We are homeschoolers using several methods. Some people would call this our curriculum. We use the Thomas Jefferson Education model which encourages families to read classic books. We are constantly reading together (audio books are wonderful) and through literature we learn history, grammar, vocabulary, kindness, hard work and many other valuable messages.
We are also Unschoolers which means we don’t do anything that we aren’t ready for. We don’t push our children to read before they are developmentally ready, we don’t force them to do Math concepts that aren’t necessary in every day life (think algebra) and we don’t generally use a guided curriculum on a daily basis. We feel that at ages 5 & 8 play based learning is developmentally appropriate for our children. There will be time to learn algebra or anything else when their brains are ready and then instead of drilling the concepts into their memories, they will understand them the first time they are introduced.
In addition to these methods, we are also Worldschoolers. This means that we take advantage of learning opportunities in the world around us. For our family, this involves lots of travel, field trips and also playing outside with friends, our animals and generally staying away from computer games and TV. We find that all sorts of learning opportunities present themselves when we make the world our curriculum. Math is learned when dealing with money exchanges, currency conversion conversations happen when we give the kids $20 US and they only get 18Euro to spend, history – science – social studies, every subject can be covered if you take the time to learn from what you are seeing.
Many of you are familiar with the Little House on the Prairie television series, but there is also a book series written by real life Laura Ingalls Wilder that is based on her family’s experiences as pioneers on the prairie lands of the USA. These books were beyond interesting to me and my children. The lessons we all learned as a family were completely amazing so we decided to find out more. We planned an epic Mid-West road trip that we called our Little House road trip. We visited every homesite that the Ingalls family lived and also the homestead that Laura and Almanzo Wilder owned during their married life. Along the way we visited many National Parks, cities, museums and many corn fields!
We spent 4 weeks on the road visiting Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky. We also passed through Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Tennessee without doing any sightseeing.
It was an amazing trip!!!