Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Debunking Homeschool Ideals

When I researched homeschooling and began our journey, I had a lot of day-dreams of what it would be like. Today I am going to throw those ideals on the table and show the reality.

Ideal #1--Cuddly Read Aloud Time

Charlotte Mason's works were among the first I read when thinking about homeschooling. She writes at great length about the importance of "living books." When I first started homeschooling every where I looked there were lists of "living books" and people writing and talking about read alouds and how everyone cuddles together and enjoys literary classics from a young age.

Not here--the whole cuddling in the rocking chair while reading classics of literature was a failed experiment. My children are wiggly, bony and don't always like to be touched. So we sit on the bed or in our own comfortable chairs. We also don't read literary classics or non-twaddle because that stuff is boring. We read fun books that everyone likes.

Ideal #2--Combine Everyone

If you combine science, history, grammar, art, etc. studies using the same curriculum for all the children and working on the same topics at the same time then you will be more efficient and everyone will love learning together.

When I combine everyone into the same curriculum except phonics and math, it is generally a pain rather than time-saving for us. They don't want to study the same things at the same time. They want their own work to do. They want to feel special. And really I've found that teaching each child separately takes a lot less time than combining.

Ideal #3--Timed Schedules

With a timed schedule like a regular school you know exactly how much time to spend on each subject.

We've found to just have a set order, a checklist and to work our way through our work has been the best method. This keeps us efficient and happy.

These have been rattling about in my head and I thought I would share how my thoughts on homeschooling have changed over the years.


Luke said...

We had some cuddle time when reading, but many days while my mom read to us my sister would doodle and I'd play with Legos. So... yeah: True with 1.

And 2: You should read books you love. Absolutely.

3. Routine is so much better than ridged time schedule. That's the beauty of homeschooling: You can go at the pace you need.

Good thoughts.


CloseAcademy said...



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