Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The "WHY" of the Hippie Method

I have definitely imbibed the Hippie philosophy of "live and let live."

LC doing puzzles. Teaches logic and persistence.

Live and let live is a counter culture way of thinking though. You wouldn't think so, in our progressive age. But it isn't mainstream. Not by a long shot.

In our www way of life, favoriting, liking, pinning, and following are all ways of showing our solidarity and agreement. To not agree with someone, about something big or small, is to be judgy.

Imitation-the sincerest form of flattery has been ramped up to even higher levels.

In Christian circles there are a few topics that raise people's hackles. Schooling decisions would be one of the most controversial subjects. People have definite opinions, and they hold them with vigor.

I feel there is not one right option. Maybe there is one right option for the Barefoot Hippies-this year. And maybe that option is completely different from the right option for you.

And, personally, I think that is just fine. 

I recently found this questionnaire online about home schooling. I found it was very helpful and clarifying to answer these questions. 
Freckles doing spelling

The Whys and the Wherefores

  • How did you end up deciding to teach your children at home? Have they always been home schooled or did they attend school outside the home, at one point?
Our kids have been home schooled for their entire schooling career.
  • Summarize how you reached this decision.
I think one of the main factors guiding our decision was that both Mr. Hippie and I were home schooled. We have grown up to be well rounded adults (in my opinion), and figured it wouldn't hurt our kids either.

The school system we are a part of does not have a great reputation either scholastically or morally. It was not an environment I really wanted to expose my children too. I know I can educate them as well, if not better than our school system.

Based on our home school back grounds, combined with the rather prohibitive price of Christian education, we felt home schooling was a viable option.

  • What is your goal in home educating your children?
My goal is to give my children a sound foundation of learning, and to equip them with the skills to always learn more. This is why I emphasize reading and writing from the beginning. If they can read well, they can learn anything. If they can write well, they can communicate to others what they are learning.

I also want to give my kids a strong spiritual foundation. Part of our curriculum is daily Scripture reading, memorizing and prayer time. I can influence them in positive ways by introducing them to great men and women of faith-alive and dead. My kids' salvation and eternal destiny is more important to me than anything else. I don't want them to gain the whole world, but lose their souls.

I think my all around goal is for each of my children to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls and strengths. To love their neighbors as themselves. To seek to serve and glorify God in everything they do. If I can give them a firm foundation in this, my time will be well spent.

  • Do your children have extra curricular activities? If so, what are they?
Not many. The three oldest participate in Bible Study Fellowship. They are each in groups of kids that are their own age. They also do Bible Club with me in the school, and attend another Bible Club on Friday nights.

Athletically speaking, we have not done any sports yet. But, our kids do run with us, and are beginning to participate in our shorter races.

  • Have you ever hired someone to teach a subject to your children? If so, why?
Not yet. But I will be. I would like our kids to learn Spanish, and we have several friends who speak it. I think classes would possibly be more effective than online courses or tapes. 

  • Have you graduated a child? Do you plan to teach through high school?
No. Maybe. At first my home school philosophy was, "one year at a time." Since BMV is getting older and older, high school is not that far off. And, I can see myself continuing teaching him through high school. But I am not going to say that I will never send my kid to school. Never is a long time.

  • Do you have a defined style of instruction such as Classical, montessori, unschooling, or Charlotte Mason? Are you willing to share how you decided to use this method?
I don't know what you'd call my style of instruction. I call it the Barefoot Hippie Method. You can read about it (here).

  • What does your schedule look like? Do you start early and finish just after lunch? Or do you start later in the day? Do you teach through the summer? And if so, why?
We start school at 8:30. LC is usually done by recess at 11:00. Freckles finishes up before lunch at 12:30. BMV is having to finish a subject or two in the afternoons. I do not do school through the summer. I like having that huge chunk of time off in the summer.

For more information on our schedule, you check out Home Schooling: The Rhythm Method (here).

  • Do you home school for religious reasons? If so what religion are you?
Kind of. I am a Christian. I have trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior from the penalty of my sin, and as my source of eternal life. I really don't want the godless atmosphere of our local school system to be influencing my kids on a day to day basis. Where our school system is coming from is polar opposite to my point of view. Why would I just hand my kids over to them.

Meres entertaining getting into trouble.

  • Do you have a vision statement for your home school? If so, what is it?
No. Good idea though. Something to stew over with Mr. Hippie on one of our upcoming road trips.

  • If you were to recommend a book(s) to a new or prospective home school parent, what would you choose?
I haven't read a lot of home schooling books. (Read-I have not read ANY home school books) I use the BJU curriculum. It is what I was raised on, and I "get" it. My biggest advice to a new home schooler would be to do your research, and pick a curriculum. And unless it totally doesn't work for you, stick with it for the duration. I have three different scholars so far, with three different learning styles. But BJU has worked just fine for all three.

Also, there is method to each curriculum's madness. The pattern of BJU's textbooks follow same path year after year. For example, both the 3rd grade and 5th grade grammar workbooks start out with sentence structure, and then moved on to a writing assignment. 5th grade is more advanced, but it is the same concepts, and so my brain doesn't have to be working in lots of different genres at the same time. This is helpful when you are schooling more than one grade level.

BMV studying away

  • What was your number one concern or worry when you started out on this endeavor? Has it continued to be your main issue? Why has it changed?
Would I go insane from working with my kids all day, every day? It has kind of continued to be a big issue. But I have made QT a non-negotiable part of our day. For 2 hours every afternoon, we are all in our separate areas. This gives me a mental breather. It allows me to blog and read and have quiet. And quiet is key for this soul of mine.

  • What aspect of home schooling do you enjoy the most? What part do you greatly dislike?
I love teaching. I love telling my kids stories and making facts come alive for them. Geography and History are great opportunities for me to do this. I like doing science experiments with the kids. Learning why things happen.

 I think the hardest part would be having my kids here all the time. And parent/teacher appreciation is rather slim-because you are the parent and the teacher. Which reminds me of a joke I heard once..."why does your mom talk to herself all the time? Because she is having a parent/teacher conference."=)

  • Are/Were there any subjects that you felt incapable of adequately teaching? Have you overcome this? If so can you explain how you have achieved this?
Not yet. If we do continue through high school, I probably will job out science and Spanish.
Another day done...whew.
It looks like I have really big hair and horns. It is just LC in the back ground.

  • Is there anything that you would like others to know about your home schooling?
Home schooling is a personal choice, and one that seems to evoke intense feelings from people. There will always be difficulties and people who disagree with you regardless of your choice. Having a humble, gracious attitude goes a whole lot further than a combative demeanor. And, while I feel home schooling is the best choice for the Barefoot Hippies, I don't think it is the best choice for everyone.

As with other parenting choices I've made, I do not feel I have made an irresponsible decision for my kids-either educationally or socially.

I have to seek God's face daily for direction and enabling as I teach my kids. It isn't my will power or skill that is going to get us through. God's grace-daily. That's the life line.

What choices have you made for your children's schooling? I love to hear. Let's keep our discussion edifying and encouraging to all. Thanks!

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