We believe that learning is a lifelong endeavor. Therefore, we favor the natural methods of educating. Some of the elements of natural learning include:
- Providing an environment that is conducive to learning.
- Modeling learning as a lifestyle.
- Taking advantage of every learning opportunity.
- Providing an individualized education.
- Going at the child’s pace.
- Presenting a concept when it is most relevant to the student.
- Letting a student practice his core skills on topics of interest.
- Providing a broad education — the world is the classroom!
- Keeping it simple.
For example, one of the easiest ways to simplify a curriculum is to understand the difference between skill subjects and content subjects. Fundamental skills should be the focus in the early years in particular. During this time, a young student can practice reading, writing, and thinking on the content subjects that are not as critical at this stage (science, history, art, etc.).
Another example comes from the area of language arts. Some publishers include spelling, grammar, writing, vocabulary, reading workbooks — all for one grade! Dr. Ruth Beechick had this right: learn to write, write. Encourage your child to write every day. In the process he is learning grammar, spelling, and vocabulary skills right along with writing skills. Of course, he will need input to create the output. Therefore, at the same time he should be reading — a great deal — and practicing his reading and thinking skills.
Dr. Beechick was a skilled curriculum developer and home educating advocate. She knew parents had the ability to teach their children, but thought THEY needed to know that. So she provided books, articles, and more to show the way.
Along with books by Dr. Beechick, we also recommend a few other gems for those looking to provide their child with a learning lifestyle:
For the Children’s Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
This book was foundational for understanding what education can be and it had a tremendous impact in our home.
Beyond Survival by Diana Waring
Subtitled A Guide to Abundant-Life Homeschooling, this one is a fun and inspiring look at a learning lifestyle in action.
At DIYHomeschooler we offer tools that complement a natural learning lifestyle — we help you bend education to fit your child. You’ll find books, how-tos, activities, book and unit studies, guides, and other practical resources that will help you celebrate the art of educating at home. We also include tools we find from around the web.
If you have been educating at home for a while, you might appreciate our Summer School for Mom series where you’ll find lots of ideas and tips to get you thinking, resources to encourage you, and other helps that will have you fired up and ready to go when school starts up again in the fall!
Our Recommended Resources list those books that we can highly recommend to those interested in education, and educating at home in particular. There is a great deal to learn, and we are only better when we continually educate ourselves. And though many of these resources are becoming increasingly hard to find, we stand by them nonetheless.
Other tools you might appreciate include:
- Free Unit Studies
These are units we have written and pulled together. Units make it easy to learn together as a family, dig in deep, and spur individual interests.
- Book Studies
Our book studies take a book, divide it out into lessons, and provide all of the go-along material to make a study as cursory or in-depth as you need.
- The Finds
Sites, printables, notebooking helps, free units, and all types of great finds from the web.
Practical ideas for teaching concepts, covering the subjects, using the tools and practicing the art of homeschooling!
- The Library
Reading is the basis of the content of our learning. Our list is endless. Your reading list will probably look very different. That’s fine. Take what you need and leave the rest. Oh, and we love to include go-along activities!
Sometimes you need a new way to present a concept or encourage an interest or simply keep little hands busy.
Learning calendars, fun ways to celebrate holidays, resource lists, and category favorites.
Finally, the greatest thing to remember when it comes to educating at home is that success will not be measured by how much our children know, but by who they are.
Is there is something you would like to see added? Send us a note. We love feedback!
Enjoy your stay!