“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” – Ovid
I have a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. I’ve taught in both public and private schools. I have homeschooled for the last 16 years. I have spent decades studying educational theories and pedagogical practices. Why then is it so difficult for me to identify and describe my own method of teaching? Is it classical? Is it unschooling? Is it Waldorf? Is it Montessori? Why yes, yes it is.
If you’re familiar with my posts on behavior management, you already know that I prefer a collaborative, non-punitive environment. This philosophy transfers to my educational choices as well.
Rather than teaching with strict time schedules and adhering to daily plans, punishing off-task behavior, and agonizing about getting it all done, I prefer to keep lessons short, remain flexible, quit when the kids get tired or lose interest, and just do the next thing.
I’ve found that grown kids who are enthusiastic about learning and are healthy, emotionally, mentally and physically have a real edge over their burned-out peers.
Unlike many homeschoolers, we do not have a particular time that we must wake up and start school. This morning, at 9:15, this little one joined me in bed for snuggles before going downstairs.
We always have a hot breakfast. We might skip lunch, or have leftovers for dinner, but breakfast is always made to order.
While I’m making breakfast, the girls read their library books.
Sometimes, with assistance.
This morning, we had to stop reading every so often for Vivienne to make herself more comfortable. Some consider this kind of coddling to be a recipe for raising an egocentric demagogue. However, time after time and child after child, I’ve seen that children who are treated with respect treat others with respect.
After breakfast, each child writes a sentence in her writing journal.
Next, Vivienne practices her sight words on the iPad,
while Louisa plays Latin scramble and reviews her multiplication facts on quizzes.
After that, the girls each complete one page of phonics,
Louisa takes a little break from book work to practice piano using the iPad app “Simply Piano” by JoyTunes.
We love Right Start Math, and of the hands-on activities it incorporates.
Then, the girls help prepare lunch.
and conduct a short science experiment demonstrating displacement.
The narration is the last subject of the day. We alternate between History, Bible, and Science. For more information on how I teach this topic, see my video.
Today, we read about the Golden Calf.
Now for the most important part of the day: FREE TIME!
Every evening, the girls swim laps for an hour or more. We find that this improves their emotions, their attention spans, their attitudes and the quality of their sleep.
After swim practice, there is a short amount of time for a quiet game before books and bedtime.
Although our wake time may be flexible, bedtime is practically written in stone. 8:00 is time to be read to and get a good night’s sleep so we can get up tomorrow and do it all again like water dripping on a stone.
“Gutta cavat lapidem”