My husband and i had this notion of homeschooling from an interview of a homeschooling family viewed on tv when my eldest turned two. We then discussed and decided to explore on this possibility of homeschooling our children. I did aplenty of research and bought many books on the subject. I was also at a lost as to how to homeschool my young ones since i am trained for the primary and secondary age group. I had wanted something holistic that would cater to the minds and hearts of our kids instead of just disparate ways of teaching by subjects (Maths, Science, Eng etc). I felt that teaching by subjects will have its place at the later stage. From Glenn Doman’s methods to teaching of alphabets and phonics, i was still dissatisfied with my teaching method until I read on the Charlotte Mason’s method. I was and still am very impressed by the wholesome and integrated spiritual aspect in her teaching. For a brief introduction on CM method, read here.
Meanwhile, i also did the only sure way of passing on the passion of reading- i read and sang to my children daily since birth (though not as consistently after the second child i confess). I love the philosophies and ideologies of CM but was still uncertain on how i should go about homeschooling especially in the academic aspect. I did not want to purchase curricula from others as we did not have a budget for it. Moreover, as a trained teacher, i would prefer to create my own plans. As i prayed for a suitable method, the Lord graciously exposed me to the the idea of lapbooking from a course. I did further research on this method of learning online and found that this method of using a literature (a storybook) to teach ‘living’ ideas was just the cup of tea for my personality and training that i have undergone as a teacher. Basically it is teaching all the various subjects (Eng, chinese, music, art, maths, geography etc) through one storybook, giving the child a very broad and in depth study on the story. To find out more on it, click Here.
To begin with, i would like to share that homeschooling our very own requires a whole lot of PATIENCE especially with two boys who are one year apart from each other. After homeschooling my boys till they were 3, my husband and i decided that we were not up for homeschooling them full time at home for Preschool level upwards. Simply because i felt the reality of the stress involved for me and the family personally. I knew in my heart that it is a calling, and not every mum can do so for long term. At least, not me. Having this clear direction from the Lord released me from tremendous pressure and unnecessary guilt trips. ‘Homeschooling’ or should i say Home education in my case is very much CM’s – Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life.
By “Atmosphere,” Charlotte meant the surroundings in which the child grows up. A child absorbs a lot from his home environment. Charlotte believed that atmosphere makes up one-third of a child’s education.
By “Discipline,” Charlotte meant the discipline of good habits — and specifically habits of character. Cultivating good habits in your child’s life make up another third of his education.
The other third of education, “Life,” applies to academics. Charlotte believed that we should give children living thoughts and ideas, not just dry facts. So all of her methods for teaching the various school subjects are built around that concept.
With that said, my homeschooling experience is limited to only the first 4 years at home where my kids learn entirely at home before going to a Preschool at 4 years of age. Nontheless, home education is still carried out in my home. For the purpose of differentiating between full time homeschooling and my own teaching at home (after my kids entered Preschool), i would term my continued ‘home schooling’ as Home Education. From CM’s philosophy, education at home is vital. I continue to teach my children as well as engage them in meaningful activities before and after their Preschool hours.
For those interested in my take of homeschooling and the various schools of thoughts, you may check out my Homeschooling Resources category. I do not profess to be an expert on homeschooling. At the end of the day, each family is very unique and that’s the beauty of educating them ourselves. We cater according to the needs of the children as well as employ methods that will work for us as parents. Happy researching on what homeschooling or home education means to you!