As I began writing this post I googled the words in my title and the pages went on and on. I won't bore you with a lot of rambling except to say... my thinking of education has evolved through many experiences and opportunities. None of which have been more eye opening than teaching my own children at home.
I can safely say there are many philosophies, theories, and models influencing our home school but it really boils down to ONE thing... TEACH TO THE CHILD!
They each have their own style, way of learning, and interests.
EK... animals, animals, animals, and SJ... pretty, colorful anything,
the other three just need things hands on and real life.
I began this year searching for just the correct curriculum, schedule, and materials. NONE of that really mattered as much as putting each child first and making decisions based on them personally.
Over the last weeks I have had the opportunity to join an awesome group of families in our community to school our children next year. Through lots of prayer, research, talking, and more prayer, we've decided keeping it routine and simple was best for our family right now. In one way it would be perfect for EK and maybe SJ but our littles are not ready for the big world just yet. That being said... everyone is blooming and sparkling with our routine now so we will continue to stay the course.
This week has been a fun one. In all the researching I've done over the last weeks, I found a Montessori ebook in my files full of amazing ideas for the little littles... even some that have benefited the big littles.
The kids helped me set up a serving and snack drawer which they are totally in charge of using. They unload dishwasher items right into there and can get their own snacks at the proper time too. I put together a few other suggested activities: spooning beans from one container to the next, using tongs to transfer ping pong balls to egg carton, threading beads to pipe cleaners...
and today I dumped their laundry in the middle of the school floor so they could gather, fold, and put away their own clothes. Talk about Practical Life... doesn't get more practical than that! :)
I also found an awesome horse unit for EK using the book Fritz and the Beautiful Horses @ Homeschool Share. I sat the book out Monday to read it to her but she picked it up and read to me!!! I was floored... today was her third reading and the difficult vocab has become easy. I told her today I felt like I was listening to myself read. She has expression, fluency, and reads like she is talking!!! I printed activities for her and she keeps asking for more~
Well you know what all this meant for SJ... "I want my own book unit too" so she chose The Very Hungry Caterpillar! She has loved reading her book too and is reading for the most part herself. They were even in the school room at night this week wanting to do more!
The boys have listened to both stories with us and continued working on their own work. They are freely choosing activities from their shelves each day as well as working with name writing and counting.
Evie LOVES anything with play dough, scissors or glue!!!
All of this to say... we will continue with what we are doing. Allowing all to bloom in their time while learning in a way that best suits each one.