Over the years, there have been so many questions asked about how and why our family learns at home that I felt that opening up a page on that very subject would be fun and interesting. Fun for me because I love reflecting on this subject and possibly interesting for those who have never seen what it really is like to school at home. This is not to prompt you into feeling that you have to school at home but parents are the first and primary educators of their children and since I believe there is more to education than mere academics, and that children should be educated as a whole person, then you can impart on your children the atmosphere, discipline, and life skills needed for them as a whole. This is not done with prodding but with gentle encouragement. My favorite model of education is Charlotte Mason. Her philosophies were so ahead of her time, a time when corporal punishment in the classroom was the norm.
There are so many experienced and skilled home educators out there that I do not proclaim to have a new philosophy but I can only relate to you what we do at home and give you a little peek into that part of our lives. That part that we hold so dear and has been a huge part of our journey as a family these past 15 years.
In this section of our blog I will give you my thoughts on education, what prompted us to educate at home, how our little band evolved out of a natural rhythm in our home, what it is like to educate children as a whole person, to listen to their thoughts and ideas, and to not be a teacher to them but a coach, an encourager. All parents can be this for their children. When we first started educating at home I thought I had to imitate the classroom as much as possible. But I noticed that enthusiasm mostly happened when the child connected to what he or she was learning.
I have one child who balks at so many tasks until you present it in a more natural manner. Atmosphere is a huge part of encouraging. Making tea and putting on lovely classical music while the kids are learning is very helpful. Kids like rhythm and routine. It is comforting to them. I like rhythm and routine. It is comforting to me. It is like looking forward to a holiday. Every year the same decorations come out and are placed around the house for everyone to admire. The same recipes are prepared and enjoyed. When learning, the comforts for us have been a fireplace with a fire all aglow, soft music, delicious hot cocoa or tea, and a snack.
Atmosphere is a big part of making the surroundings conducive to learning. You can create your own atmosphere in the manner that is most comforting to you.
“’Education is an atmosphere’” what the mind breathes. The air that we breathe is the medium that surrounds us; the atmosphere our spirits breathe is the medium that surrounds them; in short, it is our environment.”