We love reading books together. We love learning together.
We love stuffing the ourselves into our small bathroom with the light off, so that we can look into the mirror with a flashlight through prism glasses to see how color is dispersed through the light (and then laughing our tails off together because we are so crammed into the bathroom that we can’t open the door to get out without practically falling together into the bathtub.)
We don’t spend hours of our time filling out workbooks at our house. We used to and it didn’t work. It was grueling for the boys and I found myself nagging all day at them to finish their pages. Yeah, not so much a fun way to learn.
We want our boys to love learning. (Not that is always has to be fun…but we want them to be curious and creative and excited about learning new things.) And we don’t want them to think that learning begins and ends with the opening and closing of a workbook or a textbook. We’ve begun to take more of an “un-schooling” approach to homeschooling over the past couple of years. (I’ll try to share more often some of the ideas we’ve used to teach our kids spelling and writing creativity and math and science…)
But beyond all of that…
Our family’s homeschool philosophy is that there are some things that are much more important than others:
Matt and I feel very strongly that teaching our boys to love and serve others is far more important than learning the states and capitals. We feel like teaching our boys about God’s kingdom is more important than learning all of the past presidents of the United States in chronological order. And we think that if they learn to be hard workers, but they don’t learn all the dates of history…we will not have failed as parents (or educators).
Our kids still learn all of these factual things…but we don’t focus on them nearly as much as we try to focus on spiritual matters and areas of the heart. Because of this philosophy…there are some days we don’t open very many books at all.
Some days our boys simply learn about life. And caring. And loving. And serving. And about being patient. And about how to talk to an elderly person. And about working hard until you are so tired you can’t see straight.
We’re constantly working to figure out all of this education stuff. And discipline stuff. And the most effective ways to train our kids to be like Jesus. Never have we been so thankful for grace as we have been as we raise our boys.
I’m very curious about what your opinions are on this subject (whether you homeschool or not). If you do homeschool…what are some of your philosophies? Are you a workbook-y family? Does that work for you? What do you think are the most important things for our kids to know?