Monday, September 19, 2011

Tri-Moms: Whole-family Homeschooling

This week the Tri-Moms are discussing how we involve our entire family in the homeschooling process.  Brian works an 8 to 4 (or 5 or 6 or 7) job with a forty minute commute each way so he is gone during our normal schooling hours.  We also plan our school schedule around his winter break so, aside from a few weeks in February, he is not home to have an active part in each school day.  However, he has three key roles:

1) Be a sounding board for my thoughts and ideas.  Just because he is not home during school hours does not mean he is not involved.  When I am making plans for the year, I run my ideas and plans through him when we talk on the couch each evening.  Before I order my school books, I show him the list and ask what he thinks.  If  I am unsure of which program to select for math or what period to teach in history, I see if he has any insight.  He trusts my decisions, but I want his opinions anyway. 

2) Take a few minutes in the evening to hear what the kids have learned during the day.  Just because he is not home during school hours does not mean he is not interested in the learning and discovering that occurred. While we are still at the table after dinner, the kids love to show him their workbook pages and recite poetry and show him the maps they've colored.  Though he is often tired after work, I don't think he has ever once complained when they thrust their papers in his face with excitement!

3) Teach a skill when I am at a loss for how to teach it. Just because he is not home during school hours does not mean he does not make himself available when I need him.  A few years ago when I was teaching Gavin  to count money, we went over the concept day after day after day.  Day after day after day, he just didn't get it.  We were both frustrated and I expressed as much to Brian.  That same day, Brian sat down at the coffee table with Gavin and tried a different approach-- one I had never considered-- and by the end of their lesson, Gavin could count money. 

Involving the whole family can mean more than the immediate family, too.  We try to homeschool outside of the box and draw in anyone with a passion for a subject.  For a couple of years, my sister has taught my kids geography and globe skills on Sundays. This summer, we discovered  that Brian's mom has an incredible knowledge of plants and trees, and my grandmother taught my kids the two-step .  My mom has given Maddie a basic sewing lesson and Gavin worked with his Papa (my dad) on woodworking. 

Life is learning and learning is life. 

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Visit my fellow Tri-Moms, Allyson @ A Heart For Home and Christy @ A Living Homeschool and read how they involve their whole family in the education process. 

Up next: October 4
  The joys and fears of our children growing older

Fall Schedule of Topics
October 18: Traveling with children
November 1: Thanksgiving crafts and recipes
November 15: Teaching the meaning of Thanksgiving


  1. It sounds like Tim & Brian take a lot of the same roles in our homeschools. I'm so thankful for Tim's help and support and I'm sure you are for Brian's as well!

  2. I know this is an old post but its a lovely one. I think that is great how the whole family is involved, very inspiring!


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