29 August, 2012

SCHOOL!

Time of the year to gather the books, the materials, art supplies, rework the lesson plans, set the goals, buy the backpack and even get some new sneakers!  Yes back to school has arrived for many of us.

Homeschooling is no different, there are the supplies, schedules, and books to gather.  Difference being, I control the books, the supplies and the schedules.  As the parent, I am choosing what curriculum or method of education will be used in the home.  I choose how many social outlets we will sign up for and when we do it all.

So some basics of homeschooling......

Socialization is a big concern for non homeschoolers.  Well there are many opportunities for homeschooling families to gather and socialize.  Typcially, homeschooling families schedule park days, meet ups at area nature reserves, hikes or programs at libraries etc.  Homeschool children are widely socialized and not just with their peer group, but with humans of all ages.  They are not taught to only be with their peer group or those old enough on the playground.  They interact with everyone they meet and have very well developed sense of themselves in doing so.

Academics, are they able to read, write and do arithmetic? Why yes they can and will do so when they are ready to do so.  Just because the norm to do these things has been set by a school board in terms of standards, does not mean they are the only standards.  Many educational philosophies differ on when certain topics are introduced to children.  Point being following the child's need is important and understanding their readiness for certain topics is equally important.  To help the homeschooling family, there are several options regarding curriculum, methodology and tracking.  It is up to the family to decide what works and this may change over time and from child to child.  Flexibility is key to keep in mind and again, allow the inquisitive mind to explore and find solutions.

It also must be stated that the parent is not the sole educator of their child, their are sports coaches, music teachers and other learning outlets such a museum classes, naturalists etc.  It truly depends on what is important to the family unit and then finding the resources to assist in the life long learning journey.  Some resources are pricy and some are free... there is a wide range of what is available online and locally to choose from.

booksThis family is going to use a bit of Waldorf inspired curriculum, participate in weekly theater classes, swim classes, continue our piano lessons, adding guitar and enjoy fabulous field trips.  We have our reading lists, our binders ready and all of our supplies.  Of course learning is life long and I am raising life long learners.. so the schedule.. well learning never stops does it?

Hoping your schooling experience is what you are wishing it to be.  

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