Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thinking about a different approach to home educating

After 8 years of home educating, you might think that I have it all figured out and have the perfect system set in place for us; well, I don't. I hate to disappoint you but that's just the truth of the matter. We are a relaxed homeschooling family and I detest textbooks, although, I know we need some sort of structure and we are in no way unschoolers. We have used KONOS, unit studies I have created and some preplanned ones and presently, we are using Paths of Exploration. While I have liked using POE, there are some things that I don't particularly like about it. I have adjusted it to fit our needs instead of just blindly following everything the curriculum said to do, but it still isn't working for us. I firmly believe whatever curriculum homeschoolers use, they are the boss of the books, not the other way around.  I think you should make the curriculum work for you and not feel that you have to do what it says just because the writers thought it should be done that way. Make sense?
So, onto the point of the title of this post, I have come up with something new I want to try. Oh, I guess I should say new to us. I am certain that I am not the only person to ever come up with this idea. The thing my children love most about POE is the stories we read. Even though I am reading two books and fitting two days worth of assignments into one day, I almost always hear, "NO, you can't stop there!" or "No, you have to keep reading." That got me to thinking, which can be very dangerous at times. Why do I need a curriculum to tell me what writing assignments my children need to do, what spelling words they should learn and what pages to read on certain days. Why can't I just read the books at the pace we want to read them? If I am doing my job, I will know what words my children need for spelling or vocabulary. I'm also certain that I can find things in our reading that my children can write about or at the very least they can copy or dictate. So, I think we will be scrapping the curriculum and investing in a lot of good living history books, which I really hope to read chronologically.
Another thing I have really been convicted of lately is that I am not doing enough character training or Bible study. That got me to thinking again, yes, scary I know. I started wondering what would be the best way to teach the Bible? Yes, I could just read it and we could discuss it, but I wanted more than that. Now, let me insert here that I think we could get our entire education from the Bible alone and be very well educated. I believe that completely, really I do. However, I want more to go with it while instructing my children. So I will share my thoughts with you, only if you promise to cut me some slack because at this point, my thoughts are still fragmented and I don't have our concrete plan yet. My hope is to read about missionaries everyday as part of our Bible time; whether it is a good biography or a story from "Jesus Freaks" or something totally different. I think this will be a good way to help my kids work on selfishness, which we seem to be having a lot of trouble with lately as well as encourage them in the great commission. We all are to be sharing Jesus with the world, we are all to be missions of one kind or another. We will also be praying for missions each day and when we can, we will do missions. The rest of our Bible study, I am not quite sure about yet. I am still looking into that and seeing where God will lead us. I know we will be working on scripture memorization no matter what else we do, but I am looking for something that will teach the word of God in a way that makes it interesting to my children. I want something that they will love and look forward to each day.
As for geography and social studies, that will go along with our living books and our missionary reading. We will be looking on maps to find the places the people live and learn some things about each area and culture.
What about science? I haven't quite decided on that either. I can't decide if I want to find a good biblical curriculum or try to find the material in our reading. I am leaning toward a curriculum of some kind, but it will have to be one that fits our style of learning.  Any suggestions in this area?
Well, those are my scatter brained thoughts on our new approach to home educating. What do you think? Do you have any good suggestions for me? I would love to hear them.



  1. Rashel,
    This is our first year of "easing" into the Charlotte Mason method of home education. I don't like textbooks, either...which is one of the main reasons we changed to the CM method. However, we have always used Apologia Science. It's written in the narrative form, which is in keeping with the CM approach. And my children love it - lots of experiments. :)
    Hope this helps!

  2. Sounds like a wonderful plan. We try to read missionary stories as well. Here are some of our favorites. The Miller Missionary stories. The Hiding Place and Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom. Brother Andrew, Tortured for Christ, The Martyr of the Catacombs, Zvi, If I Perish, just to name a few. It has truly changed my childrens outlook on the world and the persecution of Christians. We also support Voice of the Martyrs and receive their newsletter about the persecution of Christians. Look forward to hearing how your new system works for you.


  3. I agree with the Apologia science, along with their notebooking journals, for elementary. It uses Charlotte Mason's techniques of narration and notebooking, and we love it!

  4. So funny that you and several other blogs have posted on similar things dealing with homeschooling lately. Just the encouragement I needed! :)

    We too are not happy with the curriculum we are using. I'm finding it too difficult to keep up with 6 subjects for 5 different grades plus preschool and pre-K for the little ones. It's just too much.

    I'll probably do a post about it soon so I won't bore you with all the details, but we are switching to MFW next year. Using Apologia Science and Saxon Math. Everyone I know who's used it really likes it, so hopefully we will too. I'm already using most of the "extra" stuff and really liking it.

    It seems to me to have a lot of good reading. A good list of reading books. IDK if it's on their website or not because I looked through my SIL's stuff.

    I really think that pretty much all homeschoolers go through this. Finding that something they thought would be good, or something that was working no longer is. Just as your life is constantly changing so your school will change to. You'll need to use different things for different seasons. Some years will be easy and things will go well. Other years, you'll need to take it easy and adapt because things aren't going so well.

    I hope you find what works for you :D

    (The word verification is blessess! :D Just thought that was funny!)