I am a member of 100's of homeschool related groups. They each have something to offer in their own way. Not saying they don't come without their fare share of drama of issues. Being a student of world religions I tend to view my homeschooling groups from a very similar light as I do different world religions with their vast amount of diversity. Maybe in some strange way my study of the different religions and my acceptance of their beautiful diversity has helped me in my acceptance of the diversity of so many wonderful homeschoolers as well. I do not label myself a follower of any one religion just as I prefer not to label my family as a follower of any one method/system of learning. I do how ever very much enjoy reading the views of others whether I agree or not with how they address learning in their individual homes. I am not a Christian yet I see the beauty in a Christian based homeschooling family with their love of Jesus and their strong faith in the bible. I see that this form of homeschooling has brought to them a connection in something much grander than just themselves. I love some of the aspects of a Waldorf inspired homeschool with the amount of handcrafting they do and the connection to the more simple things in life. I love Montessori homeschooling with their deep literature content and how they truly bring books to life for the children. I even love those interesting radical Unschoolers with their unbreakable trust in their children and their sense of instilling a true freedom as a human being. It hasn't been hard at all to see the beauty in each of these types of homeschooling, yet I am none of these in their totality. Like religions and spiritual practices I take what benefits my family and I leave the rest. In a way I find it sad that so many will only allow certain aspects into their awareness because they feel it breaks some underlined rule of that form of education. I feel like they are missing out on the grand diversity that is out there because of this. I love these groups and many of the members yet sometimes I do not post because I know it doesn't fit into their boxes of what that particular group is about. For example I would never go on a Christian based group and start spouting off about evolution because it is not something they want. Nor would I go onto a Radical Unschooling group and talk about the benefits to having a sleep schedule for a child. I am not there to change their views no more than I would attempt to change someone's religious views. I am their to learn, grow, and take away from them those tid bits I think would work for my family. I try my hardest to not allow myself to be connected to some of the drama that takes place and believe me they each have their own special type of drama that will come up from time to time. I am fascinated by how these adults handle such issues. I wonder do they grow from this drama? I think in a way they must. For some it is a very personal experience that really effects them so maybe it is a mirror of a deeper issue that they need to learn how to deal with. For the most part I only take part in those groups that are more general with no clear define method/style of learning or when I do take part in a group with a clear defined method I only post on threads that fit my family life style. However I do enjoy reading the post on all of these groups like watching my own personal reality tv show on homeschooling. I would like to say that I feel every single homeschooling family is different no matter if the deeply connect to a label. I also feel that the all have one very basic thing in common...They want to give their children the best they can. For me it is all about growing/learning and attempting to do better today than yesterday.
Seeing my family doesn't fit any method/style I thought some of you might wonder what an avg. day in our home looks like. So here it is. Usually my children are up early without me waking them. Early to me is like 6:30-7:30 a.m.This is the time they usually watch a favorite T.V. show( much like I did as a kid while waiting on the school bus) and they eat breakfast. Most mornings we have a circle time because my youngest enjoys this. We will either read a few books and discuss them or we will do some dance/movement type learning. We always end our circle time with a meditation/ intention that we send out to the world. Sometimes that is for peace in the Middle East or it might be for better weather in the north or just for everyone to feel loved today. After that we usually work on something that would fall under the subject of math. It might be baking cookies or playing dice games it changes from day to day but all the children get exposed to math concepts. I try really hard to do this outside of any form of curriculum yet my daughter does enjoy an online program called Aha Math and will sometimes ask to work on it. After that we will watch a movie. We recently worked our way through the series called Blue Planet as we learned more about Marine Life and have moved onto the series called" The Adventures of Young Indian Jones." I love this series because it bring up so many different topics from geography, history, science, and even art and cultures. After that the children usually go off and do something they are interested in for about 7 months that has been Minecraft. They will either play Minecraft or they will watch youtube videos about the game. They have taught themselves how to play via these videos. I usually leave a snack tray out for the kids to snack on through out the day with some of their favorite food like fruit, crackers, cheese ect. We usually eat lunch around 1:00p.m. and after lunch I will try to get them involved in something arts and crafts. This varies from day to day it might be something having to do with a theme we have been learning about or it might just be a fun painting. If weather is nice we go outside around 2-3:00p.m. and just play in the dirt, build forts, ride bikes ect. If it is to wet or cold usually I will play board games with them during this time and sometimes we will play the wii. I just leave that up to them and what they feel like on any given day. After that usually they will go back online with Maverick(4) heading to abcmouse or funbrain to play and Alyssa(10) will go to a number of different educational sites. I do not tell them what sites to go to they do this because they enjoy them. Around 4:00p.m. we either watch something fun like magic school bus or cyber chase or I will let them pick a book for me to read to them while they relax on the couch. At 5:00 we do what we call " The Mad Rush", it is a quick pick up of toys and what not so that when daddy gets home the house is nice. This is also the time when Alyssa will feed the inside pets and my oldest Doug(17) will feed the outside ones. I usually start dinner somewhere between 5:30-6:30p.m. hoping to time it being done around the time Daddy gets home so we can sit down for a family meal. Family meal time is also when we talk about how everyone's day has been or anything interesting we learned to daddy. After dinner I usually have one of the older two children help me with cleaning up the kitchen. From 7:00p.m. on is pretty much a free time until around 8:45-9:00p.m. when we do a family reading time. We like to all pile up in the living room and each person reads a couple pages from a book we are reading together right now it is Huckleberry Finn. In the past we have read all the Hunger Games all the Harry Potter books and many many more. Most night I read 3-5 books to Maverick(4) as he goes off to sleep but sometimes he will ask Alyssa(10) to read to him. Them two are very very close. Alyssa will usually watch a t.v. show like My Little Pony until around 10:00p.m. when she drifts off to sleep and Doug(17) goes to bed when he pleases I actually think most nights it is around 1:00a.m. From the time Maverick falls asleep until around midnight is mommy and daddy time. Just a few hrs for me and my husband to connect and talk. So there you have an avg day or at least avg day that we do not have any events going on. I do however try to plan at least one outing a week for the kids most weeks we have two+.