Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool

Last year I had the privilege of presenting two workshops at ENOCH of New Jersey’s Annual Homeschool Convention.  I am going to share with you some of the highlights from one of my workshops. 
My first topic was “Taking the “School” Out of Homeschool.” Essentially this was an encouragement to homeschooling families to embrace the freedom that comes from homeschooling. We don’t have to follow a formula of what the public or private schools do, because we are not recreating those environments in our homes. Further more, we have the privilege at home to go beyond the academics and teach our children to follow the Lord above all else.
I do not believe God called me to homeschool,

 so that I could recreate the public school in my home


Yes, as a new homeschooler several years ago, I created a school room and a strict schedule of what our day would look like. We would have “school” time and then “regular time.” We had a blackboard, and times for each subject to begin and end.
How stifling!

Over the years I have learned to let go of the schedule and the confinement, and embrace the fact that real life, everyday, teaches my children more than any textbook. Children at home have an “immersion” learning experience to prepare them for life- living in the “real world” is how we learn to live in the real world.

I don’t “unschool” by any means, but I do allow my children’s interests to be cultivated at home. For instance, when my daughter started writing “for fun,” it turned into her writing her first 30+ page  short story. I didn’t instill a bunch of rules on her, but I let her be free to express herself. I didn’t ring a bell and tell her it was time to move on to another subject, but I let her spend hours on her book if she saw fit.
Then there is my son. His mind is beyond mine 😉 He is ten and just loves building, inventing, and electronics. He loves taking things apart and finding out how they work. After a field trip to The Thomas Edison Museum, we were inspired. You see, Thomas Edison’s mind couldn’t be confined to the classroom. He was kicked out of school and when he was home, he thrived. Ultimately he had 1,093 patents in his lifetime. Amazing!
So we set up a workshop in the garage, and my boys spend a great deal of time out there. They are free to explore and create on their own time line.
He organized his supplies
He has space to create in the garage and not worry about being “messy.”
Homeschooling is about so much more than just “school” at home. It is real life training by immersion!
Here are some ideas to use to incorporate real life learning into your child’s education!
  • a day of research on a topic of the child’s choice
  • an afternoon spent listening to Mozart while painting
  • a day in the yard observing an ant hill, a robin’s next, or a bee hive
  • a morning gardening, while learning all about compost, seeds, and zone planting
  • writing creative stories, plays, or poetry
  • a construction project in the home. complete with preiminary plans, blueprints, and the execution of the plan with the proper tools
  • cooking up an authentic cultural feast after weeks spent reading about that country
  • analyzing the nutritional content of your pantry
  • grocery store math, while grocery shopping
  • a day out to see a play or visit a local museum
  • a visit to the local nursing home
  • writing a letter to your sponsor child in Africa
  • designing buildings on the computer
  • helping with the finances by watching dad pay bills and budget (or do taxes!)
  • chores, chores and more chores…all life skills!
  • figuring out the how to build rockets, legos in 3D, and more
  • raising chickens
  • spending the day at work with dad as a mini-intern
  • learning all about how day to day life works by being immersed in it and not a classroom!
In PART 2 going to share with you the more important part of taking the word “school” out of homeschool. The discipleship. The reason we are doing this thing we call “homeschooling.” We are fulfilling a calling from God and are raising up the next generation. Without Him first, we will not succeed. 
To read more about my journey with simplifying homeschool and letting God lead our homeschool, you can check out my eBooks!
Simply Homeschool 2nd Edition PAPERBACK, PDF or Kindle!
Called Home: Finding Joy in Letting God Lead Your Homeschool  Available for PDF download or Kindle at Amazon. com just $0.99!



Author: Karen DeBeus

Karen is the author of Simply Homeschool, Called Home, and Bible Based Homeschooling. She is passionate about encouraging homeschooling families on their journey to keep their eyes on the One who called them here. She can also be found blogging about all things simple at Simply Living for Him.

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