Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Questions to Answer: Educating at Home

I had a question awhile back on what homeschooling method do I use. Well....I have none. I would love to classify myself as purely Classical but I can't. I really like the logic, reasoning, and Latin of Classical education but find myself not so keen on teaching Greek mythology or philosophy.
What I love about Classical education is the way they teach history - my favorite subject. For those of you who may not know what I am talking about let me explain. The scope and sequence of state education is to start teaching about you and your community first. The next step would be to expand out from the child to the history of the city, county, state, and country. They throw in Egyptian history and other ancient civilizations for a couple of years but rarely learn more than curious facts about other countries. Our history education is based on our own history and not that of the world's. My problem with this? Children get the impression that we are the center of the universe and it breeds arrogance.
In Classical education you start with the beginning of time and work your way through to the present. It gives the children a bigger perspective. There is an appreciation for other cultures and other countries that comes from teaching this way. You also have the ability to see God work through history. After the first year of teaching this way my kids all exclaimed that history was their favorite subject.

I probably align more with the Charlotte Mason method of teaching although my favorite book on the subject of homeschooling is Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns . I love books...we only own a couple thousand! I think the concept of reading "living" books is brilliant. What better way to learn! No more boring textbooks or monotonous worksheets.

But, if I could presume to create a Davis Method this is what it would look like: reading, traveling, and learning how to teach yourself. I try to give my kids the tools they need to teach themselves. This love of learning will go on for a lifetime.
Boo proved my theory when she decided to not go onto college but rather to teach herself how to sew. Not just any kind of sewing. She found something she loves to do and is learning the intricate ins and outs of the craft. She's got the idea of how exciting it can be to learn.

Traveling is very much an important part of our family dynamics. We love to see and learn new things. When traveling you get the hands on learning aspect of teaching. And, the character that is developed while sitting in a car together is priceless. While the car is sometimes our classroom you will find that we don't have a classroom at home. I have a great desk that houses the family iMac but other than that the kids sit at the dining room table or in a cozy chair. Goose does most of his schoolwork up in the loft above the garage.

We do have some subjects that have workbooks out of necessity. We use Math-U-See and Apologia for science. We use Mystery of History as our outline for history and Gileskirk for humanities for the older kids. In almost all cases I modify the curriculum to fit our needs.
Latin for Children is my absolute fav for Latin studies. We are using a French curriculum this year that is new to us...did you know that French is the second most common language spoken in the world? Since I have two kiddos that want to go on the mission field in Africa I figured that French would be beneficial.

So, there you go..an overview of the Davis' idea of homeschooling. If you want to know my philosophy on why we homeschool I would encourage you to check out R.C Sproul Jr.'s book "When You Rise Up". It is an easy read and is really the only book I have ever read where I completely agreed with everything he wrote.


CristyLynn said...

You know, you can let an airplane be your classroom sometime and come learn in Russia! :)

Jennie Lou said...

I think I might have been one of the people to ask about this. thanks for sharing the details!

It was good too to hear of you turning a corner in your grief. I breathed a slight sigh of relief when I started reading this in your writing. I've been with you all along here though not commenting much.

Take care.
Jennie Lou in Sonora

felmleyfam said...

great to have followed you for ten months and see how you have continued to look to Jesus, and praise Him and thanks Him and cling to Him! it brings Him glory and gives us someone to look up to who has gone through such grief and despair yet, with hope! thanks heather. a complete stranger yet we won't be strangers when God creates a new heaven and earth. Praise Him! thank you for sharing. also, fun to hear of your homeschooling ideas (since we are still young at this).

Missy said...

So glad to see another family who doesn't stick to a specific method. We, too, pull from a few different philosophies and don't hesitate to move along if something isn't working. We just started French as well and I also have a daughter who wants to do work in Africa. I enjoyed your thoughts on home schooling and was encouraged by them to stay the course...sometimes I wonder if we're doing ok, even after 9 years.

And, yes, I was also very happy to read your last post about turning a corner in your grief. I just finished listening to a sermon from one of our old pastors about how true joy can only come out of deep sorrow and thought you might enjoy it too. Here is the link if you're interested.


Have a great day, Heather.

Jeannie said...

Good Morning,
"When You Rise Up," is my favorite homeschool encouragement book also.
He says it all from God's Word which is all there is to say!
Hold your children close and keep looking UP!
Loved the pic of you and Lisa.