Homeschooling can be so beautiful and inspiring-especially when a family chooses a relaxed homeschooling method! I didn’t make up the term relaxed homeschooling, but I practice it in our own home. It is a priority for me to homeschool in a way that is enjoyable as well as academically sound. I know that if I succeed at making learning enjoyable, than my children will be be motivated learners their whole lives!
All children are born with a natural curiousity. I want to harness that curiosity so that homeschooling will be a lot of fun and that learning will happen naturally. I don’t want to make school seem like a boring exercise, but rather I want my children to ask “What are we doing today mom?” with that look of excitement on their faces!
I believe this is especially important in the early years of schooling when children are learning attitudes about learning that will last them a lifetime. I personally know many children that decided that they “hated” school by the first or second grade!
Homeschooling is going to be tough if you have to make your children do something that they “hate” for 10 or more years. On the flip side, it is a joy to teach when kids are excited about learning. This makes homeschooling fun for the children and the mom.
Let me show you how beautiful a relaxed homeschooling day can be:
- Mom picks up a book that is interesting to both her and her children. She settles into the couch with her children snuggled close and reads. As she is reading she sees the sparkle in her children’s eyes-she can tell that the are absorbed in the story and thinking intently on it. As she is reading her children ask an occasional question because they are so interested in the story!
- When mom is finished reading, she shows her children a beautiful painting and talks with her children about it as they study it.
- Her children write a few words or a sentence from a worksheet.
- Then they listen to some music from the historical period that they are studying and have an impromptu dancing session!
- The children do a short math lesson (and phonics if needed).
- The children then head outside to play under a tree and enjoy the breezy weather.
But are they learning enough? Will relaxed homeschooling families achieve academic excellence?
Yes and yes! All of the activities listed above are vital elements for academic success. Even though the activities seem so easy, they are still laying a solid foundation for excellence in academics. Reading excellent books is absolutely paramount for academic success.
Copying words and sentences is a powerful way to teach many language arts skills. Exposing children to music and art shapes their brains and their characters. (Math and phonics are important also, but can be taught in short doses especially in the early years of school.)
What Relaxed Homeschooling Looks Like at My House
When my children are in the elementary grades, I have the following priorities:
- I teach them some math and phonics.
- I read to them alot and I buy quality literature on tape for them to listen to.
- I use copywork to teach handwriting, grammar, creative writing, and spelling. Copywork is simply copying letters, words, and sentences. It sounds too simple, but it really the most natural way to learn language. Children become familiar with proper spelling, grammar and good writing by literally copying other good writers.
- I choose curriculum that includes lots of good books! Right now we are using my Early American History unit study to teach the Christian beginnings of America. The study includes copywork to help them remember history and to cover handwriting, grammar, and spelling. The books that we read with the study are so interesting that I am teaching them to love history and school at the same time.
- I answer questions as they come up. (I know I have their attention if they asked the question!) I answer their question to the best of my ability. I listen as they speak and I occasionally look up something if they want to know more.
Our homeschool is relaxed, but I know I am laying the foundation for academic excellence. I would love to hear from you-have you ever considered being a relaxed homeschooler?