Saturday, April 24, 2010


Whether you are just beginning to explore homeschooling or you are an " old pro ", there is much food for thought about the varied teaching  philosophies and approaches to homeschooling. In addition, there's no shortage of curriculum's and learning materials to choose from which speaks volumes for how much the homeschooling movement has grown. For many homeschooling parents the choices can be overwhelming when trying to choose learning materials for their children. After all, every child is unique in how they gather and process information. This is one of the many joy's of homeschooling!

With a little strategic intuition you can CREATE a happy home and  an enriching living environment for YOUR  whole family...

Classic Literature

While knowing and understanding how your children learn is important, it is equally important to have realistic expectations of yourself as to how you will approach your homeschooling days.  If you know you are not big on routine, or high on structured text book learning, you will have a hard time selling your children on that kind of program too. Don't panic! Just live! In other words, learning happens all the time. While you are busy reading late into the night then lying awake the rest of it worrying, your children are growing and learning anyway... Finding your style takes time. In the mean time, share your interests and passions with your children. Read allowed to your children daily, go to the library, nature centers, play dates, the beach, visit family, volunteer, care for animals, garden, create, dance, make music, grocery shop etc.......

 LEARNING and LIFE go together!

NATURE Science 

Here are a few of my favorite ground breaking educators that homeschoolers and parents turn to for guidance and inspiration!

Charlotte Mason  ~ Heart, head, hand  "A child is a person in whom all possibilities are present - present now at this very moment - not to be educed after many years and efforts manifold on the part of the educator"


music music music

Montessori ~     "Children teach themselves." This simple but profound truth inspired Montessori's lifelong pursuit of educational reform, methodology, psychology, teaching, and teacher training—all based on her dedication to furthering the self-creating process of the child.

Waldorf ~  If you've had the experience of binding a book, knitting a sock, playing a recorder, then you feel that you can build a rocket ship-or learn a software program you've never touched. It's not bravado, just a quiet confidence. There is nothing you can't do. Why couldn't you? Why couldn't anybody?"  Peter Nitze, Waldorf and Harvard graduate, and Director of an aerospace company.

       SNAKEY  By Zachary~ ( acrylics)

    Over time we have developed our own CREATIVE , ECLECTIC and INTUITIVE homeschooling style.

Paper Treasure Chests ~ By Nicolette

Think Liberal Arts,

with an emphasis on THE ARTS!

 Children are natural born artists. Their natural curiosity and desire to learn will take them far in life if it is nurtured. Encouraging creativity in our children has been the core of our homeschooling approach from the beginning. I believe in having plenty of  hands on things for them to do as part of their learning whether it is a child led interest or a particular subject that has a project to go along with it. I don't believe young children especially need an art curriculum but there are many good ones out there if you feel more comfortable introducing your children to art this way.

In the GARDEN~ by Nicolette

                                                                  ( colored pencil )

What children need is access to plenty of ART's and CRAFT supplies and a place to get messy and explore the materials for themselves. Nature and animals were some of our children's favorite subjects to explore in their early creations.  In addition to providing loads of art supplies and time to create, look to your local community for studio artists and community art centers that offer classes for children. You might even have some artsy homeschooling friends who offer classes from their homes or studios, or perhaps you will host your own ART classes for kids!
   DINING ROOM TABLE + art supplies + children = instant art studio!

ECLECTIC homeschoolers are known for using a smattering of learning materials with a less formal approach on many subjects, often times only using specific texts for individual subjects such as math and language arts. We use Oak Meadow which is based in the Waldorf philosophy and we have found it to be a great fit for us because it's foundation is rooted in art, is centered around the 4 seasons and it offers great flexibility for the student and home teacher. 


This is just a fancy word for knowing your kids! If you are spending the majority of each day with your child you will be naturally in tune with them... You'll  know when they are ready for a new challenge, need a new music instructor, to start a new activity or drop an old one, join a community group, more or less time with friends, food, sleep etc...

Real learning comes from those things a child is truly interested in and engaged in. Don't be afraid to let your child lead the way when it comes to learning...You'll be helping them develop their own intuition for a lifetime of joyful learning.  


 You can be very creative in how you plan your day as a homeschooling parent. Each day is yours to do  what ever you wish! You can be very scheduled, super relaxed or someplace in between. Use your local community, support groups and your IMAGINATION to make your homeschooling days fun and rewarding for all. Get your young children creating art from the beginning! Stock up on art supplies, turn up the music and get busy! You can make creative time with your child specific to particular lesson, create with the seasons or just let the creative juices flow naturally!

Let your children be the guide.

 My Big Beautiful Flower  ~  By Nicolette
( markers)

I just LOVE her pink clouds don't you?


Add more ART to your days together! 
You'll just feel better... I promise!

 Dandelion Wishes,

Deborah Jean~

" If you can picture it, you can make it "
 ~ Nicolette


marcia said...

Yes, the ARTS!
Noone can go wrong devoting time to the ARTS and creativity... young or old, with school or without school, the Arts enrich people lives.

Art is everywhere in life, in all facets, even in Nature. And everyone has a creative potential within them. It may come out in different forms, as we are all unique, but it is there.

Children who create become more confident and realize their potential and value in this world. Adults too, but adults need to *allow* themselves time to create and realize the JOY it provides.

happy day

Victoria said...

I wasn't home schooled, but I was raised by two teachers so I suppose I was in a way.

I was recently re-reading the Private World of Tasha Tudor and she was talking about all of the classic books she read during her childhood- so many titles that I quite honestly didn't even pick up until well out of high school.

I was fortunate enough in that my mother was/is an Art teacher and so I received private lessons from her since a very young age- but in society now Art is such a unappreciated method of teaching. I can't stand how they expect all children to learn in the same methodical manner- I was one of those children that learned differently- and had my parents not been teachers I can honestly say that I would not have gotten the attention I needed.

I applaud you for making such a moving and truthful post. I hope that when we do have children that I will be able to home school them.

Julia said...

I homeschooled my three girls, and we loved it. I had them read the classics. Jane Austin is quoted quite often in our family. My youngest graduated last year, it feels strange sometimes that I am no longer gathering them and ideas around the dining room table. Though it was tough sometimes, I would do it all over again in a heart beat!

Laurie said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing. Oak Meadow has great curriculum and your approach to home schooling is fabulous.

Anonymous said...

Dear Deb,
Thank-you for your article on creative homeschooling . The timing was perfect for me - We have been using a set curriculum this year which has been great ,but now that spring is here ,my girls have been UNINSPIRED and I have been finding it very frustrating. Your article gave me some new ideas ,but more importantly ,it was a lovely,gentle,reassuring reminder of the beauty of homeschooling . I am going
to enjoy spending time with my children today ,trust them and myself ! I recommend the read ,it was a needed INSPIRATION!
Thanks again,Eileen

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