Last year I made the biggest change to our homeschool that I’ve ever made. It wasn’t an easy decision because it meant changing almost everything about our homeschool. I am not a fan of change, but our homeschool had to change because my children were no longer enjoying any part of learning and I didn’t look forward to teaching either.
Moving to a child led homeschool has been the best decision I’ve made for our homeschool. It has brought the light back into my children’s eyes when they are learning and they can’t wait to share everything they’ve learned from researching online, watching videos, reading books and much more! I am so thankful for the gift of seeing my children loving to learn again!
Child led homeschooling has given my children the freedom to learn about things they are interested in through many different resources.
While we do not use textbooks for all of our homeschooling, there are some subjects that my children do not get to choose what curriculum they use. As a parent it is my responsibility to ensure that my children receive a good education and I believe that a solid foundation in Math, English, Reading and Spelling are necessary to fulfill that responsibility. So, those subjects and the main curriculum we use for each are not part of our child led homeschooling. These are not either of my children’s favorite subjects, so they don’t really have any interest in selecting their own curriculum anyways.
Science, History, Music, Art, Foreign Language and Geography are all subjects that are part of our child led homeschooling. I have found that by allowing my children the opportunity to choose what they want to learn in these subjects, they are more willing to learn by researching, watching, creating and writing, than if they were following a textbook or timeline of study.
This year science class has involved Astronomy, we’ve been using Apologia‘s, Exploring Creation with Astronomy Course. I began the year reading the lesson to them, but over the last few weeks I’ve found that my children actually enjoy reading the lesson to themselves and then dictating what they’ve learned to me. I have wanted to incorporate dictation into our homeschool for quite a while, but was unsure how to do so without simply adding another thing to our school day, so I’m thankful that they are enjoying doing science class this way.
Each of my children love to learn about different parts of history, so there are always at least two different history studies going on in our homeschool. Currently my son is studying the Vikings and my daughter is learning about famous Cowgirls from history. During history studies we incorporate encyclopedias, online research, free Kindle books via Amazon, documentaries and videos on You Tube, Amazon Prime, Netflix, DVDs and books (I always purchase from Abebooks if I can because they are reasonably priced).
My children have taken piano, violin and guitar lessons over the last six years of our homeschooling. We’ve also studied various composers throughout the years using Enrichment Studies. Starting later this month we’ll begin following Annette’s music era studies here on YRH.
My son is not an artist while my daughter loves creating beautiful artwork. My son does love to color, but he wants to be told how it should be done, so color by number pages are great for him. For art class this year he is using the Feed My Sheep art curriculum by Barry Stebbing, this is a great art curriculum for kids that like/need step-by-step directions and short, simple lessons. My daughter is using the Home Art Studio Program and loves it! She loves being able to pop in the DVD by herself, gather her art supplies and create art with the teacher instructing her along the way.
Both of my children wanted to learn a different foreign language this year and one of them I have no experience using personally, so I wasn’t sure how we were going to tackle it. I spent a summer in Mexico as a teen and my father is fluent in Spanish, so I was comfortable adding that to our homeschool, but French I wasn’t sure how we would even begin. My kids love to use educational apps on our Kindle Fire and I downloaded the free Duolingo app for them to start using. They love it! I’ve also had them help me put together some of the foreign language posts and resources here!
A few years ago we took our first Virtual Field Trip to Greece using the North Star Geography curriculum, we had such a great time with that experience we have incorporated virtual field trips into all of our geography studies. Recently my daughter wanted to learn about Romania, so she and I spent time reading through encyclopedias and researching online, learning all about the geography of Romania.
Letting go of my children’s education and allowing them the freedom to learn about the things that interest them has opened my eyes to see that children do in fact love to learn. As homeschool moms we need to learn to let go of what we think (or what we’re told) that our kids “should” be learning and let them discover and experience education that inspires them!
How do you let your kids have a part in choosing subjects and/or topics they want to learn about in your homeschool?