I like to say that we’ve been homeschooling since my son’s birth seven and a half years ago. We’ve gently been providing him (and our other children) with safe and loving environment for them to explore the world around them. We’ve provided them with learning opportunities and sat back and watched them flourish. We’ve tried curriculum and make our own programs but when it comes down to it, our children learn best when they are given plenty of opportunities to engage in hands on learning, resources that spike their interest and lots and lots of freedom to let their imaginations run wild.
I’d like to call ourselves unschoolers but I suppose that we fall into that murky eclectic homeschooling category (and there’s totally nothing wrong with being eclectic….I’m a bit eclectic myself). We do set certain boundaries in our home so our children have to be dressed and ready for the day by 9am. Their days are spent doing activities that I deem educational (but make believe and outdoor play is TOTALLY educational in my books). We have set limits on the electronic entertainment that will be allowed in our house (only on weekends and sparingly at that). I have products that I review for the TOS Homeschool Crew that we encorporate into our days (but for the most part we get things that the kids really want to do so I don’t have to schedule them into our routine because the kids pick them up and run with them). Besides that, though, my children are left to decide what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.
Liam is totally an intellectual. He has a wide range of interests and his favorite things include reading his encyclopedias, dictionary and bible just for fun. He was a precocious child, far beyond his years, and continues to amaze me with his abilities. He spends many an hour making up intricate mazes and story-lines for a game that he hopes to create when he is twelve, or maybe sixteen. He’s serious but cute as a button and loving, too. He’s really a darling boy.
Morgaine, on the other hand, is my social butterfly. Don’t try to teach her anything from a book. Let her experience it and get her hands dirty. She hasn’t taken much of in interest in anything academic yet and we are not pressuring her, knowing that when she is ready she will pick up what she needs to know. Right now we do a lot of story telling and indirect teaching that way. She wants to know about people and cultures and family and that is what we focus on. She is also quite artistic and has some talent in that regard (when she takes her time) so she spends a fair amount of time drawing, painting and working with pastels. She’s quite the unique and interesting character…..full of life and energy!
Ruadhán, being newish, is just learning to take everything in from his place in my lap or on my back. There are many aspects of his personality that are like his brother’s and I think that their learning styles will be much alike but for now, I’m happy to be teaching him that this world is a beautiful place and that he has a family that loves him to bits and pieces!
We look forward to continuing this adventure in the years to come!