I've been having a look at past posts of this blog and thought it was time I shared how we are covering the Curriculum Learning Areas these days.
The way the kids are learning has changed due to Jay and Freida getting older and seeking more formal learning opportunities. As a homeschooling parent, I am philosophically in tune with an eclectic/natural learning approach, I believe in a variety of equal intelligences (Howard Gardner) and don't push bookwork. Having said this, our children are enjoying a school at home approach as a regular part of our schooling. As a family we love books so maybe that's enough motivation to want to learn grammatical rules, and building the chook house is reason enough to learn to multiply on paper, who knows why and I guess it doesn't really matter.
What I did learn from Alexandra (our eldest now at university) was that if you don't at least offer the alternative of standardised work, particularly in English and Maths, homeschool kids can become anxious that they're not up to the same level academically as their school going peers.
Invariably I have found over the years that homeschool kids are at least as intelligent and proficient as kids who attend school but regardless this concern tends to arise from tween/teen aged children and is a very real and important issue to some kids. No matter what your philosophies may be as a parent, sometimes children just feel what they feel and it's our job to honour that. I guess my lesson in all of this is to accept that natural learning is rolling with your kids' preferred style at any given moment and if that's a bit formal, so be it.
Personally I have never felt the need to go down the NAPLAN route, but I am now comfortable with giving my children some formal texts if that's what they want and enjoy. I simply act as a resource to facilitate their learning while they're using their work books. I never obviously monitor what they're doing, and I only help out if they ask or appear frustrated, other than that I hang around reading or whatever while they get on with the business of learning.
I will look at specific learning areas in future posts, based loosely around the Australian Curriculum Standards as that's what we are asked to use as a framework for the homeschool review process here in Australia. I will detail our curriculum and resources, referring back to past posts to tie in earlier/foundation learning with what we are doing now.
Talk Soon, Cynthia x