“Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education.” ~Mark Twain
“This is what the LORD says, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says the LORD.”
The purpose of education is to know God and to make Him known!
We are in our 9th formal year of homeschooling—though I teach my babies from the womb, so really who can say where learning starts and stops. 😊 Even though I was homeschooled, and always wanted to teach my children at home, every year is a learning process and I often think about how I admire my mom so much—how did she (and my dad) appear so calm while homeschooling six of us—every single one of us from birth through high school?! It continues to be a learning process for me and to find what works for us and each of our own six now.
One thing for sure, education for us does not look like replicating a school classroom in our home. I’ve also learned that I am a “facilitator” who provides the backdrop and the books and the experiences and guidance….more than a lecturing teacher. Every year is a little different but for those wondering, this is our current rhythm:
• One day per week is “community day” —learning with our Classical Conversations group. (Review of these materials at home the rest of the week.) Topics include Science, Math, Latin intro, History, Timeline, English Grammar
• Essentials class also happens on our community day, this is for my 10 and 12 year olds—a fabulous writing course, group math games which I love for sharpening their mental math skills, and English language parts and diagraming sentences.
• At home we have Teaching Textbooks—an online Math program that we love. Math was a stressful subject for me to keep up with for each student, but when we made the switch to this program, it felt like we finally had a flow! They can work independently, the instruction is thorough, and their answers get checked immediately —no more working through an entire page of problems only to find out that they weren’t understanding the process.
• At home we complete the daily review of all the CC Foundations subject matter with flash cards, charts, CD’s in the car, or the app on my phone. So much of CC materials is set to music—so wonderful for getting things to stick in our minds! My older girls also work through the daily writing assignments from the Essentials class that correlate with our history lessons.
• My 14 year old is in Challenge A—the first high school level course through Classical Conversations. He chose to do this course and is definitely challenged with time management between study and farm work! I love the fact that he is exposed to debate, analogies, more history, science, Latin, geography/maps, and lots of writing. He is my husband’s right hand ranch hand and he is in his third year of showing his Hereford cattle at county, state, and national events.
• Now that all took up a lot of word space, and Classical Conversations is the bulk of our curriculum, but let me tell you, we all love our morning gathering time for reading the Bible and read alouds, singing and music. Sometimes we cover the minimum before moving on to the rest of our day, and other times we prolong it—with tea and “just one more chapter” —and often included in this time are the much-loved puzzles we added to our morning time collection last year.
I also find that each year has one area that feels important to prioritize, and this year, for our girls, violin and piano practice and lessons are that thing.
We are flexible in our schedule—we love to travel and explore, hike, and last week and this week our days are filled with county and district fair, plus four wonderful days with my sister and her family staying with us.
And that’s really my favorite part of education at home….I love knowing and being in charge of what our children are learning….. I love having them near and making memories around the things we learn and read, the discoveries we make. Oftentimes I am more excited about a subject then they are! (I call it my baby booing education!😜) Seeing God at work in the world in history, through His Word, and knowing He is the same yesterday, today, and forever—for *us* today—fills me with sweet hope and excitement for what He will continue to do in our days!
Learning and education, beginning to end, is really all about Him—and we get to enjoy the journey and rhythms of this family and homeschooling life.