Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Early Years of Homeschooling

Reading To The Children

When my five children were little, we spent much of our time at home. We managed to venture out only once a week. This was our big errand day. We would leave early in the morning, just after breakfast. We went to the post office to pay the bills and pick up an enormous box full of mail. (We all had numerous pen-pals, lots of home-published magazine subscriptions, and were producing our own home made publications, which brought us plenty of letters and orders.) We did all our grocery shopping just before heading home. But in the middle of all those errands, we went to our favorite place - the library.

The children all picked up cart loads of books to keep us occupied for the week.  The youngest children were delighted with The Berenstain Bears, or books by Lois Lowry. The older children (up to age 15) were selecting anything from biographies, historical documents, trends in fashion to the latest math textbooks. We also scoured the classic video department and came home with several films from the old days, like the Andy Hardy series, Fiddler on the Roof, For Me and My Gal, It's a Wonderful Life, and so many others. This, too, was part of their education.

But the best part of our day was coming home to a homemade lunch, and settling beside each other on the couches and floor to delight in other worlds by reading for hours.  This was the most important part of our home education.  The quiet, scholarly devotion to learning from books was invaluable. This was the slow-paced foundation of our academy at home.

Looking back, I dearly miss those early years of homeschooling. I really must find some classic literature to read to my last student (age 14) before our homeschooling years fade away entirely.

Mrs. White

Passing on the Legacy  - A Homemaking Lesson Learned from Mother White.

A lovely way To start the morning with a Formal - Breakfast at Home.

Need help with Homeschooling? - Index of stories and ideas from our School at Home.

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Cindi said...

Your posts make me wish I could go back in time. So honest. So sweet. So sincere. Love your blog!

Rozy Lass said...

The books by Ralph Moody are some of our favorites! Have you tried them?

larlee said...

I was interested in homeschooling, but did not have the courage to do it! So I try to make our summers somewhat like this. I know technology is important, but I fear that so much of how we learn with simple things s/a books will be lost for our younger generations. I look forward to the summer trips to the library were we can build memories in a fun, educational, and free way.
Thanks for sharing!!

Mrs. Stam said...

I love this post :-) Feels like you were there sitting beside me, sharing a cup of tea and telling about life !

We are right there with 3 toddlers and homeschooling is reading reading and more reading until I loose my voice :-)

busymomof10 said...

I loved this post! I also loved those early years of homeschooling when I could keep all my chicks under my wing! We lived a life similar to what you are talking about -- stayed home as much as we could! Went out on "good days" to the library and grocery store, etc.

I also spent many hours reading aloud!!! I definitely miss the old days!

I saw someone suggested Ralph Moody books. We enjoyed those too. However, I would suggest reading them aloud so you can skip over the occasional bad words, which was common for the ranchers to use, I guess.

Also, I LOVE that picture!!!! Where did you find it???

Sally said...

Oh how I miss those days. My boys are 23 and 19 now and your post brought those wonderful memories back to me. Thank you for your posts. God bless.

Cathy said...

Thank you for sparking some lovely memories for me. When I was homeschooling my oldest children in the eighties, the library in our town was very small, there were a lot of older books, and the librarians were friendly. Going there was my kids' favorite thing, because I would let them bring home tons of books--more than they could even carry. We spent hours upon hours each week reading and looking at them. I remember many days full of piles of books spread all over the livng room. They loved it, and learned so much. But with my younger children, who are 14 and 16, I don't go to the library where we live now. It is not an edifying place to even walk through. If I do want library books now, I reserve them online on the library's website, and then go by myself to pick them up. Too bad. But thanks again for the great memories. Bless you.

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