Blogger Friend School Assignment #1

by Darla on September 3, 2008


Assignment: Take time this week to write about YOU and your feelings of trials and triumphs with homeschooling.  Touch on when you first heard about the concept of home schooling and whether you tip-toed into the idea or just jumped in and never looked back.  Share your schooling as a child and how you compare it to what your goals are for your children.

My first assignment it feels like a first day at school.  I remember the smell and touch of the new books and couldn’t wait to read them.  As a matter of fact I didn’t.  I took them home and read them all the first week.  It hasn’t changed much with teaching at home.  I still love the smell and feel of new books and materials.  The rest of public school wasn’t much fun and at times was painful emotionally. 

We started homeschooling some 12 years ago.  It wasn’t an easy decision as I believed that schools and teachers for the most part did a better job.  We spent lots of time at the library picking books as we were interested.  We had enough money for an inexpensive curriculum book from Walmart.  Sometimes I would pick books from the library based on what was in the book.  It worked and there was lots of variety. 

As our budget increased and the number of children, it became harder to get to the library and we relied more on textbooks but it wasn’t better.  We’ve varied teaching styles and methods over the years but always returned to the library. 

Now we are back to our original plan of reading books and coming up with ideas to enhance that program.  Good/Bad is that we don’t have an English library close so we are building a fantastic library of our own.  If I use textbooks it is generally as a guide.  I then find projects, hands on activities and read alouds to facilitate our learning.  We do supplement with on-line classes for math and language arts.   

If I could have designed my own plan while in school as a child this would have been it.  My children are in charge of their education.  As a parent I help them and provide a structure that allows them the opportunity to learn sprinkled liberally with inspiration.  I’m not sure who is learning more. 

The biggest challenge in our family is to avoid controlling techniques and provide an atmosphere conducive to learning.  My two favorite methods are Charlotte Mason and Thomas Jefferson Education.  I just didn’t have a name for it. 

Seven Keys of Education

Classics not Textbooks
Mentors not Professors
Inspire not Require
Quality not Conformity
Sutructure Time not Content
Simplicity not Complexity
You not Them

As for the five environments of great teaching we are presently enjoying our group discussions.  I’ve seen big jumps in my children’s understanding of the things that we are studying.  Narration has become easier because they understand the materials.  They are more open in their questions.  I don’t know the answers so they are learning to look them up. 

Five Environments of Great Teaching

Group Discussion

TJED promotes phases of learning.  The phases are general guidelines as the children will advance themselves from one phase to another.  Each comes with its own particulars. 

Presently we have one child in Core and two in Love of learning.  My oldest isn’t sure where she wants to be and goes back and forth between the two as she comes to grips with growing up and wanting the priviledges but perhaps not the responsibilities. 

I haven’t spent much time explaining the differences to my children but need to do so shortly.  I think it might help my oldest. 

4 Phases of Learning

Core (0-8 )
Love of learning (8-12)
Scholar (12-16)
Depth (16-22)

Looking back, I spent way too much time wondering if this was the year that my children would go back to school.  They always tell me they came home to learn.   It was worth every minute and it has been a blessing to teach them at home.

Sep. 3, 2008 – Great post!

Posted by neverathomemom (
Your statement, “she comes to grips with growing up and wanting the priviledges but perhaps not the responsibilities,” describes my 13 year old to the T!

We’ve only been homeschooling for 2 years but I have told the kids from the beginning that this is what God wants us to do and going back to public school is not an option. It has made the “is this the year” a non-issue for us. Sometimes they love me for it….other times not so much LOL 🙂


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Sep. 7, 2008 – discussion

Posted by tlpgina (
I don’t think we can underestimate this one. I recently was at a homeschool camp and the speaker said he believes there is a 4th learning style, “interactive”, where we learn from discussing and interating the information with others. That fits my oldest (and probably myself) the best as far as preferred learning style. Great thoughts.
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