I have had many readers over the years ask me to share here about our homeschooling path and to be honest I have dodged those requests mainly due to the fact that I thought it may be a complicated/personal thing to write about but truly it is all very simple.
Looking back I am not sure why we chose this path but it has always felt like the right fit for our family and runs in alignment with who we are. Both Chris and I never really enjoyed nor excelled in school. We are self taught, hands-on type learners so it made sense to instill this in our own children by experimenting with the unschooling philosphy although, I prefer to call ourselves life learners. I mean we are all life learners right? Each and every one of us learns every single day in all that we do. There is just no way to avoid learning. It’s innate in humans to want to learn at all times.
It’s empowering to think how much we are capable of in teaching ourselves to do anything and everything. Hannah and Norah have both taught themselves how to do so many things on their own including how to read. We do not follow a curriculum of any sort but rather allow our girls to make their own choices about what they learn and when they learn it which in turn lets them pursue their passions and explore deeply those subjects which most interest them. We are always here of course to facilitate and support them. When we notice an interest beginning to bubble we put on our facilitator hats. For instance when Norah began talking about hosting a restaurant at our home I began to ask her questions, prompting her to come up with more ideas.I asked my cousin who owns a restaurant and catering business if we could come and help in her kitchen one day so Norah could get a feel for the restaurant world.
Now it’s not always our job to help the girls with their learning path. Sometimes it’s beyond us, which is why we like to encourage them to find what they are looking for from outside sources. We live amongst an amazing community of people with a wealth of knowledge and talent. We all learn from a diverse pool of people.
We are so lucky to live in a dynamic and vibrant town and to be so close to Open Connections, a natural learning education center, where both of my girls attend 3 days a week and where Chris also works. The girls attend there on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for programing spending days with their Papa while I work my part time job. Chris works as the property manager as well as a facilitator, teaching programs based on nature, science, woodworking, rocketry, archery, etc. It’s a dream job for him and I love that my girls can be right alongside of him in a job that he loves.
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, Hannah has taken on a internship at Open Connections on Mondays tending to the land,the animals and working on outdoor projects. Norah always has an agenda for our Mondays together which will now include baking.
Fridays have turned into our adventure day where we are off on field trips/excursions exploring new places, maybe seeing a play or visiting with friends.
Our week has a nice rhythm with just the right amount of variety. The girls partake in various classes such as sewing and dance and they like to make plenty of time for friends. They are very social beings.
Now this is all not to say we don’t have our bumps and challenges and that I am always a confident homeschooling mama who never worries or frets over whether she is making the right choices or that she may be giving them too much freedom or that she may not be providing her girls with what they need. Oh I do have those moments for sure. But for the most part we take this journey together one day at a time, learning every bit of the way.
The photos above are of Norah yesterday who wanted to paint while her cheesecake was baking.