A Thomas Jefferson Education

Recently, a method of education was brought to my attention which grabbed my interest. The method is a purposeful approach to education with the goal of creating independent and creative minds. That method is the Thomas Jefferson Education. When I embarked on homeschooling, my goal was to educate my children in an environment that fostered creativity, independence and critical thought. Through the years, I have adopted many different methods to fit different learning styles or phases of my children’s lives. While there is merit in that approach, I have recently discovered a path that transcends the ages and stages of … Continue reading

Unschooling, Homeschooling, Classroom: Choose the Method that Meets the Needs of the Child

One of my previous articles gave you some insight into unshcooling. Andrea has already addressed many questions about unschooling in Homeschool. However I thought that it might be interesting to throw in an article from a public educator’s point of view. As you know unschooling involves letting children learn on their own in a natural environment instead of in a structured learning setting such as a classroom. It is more relaxed with less “bookwork”. So does this work? It can. I think that unschooling and typical homeschooling and schooling in general all basically follow the same rule. That rule is … Continue reading

A little Bit of Charlotte Mason

As a relaxed homeschooler with an eclectic philosophy, I have found that I subscribe to the theories of the Charlotte Mason Curriculum. Charlotte Mason emphasizes gentle learning through reading. I myself am a testament that learning through reading works. I began reading for pleasure in the fourth grade. My teacher, sensing that I was bored with the (everybody at the same pace, private school) curriculum, and stressed from the bullying for being too smart, loaned me The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I read that book, the rest of the series, and everything from classic to best sellers for … Continue reading

Introduction from a new homeschool blogger

I’d like to introduce myself to the Families.com family. I’m a mom, a freelance writer, and a new homeschooling blogger here. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to write about a lifestyle and method of education that I love. We’re a family of five from the Midwest. When people ask how long we’ve been homeschooling, I often say that we’ve done it since birth, since parents are the first and most important educators of their children. But, for an actual chronology of my kids’ education, I can also say that we started formally homeschooling our oldest when she entered first … Continue reading

2006 in Review: Homeschooling Blog at a Glance

As a new homeschooling blogger at Families.com, I wanted to know everything that has been discussed to date. In response to my own curiosity, and in an effort to make perusing our articles easier for you, our readers, I have compiled all of the blogs for the year 2006. Deciding to Homeschool Why homeschool Am I qualified for this? Reasons that Homeschooling Works! My Most Important Advice for Homeschoolers. The Cost of Homeschooling Instead of standing up for their own kids, why not stand up for all kids? Disclaimer: I am hardly an expert in education. Did You Know? ‘Empirical … Continue reading

A Day in the Life of a Highly Regulated Relaxed Homeschooler–Part 2

If you haven’t read the first part of this blog, you may want to read it before finishing the second part of our day. Andrea, my co-blogger here in homeschooling, had the great idea to let people read two different perspectives. We left off in our last blog discussing our lunch time conversations and the importance of such time. 1-3pm After my son cleans up lunch, we start doing what we call electives. Electives are anything from history and science to Swahili to ballet to crafts. They generally can involve everyone on some level, and are usually (but not always) … Continue reading

A Day in the Life of a Highly Regulated Relaxed Homeschooler

It was Andrea’s great suggestion that we compare our days side by side. Like she said, many people want to know what a “typical day” looks like. Like Andrea’s family, we would also consider ourselves “relaxed”. However, our state mandates that starting in first grade kids spend 6 hours per day in school for 180 days. They ask that you complete 80% of your IHIP (which is basically a big long list of what you‘re going to teach for the year). Anything that we do to deviate, warrants at the very least an explanation on my quarterlies, if not an … Continue reading

So what Exactly is Relaxed Homeschooling?

Yesterday as I described my day, I realized that we are relaxed homeschoolers, and so I titled my posts appropriately. Before then, I had never given much thought to our homeschooling style or philosophy. Your style of homeschooling will stem from your beliefs toward homeschooling. If believe that Latin is an important base to English education and that history should be taught in the order that it happened, then you may lean toward classical homeschooling. If you think that your child should learn what they are led to learn, then you lean toward unschooling. If you feel like education should … Continue reading

“Why I Homeschool My Son with Asperger’s Syndrome.” One Mother’s Story

The following is an interview I had with Lorri, a mother of three from Texas. (I’m not using her last name for privacy reasons.) Her son Steven (pictured), age 9, has Asperger’s Syndrome. See my blog entry, “Asperger’s Disorder: Basic Diagnostic Criteria” for more information about this condition. 1. How did you first find out your son has Asperger’s? What were his early symptoms? “Language frustrated him, and I noticed OCD-type behaviors, like needing to travel the same route home, eat from the same bowl, and line up toys. There were sensory issues where his clothing had to be cotton … Continue reading

Exploring Homeschool Methods

Finding a homeschool method that fits your family will focus your homeschool and improve the educational experience. I spent a few years exploring methods before deciding on the one that suited my family the best. Since that moment, my children and I have benefited in numerous ways. I encourage you to research the methods for yourself. A lack of vision and focus, as with any endeavor will result in failure and frustration. However, choosing a method should not be frustrating; it should be a natural fit into your family’s lifestyle. The method is simply framework for how your homeschool is … Continue reading