Homeschool Thoughts, Division Amongst Us, Neat FREE Resource

I love homeschooling!!!! Seriously, I truly enjoy teaching and being taught and I absolutely love the closeness of our family and my children. There is a natural bond because they are family but it is special when they also form their own friendship. I just had to share that as I am convinced that this is what we are to do in our family.

Last night, I went to a homeschool meeting sponsored by a local umbrella group that a few friends are members…I wasn’t going to go because it was on the beginning whys/hows of homeschooling and we are already doing it and we already know why we are doing it but this will be the first year being “official” being that dd turns 5 in July. I also didn’t want to have a haughty spirit and think I knew all there was to know about being a homeschooler in my county. After prayer and consultation with hubby, I went and was glad that I did. The attendees were all over the board in the sense that there were a few with little ones like me, others looking to pull a teen out of the schools and more in-between. The spectrum didn’t necessarily fit the neat outline of the speaker but it worked. I did have some input about some resources and shared some web sites because the presenter was big on books and not everyone is going to go to the library (plus she had checked out all the homeschool books). πŸ˜€

One thing that happenned that is still unsettling for me is her discussion of the various methods of homeschooling – traditional, classical, unit study, living books/Charlotte Mason, Hebrew education, unschooling, etc. She provided examples for each and then there was the attack on classical and the praise of the Hebrew method. None of the other methods were attacked but the classical. Quite frankly, many of the other areas were praised and expounded upon except for unschooling which was shunned (Note: I think in a way all homeschoolers unschool to some degree). When I say attack, the presenter did acknowledge that there is a big classical movement in homeschooling and she went on to say that being based in Greek/Roman thought only leads to secularism and as Christians we should follow the Hebrew model proposed by Heart of Wisdom. She was a bit more critical than this but you get the point.

I had never heard of Heart of Wisdom and I am including the link so that I can make my point that the homeschooling tent is big enough for all of us and no matter what method you choose or what methods you combine, we are all still seeking to give our children the best. I really have issues when homeschoolers go to such lengths to define/justify why the use what they use and do what they do. There are a lot of great curricula out there and the beauty/benefit of homeschooling is that you have the freedom to design God’s school in your home as you feel He is leading you in order to bless your children and train them up in the way they should go.

I stopped reading one of the message boards that I was on because it was too competitive and made me think that my grass isn’t as green as it should be….I had to pray about that because if I know that this is what God has called me to do and I am trusting in Him with my preparation, materials gathering, etc. and my children are learning then I am doing what He would have me to do at my house. What you do at your house is great but I don’t live there and neither do my children. I don’t want to sound harsh but this is really how the Lord had to lay it out for me as I can be stubborn and hardheaded. πŸ˜‰

I read a post the other day that summed it up at From the Narrows, check it out.

As a disclaimer, I do like the thought process behind the classical, but I also mix it up with unit studies, living books and unschooling. In the end, the Bible is our main text book and God is our Chancellor. I think that as parents we have to look at all of the curricula to make sure it espouses the beliefs that we believe. I also think that kids (at the appropriate age) should be exposed to fallacies of the world so that they can be informed and stand for Jesus in a sound way to avoid being tossed to and fro.

Now, I did find out about an awesome planning resource that is FREE!!!! Home School, Inc has a free module that helps you with planning, organizing, and clerical (prints report cards too!). The module is decscribed in detail below:

Plan Educate Record (PER) is the first module. If staying organized and keeping good records has been a challenge for you that detracts from the time and energy you have to give to teaching, we want to help. We have created a comprehensive planning, recording and storage application that will help. You will not need to labor over paper schedule books or worry about losing all your information in a computer crash. Better still, because our application is delivered securely via the internet, a parent who works outside the home or is traveling can still be an integral part of schooling the children! A parent in the office or on the road can communicate in real time with the kids back home and lend a hand when they need help! PER also will offer a complete set of academic and regulatory reports suitable for your state that you print with the click of a mouse!

As an aside, I went to the thrift store today and it felt like a used book sale at a curriculum fair. I was somewhat good but I did buy quite a few. Monday is 25% off so if some of the others are there, that extra discount may make me buy them. πŸ™‚

Enjoy your day!

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12 thoughts on “Homeschool Thoughts, Division Amongst Us, Neat FREE Resource”

  1. I googled for homeschool blogs and thats how I ended up here.:) Ive been searching the internet for good nitty gritty homeschool blogs and I have to say I like yours. I homeschool but my blog is a little about everything. I have a homeschool label on the side bar for those who want just my homeschool stuff. But it seems like I just cant find a lot of good homeschool blogs. I have several that I love but its not enough for me! LOL
    I noticed that you downloaded the free stuff from Reading A-Z. I have a paid subscription to them and I cna tell you the Leveld readers and worksheets are incredible. I use them exclusively in Reading.

    Im going to bookmark you and I’ll be back.

    Thanks for the encouragement and the bookmark. I had all of my blogs together and then I had to separate them (more for my own sanity). πŸ™‚ My main one contains all the other stuff. I am still enjoying my freebies from A-Z and looking forward to incorporating them into the plans and during the free time, I made a note to self to check into a subscription (now to find the note). I hope that you come back and I will visit you as well. Take care!

  2. I agree. There are so many great methods and styles out there. What works for some is grat, but not everony is living in that house and needs/wants to use that style. Some times I think that kinds of “my way is best’ attitude turns some families off to homeschooling becauase they would not choose that way for themselves.

    Summer,

    The “my way is best” attitude is elitist and leads to haughtiness and turns of many as well as makes others more critical of homeschooling. Thanks for stoppy by and take care!

  3. Wow! Great post, Southerngirl! I, too, find the division in the ranks of homeschoolers rather disturbing. Whatever method people use, if they have good results with it, they seem to think it’s the only method anyone should be using.

    I believe that one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is that we have the ability to adapt what we are doing, to fit it to the needs of our families and of our individual children. What worked for my older daughter may not work so well for my younger; that’s fine. I am not restricted, as a classroom teacher often is, to one method or curriculum. I keep trying until I get something that works. My younger daughter, for example, is just learning to read. She knows the sounds and concepts of phonics, but has been unable to quite put it all together. Yesterday at the library I picked up some of the “Dick and Jane” readers. I’ve resisted them for years, knowing they are controversial in homeschooling circles and that my older daughter would have been bored stiff with them. Well, guess what! My younger one loves them, and is putting time and effort into them that I couldn’t get her to do with anything else. She has read all three that I brought home, and when her dad came home last night, she said, “Daddy, I want to read you this story!” She proceeded to read one whole book last night and another this morning!

    As for your speaker the other night, my guess is the reasons she attacked classical homeschooling are two: 1) because classical is the biggest competition for her; and 2) because she believes it’s wrong to study or use the pagan methodologies and materials. My feeling is: we are all sinners, and no method developed by man is going to be perfect for everyone. The Hebrew rabbis got pretty far off track, too, you know? In fact, Jesus had more negative to say about the Hebrew scholars, by far, than he did about the pagans of the time. My personal opinion is that we should take what we can use from any methodology out there: textbooks, Charlotte Mason, unit study, classical, Hebrew, even unschooling.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen The Homeschool Library message boards, but with your eclectic approach to homeschooling, you might find them helpful. http://www.thehomeschoollibrary.com – I found out about them a few months ago and have found them extraordinarily supportive and helpful myself.

    You have a great blog here – I’m so glad it came up on the Google search! I have bookmarked you and added your blog to my blogroll; I’ll be back to visit again soon!

    Deanna,

    Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to checking out your blog and the homeschool library site. It is good to meet so many others that are open minded and willing to embrace all of the options that are available to homeschoolers. Peace and Blessings.

  4. Hello there!

    I LOVE Classical homeschooling, and would say describe what we do as “Relaxed Classical” or “Classical Unschooling”! I have read some of the Heart of Wisdom books (What Your Child Needs to Know by Robin Sampson) and I enjoyed the warnings about Classical Education. Even though I love the Classical Method, the warnings about Greek-oriented education were interesting and ones to be considered.

    Our Classical Ed support group has as a tagline, “Mining the best from Jerusalem and Greece!” or something along those lines.

    The Heart of Wisdom approach is actually akin to unschooling, although instead of being child-led it is parent, child, and God-led. If you can check out the Heart of Wisdom website/books with a few “grains of salt,” you will surely find interesting tidbits that can help in any approach to homeschooling.

    We are far too eclectic to really fit in a box. That is the beauty of homeschooling, isn’t it? To give our children individual educations, bringing out the best we can in each of them so that they are better prepared to serve the Lord and people!

    We are headed to the beach, and family just arrived! No time to edit or spell check — ack!

    Deborah,

    Heading to the beach, it sounds like we all should be with you. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the different perspective and the tagline is cute! I think in the end, you summed up my perspective in that I want to give my children individual educations that bring out the best in each of them so they are better prepared to serve the Lord and then others. Blessings!!

  5. Great post! I too wonder why we can’t just accept that everyone has the right to choose what methods and resources are best for their family, and not put each other down because we aren’t the same. That is exactly why we love homeschooling–we get to educate our children in the manner that is best for them and us. We should only be supportive of each other in our endeavours.

    Cellista,

    It would be great to be more accepting of the choices of others as we are all uniquely and wonderfully made. In the end no matter the method we all want the same thing in the end. Be blessed!

  6. Great post! Pretty much anything I was going to say has already been said in the other comments. πŸ™‚ Basically I was just going to say that we are all different and there isn’t a right or wrong curriculum for homeschooling. Each family has to do what works best for them. I’ve never figured out why some people will criticize (so strongly!) other methods just because they don’t like them or use them???

    MLBAH,

    Glad to see you back in blogland. The criticism is quite disturbing and whenever I talk to those thinking of homeschooling, I encourage them to do their won research before committing to anything. Take care!

  7. You are preaching to the choir here, sister! You are so right to feel uncomfortable with that sort of speaker…because it is judgment (and we all know what the Bible has to say about people who judge!)

    I find that the long I homeschool, the more I appreciate the variety of approaches and methods. Each of my kids has had varying needs at different times, and the best way to teach them was to respect their needs and goals and pick and choose!! What works for one may not work for another, but by matching the method to the child at that stage will always produce the best results!!

    My best suggestion is to continue to be open and resourceful. That is the best way to ensure quality learning and a happy life!

    Ha ha…let’s not go there about the log in our own eyes and the speck in others. πŸ™‚ Cheers to all the open and resourceful homeschoolers!!!

  8. I haven’t read all the comments you got on this but I definitely have to jump in here too! I’ve homeschooled my kids, in one way or another, under one method or curriculum or another, for ten years. I went into homeschooling thinking that all homeschoolers are equal, with equal respect for one another. It really blew my mind the first time I had a classical homeschooling mom make snide remarks about my method of teaching my children (unit studies). We’ve tried them all– methods, that is. I find we are a very eclectic family, and I go with what works, not current fads. We are now beginning to use Tapestry of Grace in the fall. It is considered classical, but that is not why we are using it. We are using it because I want our basis to be Scriptural, around a chronological history format, including ALL of my children and using hands-on methods (unit study type). TOG does it all. As for “classical snobs” or “textbook teachers”, let ’em praise themselves. They have already received their reward.

  9. I just discovered you blog & love it! I’m adding you to my blogroll. Thank you so much for the Home school Inc. link- I can’t wait to set mine up.
    Amy

    Amy,

    Thanks so much and I am glad that you stopped by…I have been using the Homeschool Tracker which has been quite cool.

    Blessings!

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