Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why I Homeschool and How I Do It....

Selena from Australia wants to know.

OK, the "why". I homeschool because I always wanted to homeschool. I've read one too many books by the likes of John Holt, and envisioned for my kids a bit more freedom and less structure.

I homeschool because when they were in public school is was horridly exhausting, to be overseeing homework at the end of a long day. Now I oversee their work in the mornings when I am fresh as a daisy.

I homeschool because every day, when they were in P.S. (and this was true for all four of them), they would come home emotionally drained and upset from the teasing, social interactions, etc. We have a very nerdy and introverted family and all day every day with other kids whom one does not fit in with was just too much.

I homeschool because I want to teach my kids the Orthodox Christian Faith, including taking them to Divine Liturgies for all the feasts, etc. And I want to be able to sit down with them and read the scriptures and speak of our faith, etc. This was getting squeezed out when they had to rush out the door every day.

I home school because that gives us the flexibility to do things like take a day to go and do things like participate in a protest mountaintop removal. (www.ilovemountains.org)

I home school because it improves our family life. We talk more, play more, and get along better.

How do I do it?

I spend about a thousand dollars per year on textbooks and teacher manuals. With four kids, this is homeschooling on the CHEAP. I wish I had more to spend, I really do. But we do OK.

I have each of them working independently on their Math and English, checking their own mistakes, etc, but I "teach" Botany and History, in which subjects they then return to me an essay or a notebook entry.

I start each day with 3rd hour prayers, Gospel and epistle reading, and a lesson from a catechism book. Then, while we are all together, I will do a botany or history lesson, and review what they need to turn in later. Then they are to go and do their Math, English and whatever else I've assigned. They also have the opportunity to study a foreign language of their choice, and most have been dinking around with German and my oldest with German and Spanish.

In addition to that, I am teaching those who are interested in cooking and hand crafts. We play games, and visit the library at least once a week. I try to arrange play dates with other kids, but I will say that the social aspects are rather pathetic for us. But considering the level of introverted nerdiness, no one really complains.

Are there things I would change? Yes. I wish I had more funds for them to perhaps in in some sort of "lessons" like Karate, or something. But I don't, and quite frankly, with four kids, that would be rather a hellish amount of running around.

Selena also wants to know about Pumpkin Cheesecake recipes...and as an added bonus I will post my pumpkin clam chowder recipe. It's better than the cheesecake. But that will have to be later, as I MUST be out the door for a Weight Watcher's meeting.

3 comments:

elizabeth said...

have you head of this book: _The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You_ by Elaine N Aron ?

it discusses people like your family and like me! i am a HSP for sure... and the word sensitive here does not just mean some sort of acute emotional sensitivity, like to teasing etc. i have not read the whole book through as of yet, but i recommend it.

and i think it is great, btw, that you are Mothering your children and taking who they are into account.

thanks for sharing this. :)

Anonymous said...

My Aunt home schooled my cousins through eighth grade. My cousins are very smart. She loved it. She now substitute teaches now that both boys are nearly out of the house. I know she loved it. I am going to ask if I can send you her email if you would like.

Love, Joi

Peter said...

Hi, Alana! You're very right about the exhausting aspects of public school. I was homeschooled K-12 by a mom who loves John Holt, and partly kept me home because she didn't want me to be lost in chaos every day! I currently work as a private tutor, and also substitute teach a bit at the local public schools (the irony of this does not escape me, my friends, or my family!). You can definitely tell that the experience leaves many of the kids drained, particularly the little ones.

Peter
www.adventurefrench.com