Sunday, December 20, 2015

15 Sneak Peeks into our Homeschool Life

 While we have a big house for the number of people actually living in it and could easily have a dedicated space to homeschool in, we always migrate to our open first floor- combo office/living room/dining room/kitchen. We still use our trusty library cart and make frequent visits to the library.
I have written hundreds of curriculum and book reviews over the past couple of years, both independently and with the imitable TOS Review Crew. I loved every minute of it, but different seasons make different demands and I literally ran out of time. We have super simplified what we do and how we do it and have divested our home and bookshelves of extraneous curriculum and resources. It's way easier to dust now.
We homeschool classically. Classical Conversations makes homeschooling classically that much more do-able and we love our CC Community, the friends, accountability, great discussion and more!

We are all closet artists. This fall Feeche took part in NaNoWriMo (even in the midst of college classes), Cub is constantly creating weaponry and drawing and Flower is in a clay phase. Art books, building and drawing materials are always part of what we do.

Dr. Dh is very involved in our homeschool in a non-traditional way; constantly showing the kids cool info on the NASA and NOAA web-sites, talking with them about politics and theology and showing them cool archaeological dig sites like this one in Israel.

We've homeschooled for over a quarter of a century in 4 different states (Pacific coast, Midwest, Southwest, and upper Northwest) and graduated 3 kids so far. Does it get old? No. The key? Keep up the challenge. When I'm not inspired, they're not inspired. That's why I look for amazing programs, like CC and TeenPact, amazing companies like Circe, Memoria Press and Roman Roads Media and Master Teachers like Wes Callihan and Jim Nance. Learning all the time, baby. That's our motto.
We homeschool for a couple of different reasons which include academic, theological and social.I wrote a Master's Thesis on homeschooling and the American Educational system.

I've started class days, co-ops, camps, brought TeenPact to our State and worked several jobs, both paid and volunteer, while homeschooling. I currently work from home for an educational company on the east coast that works with homeschoolers around the world, It's kind of a sweet gig.

I've chronicled the last 8 years of our homeschooling on this blog. If you are looking for info on homeschooling high school, homeschooling classically, homeschooling multiple kids in multiple stages and ages, you've come to the right place.
Blogging has been a great opportunity! I've met friends from around the world, been entrusted with scores of products, books and curriculas to review, honed my writing skills, and landed a job or two.

Our family lives in an area that has amazing drama opportunities for homeschoolers. My kids participate in Tantara (Festival of One Act Plays) each Jan, Drama Camp each June and Shakespeare Camp each July. They have also participated in TP's Political Communications Class and Poetry Outloud. They are all adroit at public performance.

We are all bibliophiles.  Books are just part of our lives and we give and share books cause you gotta breathe and read. Got to do it.

I have a planner and a plan. Once it's written down, I might actually lose the plan on paper, but it's in my head. I over plan and then go with the flow. It's kind of a hybrid classical/unschooling approach to life.

We are gardeners. We like gardens, plants on the porch and pots in the house during winter. Growing things make us happy. Flower has big plans for a Straw Bale garden this summer, and the straw is already safely stored in the shed, waiting for spring.
We have been busy re-storing a neglected 90+ year old homestead on the Territories and putting together our old 4x4 Farmhouse since we were burned out by a house fire 6 years ago. It's crazy to think that it was 6 years ago already. We've been busy building, reading, homeschooling, restoring ever since! About 2 years ago, Dr.Dh and I switched gears mentally and decided that we were no longer still re-building from the house fire, we were reclaiming an old farmstead. This gave us some mental space to live and re-build. And, the house does look amazing. There's just still a zillion a few unfinished projects. 
We are DIYers. We've actually enjoyed (mostly) the house re-build and take on more projects than we really have time for.

I don't have easy answers for homeschooling. 
There is no "If you do this, you will get this outcome" formula that works.
 If you use X curriculum, some kids will love it and some will hate it and some will ignore it. 
If you use X parenting technique some kids will thrive, some will crump and some will ignore it. 
If you read a zillion books to your kids you will have some passionate readers, some blase readers and some readers who do so for info only. At least, one hopes, they'll be literate. 
If you homeschool for academics you may have academic kids. You may not.
If you homeschool for God, you may have Godly kids. You may not. 
If you homeschool for the freedom it affords, you may have kids who value and embrace freedom. You may not. 

So, why invest in something that may or may not pay off? 
We are being faithful in doing what we believe God has called us to do. 
The outcome is His. 

@Golden Grasses 2008-2013. All photographs, artwork and text are the property of the owner unless otherwise stated. Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Golden Grasses and get our articles right to your inbox!


Jodi Reel said...

Lisa, this is beautiful! Your overview is spot on, and I absolutely love your statement of faith. As Mother Theresa would tell us, "God calls us to be faithful, not successful." The success is truly God's, and I am in constant need of being reminded of it. Have a blessed Christmas!

RB said...

Is there a LIKE for this??? Keep on keeping on, my friend! Your kids are the best!

Michele said...

Love you sharing your life and your home! So blessed to know you.

Andrea said...

I'm so excited to have found your blog! This is my first year of homeschooling (my oldest is 5), and we are signing up for Classical Conversations next year. I am definitely a CC newbie and have a lot to learn, so looking forward to following you. :)

Cindi Dennis said...

*15* I don't have easy answers. . . Is beautifully expressed, and I think it should be quoted on blogs repeatedly across the homeschooling landscape!