Time for a Homeschool Review

by Belinda Letchford


During the last 3-4 weeks we’ve had sickness and school holidays/study break.  It has given me a lot of time to reflect and think about where we are at with our homeschooling.  There are things that I’m not really happy with.  So I’ve put myself back on a study regime to find some answers.

Some things I’m not happy about

  1. Nomi and Daniel don’t delight in learning.  They learn with a good attitude but there is no enthusiasm and no ownership
  2. Nomi is not being extended – and has coasted for a long time.
  3. There is no ‘thinking’ going on – just acceptance of what I say.  No digging deeper, no connecting the dots

We could keep going like we are – and the kids would get a good enough education but that has never been my expectation.  I am not aiming for them to be brilliant academics but I am aiming for them to be lifelong learners, who are curious about the world around them and who can think about how God’s word applies to life around them.  We are a long way from this goal at this point.

Things I am happy with

  • This year I have simplified our study routine by integrating language arts into our other subjects – this is consistent with Charlotte Mason, Ruth Beechick and Notebooking
  • I have brought Nomi and Daniel together for more of their studies – this has given me the opportunity to be involved more in their learning, and to create an atmosphere where we discuss things (we’ve managed the first transition – we are learning together, but conversations are more like monologues from me at this stage)
  • I’ve started to look at whole books, living books, read alouds for the basis of our learning.

These are all good things and I believe choices that head us in the right direction.

Whenever I see something that I’m not happy about in my life, in the life of my family or in my home I first diagnose (like I have above) and then I set to and learn all I can in order to find solutions.  This is being intentional about my role as mother and homemaker.

I have chosen the following books to read (re-read in most cases)

  1.  For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer McCauley – this was one of the first books I read in my homeschooling journey.  As I read through this there is so much that connects with my heart, I can see the foundation that this book had in my thinking.  Though I have kept Charlotte Mason at arm’s length in some ways, I can see that the principles she lays down are the principles I want to build on.  I need to think more about separating practices I see and the principles Charlotte Mason wrote about.
  2. A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick.  Once again, this is a favourite and I was half way through this earlier in the year – I need to finish it.  I expect this to be particularly helpful for Nomi and highschool aspects.
  3. Notebooking Success E-book by Jimmie from Notebooking Fairy
  4. The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach by Robin Sampson from Heart of Wisdom

So slowly we’ll start to change things around here.  I don’t expect the structure of our days will change much.  There are just some little tweaks needed.  I don’t feel bad for the situation I find myself in.  To me it is about growing and learning with your family.  There have been many times where I have had to re-evaluate and tweak over the years – it isn’t about recriminating over the past, but rather taking hold of where you are at today and stepping forward.

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