Homeschooling is an Excellent Choice for Making Neuron Connections

While reading aloud today, I came across the  passage below in our  book. After uttering the words, I told the kids that is exactly how we are homeschooling. Experiential-based learning with lots of reading is such a huge part of their education, and I know it is for so many of you. Such a blessing to homeschool where there are abundant opportunities to experience so many different things!

“Though you haven’t gained many neurons since you were born, the connections between the neurons you have continue to form all your life. The more you read and learn and experience, the more connections you’ll have, and the smarter you’ll be!”–Apologia Exploring Creation with Anatomy and Physiology by Jeanne Fulbright and Brook Ryan

Huffington Post Reinforces My Decision to Homeschool

Such a powerful read in the Huffington Post to reinforce why we are homeschooling.

3. We know that deep, lasting learning requires conditions that schools and classrooms simply were not built for. Yup! That is why I love experiential learning in addition to traditional academics.
4. We know that we’re not assessing many of the things that really matter for future success. Yup! That is why we can customize our kids’ education to incorporate things that do matter.
7. We know that separating learning into discrete subjects and time blocks is not the best way to prepare kids for the real world. Yup! I love how we can make connections in our children’s’ daily lives because we are deeply involved with what they are learning.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/will-richardson/9-elephants-in-the-classr_b_9649394.html

 

Fostering Innovation

“We need new and unusual experiences to think differently. For not only artists but innovators of all stripes, new experiences provide the crucial tissue of real-world material that can be spun into original work. Openness to experience–the drive for cognitive exploration of one’s inner and outer worlds–is the single strongest and most consistent personality trait that predicts creative achievement.”–From Wired to Create by Kaufman and Gregiore

Note: As homeschoolers,  we are in an excellent position to expose our kids to new and unusual experiences. We have the flexibility, time and a smorgasbord of experiences from which to choose.

You Are Doing It Right, Mama!

Homeschooling: When your house is a mess with piles of books, art supplies and all kinds of fun and educational items strewn about, then you know you are doing it right. When you don’t have that immaculate house because you are spending time reading aloud to your kids, engaging in conversation, meeting with family friends and exploring the world then you know you are doing it right.

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Take a look at my house this morning. This is very typical for us! Don’t fret, mamas, over your house. What you are doing with them is far more important! (Maybe some of you are disappointed in me that my kids did not clean this up before going to bed. :)).

And keep in mind the “Hygiene Hypothesis”: The “Hygiene Hypothesis” is a theory that suggests a young child’s environment can be “too clean” to effectively stimulate or challenge the child’s immune system to respond to various threats during the time a child’s immune system is maturing.

Teaching Geography with Living Books and Wall Maps

One of my favorite ways to teach geography is during read aloud time. I read aloud during snack and meal times (when we don’t have guests and Daddy is not eating with us). I keep a world map and U.S. map on the wall behind me. It is a great way to make the study of geography more interesting as we are enthralled in the action of a book. Additionally, as we engage in conversation throughout the day we can easily walk to the maps to see where a place is located.

reading pic

If you do not have a good wall space for maps then another suggestion is to put a map on your dining table and cover it with plexiglass. The kids can look at it every time they are eating even when you are not reading.

I like dry erase maps so we can write on them.

What are some other fun ways you like to teach geography?

Here are the two dry erase  maps we keep on our wall. One is a United Sates map and the other is a world map.

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http://amzn.to/2apNaEH

 

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I Love How My Kids Are Socialized

I love the way my kids are socialized. Our homeschooling  friends are wonderful.

tree group shot

I know my children’s friends well because I am in classes with them at co-op, and we do park days, field trips, specialty programs, family events, etc. together. My tight-knit group of homeschool mamas are very clear about how we want to raise our kids, and we share these common values. I like that my kids are out in the world regularly interacting with and learning from a variety of interesting adults passionate about their craft/field. I can’t imagine a better way to socialize than the opportunity my kids have now.

From The School Revolution by Ron Paul

“If parents understood that they are responsible for their children’s education in the same way they are responsible for their feeding, housing, and clothing, we would see far more attention given to the consent and structure of educational programs.”–Ron Paul

“Parents would seek out the best programs they could afford. They would sacrifice for the sake of their children’s education in the same way that they sacrifice their feeding housing and clothing.”–From The School Revolution by Ron Paul

Note: Ron Paul is a big advocate of homeschooling and talks a lot about it in this book, The School Revolution. I highly encourage you to read it. The book is very inspiring, and I have read it several times.

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I Like Being With My Kids

When people tell me they could never homeschool because they could not be with their kids so much, I don’t know what to say. I like being with mine. Of course, I enjoy a date night, an MNO, going to the grocery store by myself sometimes and so forth. Yes, I lose my temper sometimes. However, we generally have a lovely time together and some great conversations. It is fascinating to hear some of the things that come out of their mouths. I’m thankful for the time we spend together and would not trade this lifestyle for more “me time”.

Chewy and Mom.jpeg

“I love being with my children. They’re fascinating people.”–Amy Grant

For ideas on adding more structure to your schedule to allow more time for experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part One

Academic Scheduling for More Experiential Learning Part Two

To learn about some of the benefits of experiential learning, you may be interested in:

Benefits of Experiential Learning

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Welcome to The Contemporary Homeschooler

Welcome to The Contemporary Homeschooler

Welcome to The Contemporary Homeschooler! Academic excellence, lots of experiential learning and high-quality books are hallmarks of our household. With a good structure in place, homeschoolers are able to complete their academic work in around half the time of a typical conventional school day. We like to use that extra time to engage with the world and follow our passions.  I don’t box our family into following a particular homeschool philosophy. Rather, I  see myself as an entrepreneur for my family: nimble and adaptive to our needs and learning opportunities.

I  see myself as an entrepreneur for my family: nimble and adaptive to our needs and learning opportunities.

As a homeschool family, you have the freedom to put your children on the cutting edge of education. You can customize and personalize their academics. There is a huge selection of curriculum, both web-based and paper-based, available to homeschool families. You can incorporate abundant experiential learning opportunities into your schedule. I will not squander my time away with my kids as a slave to excessive busy work or  dawdle around the house all day. We finish our work and get out into the world. Now, more than ever, there are wonderful opportunities for homeschoolers! Carpe diem!!!!

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