My philosophy of education is based on the view that each of my children are as Charlotte would say “born persons”. I do not see them as potential consumers, or only existing for the economic well-being of the country. Obviously I want them to have a place in their community, but it is their person-hood that concerns me most as their parent. They are each made in the image of God and are gifts from Him and that is the driving motivation of our home education.
Lots of things happen and the children learn often regardless of distractions, stresses and huge unnecessary hugs from passing older brothers. I am not just ‘teaching’ Ronan because he is of the UKs school age but the girls are learning too. Avila is 4 and wants to read, so she does; she loves Math U See and is really pretty good at it. Heleyna is 2 and she loves the manipulatives and I have to admit she is rather fond of Mr Demme the tutor on the DVDs.
In a day there is reading, writing, singing, doing weird experiments with water, oil, lemon juice and baking soda. There is Latin, Greek myths, stories of famous people and events as well as history. They do art whether painting or models or making things from bits of card and raiding the recycling for things to make boats, rockets or treasure maps.
We meet up with other home ed families three times a week. The children sing together or make huge project pieces together. We are learning about life around water at the moment so we go to the parks around here where there is a lot of different kinds of water to look at.
Some of the things the children learn about are in structured sessions and some are just things that happen, while others are things they find to do for themselves. It happens at all times of the day and any day of the week.
There is something quite sad I think about people who having never seen any other kind of education than that which goes on in school, cannot and even will not comprehend the sheer vastness of other learning that can happen if children are allowed to.
I do believe in Charlotte’s ‘discipline of habits’ where a family can work together to ensure everyone learns. I am sure I am learning as much Latin as Roni and with Iona I am enjoying “An Ideal Husband” as well as learning from her about how vitamin D works. Isn’t that what education should be like?
This photo shows an impromptu science session that the children set up for themselves after watching some science programme on TV-Nina and the Neurons. Ronan started just wanting to see if oil and water really did separate in the glass-but he went on to make under water volcanoes with baking soda and some lemon juice and adding honey to the oil and water -seeing it sink and make three layers in the glass.
They tried to see if acid such as lemon juice made a better fizz with the baking soda than an alkaline like milk. All of this was their own doing with just a few ideas thrown in by me.
I am bemused by those who insist education cannot happen anywhere outside of school. That only teachers can teach and that children loose out at home. All the home ed families we know have such a wide variety of education-often different from ours as their children have different interests- but then the children get together and share those interests with one another.
I know the photos I show don’t ever show other families (I prefer not to unless I should ask permission) but other than that-WHAT is it about how my children learn that is so difficult for others to accept?