Keep Pedaling and Moving Forward!
When parents begin to homeschool, many look for a curriculum as a vehicle to help move their children towards being educated. Maybe the vehicle is not just a curriculum, but taking other things into account that impact children's heart, allegiance, character, work ethic, brain development, core body balance, executive function, socialization and more.
The Handlebars Direct and Control the Bicycle
Interestingly, handlebars direct the bicycle and also control both the speed and are where the brakes are located. These simple things can provide context, direction, and brakes when needed. Without these, children often struggle needlessly, are easily distracted, and benchmarks can be delayed.
The Christian Path
This is teaching about God, personal prayer, personal devotions, cultivating a thankful heart, serving others, learning to discern and choose right from wrong, truth from error, good vs evil, and learning to walk in His ways.
Discipline of Habit
The Discipline of habit, because without this most children rarely develop the work ethic to do tough work of scholarly learning.
Family Work and Shared Work
Family work and shared work are where relationships are forged, children feel valued that they have a contribution, and children develop character. Here they learn by example to do quality work, follow through, pay attention to detail, as well as, learning standards of work, finishing, how tasks and systems are managed. Character developed in Family Work carries over into scholarly learning.
Refinement, graciousness, and socialization begin in the home. Parents lead and teach by example: Comeliness, hospitality, table manners, inside voices, showing gratitude, civility, kindness, compassion, repentance, forgiveness, respect, and grace. Studying, learning, and applying the Lost Arts is a great way to develop this. Homeculture can also be magnified with Classic Character Unit Studies.
The Daily Walk
Daily walk, fresh air, and play hard! Walk, run, climb, spin, slide, swing, brachiate, balance, and crawl. This helps build brain tissue, right and left brain integration, and a healthy central core body strength. All of this builds health, attention span, and focus.
The Front Wheel Guides You
The Gateway (about 1 hour). This is a Spiritual/Intellectual Devotional or cottage school approach. Power of an Hour: Gateway to a Classical Education-
As Easy as 1, 2, 3!
1) Bible Study
2) Classic Read Aloud and Discussion
3) Focused Learning. This expands their horizons and gives them food for thought.
The Rear Wheel Rotations are the Power that Propels you Forward
Rotations are all happening at the same time. Each rotation session begins short and expands with attention span as they grow n attention. Begin with the youngest, giving attention and focus for whatever they need and all the others are in independent learning for the first round. Then rotate to the next oldest and have the oldest child rotate to be with the youngest. (see chart below)
This is one-on-one whatever they need, such as, coaching and encouragement, discussion, perhaps a lesson in personal learning skills, help with a math concept, help with goal setting, trouble shooting challenges, listening, singing, knitting, or whatever they needed.
Once you had been available with the youngest, work your way up to the next oldest and rotate the oldest child to work with the youngest. This is recess, playing with the little ones, singing with them, building, playing, whatever they need.
While mentoring one child, another child is having recess with those in core phase (those not transitioning yet, generally under 6) and the rest are in independent learning time doing transcription, reading, memorizing, working on projects, and spark stations, etc.
Using the handlebars and these two wheels will get you a long way towards an education for a whole life!
This is a family with one toddler and three older children. If you have more younger children then combine the infants and toddlers for recess and one-on-one with you. As the oldest toddler shows interest by "playing at school," give them their own one-on-one slot. As your family grows older a time will come when there are no children that need to play, be read to, and cared for the whole time. At that point you can adjust the schedule and have everyone in independent learning while you work through one-on-one with each and just break midway and everyone take recess, or you can let children break two at a time and play learning games, exercise, etc. Eventually the older children will only need a light mentoring check up each day and they will be able to move into self directed study. Even at this time the older children can come to the Power of an Hour and contribute perspective to lessons, add to Bible, and classic discussions.
One on One with Me
Sibling Recess with Youngest
Child One -Youngest Child
Child Two- Next Oldest
Child Three- Next Oldest
Child Four- Oldest
Enjoy the Journey!