Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gentle Homeschool

 
Gentle homeschooling. Those two words comfort me, intrigue me, motivate me, and inspire me. Doesn't it sound perfect? Are the two compatible?
 
gentle: mild in temperament or behavior; kind or tender; not harsh or severe
 
homeschool: the education of children at home by their parents
 
So the very definition of gentle homeschool  is educating your children at home in a kind and tender way, without being harsh or severe.
 
 
I feel like I am leaning more and more into a gentle style of homeschooling. The longer I homeschool, the more I realize that our children don't need to be {and shouldn't be} pushed into learning, forced to sit at the table for hours on end when it's beautiful weather outside, bored to tears as they read another textbook and answer yes or no questions. Homeschooling is not supposed to be stressful, with mom yelling at the kids and scrambling to get everything done. Homeschool is not supposed to look like public school - kids lined up in desks, raising their hands to ask questions, keeping their mouths shut all day, not allowed to fidget and move around, learning what they are "supposed" to learn, and not what they desire to learn.
 
Homeschool is supposed to be a comfortable, relaxed, gentle way of learning.
 
 
 I see gentle homeschooling as lots of reading aloud together, snuggling on the couch or sitting beside each other. I see gentle homeschooling as nature study together - walking in the woods, examining flowers and leaves, butterflies and bumblebees. I see gentle homeschooling as playing games together - go-fish to learn letters or Monopoly to practice math. I see gentle homeschooling as talking with your children, discussing history and science, math and grammar. I see gentle homeschooling as letting your child set their own pace, not pushing them to learn to read or rushing them to memorize their times tables. I see gentle homeschooling as creating together - painting pictures of the trees in your backyard or sculpting play-dough animals with your young child. I see gentle homeschooling as involving your children in the household duties - cooking and baking, laundry and dusting. I see gentle homeschooling as lying on a quilt outside, watching the clouds move and listening to the birds chirp. I see gentle homeschooling as demonstrations and experiments that will make your child smile and learn at the same time. I see gentle homeschool as hands-on - using pattern blocks, and puzzles, and beans, and counting cubes, and play-dough, and real coins.
 
 
 
I also see gentle homeschooling as family learning - children of all ages, even mom and dad, learning about history, the Bible, science, and geography together. These subjects are easily adaptable for all ages! The whole family gathered around the table, listening to mom read a story, looking up vocabulary words together, creating notebook pages, and encouraging each other in their education - that is gentle, family homeschooling.
 
 
How do you define gentle homeschool?
 
 


9 comments:

  1. I love this! And I love all the photos you have to accompany it.

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  2. This was such a great picture of Gentle Homeschooling! I'm on a similar journey as you, leaning more into gentleness as I'm in my 5th year of homeschooling. It's a fruit of the Spirit - so the more we abide and grow in Him, the more that fruit grows out of us! Thank you for inspiring gentleness...

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    1. Thank you! I am aspiring to show the fruits of the Spirit in my life, and gentleness is a work in progress. :-)

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  3. This reminds me of my heartschooling with a slow, gentle approach :) Great visual!

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  4. I love this! It sounds like our eclectic unschooling approach...gentle, no force, following the child's interest, parents learning alongside the kids. Beautiful!

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    1. It is so much more fun to homeschool when I am learning and doing right along with the kids.

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  5. Thank you I was about to give up on myself and send my daughter back to private school. You have saved us both. May God bless you!!!!!!

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