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HomeSchooling

4 Simple Ways To Celebrate Earth Day With Your Kids

Today is EARTH DAY! It’s actually our first time officially celebrating. Since deciding to homeschool my brain works in an entirely new way. I now see all moments even the mundane, as teachable moments — opportunities to present new ideas for Ari to discover. These moments may seem insignificant on there own but he will be able to make connections as he discovers more over his lifetime — and all of these little pieces will fit together beautifully!

Our learning approach around here is to learn through real life experiences {Charlotte Mason Method}. This works really well for our 4-year-old.

4 Simple Ways To Acknowledge Earth Day With Your Homeschooler

1- Well it is EARTH DAY. Why not learn how the earth came to be? We read the story of creation, from Ari’s favorite children’s bible! Greg reads to him and then we follow-up with opened ended questions. What happened? What was your favorite part?  This is referred to as narration in the Charlotte mason method. Narration is an amazing thing, because if a child can communicate to you what you shared with him, then he’s actually retained that information!

2- WALK! Instead of driving the car and contributing to the pollution of the Earth we walked to the local farmers market. We killed two birds with one stone here (ugh the word “killed” on Earth Day) because we also discussed the importance buying local. Which tied back into not driving when possible. We asked Ari what are some other ways we can travel. Walk, bike, scooter, wagon, stroller and public transit.

3- I think that Ari enjoyed this the best. We skipped bath! To save water! The next morning Ari ran into the bathroom when Greg was showering and told him to, “Get out of the shower! We need to save water to help the earth!”

4- What happens to all of our trash? We happened to have a book from the library on recycling. We read it together and even I learned something new!

We also find short age appropriate videos on YouTube. Video’s work really well for Ari, although technology isn’t recommended in the Charlotte Mason Method, I think of my child first.

As Ari get’s older we could take the very same topics above dig in deeper!

To me, the most important part of discovering new things is to take the subject with you when you are going about your day. It doesn’t need to be a fancy lesson plan. Living is learning! 

How do you celebrate Earth Day?

Happy Earth Day!

Raivon

 

 

National Holidays, Our Curriculum

Discovering Our Homeschooling Style!

I used to think of homeschool as school-at-home. Children sitting at the kitchen table (or a large island — in my dreams) literally having — school-at-home. Workbooks, textbooks, strict scheduling, sitting quietly.

I now know that homeschooling can be and is often so much more, and in many cases homeschool looks NOTHING like traditional “brick and mortar” schools. Now that’s, a beautiful thing!

I googled homeschool approaches and styles, and found many different styles or approaches of homeschooling. Being a bit overwhelmed,  I took a step back to focus on the Lee’s. How our family functions best, our needs and desires.

 

Why I felt the need to label ourselves…

There are enough labels in this world. I know. But, there are a few good reasons I believe it’s beneficial to know where we fit, within the homeschooling world.

It’s so important to find a community of support when homeschooling, for yourself as a the “teacher” and for your children. Facebook is great for that. There are hundreds of Facebook Homeschooling groups many of them are geared toward a specific style: Charlotte Mason, Christian, Classical, School at Home aka: Traditional, and Unschooling. There are more but I think these are the most popular. The same applies to homeschooling co-ops.

It won’t benefit me to be a part of a group that doesn’t agree with our wants, needs, lifestyle or beliefs. Also knowing our style will provide a great framework for me to build on as we being our journey.

The 5 Questions I Asked to Discover Our Homeschool Style

 

1-Why? Why are we wanting to become a homeschool family?

Our family has decided to try Homeschooling for many reasons. The most important is that I want Ari to learn in a way that is best for him. Being an active boy discovering new things in nature and learning through living — from real life experiences. The next best reason is because this mommy chooses to not let her baby go.

Getting dirty!

2-What DON’T I want for our families homeschool? I prefer limited screen time. We can’t function on a rigid schedule or hard deadlines and I really don’t want to have to report to others frequently (can you tell I enjoy control). Lastly, I don’t want our homeschool to feel or look like the “brick-and-mortar” school.

As you can see I’m not anti screen. It has its time and place — pros and cons

3-What does our family NEED to function. What DO I want/envision. We thrive on structure and routine, but it must be flexible structure with room for change. We also need down time to recharge. aka NAP!!

Claiming he doesn’t need a nap. But he was out in 5 mins!

4-When is Ari most happy? Ari is definitely most happy when he is moving, moving, moving. When he is FREE to be and out and about.

5- What is our over all vision for our children at the end of their schooling career. Begin with the end in mind.

Not only do I want our children to be well-educated in the common core standards. I want them to possess a rich and diverse knowledge of things not taught in traditional schools. I want them to enjoy learning discovering new things, to have an ever strengthening relationship with Jesus. I want them to embody compassion for all forms of life and for themselves. To value relationships with family and friends. I would love for them to be fluent in a foreign language. And, have had the opportunity to fully explore their interests. I want them to be self thinkers and learners. Lastly, I want them to be confident in who they are and confident in their choices.

Then I put it all together!

Ari’s learning experience is tailored to him, and allows him to be the active little boy that he is. We have a daily rhythm, but the world won’t end if and when we change things up a little — for play dates or lunch with daddy, or just because we need a day off. Our learning extends beyond our home: local parks and nature centers, libraries, museums and normal activities of daily living. We use non-fiction books from our local library to investigate new ideas. Screens are limited but have their place in supplementing our learning (Because screens have proven to be an excellent resource for Ari. It works for him). Real life experiences are our greatest teachers. At the end of the day my children are intelligent, confident, independent and compassionate children of God.

So what’s our style?

After answering the 5 questions above I went back to google and found that we are a….

Drum roll please!!!

Relaxed/Eclectic homeschooling family with a STRONG emphasis toward the beautifully rich Charlotte Mason method. Surprise surprise we are all about mixing things up over here ;). Taking what works for us from multiple styles and leaving what doesn’t.

“Relaxed” or “Eclectic” homeschooling is the method used most often by homeschoolers. Basically, eclectic homeschoolers use a little of this and a little of that, using workbooks for math, reading, and spelling, and taking an unschooling approach for the other subjects.

The advantage of this method is that the parent feels that the subjects they believe are most important are covered thoroughly. This method also allows the family to choose textbooks, field trips, and classes that fit their needs and interests.

 

Remember, instead of trying to fit your family into one particular homeschooling approach, prioritize your family and child first. THEN see what style best fits you all. Not the other way around. 

So, what’s your style??

See you soon! Thanks for reading.

Raivon

 

HomeSchooling

13 Reasons This Anxious Mom Chose Homeschooling

And!!!! Reason number one! I’m anxious!! Ha!

Yes, I have a bit lot of experience with anxiety, but I don’t really believe that anxiety has anything to do with my choice to home-school (HS) — but who really knows why we make the choices we do? Actually — maybe I’m a little tiny bit anxious? There are THIRTEEN reasons… 13 … 🙂

 

Earlier this month I shared my top two reasons I want home-school my 4-year-old.

Today, I’m gonna spill every-single-reason I have for Homeschooling!

These are in no particular order.

13 Reasons We Will Try Homeschooling

1- Homeschooling will give us more time together. 

Instead of rushing off to school and being separated 8 plus hours a day, we will be able to spend our days learning, exploring, discovering and making memories together. This time is PRICELESS. Family, friends, ALL relationships are the only things we will take with us. Nothing is more important to me.

2- Y’all! He’s four years old.

Pre-K is not required. He’s 4! He can’t even wipe his butt properly. He’s a silly  sweet little boy! He is my baby and doesn’t need to have a full-time job just yet.

My tiger boy!

3- Children are unique learners.

Unfortunately, many schools and/or educators don’t see unique learning styles for what they are. Instead they are seen as problems, as something to be “corrected”.  The system’s way of “helping” our child/ren (who are individuals, I remind you) is to force them to fit molds that are considered acceptable and normal. Like puzzle pieces being forced into the wrong space, instead of having the patience to consider other options.

I see Ari (A) as unique learner.  If he’s anything like his dad (which he is 😉) he is definitely unique. Ha! My husband cannot think unless he is pacing. Ari is not one to sit still, the boy is energetic and definitely a sensory seeker!

4- Children ARE mistreated.

I don’t want my child to be one of those children. We entrust our children into the care of people we barely know and many auxiliary staff who we don’t know at all.

I’ve had personal experience working as an assistant to a pre-school teacher. This woman was an absolute angel to the parents. As soon as they turned the corner she became a witch. Actually, she reminds me of Ursula from The Little Mermaid! The way she spoke to those children… the way she intimidated them was the saddest thing I had ever seen at the time.

On another occasion, while working in one of the top public schools in Georgia. I saw a kindergarten teacher “jacking up” a 5-year-old. There’s no other way  to explain it. She grabbed the neck of his shirt and pulled him toward her. He was terrified. NO one wants their child to be subjected to that type of treatment.

We believe & hope our children will let us know if they are being mistreated. But often they do not. There was NO reason for a parent believe their child was being mistreated.  I know I can’t be with A every second of everyday. But, I want to be with him when I can. I know “they” say, “you can’t protect them from everything “.

Nevertheless, I’m his greatest advocate and I will do my best to protect him from what I can, until he’s able to do so for himself.

5- I’m able to. I actually want to.

I’m able to stay home with my children. It isn’t possible for everyone, AND not every mom WANTS to stay home. Also depending on personality types some parents aren’t able to homeschool because they just KNOW — they can’t be with their child all day. I get that!

When I was at the end of my pregnancy this past summer, I HAD to find a summer camp for A! I HAD too! 😜

6-I enjoy being with my children.

So much more than I expected! When Ari was younger I have THEEE best memories of play dates with friends and exploring with my little guy. He’s also my PPD baby. That has bonded us in a way I can’t even explain.

I don’t want to or have to lose the possibility of those experiences. He was recently on spring break and it was wonderful! We were able to visit old friends and do so many things together. It was like a long weekend. No set schedule or hard deadlines. I even lost track of the days!

7- Allows us (his parents) to have a greater influence on him for as long as possible.

When children are young their parents are their world. We as parents are their greatest influence.  As they get older, friends, media etc. tend to take over. I want to prolong my influence on A.

8- He deserves the opportunity to act his age!

To be a child, while he IS a child. He will have many years to enjoy the typical 9-5, sit still and be quite. Ever watch reality TV?! Maybe if those ladies had been given the opportunity to behave like children when they were children; they would be behaving like adults now???

9- I want an active role in A’s education.

I’ll go ahead and say, this is my fault. When A is in “school” I become passive. believing that he’s learning at school so I don’t have to be as vigilant at home. Not the most intelligent thought process.The moment I decided to home-school everything changed. Every moment and interaction with A became a “teachable moment”. I feel invigorated and purposeful!

10- We ALL home-school anyway!

Because…homework! After many hours at school he will eventually bring home more work! From what I hear and remember, LOTS of it. Which, I will have to make sure he completes correctly. Might as well do it all myself. 😏

11- I have Greg’s support.

Homeschooling is a family decision.

The best daddy

12-Money Money Money!$!$

Instead of paying for school and being separated, we will be affording more family experiences and making memories. Memberships to local attractions (Zoo, Aquarium, Children’s Museum, Botanical Gardens), local events and festivals, vacations, day trips, field trips, join Homeschool co-ops, sports, classes and the ability to support our foodie habit! (Seriously, the kid asks to go to a restaurant almost every day!)

13- I’m my child’s best teacher.

I don’t have the credentials to teach professionally and I’m far from being a genius.  BUT — NO ONE will invest more in my son than his mama! I want him to succeed more than anyone else and I’m willing to do whatever it takes. Who knows, one day that may mean changing things up and re-evaluating our educational path?


These are only some of the reasons we will be homeschooling. Of course I could add that children are killed in brick and mortar schools :(. These schools are not safe and secure. I’ve gone to schools and am buzzed in with no ID or questions asked.

Remember, what ever your reason whatever your choice. It is good enough. Each family has different perspectives, needs, goals and different children. My reasons don’t have to be yours. 🙂 

So, tell me. What are your reasons for or for not Homeschooling? 

See you soon!

Raivon

HomeSchooling