Archives for February 2011

The Pros and Cons of Having Your Own School Room

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Occasionally I hear those who live in small homes wishing for a bit more space.

“If only we had a bigger house, we could have our very own school room!”

Some homeschoolers arrange their basements with desks, a flag, and materials organized alphabetically on shelves. Others sprawl their learning throughout their entire home–with books, papers, and drawings here, there, and everywhere.

In our family, I’ve never really wanted a separate room for school. One of my main goals for homeschooling is for our kids to discover that learning is just a natural part of life, happening whenever and wherever we go. Setting aside one specific space for academics didn’t really match up with that goal in my mind.

Which is right for you? There’s no correct or incorrect answer, but it’s worth considering a few factors, like the size of your space and your educational philosophy.

Here are a few pros and cons of having your own school room at home:
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Weekend Links

“To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education. I call it intrusion.” ~ Muriel Spark, from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Homeschooling on a Deserted Island

Written by Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

I‘ve been thinking a lot about simplicity. It seems to be a popular theme these days that is being applied to just about everything, including living arrangements, child-rearing, diet, and life pursuits.

A big component of the movement is reduction — making do with less and editing our schedules so we have time to do the things we truly enjoy. As homeschooling is so fully integrated into our day, I wondered how simple could be applied to this aspect of our life. The name of this site is, after all, Simple Homeschool.

How can I enrich our time together, while keeping the excess materials and activities to a minimum?

As I was brainstorming this post, I tried to think up ten things I would bring to homeschool on a deserted island — the ultimate in a bare minimum experience. I started struggling after the first half.

My list went something like this:
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Identifying Priorities in a Large Family Homeschool

Written by contributor Jessica Fisher of Life as Mom

Mothering a large family is one of the greatest privileges of my life. At one time I despaired of ever having a second child, so now to be mom to six children is truly a dream come true.

It probably goes without saying that teaching six children can be a challenge. How do I prioritize? Where do I focus my time? How do I make sure they all learn to read, write, and tie their shoes?

It’s not impossible to teach a large family. Yet it takes thoughtfulness and flexibility. It’ll keep you on your toes and keep you humble.

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Educational Philosophies Defined, Part I

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

A note from Jamie: This month on Simple Homeschool, one of our themes is educational philosophy. So it seems like a good time to revisit this post, originally published on February 15, 2010. You can also check out the second part of the post for further reading.

When I first started to research homeschooling, I didn’t even realize there was more than one way to “do” education. Growing up in the traditional system, like most of us, I assumed that homeschooling meant duplicating the system at home.

Imagine my surprise (& joy) as I discovered the plethora of educational methods and philosophies out there. That’s when I realized how amazing a home education could be–so many possibilities and options existed that could be tailored for each child!

The downside of having so many choices is wading your way through all the information. If you’ve recently felt overwhelmed by all that’s out there, today’s post is just what you need.

Here’s an overview of four educational philosophies to get you started.
[Read more…]

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