When I first began this journey I stumbled upon it serendipitously while looking into Montessori books at the library for my advanced (or so everyone said – he was our first, we didn’t know any better!) son of three years old. I happened upon the homeschooling section and pulled a few books to read while I researched this Montessori thing. My first book I ever read on the subject of schooling your child at home was called Homeschooling Our Children Unschooling Ourselves by Alison McKee. I was hooked. At this point I had no idea that Unschooling was its own homeschooling category, let alone that there were other styles like Classical, eclectic, Charlotte Mason, Christian, or Project Work. All I knew was that everything clicked in my head and I wanted this life. I am very blessed that my dear husband shares this view and has done everything, including working three jobs at one time, to make it happen.
Little did we know that this journey would change our life. We experimented the first couple of years…trying it out slowly before we had to formally submit any paperwork. I admit now I went a bit overboard. I look through Gabe’s Kindergarten box and wonder whatever possessed me to give him that much work to do. Oh, now I remember – that would be falling in love with curriculum planning and catalogs! Over the years I read voraciously – anything I could get my hands on – about this homeschooling thing. Slowly my philosophy started to take shape. I tried different approaches and kept the good, threw out what didn’t work for our family and rewrote many things to suit our learning styles.
When I first started homeschooling, it never even occurred to me to do it for religious reasons, despite being a Christian. But God knew and slowly started changing my heart. And the more Adam and I read the news headlines I suddenly realized how doubly blessed we were. Now I could teach my children our faith completely integrated with our schooling. This has become deeply important over the years!
So, what is our style? Well, we do “formal” schooling (Charlotte Mason style mixed with Classical subjects) three days a week – about four hours per day – and the rest of the time are involved in Unschooling and Project Work. Our journey is still ongoing as I continue to learn and grow along with my children. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!