Home Education Profiling: Normal Us

Today we continue to celebrate Home Education Week with Dana of Principled Discovery who asks:

Describe yourself, your family or one of your children. What is it like to be home educated in your family? What is “normal” for you?

I had this posted last night and it was up and got comments then I saved over it by mistake . My brain is silly. Now I am rewriting it to , hopefully, some semblance of what it was.

My husband and I both work from home, he as a computer programmer, myself as an artist and sometimes web designer. We are both constantly involved in projects of varying sorts and constantly learning. We are also both almost completely self taught.

We love having the kids with us 24/7 –though the grands occasionally borrow them and they like to spend lots of time outside talking to and helping our elderly neighbors. There are very few rules in our house–the only real rule being “love your neighbor, brother, sister, whoever which means no sitting on, biting, hitting, hurting, be kind, and loving , be respectful and use gentle voices and doing your chores and clean up after yourself as a way to show love for your family and by doing all this you are showing your love for God”–though we do have a no jumping on the furniture policy. We encourage the kids to research and discover and spend a lot of time having discussions, reading aloud, watching movies together, listening to stories and old musicals on record, playing games together, taking walks, and just being together. My husband often takes time out of his busy schedule to chat with the kids about the Bible, politics, and math concepts while I spend the majority of my time with them reading aloud and talking about many of the other things they are learning including history, God, and nature.

Our main goal is not that they have a perfect education but that we would train our children in the way God wants them to go. We specifically want them to love God with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind, to love their neighbor as themselves, to grow in wisdom and learn to love learning. Everything else is gravy.

This means that we give them freedom to explore and to play. We ask them questions and encourage them to ask questions. If they show interest we make sure the materials they need to explore that interest is on hand. If we notice a particular talent or something they seem to struggle with we make available items and books that will encourage them in that area. Our house is filled with books–on every surface, in every room. If the kids show an interest in something I make books that suit that interest available. They also watch old movies and Cyberchase, play video games, have several computers with plenty of games to play–most have some educational aspect but are not specifically educational, they play outside and do projects both out of their head and out of books, research things they are interested in. They are constantly learning because they are interested in what they are doing–the same way their parents are. The great thing is that it sticks because they are interested so there is less need for relearning.