Homeschooling Outside Of The Box
How many times as a homeschooling mother have you had this discussion with your kids? I’ll admit Batman and Power Rangers is usually replaced with “Do not tell them that we spent one whole school day just watching Inu Yasha!” or me requesting (err maybe demanding) that they don’t quote lines from Family Guy.
There are usually two types of stereotypes that the world sees us homeschoolers as falling into. The first is usually the long hair long dresses. That all kids are up at dawn to complete their chores before doing their devotionals. Mom wears an apron all day and her hair back in a bun. The kids don’t have a tv in their home and they complete an 8 hour school day including latin,religion,some form of higher science, and math.They have a set curriculum that they have used for years and would never think of straying.
The second stereotype is the family that is just too entirely laid back. They get up at noon or whenever. Breakfast consists of whatever the kid grabs.The mother may stay in her pajamas all day and if they get school done that day great if not there’s always tomorrow. There is more play than schooling going on and hey that’s ok.(Although I will say play is a great way for children to learn.ANYONE who works with children knows this)Television time is not censored by the parent.Their curriculum is the world. Letting their child or children explore all that is around them.
So what happens when you break both of those stereo types? Everyone knows that yes my kids get up to do their chores and I usually make a breakfast from scratch. Yet,while I’m making breakfast I usually have some sort of music playing whether it is Nickelback,Selena Gomez,or Praise and Worship. I rarely wear dresses(although this week I’ve worn them twice) opting usually for something a little more comfortable to me. We watch tv,but we don’t have cable. Not because I think it’s bad but because well we can’t afford it. We have been known to pull the 8 hour school day and stick to a pretty strict schedule, but we’ve also been known to just call it a day an hour or so into class so we can rest our brain the rest of the day.(See I didn’t plan on teaching a sex ed lesson today)There have been years I have stuck to a curriculum but this year….well this year….things feel different.
What happens when you don’t fit into either typical category?
This last week I have struggled a lot with organizing the homeschool room. This is not normally me. Not that I LOVE organizing it’s just that usually when it comes to stuff regarding homeschool I find it pretty easy to get the things done. I realized what was blocking me while looking at all these piles of books was…we hadn’t even cracked the cover on half of them.
I’ve been so wrapped up in doing exactly what my bought curriculum has said to do or read or teach I’ve lost sight of the other things I love or my kids love that I want to teach them. They have been begging me for the last year for cooking lessons. Hello!!!! Cooking Lessons!!! How hard is that for me to do? I know a couple of kids who have also been dying to do more art. I may not be the most artistic person but well beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I want to teach them more American History this year.I want to spend more time reading aloud to them.They want to do more activity based lessons,whether it is building the Great Wall of China with lincoln logs or reenacting battles from the Civil War.I miss doing more hands on ,activity based lessons with them. They enjoy our times when we read about missionaries from around the world,and we always seem to have one heck of a religion discussion.The problem is I haven’t found what I consider to be “the perfect curriculum for us”
So this year I think it may be time for me to quit worrying about the two different stereo types and where I may or may not fit in. Heck,I’ve never been one to fit IN the box. I’m usually the one poking an arm or a leg outside of the box. This year I’m gonna step out of the box completely and do school the way we all learn best. I’m not going to worry about which group I “fit ” into because honestly when have I ever fit into one group only? I’m going to do what is most important and focus on what my kids are learning and how well they’re learning it, and HOW MUCH FUN they’re having while they’re learning.This year I’m going to write the curriculum. Here’s to a brand new school year!
Posted on August 7, 2011, in homeschool, Homeschooling and tagged curriclum, homeschool lessons, homeschool stereotypes, lesson planning, organizing, writing my own curriculum. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.