In 2013 we started preschool homeschool
There are many reasons for why we decided to home educate Jack and Sarah. But mostly we wanted them to have the opportunity to explore their own passions at a pace which suits their individual needs. We also wanted them to have authentic relationships and experiences with our community and with nature.
We have only just started though and are still finding our feet, our rhythm. Mostly are days are rather relaxed with a lot of play. At 4 and 2 years old, play is enough.
As time goes on though I am thinking about how our learning will evolve. I remember when I was teaching there was one educational theorist who really inspired me, Howard Gardner.
His theory of Multiple Intelligences changed the way I taught completely. The theory that we all learn in unique ways, have different learning styles, really opened my eyes to how we learn.
Since then I have read and been inspired by many other educational thinkers and theorists. I know that what I have taken from their writings will influence our homeschooling.
Inspirational Educational Thinkers and Theories
- Howard Gardner – Multiple Intelligences
- John Holt – Natural Learning and Homeschooling
- Jean Piaget – Constructivism
- Loris Malaguzzi – The Reggio Emilia Approach
- Maria Montessori – The Montessori Method
- Lori Pickert: Project-based Homeschooling
Educational Theories and Homeschooling Books
In addition to the books I listed on the Reggio-Inspired Books page, there are some other books I have bought to help guide me through home-education:
- John Holt: How Children Learn
- John Holt: Learning All The Time
- The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation
You can read about our homeschooling rhythm here. We have a large focus on free play as well as project work. Project work is child-initiated and child-led learning based on a topic of their interest. Here are some of our projects so far:
- The Volcano Project
- The Autumn Leaves Project: Observational Art, Exploring Leaves
- The Fire Project: The Blue Fire Extinguisher, Playing with Fire
- The Bugs Project
After quiet time, Jack and I have time together to work on some focussed learning. We do mostly literacy and numeracy during this time. Jack is learning to read as well as basic numeracy; counting, quantifying, working with shapes and pattern work. Here are some of the things we do during this time:
After afternoon tea (snack) we spend the remainder of the day outside. This is a nice way for the children to end the day. Sometimes we go on an outing, other times a bush walk, or just play in the yard.
At our house we are fortunate enough to have space for a playroom and an art space. Here’s a little more on our playroom: Our Reggio-inspired Playroom
So far our year is going well. I like the rhythm of our days, they are slow and calm. The children have lots of time to play and lots of time to explore, all the time learning as they go.