I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Home schooling

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Here is my philosophy of home schooling; if you are home schooling or are considering it, I hope you will find it encouraging.

  • I love the Christ Church statement that “Christian children deserve a Christian education. The problem with secular education is not so much that our children receive bad information, but bad formation. We desire education for our children that rejects the formational liturgies of secular schools, which include nationalist liturgies, radical environmentalist liturgies, sexual revolution liturgies, which all warp and twist them into faithful disciples of the state. We pursue for our children an education that will provide for them Christian formation, so that they will be above all disciples of the Lord Jesus.”
  • I’ve not read all the way through The Well-Trained Mind, but I have found the prologue to be very helpful and encouraging, something to come back to from time to time. We’ve also heard good things about Anyone Can Homeschool.
  • Most of home schooling is parenting. Curriculum is a context for working on obedience, self-governance, the fruit of the Spirit (in you and them!), scrappiness. When all curriculum is forgotten, those things will carry them through their adult life and its variety of vocations. This is a long and graduated process; some kids may need to do their work at the kitchen table for a long time, and everyone needs some amount of checkup and accountability even once they reach the point they are doing most of their own objective grading.
  • There are a lot of options and everyone does it a little bit differently. Don’t feel you must do it one particular way. In particular, some folks feel that you must supplement with online options or things outside of the home. Certainly that’s a fine option, but it’s not necessary—even for subjects that you don’t feel up to teaching. Your goal is to reach the point where they are self-motivated and self-coaching learners. Always feel free to experiment but also remember that curriculum choices aren’t likely to solve problems so much as amplify or dampen them.
  • Few things are necessary. Don’t be anxious.
  • Dad’s vision and desire needs to be the horse that drives the cart of home schooling.
  • Co-ops can be very helpful but aren’t necessary. I prefer a co-op that is administered by dads but that is hard to find. I personally think the cost-benefit of a co-op is better for older kids.
  • I’m a member of both NCHE and HSLDA and appreciate their work. They have good resources on how to do it in NC.
  • We’ve adjusted curriculum over time, mainly (1) to adjust depth and intensity as the kids get older, and (2) to seek for options that are less parent-dependent. We started with Sonlight when everyone was little and use Tapestry of Grace now (formerly with a co-op, now on our own). We like Apologia for science and Teaching Textbooks for math, primarily because they allow for a lot of student independence.
  • I require music (start with piano, move to something else if you like) and cross country (a sport that works well for a larger family) regardless of interest levels. Others do it differently! These last few years I’ve appreciated the freedom that home schooling allows for my older kids to pursue jobs. It’s been fun to work with them on time management and prioritization.

Written by Scott Moonen

August 14, 2021 at 10:04 am

Posted in Parenting, Personal

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