Thursday, 27 May 2010

Then and Now.

I have been pondering, our Homeschooling journey of late.

What we did in the early years is very different, to what we do now. Everything was so set in a timetable. It was so ridged.

When we first began, Brid did a lot of question and answer, fill in the blanks and had pretty of structure . We also tried to have lots of fun by doing art and craft. Brid made a skirt and learnt to sew in the first year.

I chose a very Catholic Curriculum, which actually made it very easy to say no to suggestions offered to us. I could then think about what was needed for our schooling journey and Pray about it all.

My main aim was to teach good values, and to instil a love of Our Lord and Mother Mary by reading good Catholic books.

We had 2 other children – teens, who were doing mountains of book work with ACA. It was restrictive in a way as well.

We had music lessons for 3 children and so much overwhelmed me.

I couldn't look at Curricula websites without feeling either overwhelmed or a sense of "Am I choosing the right one for us"!!!

As we continued our journey, I became more relaxed.

I found peace in settling on one Curriculum Mater Amabilis, for our consecutive years. It gave me the comfort in having the subjects laid out and the resources I needed to teach it. I tweaked it a little with my work book approach of Seton English and Singapore Maths.

So began our Catholic Charlotte Mason approach. I still refer to this site and love the richness of the books suggested. Brid's favourite history study would still be Egypt. We read everything together. All our subjects were readers from science to history to faith, everything. It was a lovely time of really connecting on a mummy / daughter relationship. Often I had our older children coming to listen to the read- a- louds because they were rather captivated.

Today, I use a more relaxed style. After years of grammar, composition and spelling, I have abandoned it, as a formal subject. We now use IEW, with nearly all subjects. Brid is reading and report writing independent of me. She writes a lovely report and has the freedom to do so, with my guiding hand- at times I need to steer, but very rare.

Maths we use Saxon maths, and have done for 2 years, and still practice times tables daily.

History has us delving into Rome and our Catholic roots. We began our school year using botany and have branched off into nature study. It's a nice way to explore our garden and look out for various plants and birds. Brid writes an entry usually in her journal.

We explore our faith with studying the saints and reading about and opening our bible, our catechism and continuing to celebrate specific saint days.

Books are enjoyed by Brid enormously, so we have many types of books from history, faith, saints, and classics.

In the early days I tended to want to include Brid in every activity, so she wouldn't miss out on a friendship, and although this was and is important, We place emphasis on just a few activities. I was exhausted taking her from this place to that. So we talk about what is coming up and make our decisions as a family.

When we first started homeschooling, I was governed by the clock. Now if a school takes from 9am to 2.30pm, it takes that long. We take opportunities for learning any time, they come up. I suppose, now it is a lifestyle.

Where to from here? Don't know, God will guide our journey.





Renelle said...

Thanks for this it makes our journey make sense. I think you are doing a beautiful job raising your daughter. She will be a blessing not only to you but whoever she spends her life with.Enjoy all your precious gifts from God. Blessings, Renelle

Leanne said...

thank you Renelle, she is a real blessing.