Adventures In Homeschooling
I’d like to tell you that my journey to homeschool was some well thought out plan, meticulously planned years ahead of time in anticipation of the moment I’d take the reigns of my child’s education. But… it just wasn’t. It was a running jump into a pool of the unknown. Gulp. It was born out of a need to explore something less conventional for my oldest child who had experienced 2 ½ years of traditional education. Along the way, I learned that some of the most unexpected paths are the most rewarding. It turned out to be a delightful match for our family. A year of “trying it” turned into years of loving it.
I began my first years diving into understanding and appreciating different learning styles. Would recommend any parent interested in optimizing their child’s function to explore whether they are visual, kinesthetic, or auditory learners. A wise homeschooling friend recently loaned me the book “How Your Child Is Smart: A Life-Changing Approach to Learning” by Dawna Markova. I’ve utilized other similar resources but think the message is presented best in this one.
Albert Einstein once said, “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry”. Every child deserves to be wildly successful. Sometimes that means thinking outside the box and not being afraid to change what we are doing.
After assessing learning style, choosing curriculum, and thinking about who my child is as a person, I have often challenged myself with the question of “What is my end goal?” Beyond the acquisition of traditional functional skills/concepts what do they really need? My answer? A love of learning! I want their curiosity to spur them on to more. More understanding. More creativity. More exploration. More sensitivity. More desire. More trying. More growth. Cultivating a love of learning means there is no end to the places they can go and what they can achieve.
One of the best ways to cultivate that love of learning is through great books! Our favorite memories by far are the shared adventures we had in treasured stories. We’ve armchair traveled around the world, explored different cultures, dove in and out of wars, laughed, cried, cheered, and most of all had a great time sharing the joy a good story brings. I’ve listed some of our favorite word-led adventures that my kids pulled from the shelf again and again. The frayed and tattered corners of these books give testimony to their recommendations:
|The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill
Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
Twenty One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
Daughter of the Mountains by Louis Rankin
The Seventeenth Swap by Eloise McGraw
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
By The Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
|Cheaper By the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
Follow My Leader by James Garfield
The Seven Wonders of Sassafrass Springs by Betty Birney
The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
I should note that the books mentioned are chapter books and were used in the middle to upper elementary range. Many were used as read alouds before they were independently reading that level. Additionally, I can say that, as an adult, I enjoyed and learned from each and every one of these books. Good books are universal and not bound by age!
Whether you choose to homeschool, public school, or private school, feel free to stop by Indigo and choose your child’s next adventure. We’re friendly and happy to help!
Stay tuned for game schooling! – Jenny