Anyway, since I like to know what other people do and benefit from it, I thought I would post a little about what we do. Maybe it'll give a resource or thought for someone who would like some new ideas.
Now remember-I am a mom with ten kids. I am also a non driver. I am certain that if I had only a few kids and a car there would be at least some things I would do differently. I am not into following methods to the letter. I am on a mailing list that is centered around a particular style of teaching and sometimes the women just agonize (it seems to me) over what book goes where and where to start and how much of this or that... I think we are so fearful of thinking for ourselves and we just want someone to take us by the hand and guide us through every little step...
Anyway, here are some basic things I think are true of child raising and general and schooling specifically (not in any particular order. I write these posts off the cuff as I'm sure you can tell):
Children are people. Can I just say, I think we forget that? They get bored, discouraged, overwhelmed, just like we adults! Why do we put burdens on their young frames that they aren't meant to carry?
They are not here to pad our egos, fulfill our unlived dreams for us, show the world our superior teaching skills, get a job that will make a bunch of money, get married just so we can have grandchildren, etc. etc. etc.. Some of those things may happen, but they are side effects, not the goal.
They are here for a purpose. It is to glorify God. Education is a tool God can and probably will use in their life to fulfill that purpose, along with other things. But it is a tool and not the end in itself. The glory of God is the end.
Part of the glorifying of God is the expansion of His Kingdom. Education should reflect the goal of kingdom expansion (though I think I would define that more broadly than a lot of the church today. Maybe.) and priority should be given to subjects that can contribute to that goal. but...
God does a lot of things for the pure joy of it. How else can you explain flowers blooming where no one can see them? So if the necessities have been covered I see nothing wrong with a kid taking time for something for the pure fun of it, like researching the history of baseball or learning to play the penny whistle, as my 16 yr old son is in the basement doing right now...
Children have been created for certain positions in God's kingdom. I know there is a basic knowledge that every kid should know. Bible, phonics, math (to a certain level) I would put in things like church history and general history and a basic science education. But I also think there should be a lot of individualization too. The education my 16 yr old son got is simply not the same one my 18 yr old daughter got. She is much more literature focused, types faster, sings, plays piano, bakes... Forrest focuses on composing music, economics, violin, and sheet rocking of late, and displays a shocking lack of knowledge about classic literature (at least to Shayleen) Elisa (14) so far hasn't done any music really, though I keep praying for a flute for her... She reads astronomy books for fun... So, like I said. Different.
And I think getting to know your child is an intrinsic aspect of homeschooling. They are like presents we get to unpack slowly. What all has God put in here? I don't think you can home school well if you don't take time just to delight in the person God has created in them.
People learn things better if they are actually interested in the thing you are trying to teach. I will never forget making Shayleen do a certain chapter about Chinese history over 3 times when she was about 10. She never did pass that chapter review, but she did proclaim henceforth that she hates history. I think that was a big mistake on my part.
Well, I better go make breakfast now. The natives are getting restless. More later.