Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Look at Our Lifestyle of Learning: Volume 1

One of our homeschool goals is to promote a lifestyle of learning.  We oftentimes refer to education as something that takes place within the confines of a particular and specific locale (i.e. "Where did you get your education?").  Many believe that education should not only be systematic but should also be formalized.  We, however, do not have quite as rigid a definition of education.  There are systematic aspects to our educational approach and some of the things that we do will resemble the formalized education that most of us were exposed to during our youth; however, our educational philosophy leads us to conclude that there is far more to education than national or state standards, textbooks, worksheets, and tests.  Our educational philosophy leads us to believe that the process of becoming educated is a lifelong pursuit and involves observing, experiencing, questioning, and seeking.  This pursuit is encouraged and modeled by the parents.  To that end, we attempt to expose our children to a wide variety of subject matter and opportunities, we look for opportunities within the home, within our community, and within our natural surroundings.  The home, the community, and the world are our classrooms.  There is some rhythm to our day, week and year yet no two days or weeks look alike. 
Here is a sampling of our learning lifestyle for last week (Sunday, January 27 - Saturday, February 2).
Learning the books of the Bible
Lego building
Reviewing multiplication tables and learning a little trick.

Lunch and math bingo.
Adding on to our history timelines.
Doing some history-related mapwork.

Boy Scouts for Bishop.
Researching and writing about places to explore.  Bishop wants to explore Africa and Maceo wants to explore the Marianas Trench.

Bishop creating a journal/cookbook followed by a walk around the park.

Books of the Bible Go Fish

Field trip to a record store.

Exploring different genres of music.

Maceo visiting the Unschool Art Exhibit.

Bishop viewing the Unschool Art Exhibit.

Bishop and friends making and analyzing art at the Picture America event.

The boys also participated in a family Bible study of the book of Luke and in several church activities that are intended to supplement their spiritual training. They logged four hours of volunteer service at our food pantry (we have volunteered at the food pantry for four hours per month for the last two years).  They have read books, viewed videos that have academic content, and had serious conversations and heated debates about a wide-range of topics.  They have learned in intangible ways by just intensely living together and by facing together the challenges that a week of life has held for us (i.e. vehicles breaking down, plumbing issues resulting in us having to turn our main water supply off for quite some time, and the news that a best friend's mother is actively dying).

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