We live our own way here in Eastern North Carolina. Join us in our discussions of frugality, self sufficiency, gardening, and homeschooling.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


MrLivingOurWay and I have many different opinions when it comes to education.  We always have.  When we were both working and we had to put our daughter in a new daycare due to a move, we visited a lot of centers.  I fell in love with one that resembled our old center in a lot of ways but also stated that play was mostly what the kids did and that they didn't really push a lot structured learning.  MrLivingOurWay fell in love with a daycare that claimed to have Christian curriculum and promised to make our child a smart Christian.  It didn't take us long to find out that the center felt that by claiming to be Christian, they would get more clients and were not in fact very Christian at all.  We did end up switching to the center I had wanted to send her to after a few months and it was a great fit.

Now that we homeschool our kids, you can imagine that I love to let our children explore areas of their interests (mixed with some gentle pushing towards academics and would use a more eclectic approach if I could). MrLivingOurWay loves textbooks and especially those that come with a teacher edition.  For now, we balance each other out.  We do use a computer based curriculum as the oldest FindingOurWay is very independent and enjoys getting her work done when she is ready rather than waiting for someone to sit down with her.  This is also easier for us since we telecommute. 

I still encourage her to read books that are of interest to her and she tends to soak up knowledge from other experiences too.  She is constantly learning even if she's not learning from a book. I am constantly amazed by the skills that she picks up.  She knows all about our chickens and how to take care of them.  I am amazed at how she "takes care" of her little sister and has picked up some basic cooking skills (with lots of restrictions as you can imagine).  When kids have time to explore their interests, they learn all kinds of facts and skills that wouldn't be possible if someone were to tell them what to learn every minute.

Last summer, we did some book work in Social Studies for the summer.  This summer,  I suspect we'll do the same with a different subject.  We haven't decided on which subject yet, but I'm thinking it will involve some science experiments. 

What is your style of schooling? If you have thought about homeschooling, which style would you use?  What are you plans for this summer?


  1. "Style" hits the nail on the head. Sounds like you and Mr. LOW have different learning styles and so lean toward different modes of education.

    I found that my biggest challenge was keeping my kids motivated. If they were motivated, "teaching" was a breeze. If they weren't, getting them to do any school type work was like trying to pull hens teeth.

    We found 4-H a great resource. We got a lot of science units from doing various 4-H projects, and learned speaking skills by doing 4-H presentations. My son (at 8 years) did his first 4-H group presentation showing a map he'd drawn of our neighborhood. He was so scared he just held it up, hid behind it, and never said a word. By the time he was in high school, he won a state gold medal for his presentation on aviation.

  2. We pretty much follow a Charlotte Mason approach, which means lots of reading (but no textbooks or worksheets), lots of outside time and nature study, and studying the great artists, composers, and poets, among other things. It's fairly relaxed, with no grades or scores, and we like it that way. My husband helps out with schooling now and then, but for the most part he lets me make all the decisions regarding it, which makes it easy!

  3. Leigh, I think the biggest problem is that we both have a background in education as teachers. In his subject area, textbooks are more common than they are in mine. Because of that, I've been forced to follow the child's lead rather than the lead of a predesigned curriculum.

    Laura, I think I'd really like the Charlotte Mason method. I've looked ath te Ambleside web site before. I think because o MrLivingOurWay's education background, he feels a need to be involved.

    We actually just had another grade conversation about this. I pointed out that I felt like I got a great education at a public high school that allowed us to choose English electives. He stated that I must not have met all of the objectives in English to graduate (I DID graduate). My question: What difference does it make if I met all of the objectives if I can read and write well? He thinks in terms of objectives and I think in terms of a child functioning well in society...which again goes back to the subject areas we were teaching in the classroom.