Over the past five years, our homeschool has evolved tremendously. I started with a very rigorous schedule. Tears and eight hour days were the norm. When I look at how far I’ve come in developing an environment conducive of learning, I can’t help but shake my head. So many changes!
I still can’t claim to be exactly where I’d like to be in terms of our homeschool, but I make changes as we go along, and I think we’re in a pretty good spot now. We have a pretty good balance of things I think the girls should be learning, things they have told me they want to learn about, and independent learning/exploration.
One of the biggest influencing factors that has helped shape our homeschool, is the discovery of A Thomas Jefferson Education. I read the first book, and picked up a few tips (read great literature, schedule time not content, etc), but it wasn’t until I read Phases of Learning that everything changed. By incorporating many of the “ingredients” of this philosophy into our homeschool, I’ve become more relaxed, there are very rarely any tears shed, and my girls are finding time to a lot of independent learning.
I’m not sure if anyone actually incorporates all 55 ingredients into their homeschool. I have only incorporated 30 of them, and I feel pretty good! I imagine as I get set in my ways, adding new ingredients into the mix will liven things up around here 😉
The first one I added, was Ingredient #4: Kidschool.
“Kidschool” is what we do with our Core and Love of Learning children that looks like “school.”
-Rachel DeMillie, The Phases of Learning
I believe that this ingredient is up for interpretation (as are a few others), and must be retrofitted to fit each individual family.
The way I see it, “kidschool” is the time where I teach the kids what I want them to know. It takes at most, three hours per day.
Here’s what we do:
- Read out of our current read aloud (30 minutes)
- Spend one hour with each child. That hour consists of piano practice, math, language arts, spelling, and/or writing. We do what we can within that hour, and then their time is up. While I’m working with one child, the other is off doing something of importance to her (today they were both busy building a covered wagon from the Oregon Trail).
- We finish up with 30 minutes of quiet reading time.
Sometimes it doesn’t take that long. Today, for example, we only had one chapter left of our read aloud, so it didn’t take a full 30 minutes. Sometimes lessons don’t take a full hour, either. It all depends on how motivated the kids are, and how complicated the lesson is.
Over the next few months, I’m going to explain how we’re incorporating the “55 ingredients” (or in my case, “30 ingredients”) into our homeschool. Please subscribe to stay in the know 😉
Do you use TJed? How do you incorporate Kidschool into your day?