What does it mean to have an organic education? Most people think of kale, homemade granola & cloth diapers when they hear the word organic. That isn’t the kind of organic I’m talking about, although I have been a fan of all three at one phase or another of my motherhood.
Another way to define organic is the relation between the elements of something, that they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole. I see education as the chance to weave subjects together as a part of this beautiful picture. Every subject we teach fits in harmony with another subject. As we grow into adulthood many of us go from being taught subjects without much correlation to one another, to entering life. Because life isn’t segregated, our Homeschool isn’t either! Which is one of my absolute favorite reasons I homeschool.
Even though I grew up homeschooled my entire life it still took me some time to realize this would be the way I would want my kids to learn. Many of us grew up learning one subject at a time our entire lives! Maybe it takes a few decades to begin taking the segregation out of education. By the time I was in high school my family was making the transition to this way of learning when we began using a curriculum that included living books. Books that pull you directly into the subject matter or the adventure at hand. I began to realize that I would make connections between subjects as much as possible while teaching my children. This allows us to dig ourselves deeply into everything we learn.
Now I am a homeschool mother of four curious children. When we read a good story we will not only look at the historical context but also look on the map to see where the places we are reading about are at on the globe. Recently reading “The 21 Balloons” we learned about geography, looked at the period of history it took place in and dove into the science of how hot air balloons work. While learning about symmetry in Math we got out the paint and made beautiful art using symmetrical designs. During Poetry tea time we read the Emily Dickenson poem “A Book”, chose our favorite place a book has taken us and then drew that place with colored pencils! A lesson in nature study also becomes a hike in the woods and therefore, physical education! Then we come home and sketch our favorite tree, bird or animal and recall as much as we can about everything we explored.
This has enriched our homeschool in so many ways. This has allowed all four of my littles to enjoy aspects of what we are learning from age one all the way up to age eight! The element of surprise is present when the littles are sitting alongside not completely sure what we are going to discuss next even though we have a book of Poetry alongside. With their Mama Bear in charge, they know that could mean just about anything! Schoolwork isn’t always something to look forward to, so I like to keep things exciting. It is also efficient, Homeschool Mamas are always looking for more efficiency.
Education is not limited to school hours when you think of learning in this capacity. This transformation begins to happen when ordinary moments become chances to learn something new. When sidewalk chalk becomes the chance to practice writing our spelling words. A summer late night campfire becomes an exploration of constellations in the sky. If baking cookies is an opportunity to practice fractions. The discovery of a bird’s nest below our deck was the chance to observe Robins as they prepared to hatch their baby birds and then we watch the baby birds become independent from their parents. Just like our little ones will also become independent! I want learning to be a lifelong journey for them and not something to check off their list when they get their diploma.
I truly believe the connections between all of the subjects are created by God. Math, Music, Art, Language, Science & History are part of a complex design. Is it any wonder that He would allow us to study in such a way that brings all of the pieces together?
A Rich, Woven, Glorious, Complete, Organic Education.
If Organic is in, then so is Homeschooling!