Relaxed Elementary Education (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY

Ages of my children: 12, 10, and 8

Educational Philosophies I pull from: Leadership Education, Literature-Based, Charlotte Mason, Unschooling

When Jamie first proposed this series I thought, “That will be easy to write. We don’t use much.”

Then I saw all the questions from the introductory post and realized I might actually have something useful to say.

A few of your comments jumped out at me:

  • The repeated request to know what has worked and what hasn’t, and why.
  • How to “make your own” curriculum.
  • How to use readily available resources (like the library) and literature as materials for learning.

I can answer these because of our own eclectic and interest-led elementary homeschooling experience.
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Homeschooling and Moving

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

Spring is a time for many things. A time for yard sales, planting the garden, and riding bikes.

It’s also the time of year many families are preparing to move. ‘Round the corner, across country, or out of the country. I know our family is not alone as we pack boxes, attend to paperwork, and say goodbye to friends.

Moving happens. And for us homeschoolers, all the packing and preparation happens with children around the majority of the time.

Our family is moving back to Canada next month. And I sometimes fantasize about how much I could accomplish in a day if only my children were at the local school instead of making mess learning at home.

Not every day is easy but we’ve chosen homeschooling for the long haul and so we’re figuring out how to make the best of it while we move.

Here are a few things I’m learning along the way.

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Creativity in Your Homeschool

Written by contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY

Creativity is a dominant theme in our homeschool and is one of our family values. Earlier this winter I wrote about my creative philosophy and shared the story of my own blossoming in this area.

I didn’t grow up thinking I was creative and I am not an artist in the traditional sense.

But watching my children grow and appreciating their creative enthusiasm has taught me that we all have the capacity to create.

I’d like to share with you some practical tips to encourage creativity in your homeschool.

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Renee’s Homeschool Day in the Life (with a 8-, 9-, & 11-year-old)

Written by Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

I have so enjoyed this Day in the Life series here at Simple Homeschool. For my contribution I am sharing notes I took during an actual day earlier this month.

On this particular Friday we were just returning to our regular schedule after a long Christmas holiday.

It goes without saying the day didn’t go quite according to plan.

Each day is different in our home but we do have a weekly routine, that changes with the seasons of life and time of year. Currently:

  • Mornings are for homemaking chores, which everyone does, and a small amount of structured learning. One day a week we do shopping and errands. Starting in February two mornings per month we will have homeschool co-op.
  • Afternoons are for independent projects and play. I write, manage our home and help the kids with their learning. This is also the time for playdates and outings.
  • We read throughout the day individually and all together most often in the morning and before bed.

Here’s what our schedule looks like “in real life.”

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3 Days Till Christmas: 3 Activities Worth Doing

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Renee Tougas of FIMBY.

With only three days left till Christmas it’s time to take a reality check and revisit your holiday priority list. For me, that means axing those non-essentials near the bottom that I haven’t been able to finish.

I’ll be shelving those supplies for the last minute gift I had hoped to make. And finally making peace with the bare evergreen wreath, hanging still undecorated on the front door.

I know I can’t do everything, but there are some simple activities worth making time for in these last three days.

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