Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Freestyle Learning in the flesh

This is a very positive look at "unschooling" by our local media.
Loved these statistics:

The National Home Education Research Institute, a non-profit research group, recently completed a comprehensive study of how former homeschoolers are faring in their adult lives. Of the 7,306 participants, 5,254 had been homeschooled for at least seven years.

Some findings:

• 74.2 percent had attained some college courses or higher in their education. In the general U.S. population in the same age range, the number is 46.2 percent.

• 71 percent of the former homeschoolers are participating in an ongoing community activity, compared to 39 percent of all U.S. adults.

• 55 percent say they would homeschool their own children.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Learn about Esther

I came across this the other day...and I'm sort of excited about it! One of the great heros of the Bible, Esther's story is romantic, exciting, and filled with spiritual truth. Thanks to Tommy Tenney for creating this opportunity to read her life in an engaging and thought-provoking way in his novel, Hadassah!

Even more exciting is the major motion picture, One Night with the King,coming out this fall, starring:
James Callis... Haman
Tiffany Dupont... Esther
Luke Goss... Xerxes
John Noble... Prince Admantha
Tommy Lister... Hegai
AND Peter O'Toole... as Samuel!

This would be a neat opportunity to do an in-depth study as a family on this great book and person of the Bible. Read Hadassah, study Esther, watch to movie. A great jumping off point for all kinds of study...and fun!

Let me know what you think... and please share other ideas with us, things your family enjoyed, additional resources...etc!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Summer Homeschooling

Here's a fun look at homeschooling throughout the summer. Some may not consider this mom a "true" home schooler, in that she sends her daughter to school during the year. However, she is actively participating in her child's education and I'm all for that! We can call her a part-time home educator...

A great read for someone considering homeschooling, or for those who say "I could never homeschool." Summer School is a great place to start and experiment with different ideas and methods. Perhaps you know a neighbor or a friend at church who talks about homeschooling but is scared to try. Summer school might be the answer!

This is also inspirational for veterans who just need some fresh ideas...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Unschooling Undefined

I enjoyed this article which gives a broad discussion of unschooling--including "bullets" of cons regarding public education. He begins:
Unschooling is a word coined by negating the idea of schooling; it starts off with a negative definition. What, specifically, is it about schools that unschoolers want to do without?

Mr. Anderson continues:
Unfortunately, telling what unschooling isn't doesn't tell what it is. In some ways, all homeschooling is unschooling -- we don't isolate our kids from life, or move at the sound of a bell, or require permission slips, or neglect the individuality of our children. Where unschoolers differ from other homeschoolers is the extent to which we let children be responsible for their own education.

The rest of the article provides a good argument for (and the benefits of) adapting a more relaxed approach to home education.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

No Sure Formula for Reading Readiness!

Teaching your children to read...or should I say encouraging your children to learn to a concern for most parents. The freestyle approach allows for each child to develop at his or her own pace--trusting fully--that they will learn to read in their own time. It is different for every child, as depicted in Jody's article:

I have homeschooled for 13 years. My eldest was four when he started to read, and was reading "real" books(C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, and books on birding written for adults) for the fun of it by the time he was seven. Then my three girls came along -- one twin was nine, the other was 10; my youngest daughter was 11 before they could read with any assurance or pleasure. My youngest son was six when he could read with ease. He's much like his older brother which suggests to me that it's not that I "lost" my ability to teach the girls. They all had the same teacher, but each of them was a bundle of their own unique strengths and weaknesses, with their own learning styles.

This article will encourage those of you with younger children who haven't crossed the threshold into reading yet. I've included a link to a book that was a thoroughly enjoyable, quick read on the subject called Raising a Reader. The author shares her experience with her two daughters and their voyage into reading.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Simple Steps to Joyful Homeschooling

This article spoke to several issues homeschoolers should take note of--especially if you are interested relaxing things a little...

Take time to enjoy the simple things. Make sure you really notice how beautiful the sunshine is when it shines on their hair, or how delightful it is when they giggle. I went to bed early a while back because I was sick and I listened to my husband and kids laughing. I stayed awake to hear this and it’s burned into my memory. Go out and look at the stars with them. Go for walks for no reason. Just try to be present mentally and emotionally to enjoy them.

Mary Hood wrote a book entitled, The Joyful Homeschooler which we used in our Freestyle Learners group last year. It's a great book introducing the scriptural foundation and support for a less structured approach to homeschooling...from a practical exprienced home school moms perspective! If you enjoyed this article, I think you'll really enjoy this book!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

How do we foster Lifelong Learning?

Great question and answer session on Lifelong Learning!
Questions like:
"But how do you really know that they'll learn everything they need to know?"
"What does life learning look like in your daily life?"
"Do you keep records?"

A must-read for homeschoolers...whether you think of yourself as a freestyle learner or not. Much food for thought.

First Online Homeschool Convention

Don't miss the First Online Homeschool Convention
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Spunky HomeSchool Convention Center
The Convention Opens at 9 AM (EST)
Admittance is Free but Comments are Encouraged

Integrating Life & Learning WORKS!

This is really what home education is all about! You'll enjoy this success story...creating lifelong learners is one of the primary goals of my view!

The first and foremost objective is to raise your children to love and serve God.
The second is to prepare them for His plan for their lives.
The third would be to develop the life and relational skills integral to their success in life.
Then instilling in them the value of learning and growing as a lifelong pursuit.

Those were my goals for my sons. Did I achieve those objectives? Not perfectly. Yet my sons are both on track with their lives, serving God and walking in His purposes for their lives. Could I ask for more? My oldest signs his emails: Serving God with a hunger for holiness and a passion for people. Makes a mama proud!

The most important thing is to know what your goals are and to teach, train, and educate according to those priorities.

Have a terrific day!!

Homeschooling that Bears Fruit

"Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit"
(John 15:2 TAB).

I like to think about simplifying the homeschooling process whenever possible. It seems to me this scripture can serve as an encouragement to us to prune every area of our lives-including our approach to education.

Pruning means to trim by cutting away dead or overgrown branches;or to improve by removing unwanted parts. The first one seems obvious. No one wants "dead things" in their life. These could be activities that have long lost their joy for you...something you are doing purely out of habit or obligation. Church or service activities aren't exempt from pruning either; maybe it's time to let go and let someone else move into these areas. HOw about tim...perhaps you need to prune something that is stealing your time or your child's.

Consider the next part of our definition: cutting out the overgrown. Is there something in your life that has become beyond your ability to manage...that causes constant strife? Are you thinking...homeschooling? Homeschooling can be a monumental task and during the process we must continually prune.

How can we "prune" our schooling? The first is to simplify any area you can. Cut out extra subjects. Attend only those events that are beneficial to your kids. Don't go just to socialize. (I apologize if I am stepping on toes...not my intention. Remember I am speaking from experience!) Learn to say no. Pruning is not always a major project. Sometimes just a few branches need clipping; your life may just need a little tweak in a few places to become fruitful again.

Realize that pruning not only denies our own flesh; it sometimes disappoints others. Just this week, I had to prune out a trip that left some family members quite perturbed with me. I should not have made the plans to begin with; however against my better judgment, and to make them happy I went along. The realization came that this was not the thing for us to do and I had to cut it out. It did hurt. However peace was restored, and now that time will be used for what God originally intended.

If our goal really is to improve the quality of our lives, and to "bear more and richer and more excellent fruit," pruning is a necessary step. "But, It hurts!" Yes, it does. However the rewards are so worth it! You will develop other fruit in your life; usually the first one is peace. You will find more joy, more time, more contentment, when you are living a trimmed-down life, doing only those things God has called you to do.

Prayer: Lord, I want to bear fruit for You! Help me to prune, and weed, and cut away those things, which are influencing my time, home, family, and relationship with You in a negative way. Restore peace and joy to my day and help me to be continually mindful of this principle. Thank you Jesus, amen.

Thoughts of a friend on Christian Unschooling.....

I love the opportunity to look into someone else's home...and heart...and hear their thoughts on home education and family life, don't you?

Here's your opportunity to read what Christian Unschooling means to one family.

Discipleship Education

This well-thought out article, though lengthly, is definitely worth the read! Jonathan Lindvall brings up many good points about the true nature of homeschooling. His discussion of a Scriptural based methodology goes beyond simply implementing a Bible study program and will empower parents to step out and define homeschooling according to their interpretation of God's Word and their own convictions.

I would add, I think Matthew 6:33 is a terrific scripture to build your homeschooling philosophy on: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."

An exerpt from the article:
We use the curriculum methodology we call "Discipleship." In "discipleship" the emphasis is not on content, but rather on relationship. If we have scriptural content, but unscriptural methodology, we will find ourselves continually struggling and defeated. If we embrace the curriculum revealed in God's word, we walk in fulfillment, peace, and joy. And the result (fruit) of faithfully following the Lord's design is pleasing (and glorifying to God).