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When Ana came up with this wonderful idea of doing a 30 Ways We Homeschool blog party I wanted to join in on the fun. When I signed up it got me thinking about what my homeschool approach would be called. I had to really think about it because I have always said that I was an eclectic homeschooler. So writing this post has helped me define what I would call my homeschool approach. So here is what I call my eclectic, interest-led, Christ-centered homeschool approach.
Tell us about you and your family.
We originally lived in Florida before the Lord called us to leave everything behind and take a leap of faith and move to Tennessee. It’s been eight years now since the big move. We live in the country and enjoy having nature right in our own backyard. I am a stay at home mom, new blogger, and we have two energetic boys who are seven and twenty months.
How long have you been homeschooling?
We have been homeschooling for about 6 years now and enjoying our Christ-centered, interest-led, eclectic homeschool journey.
Tell us more about your eclectic, interest-led Christ-centered homeschool approach.
The center of our homeschool revolves around Christ. He is the one that called us to homeschool our children way before we had them. So we know that the Lord has a wonderful plan for each of one of them. So from the very beginning, I asked the Lord to guide me in the way that I should homeschool my children. Why? He is the one that created my boys and He knows exactly how to teach them.
If I trust God with my children’s education he will guide me in teaching them what they need to learn. It is important to us that our children learn about Christ and that they will develop their own personal relationship with Him. As I researched the different approaches I noticed that all of them had something that attractive me to them. So I customized my approach by picking out the methods from each approach that was a perfect fit for our family, which in term makes me eclectic.
I also do a lot of interest-led lessons with my oldest and we LOVE it! It is so much fun to learn about a topic that you are interested in. We get to drive right in and stay there as long as we desire too. I love that I am able to let my sons’ enjoy learning at their own pace and foster a love for learning in them. I use to fret thinking I wasn’t doing enough with my oldest and soon realized that he will learn everything in due time. He is constantly learning and is exactly where he needs to be.
Year-round homeschooling or traditional calendar homeschooling?
We have always been year-round homeschoolers. I have found that homeschooling year-round is perfect for our family. We are able to take time off whenever we need too. We feel relaxed and do not feel like we need to rush through our lessons. I am also able to continue to foster the love of learning in my children throughout the year. We continue to school throughout the summer but the workload is light. In the summer we focus on doing interest-led lessons. So I sit down with my oldest before summer rolls around and brainstorm with him about the different things he would like to study. We make a list and I start to plan from there. The only subjects that are ongoing throughout the year are math, reading and writing.
Tell us about your homeschooling routine.
I incorporated a morning routine in the beginning of this year and it has made our mornings stress-free. So here is my morning routine and my schedule. Now, every day doesn’t look like this especially with a toddler on board. There are days we get things done and other days that we do not, but the beauty of homeschooling is that you can always catch up.
Our morning routine
- 5:30– I wake up, get ready, spend time with the Lord and prepare for the day.
- 7:30-8:00– My boys wake up, we pray and read a book.
- 8:00-8:30– The boys get ready
- 8:30-9:30– While we have our breakfast we listen to an audio book, Bible story or listen to music. When the boys finish their breakfast, we clean up and the boys have some free time.
Our day begins
- 9:30-12:00– We start out by reading our Bibles, having worship/praise time, and praying. After that, we go to either to the living room or the den area and settle ourselves down to do our morning basket. We cover a lot of different subjects during our morning time.
What you will find in our morning basket is our character book, poetry book, the artist and composer unit study that are we would be working on, foreign language books/workbooks, vocabulary notebook, our current read-aloud book, science book, history book and our creative writing journal. It takes about an hour and then we have a snack.
When the boys finish they have some free time and I prepare to put the little one down for his nap. While the little one naps I prepare lunch while my oldest works on his independent work. I use a loop schedule for both our morning basket subjects and for my son’s independent work. It helps me make sure all of his subjects are covered by the end of the week. I assist him as he needs it.
- 12-12:30– We have lunch
- 12:30-1:30– My son picks up where he left off, and I make sure I am available if he needs me. During this time, I am spending one on one time with my younger one.
- By 2:00 in the afternoon we are finished. The rest of the day my son is free to explore his interests. Sometimes we go to the library, the park, on a trail walk or we just play outside.
Our homeschooling happens mostly at…
Our homeschooling happens everywhere. We do not have a set place where we do our lessons. You can find us on our living room floor, my son’s room, in our den area, at the library, kitchen table, outside porch, in the car and the list can go on and on. As you can see we like to keep it fresh.
What have you picked for your curriculum next year?
This is a rough draft of my curriculum choices for next school year.
7 year old
- Math- Math-U-See Gamma and Life of Fred books
- Language arts- Grammar Galaxy, Abeka readers, library books
- Spelling- All about Spelling level 2
- Science- Apologia Swimming Creatures of the Fifth day and nature study
- History- Story of the World volume 1
- Spanish and Sign language- we use flashcards, DVDs, books and online resources
- Writing- we do copywork and write in our journals
- Art study- The Famous Artist online study and library books
List 3 books about homeschooling that really impacted you.
- The Unhurried Homeschooler by Durenda Wilson
- The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick
- Teaching from Rest by Sarah McKenzie
Your family is going on an unplanned trip, not much time to pack, you must homeschool the kids while traveling and you can only take 5 of your homeschooling resources/books with you. What would you take?
- A current read aloud book
- My son’s nature backpack
- Pencil pouch- (pencils, color pencils, an eraser, markers, glue, tape, and scissors)
If you had the chance to start homeschooling all over again today with the knowledge and experience you have now, what would you do differently?
If I had the chance to start all over again I would not have researched so much. I would have settled down with a more organic way of learning.
Jessica is a wife to an amazing husband, mother of two precious children, follower of Christ, and teacher turned homeschooler. She loves to encourage and inspire others to live out an intentional life. She writes about homeschooling, family, frugal living, faith, intentional living and life in general.