With this being my first year of attempting to incorporate homeschooling into our lives it makes sense that I've also been doing a lot of thinking (and reading) about different philosophies and ideas when it comes to education. I don't take the responsibility of educating my children lightly. I feel that much thought and consideration should go into my methods, goals and objectives. These few years before Piper starts Kindergarden are, in my mind, a time of shaping, growing and organizing for me. We've started with a schedule and routine now so I can try to get a handle on things. I'm reading books and blogs left and right on what works best for others who have walked this road before me. I am combing through curriculums and discussing ideas with Matt.
Here is what I am currently working on figuring out:
First, I want to find a rhythm for our day. How do I fit homeschooling and cleaning and cooking all into my day without going crazy? What do I do with the younger one(s)? Second, how does Piper learn best? What are her strengths and weaknesses? Third, in what way am I going to teach her? What resources are we going to use? The possibilities are endless and, at times, overwhelming!
As you can see I have a lot going through this little brain of mine! Recently, I was reading a post at Confessions of a Homeschooler and it made me realize what I really need to do is hammer out our vision and why exactly we choose to homeschool. Easier said then done. I know that this is the best possible choice for our family, that I am passionate and driven to take on this great task and that it is what God has called us to do. But I think figuring out the specifics will help make some of these big education choices a little bit easier. Off I go to add another item to the to-do list! :)
All that being said, I should add that I have come to some conclusions in how I view this time in my children's lives. Some of this has been trial and error (and I'm sure will continue to be) but at this point I believe preschool should involve:
- Mostly learning through play
- Academics but in small doses
- A time of learning life skills and independance
- Loads of books and reading
- Learning about the world around them
I want my kids to love to learn. I want them to enjoy the world that God has given us and be enthusiastic about new experiences and ideas. I want them to be capable individuals who can contribute to our home and society at large. I want them to be intuitive and analytical and good problem solvers. So far, I feel that by implementing the things listed above we are well on our way to reaching these goals.
You may be curious as to why I didn't include any kind of 'religious' or Bible study to this list. As I have come to realize, learning about God is intrinsically involved in all of those things and more. I find us talking and learning about spiritual things throughout the day, regardless of what we are doing. As a parent and my children's teacher, I believe it is my job to be constantly pointing things back to God, the Maker of all things. I want my kids to know that God is a part of all aspects of our life, not just school. He is not another subject. He is a part of every subject. He is a part of every aspect of our lives. Don't get me wrong- we still do Bible story time and learn about Him through His Word. But it doesn't end there.
Anyhow, I'll probably be taking up some future blog space addressing some of these things. Hopefully, by sharing the things I'm learning and implementing currently in our preschool homeschool I can either be helpful to you or you can be helpful to me by adding your insight and ideas! Too often I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants and struggling to figure it all out on my own. So feel free to share your thoughts and ideas! Or to ask questions and learn along with me!