We have been 'homeschooling' our kids for almost 3 years now and it has been the best thing EVER for our family. We really believe that God lead us to this decision + we are so thankful for His continual guidance.
I've re-edited this post to describe more acurately our current journey!
We began homeschooling because we honestly felt it would be the best decision for our whole family. We wanted to be able to encourage and connect with our children in a more constant and in depth way. We wanted to teach them the Word of YHVH and allow it to be such a rich in depth part of our lives. We wanted to help our son who had been diagnosed with Autism and offer him an envrionment that we could monitor so that he would not have social and sensory overload.
Over the last little while, we have embraced a more natural style of learning for our family. We recognise that learning happens in SO MANY different ways in our daily lives. Our children are here with us and are therefore involved in alot of our own activties. They watch and imitate. They discover things themselves and teach us! They ask questions and then we find out the answers together. They know how to operate the washing machine, how to mill wheat and roll oats, they know how to follow a recipe and are learning to read aloud to us and each other. They love to greet our neighbours and know to rise in the presence of the aged. They love to learn to take care of the new baby in the house and take great delight in making birthday cards for friends and family members. Our children love riding their bikes and taking bush walks with us. They love to learn how to use the sewing machine, the blower vac and participate daily in helping with chores around our nest. And what about maths, science and history you may wonder? Well we talk about fractions when we bake cakes! We love singing and the kids have learnt their times tables by song just because they wanted to! In fact just yesterday in the car at 8am, Ethan begged me to quiz him on his times tables! I wrote a song about the first settlement in Australia and the kiddos love to recall this story through music. And just today I was asked by one of the children if we could 'do a science experiment of some kind pleeeeeeease mum!!!'
We try to provide an environment rich in good literature, stimulating activities that these guys show interest in and time to share in, help with and learn from the very things they are delighting in! This might look like Liji showing me the lizards he has caught in the backyard, us going together to the library to borrow books on lizards and then reading them aloud together snuggled on the lounge under a blanket on a cool winter's morning. Or it might look like what happened just last week here...one of the boys asked about Australian bushrangers. We checked out some books about bushrangers which I read aloud, we watched a 1906 film about Ned Kelly, (while my 6 year old pointed out that 1906 meant the '20th century mum'!!!!) and talked about what they liked and disliked from the movie, we looked at some maps of Victoria to spot places that these bushrangers roamed through, coloured in a picture of Ned Kelly (just because they asked if they could google it and print it themselves), then Liji drew a fabulous picture of Ned inspired by an artwork he'd seen in one of our books which was a painting by Sidney Nolan. Talking about Australian bushrangers led later in the week to discussions about outlaws in the Little House on the Prairie books that Stassi had been reading. This in turn lead to us reading aloud a fab book about the 'Wild West' in America. We read about and discussed who the Native American Indians were and where the 'Great Plains' were situated. Stassi pointed out where this was on a current map....I could go on but I won't! As you can see, just like we are, our children are learning all the time! And what we've covered in this way certainly covers all the main 'key learning areas' and then some!!!! They blow me away with the questions they ask and where our learning has taken us - ALL!
Allowing them space and time to discover their interests, nurture them as people and allow us to have our very own family rhythm has been one of the most freeing things we've done.
And that's where we are currently at on this amazing learning journey we call life!