Preschool Counts

“When did you start homeschooling?”

“Well, my daughter’s only three, so I’m not sure it really counts yet.”

I’ve heard this conversation many times since I began the homeschooling journey a few years ago.

In fact, I even attended my first homeschooling conference when my boys were both two-years-old–somehow I felt like it wasn’t completely legitimate for me to be there. But I couldn’t wait to learn and I felt I had the perfect opportunity–a couple of years before my kids reached school age to devote to reading and research.

Looking back, I believe those years of research made all the difference to my confidence as a home educator.

So what exactly is your preschooler learning at home, whether or not you’re formally schooling?

Consider these three foundational areas. [Read more...]

Weekend Links

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.” ~ William Butler Yeats

Waldorf Education: Is it Right for You?

A few years ago I had never heard of Waldorf education. I eventually had my first introduction through the blogosphere–as many mama writers raved about Waldorf’s philosophies and values.

Perhaps you’re experienced in Waldorf methodology and practice–if so I hope you’ll share with us in the comments.

But maybe you’re familiar with Waldorf by name only. If that’s the case, get ready for a brief overview.

Waldorf education began in Germany in the early 1900′s. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, had written about three distinct phases of childhood development. He believed a healthy education should have these phases as its foundation.

Currently there are over 1,000 Waldorf schools worldwide, and many homeschooling families gain inspiration from Steiner’s ideas.

Waldorf educators seek to expose children to a wide variety of subjects and interests. There’s a determined effort to avoid gender stereotypes as well as a focus on setting the child up for success by introducing effective routines and habits. The goal is to provide a well-rounded education to aid the child’s development.

Three phases of childhood development provide the foundation to the Waldorf method. [Read more...]

Should I Homeschool Or Not? — Part One

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy

To homeschool or not to homeschool, that may be your question.

And that only leads to more questions: How do I know if I should or not? What should I even start to think about? What about curriculum? If you have at all considered homeschooling these questions have probably run through your mind.

I am by no means an expert on this topic. I recently began this journey myself, so the unique questions of starting out remain fresh in my own mind.

I often wished there was a step by step list that would have shown me where to start. This is the first of two articles (the next one will be in May) that I’ve written with that list in mind.

Here are six ideas to consider as you make this important decision. [Read more...]

5 Homeschooling Reads to Encourage You

Ever feel a tad overwhelmed by all the homeschooling research and information out there?

Sometimes we know we’re making the right choice in educating our kids at home. They’re learning, thriving, and right on track.

But in certain seasons, self-doubt swoops down and threatens to envelop us. Bickering seems front and center, and no one appears interested in learning anything.

Or maybe you’re just considering homeschooling, but the conflicting views and information you come across leave you stressed and confused.

In other words, sometimes we need a little encouragement.

There will always be a need to occasionally delve into books on curriculum and philosophy. But there are also times when we just need to be affirmed–when we want a literary cheerleader to come alongside us and say “Yes, the choice you’re making matters.”
[Read more...]