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Old 11-03-2011, 11:45 AM   #1
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How much has your educational philosophy changed?

My oldest started off in PS and we started HS for 2nd grade. When we first started HS, I thought I had to recreate PS at home. Felt like I need to keep it as "normal" as possible. We constantly felt frustrated doing it this way though. So I lightened up some and tried different things. I now consider myself a super relaxed schooler. We use some curric but I don't pound it into the kids anymore. No more tests (except for math). No report cards. No scheduling (just routine so kids know what's expected).
My early education philosophy is probably what has evolved the most. Besides the basic math and reading, I don't think anything else should be bothered with. So much is pushed on little ones before they are even ready. Wait until they are developmentally ready and it happens so much more naturally. I don't think I'll even introduce dd2 to history and science until 3rd or 4th grade. Except for when she wants to sit in with her older sis.
It also seems to me that so much curric is repetitive from year to year. Especially Language Arts and Science. I'm thinking we might do LA curric every other year. We could focus on a foreign language, typing, etc on the years we skip.

I'm sure I could keep going but I'll stop there! I just realized how much I've changed in regards to education now that I'm fully in charge of it for my kids. And since this is my 2nd year. I've learned so much since my first year. I'm sure my thoughts on education will continue to change as I keep doing it.

How has your thoughts on education evolved? Have you gotten more relaxed? More strict?

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Old 11-03-2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: How much has your educational philosophy changed?

I've always homeschooled and we've always been pretty relaxed. I didn't buy a single workbook or program for my oldest until he was 1st grade ready. We just played and read and talked and counted etc.

Now that he is doing 3rd grade work, I've gotten more into using certain curricula and different programs and following a scope and sequence (of my own creation cobbled from various resources)

I've also been using pre-k curricula with my 4 year old. I still keep our days pretty relaxed ( mainly because of my 1 year old) but I have also begun to expect certain things each day. Using a relaxed weekly workbox system.

We just started a more formal history at 3rd grade (using SOTW) and most users of that start in 1st grade, but it would have been a complete flop for us at that age. I just read aloud a lot of different books on various subjects for 1st grade and 2nd grade. We've slowly been easing into more formal science as well.

I actually like some of the repetition in certain areas. It makes for a good review and assessment for what needs more work. We do have a fast paced sort of routine. We've been working on technical skills early in the year and having more broad project style activities in the spring/summer. I also skip weeks (one week of grammar/spelling/vocab/handwriting etc) and the next week literature studies and writing. I try to take two days and focus more on my 4 year old.

I feel like I do change things up each year---which is just a normal reaction to my growing and maturing kids.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: How much has your educational philosophy changed?

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Originally Posted by walking-iris View Post

We just started a more formal history at 3rd grade (using SOTW) and most users of that start in 1st grade, but it would have been a complete flop for us at that age. I just read aloud a lot of different books on various subjects for 1st grade and 2nd grade. We've slowly been easing into more formal science as well.
I totally agree with this. We started MOH this year for my 4th grader. It MIGHT would have worked for last year but I don't think it would have worked for anything earlier than that. I just ordered some Sonlight books and a few other similar books for my 5 yr old. Whatever history and science reading might emerge from that will be all she needs for now.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:22 PM   #4
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Re: How much has your educational philosophy changed?

I agree that math and reading are plenty for the early years. My son suddenly showed and interest in astrology so we learned a little but forced learning in those areas seems pretty pointless.

I don't know if my philosphy changed as much as I was so darn ignorant before. I didn't realize all the different ways that kiddos can learn, even how different structured cirriculums can be. What is important is finding a method that clicks with your child.
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Old 11-03-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Re: How much has your educational philosophy changed?

Well, I haven't started the HS journey yet, I'm still prepping.

But I have done daycare for nearly 11 yrs now & when I started I was way more uptight about making sure we did this & didn't do that. Stuck to a routine no matter the fight. Discipline was the cure all. Made kids take the number of bites per age they were. Sat at a table & had paper & pencil "school time" daily.
Textbook parenting.
Blah blah blah.

Did they learn? Yes. Was it fun? Mostly. Did it need to be that way? No.

The kids & I have much more fun learning now. It just happens. They have natural curiosity that tells us what they are & aren't ready for & how best they each learn. All I needed to do was listen. It took me a while to chill out & stop cerebrally approaching teaching.

I keep reminding myself to approach our HS journey that way. Sure, plans are great. But for once, I'm trying to not be so "cerebral" about it. Listen, if you will.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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Re: How much has your educational philosophy changed?

I love this post!
In fact, when I was asking about what curriculum to use, you suggested not getting a curriculum and it made me nervous. The only curriculum we bought was Saxon and it is a little too much. I like that it gives me guidelines, but I don't follow it perfectly. I have taken the tests out and we just skip them. I don't care about the testing at all; we mostly just do the lesson and the worksheet, but we skip the tests.

I am glad you suggested this. At first, I was trying to do a school at home approach, but none of us were having any fun. Although DS is in 3rd grade, as long as we get his math lesson done and he reads and we do something else educational, whether it is playing sorry, baking, going to the park or a hike, I call it a day. I didn't realize how much fun we could have and how much we would learn just by loosening up. Having two little ones, I have a rough idea of what we might do, but we can always change it. I don't know that we are unschooling, but we are more in the middle of strict school at home and unschooling. It just doesn't work for our family to do a boxed curriculum. I like that if I want to teach fractions, we can bake cookies and then use the recipe to teach fractions and then show the fractions with our cookies as well.
I bought a reading curriculum, but it is funny that we never use it. The library is right next to our house and on average, we have been checking out 20 books a week. I feel like if we are reading together and keeping the tv off for a good chunk of the morning, we are successful.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Re: How much has your educational philosophy changed?

It hasn't changed. We've been homeschooling from the beginning. We start the first year with just reading/phonics and math. We then add history, and then science. Not that we don't do history/social studies and science before then, but nothing formal. I also follow the kids interests to an extent. For instance, for history, I gave them the option last year of doing American history or ancient history. They chose American. So, that's what we're doing. However, I'm not jumping around in American history to do what they are interested it because I want them to see more clearly how everything fits together. Similar for science. I gave them the options of astonomy, zoology, or botany, and they chose zoology, so that's what we're doing.

I hadn't really thought about some of it being so repetitive in LA, but you're right. Of course, I have always shortened things when I felt my kids grasped it well. Our LA curriculum has an oral drill and written practice and there have been a lot of days when I have the kids do one or the other, or we do half of each.
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