Don’t Know Much About History Resources (2011 Curriculum Fair)

Written by Simple Homeschool contributor Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

Ages of my children: 12, 9, 4, and 5 months
Educational Philosophies I Pull From: Unschooling, Eclectic

History was never my strong point. I blame it on all the instructors who pretty much killed the subject for me, like elementary school teachers who had us read and respond to the social studies textbook questions without a single explanation on how it related to the rest of world chronology.

Plus the grad-school student-teacher who had us studying Machiavelli’s The Prince for a whole semester in high school because that was her dissertation work. And although she was totally enamored with the subject, it just didn’t rub off on me.

Thankfully, there were two teachers who did bring some light into those Dark Ages, and both had one thing in common — they told stories and they told them with enthusiasm.

On days when we probably should have been reviewing declensions, our Latin teacher, egged on by students who knew his weakness, would spend the entire period telling us stories from Roman history.

Another instructor acted as our tour guide to all the must see Wonders of the World — from Pyramids to the Taj Mahal, he shared with us the stories behind all these architectural marvels as we zipped through different time periods in history.
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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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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.
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The Evolution of an Educational Philosophy: My Journey of Baby Steps

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

I wished I hadn’t shown up that day. But God knew better.

The late summer sun spun rainbows through the window of my minivan, as I sat in the parking lot of a church–journal and pen in hand. I had just attended my second homeschooling conference, and was completely freaked out.

Without knowing it, I had registered for a conference on unschooling–a term I had never heard before that day.

I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to hear it again.

What do you mean, children don’t need to be taught? How will they learn otherwise?

So before heading home, I took deep breaths and tried to make sense of this new information. Tried to rationalize it away with ink and words on paper.

If only I could go back and tell myself what I know now.
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Erasing the Line Between Home and School

Written by contributor Amida of Journey Into Unschooling

Back to school is upon us and there have been lots of discussions among fellow homeschoolers about the Big Day — the loss of carefree summer days, the stress of preparation, the hopeful direction of the new year.

It is a time filled with promising new materials to try out, and beloved old ones to continue with. For me though, I prefer to take the route less stressful. I propose a different outlook.

One of my goals with homeschooling, after all, is to raise lifelong learners. I want my children to remain naturally curious of their world and to seek information and acquaint learning as a natural part of their lives. Just as learning shouldn’t be limited to specific hours of the day, neither does it need to have a start and end date. [Read more…]