I am confident that as kids gain self-knowledge, they’ll gain self-teaching. We’ve got to get kids independent time right away, because that’s the fastest way they can get self-knowledge.John Taylor-Gatto
Let’s talk Personality Profiling, a typical day in our life, seasons of our homeschool and creating learning opportunities.
I’ll discus Enneagram and Myers Briggs and how they can help us understand our children, our children’s learning, and how our family connects (or doesn’t connect) because of who we are. What is enneagram anyway?
I’ll share a typical day in our homeschool world. I share at a time of our homeschool story when I had a six, ten, twelve, and fourteen year old children. At this point, my six year old had this kind of education in the project season of our homeschool. At this point, my ten year old had this kind of education in the project season of our homeschool.
I share about the seasons of our homeschool and why we shifted different homeschool philosophies throughout our thirteen years.
FAQ: Do you have to be a teacher to homeschool my kids?
Let’s Talk Learning Opportunities
Which of the following are educational activities and which are entertainment?
- Are you familiar with Minecraft and Lego? Are they games and toys, or are they skill building activities?
- Are the following books entertainment or educational? To Kill A Mockingbird? War and Peace? Diary of a Wimpy Kid? The Kite Runner? Owl magazine?
- When you take a child past a pond and she tries to lift every leaf and every rock in search for living snails, to discover where a snail chooses to live, is that entertainment or education?
- If he sits in a classroom with a teacher giving a lecture on polynomials, is that learning?
- If he sits in front of an online learning class discussing the Krebb’s cycle, is that learning?
- What about watching a YouTube video on how to choose marine animals for his fish tank, is that educational?
- Is it educational if a child learns how to count coins when she’s trying to sell you a plastic cupcake for .75 cents in her pink plastic kitchen?
- Is it educational to take a food safety course to prep for a job at a local bakery?
Look for the learning opportunities.
Acknowledge and follow their learning interests.
Oldest daughter: British history. May have started with Usborne books and transitioned into historical fiction. She read a lot of historical fiction. She wasn’t interested in being taught; she wasn’t interested in being told what to do (still isn’t). We stayed up in the night to watch Kate and Will’s wedding, when we’ve done travelling around the world, she’s been the most interested in museums and art galleries. She wasn’t all that interested when we studied Latin at home, but now she’s taken a couple semesters of Latin in her first university year and focussing on ancient roman and Greek civilization.
Second daughter: since she was two, she was curious about zoology, from undersea sticker books to aquarium visits to ocean visits around the world, we followed her interest.
Quickly into homeschooling, we learned that we were enabling our kids’ learning, so every question was on the table. What if a pregnant woman’s uterus doesn’t clamp down and stop the bleeding after a woman has a baby? our ten-year-old asked her physician dad. We answered that. We’ve answered a LOT of those questions throughout the years. When we travelled into remote Africa twice, our entire family got to join their dad in the operating room as he anaesthetized people, they got to join him in medical or pediatric rounds.
If there’s a question, if there’s a curiosity, it can be pursued.
Are you wondering how to create writing, spelling, vocabulary building, speech presenting opportunities? I’ve got a post discussing each of them.
Are you wondering how you can help your child read?
Are you wondering if you can do science labs at home? Our kids have done dozens with real microscopes, real dissecting kits. Just months ago, I had a dissected toad and a dissected perch in my garbage. In the last month, we did bacterial cultures on six places around the house: note to self, the toilet is cleaner than the bathroom sink. Right now, I have painted butterfly larvae sitting in my kitchen pantry transforming into crysalids. (I love science.)
Are you wondering how to do history at home? Books and online resources, museums and so many people that can share their stories, their wealth of knowledge. We’ve visited world war sites in Europe, but we can also access online museums around the world. We can create timelines and newspapers of a specific time period, create pretend interviews with historical characters, and create our very own podcasts on ancient romans. The online resources right now are incredible.
Fine arts interests? I know I am. We’ve studied impressionism, violin and piano lessons, and classical music and music through the decades. We’ve visited art galleries and studied art in a book and attended art walks. The three oldest girls even participated in a gallery opening where they presented their own work.
There is a way to engage any and all topics.
Acknowledge and follow your interests.
What are you passionate about? Share it with them.
I’ve shared: home design and house building, permaculture, chicken keeping, gardening, business development, writing, fine art, classical and jazz music, travel.
My husband has shared his love of Canadian and American politics, Broadway theatre, and poker, chess, strategy games, how to give a good presentation, everything medicine, and all things presidential history.
What can you share with your kids?
Trust that the way they like to learn is the right way to learn.
This influences your curriculum purchases, and frankly, is less expensive and makes your life easier.
Zach reads. And reads and read and reads. Hannah, 19, is calling 11 yo Zach to consult on Ancient Roman history, because he’s always reading. (He threw together a podcast episode just on ancient romans, but since someone complimented him on it in real time, he stopped doing it).
I would like to sit Zach down with a huge empty scrapbook and have him create a lap book, or write articles pretending to interview Caligula or write compare and contrast essays. (I did that actually.)
But you know what he likes to do? Read. And talk about it. And watch videos on the topic.
How does your child learn?
- What do I want them to learn?
- To be independent thinkers
- To coexist in the world harmoniously, kindly and responsibly
- To find the things they enjoy doing and that brings them purpose and brings their communities value.
- To find a way to make an income doing the things they enjoy.
Are you considering homeschooling your kids?
I’ve got a free mini-course that introduces you to me, so I can get you from “I don’t know where to start, to I’ve got a plan.”
I’ve got a full course that inspires you to consider what an education is anyway, and get you thinking and planning for your child’s education.
I’ve got a course that will get you from “I don’t think I can do this, I’m too uncertain, nervous, or afraid” to “I know I can do this, I’ve got this girlfriend.”
How to Homeschool 101 will give you Everything you Need to Know to Get Started, Create a Personalized Education, and Gain Confidence in Creating your Routine.
Call to Adventure by Kevin MacLeod