My Homeschool Philosophy 2012, Year 4
***This was written in 2012. To see my more evolved philosophy, check out the 2016 page.***
My personal philosophy of homeschooling is still evolving. As of today, if 1 is unschooling and 10 is basically using a public school approach at home, I fall somewhere around a 3.5. We don't have a real schedule. We get up when we've had enough sleep and start school after we're fed and the house is generally picked up. Okay, that last part might be a stretch. Some days it would be more accurate to say "and we can rake enough stuff out of the way to make a path from the kitchen to the schoolroom." I don't keep a gradebook or log hours. My "records" are big piles of every piece of paper the kids have written on this year plus check marks beside stuff we've already finished in my Sonlight Core teacher's manual. Luckily, Kansas laws about homeschooling are pretty much non-existent, so I can get by with this. God bless those homeschoolers who live in states where the legislatures have not been so kind.
BCG and I feel that homeschooling is not only an educational choice, but a lifestyle choice as well. We consider our kids to be "in school" 24/7. They learn by helping keep house, peeling potatoes, reading to their younger siblings, being read to at bedtime, sorting Mount Laundry into smaller peaks, playing at the park, attending Sunday school, singing the continents, digging in the dirt, exploring the woods, studying the many maps we have in the house, climbing trees, building with Legos, playing Sorry, watching Word Girl, and talking with their dad about his job (if you need a great electrician, I can hook you up!). It rarely looks like a traditional view of "school," but I'm confident that our kids are learning what's important and that they can keep up with or exceed their same age peers.
My kids have been or are now active in Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, dance, wrestling, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, library story time, church, and our local homeschool co-op. BCG and I have helped coach, teach and lead most of these things as well. Our poor, under-socialized daughter had to whittle down her list of friends for a birthday sleepover to only 14 girls and our son had roughly 20 kids over for a splash party celebrating his eighth birthday. For Valentine's Day 2012 we had just under 40 homeschooling friends over to exchange Valentine cards. Yep, we're pretty much hermits.