Monday, March 29, 2010

The typically unusual homeschool home

Homeschooling does not get left at the classroom door. It permeates every inch of your life and living space.

As a result of our choice to homeschool, our schedule, home, priorities, and habits often look different than "normal" families. Although I do know some non-homeschooling families that share some of these outlooks, homeschooling has become a critical component of many of these.

Schedule . . .

School doesn't take place between 9-3 in some other building. School has become a way of life. We pass along our knowledge -- academic, spiritual, emotional, relational, etc. -- from the time we get up until we go to bed. Our "school day" may have a schedule, but learning rarely allows itself to remain confined to those hours. And, what doesn't fit during the week, we squeeze in through field trips and internet searches on the weekend.

Instead of thinking of weekends as down time, or time for projects around the house, I usually view them as prep time.

Home . . .

We just might consider a time-line fashionable household decor around here.

You are just as likely to find a science experiment on our kitchen counters as at the back of our refrigerator (and, yes, that is indicative of both our learning environment and my lopsided time for housework).

A school room ranks higher in importance than a bedroom for each child (how easily can you find a seven bedroom house anyway?)

Books, books, books, and more books. You would be hard pressed to find a room without books in it.

Magazine subscriptions do not include Better Homes and Gardens or Good Housekeeping. Instead you might find me thumbing through The Old Schoolhouse or a catalog from Vision Forum, CBD, or Rod and Staff.

Priorities . . .

I quit my job a couple years ago in large part because it became too challenging to continue homeschooling well and working full time.

Much "downtime" goes to homeschooling projects -- blogging, product review, support group management, lesson research and plans, extra study helps, etc.

Future plans always include the assumption of homeschooling and how it fits into the picture.

Habits . . .

We get excited about packages because they might contain some new curriculum, product, or tool for learning.

I actually enjoy reading about educational philosophies and new tips and ideas for keeping learning alive.

Family walks become intentional nature discoveries.

Each waking moment is a viewed as a teachable one.

Each day a time to connect with our kids and help them develop into who God designed them to become.

Homeschooling is definitely a way of life that leaves no stone unturned, and we wouldn't have it any other way.


TOSHeidi said...

Great post! Love it!

AFwife99 said...

That sounds a lot like our house too. Living a life of learning, what a great thing.

MommaMindy said...

Great observations on the life and philosophy of homeschooling families. You are especially right that every minute is a teaching minute. I have a hard time answering the question, "So, how much time do you spend home schooling each day?"

6intow said...

Thank you, Heidi!

AFwife, despite all our uniquenesses (okay, that is clearly not a word) homeschool families do tend to have a lot in common, it is always nice to know we are not the only strange ones out there. ;)

MommaMindy, I remember a homeschool mom trying to answer that question to an interviewer about their schooling hours, and he decided she definitely met the required minimum. Yeah, I don't think that's generally a true concern in most of our homes.