After last week’s post on why we’re homeschooling, readers had some questions about what my homeschoolinge experience (3rd-8th grade) looked like. I thought I would answer in a short post tonight since tomorrow’s posting prospects are looking grim. Benjamin’s having trouble with his asthma and I have a premonition that tomorrow will involve a long morning at the Dr.’s office. (Please pray he improves tonight. His last attack landed him in the hospital and I’m just on pins and needles worried about my little guy.)
So, my experience homeschooling:
My parent’s approach was very literature-based. Basically, I just read all the time, mostly classics, some contemporary. My parents gave me some guidance, but I was a very self-motivated little gal and had the freedom to read whatever interested me (within reason I don’t remember wanting to read anything super trashy, but if I had I’m sure my folks would have redirected me.) This highly unstructured style worked in my situation because I was such a self-starter; however, we are planning a somewhat more structured curriculum for our kids.
In addition to daily reading, I would do creative writing projects and some essays in middle school. I also did math every day, studied Spanish on and off, and learned Greek and Latin root words. I would occasionally do science experiments and I created “unit studies” on whatever topic I was interested in: Laura Ingalls Wilder, the Romanovs, Greek Mythology, Arthurian legends, etc. I also participated in a middle school history fair, did historical re-enacting at a local historical site, and suffered through the county-wide public speaking contest. I was involved in tons of extra-curriculars: ballet, gymnastics, art, piano, voice.
That’s really it. I was usually finished with school work by 10am and spent lots of time riding bikes, playing with friends, and just being a kid.
When I went back to traditional school for high school I was generally bored and (except for two fantastic history classes) was not challenged academically. I got straight As and was fully prepared when I entered college on full scholarship as a National Merit Scholar. So, the laid-back approach to homeschooling served me well as far as preparing me for high school and college and I got to skip going to middle school (which seems to be without exception, a misery of miseries.)
Were you homeschooled? What was your experience?