Infusing child-led opportunities into a traditional approach

Infusing Child-Led Opportunities into a Traditional Approach

The following is a post by contributor Angie Kauffman of Real Life at Home.

While I have always been extremely interested in child-led learning, it’s been one of those things that just doesn’t seem to flow in our home. Despite my desires for it to be otherwise, it seems that a primarily child-led approach just isn’t going to happen.

I finally had to evaluate why it doesn’t work for us, and if there was anything I could do about it.

I have found two reasons that it doesn’t work out well in my house.

The first is that I like to plan our studies. In this way, I have often wondered if my two education degrees have been more of a hindrance than a help to our home education.

The second, and more important issue, is that my kids and I have something in common: they also like it when I come up with a plan of study for them.

If you’ve found yourself in the same situation, don’t give up on a child-led style of learning quite yet. These options might not look like what you had originally envisioned, but they just might be the perfect fit for your family.

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Navigating the path ahead: Using your homeschool compass

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Navigating the path ahead Using your homeschool compass
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is part of an ongoing series
about the educational philosophy Leadership Education
(also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)
Find the other posts in the series here.

Last Monday I described for you the process of creating a homeschool compass–a plan your children ages eight and older can use to help direct their own learning with you serving as a mentor and guide.

In that post I walked through the questions I asked my own kids–about skills they’d like to conquer, books they want to read, and even what they feel their mission and purpose on this earth might be.

Today I’d like to explain how we finished off the compasses and how we are actually putting them to use in our day-to-day homeschool life.
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Charting the path ahead: Making a homeschool “compass”

Making a homeschool compass
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is part of an ongoing series
about the educational philosophy Leadership Education
(also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)
Find the other posts in the series here.

I brewed inviting mugs of hot tea, explained to the kids our goal for the day, and carried the mugs to our porch where we could enjoy the recent influx of definitive spring-like weather (Hallelujah!).

I was also trying to brew a little inspiration for something we’d never done before–making homeschool compasses. A compass should do what it sounds like–point us in the right direction for our learning as a family.

For years now I’ve regularly created “six month inventories” for our homeschool–plans that form a scaffold for what Steve and I need to do in order to guide and direct our children’s educations.

Every six months (or thereabouts) I carve out quiet, pray for each child, and brainstorm ideas about what he or she needs most at this time.

A compass is similar in some ways–except that the kids have created it themselves! I figured that now–at ages 9, almost 10, and just-turned-11–they would be ready to set some of their own learning goals.

But I was surprised by how deep we went and how much we enjoyed the whole process.

“Each binder should include the student’s past and current compass – a six month list of everything they want to study, learn and do.”
- from Leadership Education The Phases of Learning

[Read more…]

Simple ways to create a content-rich environment this summer (and why it matters)

anne1picmo

Written by contributor Anne Bogel of Modern Mrs. Darcy

At my house, we’ve decided to take a “summer break” this year—or at least that’s what we’re telling our kids. When they’re off their regular school schedule (you know, the one where they start their school days with math at 9:00 a.m.), it feels like summer vacation.

Here’s what they don’t know: my husband and I are very intentional about providing great content so they are learning all the time—even while they’re on “break.”

We stock our home with what they need to keep learning all summer long. School may technically be out of session, but that’s no reason to put their education on hold.

Here are our favorite tips and tricks for building a content-rich environment. [Read more…]

Simple ways to get kids started with art

simpleartpicmo

The following is a guest post written by Faigie Kobre of Eduart 4 Kids.

Before I was married, I was an early childhood teacher.

I used to dream about all the wonderful art projects that I was going to do with my own children.

Then I got married and had kids. Six of them.

And I wasn’t like all of you super homeschool moms, who manage to do everything with your children that all moms do, PLUS teach them at the same time.

So I never really ended up doing half of the art stuff I wanted to do with them.

At one point, however, I did decide that I wanted to teach them to draw. I bought the book Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks and got really excited about teaching them.

I think I gave them one lesson.

[Read more…]