Weekend Links

“This then is the first duty of an educator: to stir up life but leave it free to develop.”~ Maria Montessori

Five in a Row: Enlarge your Preschooler’s World with Books

I love the eagerness, innocence, and curiosity of preschoolers. They have so many questions about the world, and their genuine interest in finding out the answers make them ideal candidates as natural learners.

Add to this my own daughter’s precociousness and voracious interest in learning to read, and I knew I needed to add a bit more to our day than my own ideas to satisfy her thirst (and my sanity).

So this past “school year,” my daughter and I learned together via Five in a Row. As a four and five-year-old who loves to read, this was an ideal format for her to explore the world in a sort of big picture way, covering a wide variety of topics while still living a super flexible lifestyle.

Five in a Row isn’t just for preschoolers — it can be done through high school, in fact. But I found it an ideal curriculum and learning style for our family’s lifestyle and my child’s temperament.

Here are some of my favorite things about FIAR.

[Read more...]

Should I Homeschool Or Not? – Part Two

Written by Misha Thompson of The Offense of Joy

Last month I wrote part one of this article–you are welcome to click here to read it.

The decision of whether or not you should homeschool ultimately comes down to one single factor: knowing your child(ren.)

I had a special treat on Mother’s Day and as I was enjoying my time alone, another mother I know walked in. She has homeschooled four boys and we got to chatting.

“Misha,” she said, “it really does come down to knowing your children. I worried and stressed so much about keeping them up to grade level and making sure I taught them all they needed to know.

But really, what I wish I would’ve done more, is just sitting down and reading for hours. Enjoying their company. It goes so fast.” [Read more...]

Grandma, Will You Read to Me: Learning with Extended Family

One of the most exciting parts of the homeschooling lifestyle is inviting those in our families on the journey with us.

Looking back on my childhood I wish I had learned more practical life skills, like cooking and sewing, from those in my family. But I spent most of my days in a school building, and the desire to learn anything else after those long hours just wasn’t my idea of fun.

Thankfully homeschooling offers us the precious gift of time. If we’re blessed to have extended family living nearby, we can incorporate their skills and talents into our curriculum. Even if family lives elsewhere we can invite them into our learning adventure when they visit or from afar.

Check out these practical ideas to hear how others make learning a true family affair. [Read more...]

The 7 Keys of Great Teaching in Leadership Education

Leadership Education, also known as Thomas Jefferson Education, is a philosophy based on the style of education received by great leaders and thinkers throughout history.

It centers around principles instead of a specific curriculum, seeks to honor children as individuals instead of teaching them as little adults, and groups childhood education into four phases, which we’ll cover in a later post.

The goal of Leadership Education is to teach students how to think, as opposed to teaching them what to think. To do this two main methods of instruction are employed–classics and mentors.

Many of us are familiar with classical education, but what exactly makes a good mentor?

Learn about these seven key ideas to find out. [Read more...]