…adventures in homeschooling….

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in recent posts, that we have started homeschooling our children. I have also shared a bit of our journey over on instagram via my #thebarefoothomeschoolers hashtag.

 

We are three months in, and it is honestly the best decision. The children are thriving. We are all calmer. The pure desire to learn STUFF is such a delight. The flexibility is amazing. Whenever I am asked how it’s going, my reply never varies – MAGIC. This is such a good fit for our children – and I’m not going to lie, I’m loving having all my chickens in my nest.

 

Beetle is still in a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool two days a week, and the three big children use those days to work on projects that are too hard with a four year old under foot. The rest of the time, he floats about and plays and joins us for class and chats.

 

We are using a Steiner curriculum, which is such a good fit for us. Dramatisations for comprehension exercises in english? Handwork as a subject? Nature walks and gardening and stories galore? Music and language woven in? Yes please and thank you! This week, for example, Butterfly has made a balsawood beehive model, Boy2 has prepared a monologue from Deltora Quest, and Bear is learning 15th century illumination and calligraphy.

20170807-DSC_9578{Butterfly using felt balls & mama-made gnomes}

So why homeschool? That is a big and complex answer, a lot of which I don’t think really needs to be discussed in this space – that’s not the point of this post. I will start by saying, I have the utmost respect for teachers in public schools, and telling the children’s teachers and leaving them behind was one of the hardest parts of the change. The short version is, this is something we have talked about on and off for over 2 years now, when we first started chafing up against the side of the box that mainstream schooling required. The stars aligned this year, and after a long and detailed conversation with Mr Barefoot (and by detailed, I mean 64 page print outs and checklists and budgets and timetables. I don’t do things by halves), we could see that this was something that could work for our family, and we decided to take the plunge. One impetus was Boy2 receiving a dyslexia diagnosis at the beginning of the year, and being able to give him the flexibility to learn in a way that fits his brain was a huge allure. Bear also appreciates the flexibility (as we speak he is programming a spy camera robot for his bedroom security system, lest a smaller sibling touch his beloved lego), and Butterfly is loving the one-on-one time with mama and the almost unlimited craft time!

20170731-DSC_9557
{Butterfly & Boy2 working on form drawing}

I’ll be sharing snippets of our journey, though I have no intentions of turning this into a homeschooling blog. Parts I will also blog over at essentiallybarefoot.com, and we have split off a dedicated kids/homeschool instagram, should you wish to peek behind the curtain a bit more. I wanted to share a little bit about it today, since I have had a few questions, and thought it easier to answer it all in one post! If there is anything you would like to know, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!!

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