Today’s Real Homeschooling for Real Families post is brought to you by Meredith from Powerline Productions. She is writing about a Lifestyle of Learning homeschoolig and what that meant for her family.
“Whoa! That’s cool!”
“How does it work?”
Curiosity and wonder. Two ingredients that make teaching at home a breeze!
How do you cultivate a love of learning in children? How do you raise children who are inquisitive and interested in the world around them, who look for the story behind the facts, who want to honor Jesus as a student?
Visiting My Cousin’s Palm Tree Farm
Let me introduce you to our homeschooling method: Lifestyle of Learning. We learn together with living books, mentoring, unit studies (hands-on fun and integrated learning), and a positive attitude.
The Heart of a Lifelong Learner
One day it struck me that the word “disciple” means student. Wait! Jesus’ disciples were grown men. True. Yet, their lives were all about hanging out with Jesus, listening to His teachings, and putting into practice things that Jesus was doing like healing, walking on water, and other scary things.
I can learn so much from the way Jesus taught.
Jesus invited his students into His world and heart. Homeschooling is a lifestyle, not a period of time each morning and afternoon. My family is living life together and we are always learning wherever we are. I like to spend lots of time with my children because I like them.
I make sure to tell them how much I like them too. “I’m so glad you’re home with me!”
I model a love of learning for my children: “Isn’t this fun?” “Wow, I never realized they lived at the same time.” “I can’t wait to learn about plants today.”
I think learning is fun and I want my children to “catch” my love of learning.
I remember discovering Diana Waring’s history audios. We loved her enthusiasm and she inspired our family’s love of history with her upbeat teaching style. Drive Thru History videos did the same thing. We laughed at Dave Stott’s antics, but “caught” his love of history.
Lifestyle of Learning with Coach Mom
Learning is Fun!
Not just downloading information into their little brains, I am coaching, or mentoring, them in the game of life, teaching them to live productive, successful, joyful lives. I make sure my children “get it” when they learn something new in math. We go over the formula until they can apply it consistently, as well as in practical life situations.
When I am teaching my children to write, we spend months on writing a sentence. I help them write them at the beginning and gradually lead them to independent sentence creation. After each sentence, we evaluate. Is there a complete thought? Does it start with a capital and end with a punctuation mark? Does it have a noun, or naming word? Does it have a verb or action word?
When my kids fight, I stop them and when everyone is calmed down, we walk back through the problem. We figure out what could have been done or said to handle the situation better and prevent a fight. Sometimes, we even role play the whole conversation over.
Every conflict, mess-up, and mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow. Learning isn’t about finishing a workbook page, but being equipped for life!
Lifestyle of Learning uses Living Books
Nothing is lovelier than to curl up and read a good book together. Books take us on adventures to other lands, introduce us to amazing people, and captivate our imagination. Our home is filled with classic works, timeless literature, and wholesome books. Though we do use textbooks and workbooks to some extent, the majority of our learning comes from real books.
My children spend hours a day reading books and that includes free reading time where they can pick up anything off the shelf to read. I have spent the majority of my homeschooling budget on books and arranged them to look attractive and inviting to my children and now grandchildren.
Please feel free to download our ALWAYS FREE Reading Lists at JoyfulandSuccessfulHomeschooling.com. There are reading lists for every age and reading level. Many homeschooling moms just bookmark the page on their phone so whenever they are in a bookstore or garage sale, they can get to it quickly.
Reading at the Beach on Vacation
Lifestyle of Learning includes Hands-On Fun
World War I Trench Sundae
“M’am if you touch something again, I will have to ask you to leave.”
There I was in my forties and about to be kicked out of a museum in Boston. I was so glad my children weren’t with me.
I can relate to kids because I always want to touch and handle things. That’s why unit studies are so fun! We get to make things, experiment, and move things.
Laying railroad tracks, making a canal lock out of milk cartons, splatter painting, hanging inflatable planets from the ceiling, dressing up and acting it out, and making your own miniature golf course are hands-on ways to learn.
Crafts, cooking, and baking are a big part of our studies. Science experiments are fun for all ages, too, while making science facts come alive right before your eyes.
Moving a Boat through the Milk Carton Canal Lock
“Oh, is he talking about Lewis and Clark’s expedition?” Shine asked.
Her older sister nodded. We were studying American History together, reading a biography aloud.
We integrate subjects and ages whenever possible.
Some subjects need to be taught separately like math, but everyone can be working on math at the same time. Other subjects like history are so much fun to learn together. We have a blast reading aloud, making radio shows, researching and presenting little reports to one another, and working on timelines together as a family. It’s so fun to work together!
We also try to integrate subjects. If we are studying American History, it’s a great time to study American literature, learn American folk songs, and discover American painters. When things fit together, it just makes more sense.
Making a Log Cabin Together Out of Cinnamon Sticks
Visiting Haarlem, Holland
Finally, we love to get up and go. Whether it’s a picnic at the park, day at the beach, museum outing, or trip to Europe, we love to travel to learn.
It’s so fun to visit historical cities like St. Augustine, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, and San Antonio.
But, closer to home, it’s nice to walk alone the shore, dig for crabs, collect shells, and keep an eye out for dolphins.
Whether we are on the road or home reading a book, we are always learning. After all, learning is a lifestyle! There is always someone to meet, new things to discover, and people to share it with! The family that learns together and loves one another receives a rich education.
Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of Joyful and Successful Homeschooling, Quick & EZ Unit Study Fun, HIS Story of the 20th Century, Travel God’s World Geography, and the Maggie King Cozy Mystery series (Drug Dealers Deadly Disguise, Legend of the Candy Cane Murder, War of the Roses Mystery, and Murder in the Mountains), about a homeschool mom sleuth. You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at PowerlineProd.com . Free Reading Lists for all ages are available at JSHomeschooling.com. Read her blogs at MeredithCurtis.com and PowerlineProd.com and listen to her podcast at Finish Well Radio.
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