was getting A’s and B’s and not learning much of anything.
Let’s just say, we learned our lesson and my son happily went back to learning his own way.
I have another reason for disliking labels, especially for homeschooling. I feel it puts learning into a ‘box’. It can also make new homeschoolers (and even old!) feel like they must be doing something wrong if they don’t quite fit into one of those neat little boxes.
A reporter for a local newspaper did an article on homeschooling and our family about 8 or 9 years ago. She asked me how many ways there is to homeschool. My reply:
“There are as many ways to homeschool, as there are homeschooling families!”
Each family needs to find their own ways. Just like with parenting. Each child, and each parent, and then each relationship between each parent and child, is all going to be different. Embrace that, and run with your differences.
The best part of homeschooling, is learning from one another. That’s probably one of my most favorite ‘side effects’ of homeschooling.
This post is getting long and I’ve been asked to share what we purchased this year, so I’ll share that in another post soon! Promise!
If you homeschool, chime in! What do you do for your schooling? How many years have you been at it? Got some great tips, share with the rest of us! Got questions, ask them here and I’ll do my best to answer or maybe someone else will know!