Great Reads for Deciding to Homeschool and Choosing a Method
The first time I brought up homeschooling to my husband his answer was a hard no. Homeschoolers are weird. Only teachers are qualified to teach our kids what they need to know. And of course, we need to socialize our kids.
We put our oldest who was four at the time in a preschool of sorts in Australia because that was the socially recognized age to start school in our state. After two months I was done. I had to pry him away from his brother every morning to go to school, and in the afternoon they just fought because he was too tired to play anymore. The kids at school made fun of the seaweed in his lunches, and he asked why he couldn't have sandwiches like the other kids. There was an active shooter drill one day and I just couldn't take it anymore.
I had been reading more and more about homeschooling during this time so I handed my husband Susan Wise Bauer's tome on classical education opened to chapter 1, and said, "read this." He rolled his eyes but stood there in the kitchen and read it. Then he put it down, looked at me, and said, "Ok let's do it."
You can read most (maybe all) of chapter 1 of The Well Trained Mind here.
I LOVE Susan Wise Bauer. I love her thoughts and experience with classical education (raised homeschooled and homeschooled her 3 now grown kids). I love her simple, straightforward curriculum that I can embellish as needed with my own creative ideas.
I have also always been intrigued by the idea of self-led learning, or as some call it "unschooling." Which is crazy because it's basically the other end of the spectrum from classical education. We've definitely picked and pulled from all the different methods of teaching children to find just what works best for our kids as leaners and my husband and me as their teachers.
When it comes to deciding how to homeschool our kids, or choosing a "method", these are the books that resonated with me. An admittedly unusual combination!
Curriculum We Love
Right now we are focusing on teaching our children to love to read, to have beautiful handwriting, and to master everyday math. I think these are the cornerstones for learning and so I push for these things with my kids. Outside of that we have released them into the world of self-led learning.
We teach reading using phonics (not sight words/whole language learning). I can't say enough good things about Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading. I've also used it in the past to create word groups for spelling lessons. Like I said before, Susan Wise Bauer's curriculum is seen as dry to some, but I love having the basics laid out for me and being able to come up with games/activities as needed for each child.
For Math we love Singapore Math by Primary Mathematics. It's a base 10 model of math. You may have seen it referred to on social media as the "new math" driving parents crazy nationwide. Learning it alongside my children has made me think of numbers and math in a new and totally comprehensible way. I love love love it.
We use Handwriting Without Tears- but just the workbooks. It's perfectly adequate.
We sometimes read/listen to Story of the World which is a 'living book" take on the entire history of the world. It's totally cool.
That's it for now! Lots of travel, educational programming, museums, play time, creating with a plethora of random office supplies, and reading reading reading (check out my post about reading with Libby!)