Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Review: Educating the Whole Hearted Child

On my vacation I took some time to read, "Educating the Whole Hearted Child." My overall opinion of this book is positive. In fact, I'll be putting it on my wish list.

It is very easy to read and extremely user friendly. There is a wealth of information in the margin of every page pertaining to a variety of topics. This book contains scriptures, encouragement, facts and methods. There were practical tips and ideas for every subject and topic covered.

The overall methodology presented, The Home-Centered Learning Approach, was similar to a Charlotte Mason type methodology. I plan to incorporate aspects of this style in my own home so this will be a great rescource.

There were some topics that didn't apply to me right now. The home organization hints were pretty basic. The "box system" is quite similar to what I have set up in my home, so it was interesting to read but not useful to me.

There is also a section on learning styles. My kids are too young to begin "pegging" them in one style, so I don't want to tread into those waters. I did enjoy looking over the information briefly to be sure our day incorporates a variety of styles. I want to allow my kids to find their style and being able to provide opportunities in a variety of styles is part of that. I'll probably spend more time in this section when I get the book.

There was a sub-section on most pages titled, "In our home". It contained a brief statement from a homeschooling family about incorporating the topic on the page into their homeschool. I enjoyed those tidbits!

The only negative in this book was that there were definite homeschool "arrogant" comments:

Allow your children to check out as many books as they would like to try to read. In many cases, you (and other home schoolers) will be the only families checking out books... (p. 132)

I find it quite arrogant and presumptious to assume that non-homeschooling families don't use libraries. Of course they do. They too care about reading and the education of their children.

Lines like this just make me sigh. But I do like the book and can look beyond comments like this. Hopefully I'll get it for Christmas so I can read and highlight some of the great information!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Fears

When I think about the homeschooling journey I am about to begin, I am excited! Truly, I am.

But below the surface, at different times, a variety of fears creep into my mind...

1. Boredom. What if they are bored? I mean too often. My 5 year old is ready for real games, challenges, and interaction. Being home with the family might just bore her right out of her mind. Now I realize that kids are bored at school sometimes too, but they wouldn't be whining in my house...and when she she is bored...boy does she whine. Which leads to my next concern...

2. Losing my mind. OK, so what if I begin losing my mind while at home with my kids attempting to accomplish school on top of living. Most days it is difficult to just make it through the day and get anything done, much less math, phonics, bible, and memory work. I know to take it one day at a time and to give myself some wiggle room, but I am afraid of those days that will indeed come.

3. Loneliness. Being home with kids all day can be lonely, especially when the majority of my friends aren't in the same boat. There are times I feel lonely even now. I am looking forward to meeting some other homeschooling moms who can relate. Right now I am a bit concerned about feeling lonely at times.

4. Overwhelmed. Three kids. Curriculum to accomplish. Daily tasks and chores. Rough days. Teething toddlers. Tantrums. Sick kids. Everyone home with me at all times. Enough said here.

But I try to remember to stay focused on God's plan for OUR family. I know that He will provide all that I need as I am seeking Him and doing His will.

Phil 4:19, "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."