Monday, July 30, 2012

My Homeschooling Method ~ Interactive

I am joining in on the the Schoolhouse Review Crew ~ Back to Homeschool Blog Hop this week. There are over 70 reviewers chiming in about many different topics. Today's topic is Homeschool Methods.

I like to describe my Method as INTERACTIVE:

Involved. I like to learn right along with my kids, which is why I usually sit right next to them while they are learning.

Nature. Although we did not incorporate as much Nature into our homeschooling last year as I would have liked, this year's plans include weekly, or sometimes daily, time in nature, with more nature-based science studies.

The 3 R's. Non-negotiables each day are Reading, wRiting, and aRithematic. The other topics fit in based on our interests and time.

Experience. Learning in a text is good. Reading about it in a piece of literature is better. But, actually experiencing the topic in a hands-on way is the best! In fact, a lot of times I "backwards" plan units based on what there is out there for us to do. We plan to do it, then choose books, videos, and activities to go along with it.

Reading. If we are going to learn about it, we are going to read about it. That's ALWAYS where we start.

Art. Last year we were in a good groove of studying one artist a week and then doing a similar piece of art. We fell off about mid-year, but will be making it a priority on Friday mornings this year.

Co-op. In Oklahoma we were part of a very fun, social co-op. It was as much fun for me as it was for the kids. In our move to Missouri, we will most definitely be joining a co-op. The friendships and experiences are invaluable.

Time. We spend a lot of time together, and we spend a lot of time apart. I like to set our day up in "sets". We do a set of work, for a short period of time, then break for some play time. Then we get back together for another "set", then break for some play time. We do this throughout the day, four or five times, to get all of our work done. It provides them with short lessons so they don't get antsy, and gives me time to get some housework and computer work done while they are playing.

Interest-led learning (or delight-directed learning). If we see something that interests us, we jump into a unit study about it. We have a couple of fun ones planned already: Caves, Penguins, and Presidents.

Vacation. We started school early this year (July 23rd), and also logged some official school days this summer when learning opportunities arose. We plan to take a vacation from school work from Thanksgiving to the New Year. That way we can enjoy some winter fun and maybe squeeze in a trip to Grandma and Papa's in Florida.

Earned Rewards. This year I have started giving my kids a reward for non-grumbling. If they make it through the day without getting into the "red zone" on the Grumble-meter, they win a letter in a secret message. Once all of the letters are earned, we get to have the stated reward. One week it was to Swim. They are working on Cici's Pizza now (shhh ... don't tell them the secret message.) This system is working like a charm!

Head over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see what other methods the reviewers use. I bet every one is different.


We all know that in this crazy world of homeschooling, we need all the (adult) support we can get. Please leave a comment if you so wish!