Welcome to the first in the series of Minimalist Homeschooling 101. You can check out all the links to the series as well as all of the other Minimalist Homeschooling blog posts HERE.
I've been writing about minimalist homeschooling for some time now, but today I start answering the most common questions I receive through a series of blog posts.
The first question I'll tackle is : What is Minimalist Homeschooling?
I've touched on this several times, but I wanted to dedicate an entire post to answering this question as comprehensively as I can.
Minimalist Homeschooling is stripping down the excess to create a calm, organic environment conducive to lifetime learning. Whatever that ends up looking like for you might be different for everyone.
There are some who use only The Bible as their only source to teach all [or almost all] subjects. There are some that need guides to make sure they cover what they wanted to cover on a subject. The main key is combining and simplifying.
I was the homeschool mom with a curriculum for reading, writing, handwriting, grammar, literature, and spelling all separated. That was not only pricey, but it took forever to get done. felt overwhelming and seemed a bit excessive.
Minimalist homeschooling helps to calm your mind from thinking you need tons upon tons of curriculum to achieve a similar goal : an educated adult. We are raising future adults and we need to get them there without losing our sanity completely.
And maybe this will give them a few less things to chat about with their therapists later.
Minimalist homeschooling blends together methods from Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Unschooling, Waldorf, Classical, Unit Studies and Notebooking. I picked through what would work for each of my children's learning styles and then stripped away anything the felt like excess.
The result was everyone felt calm, learned more and had fun. I want my children to enjoy learning and want to do so for life!
I was one of those overachiever kids who also felt pressured to be highly successful as fast as possible. I graduated high school at 15 years young and then immediately went to college so that I could fulfill what I thought I was supposed to be : A Doctor.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a doctor...unless you don't actually want to be a doctor and are doing so to please others. I was burnt out by 17 and never finished college.
I'm part of a generation that believed that the only way to a good life is a college degree. Also, don't be an artist because they're broke and money is important. [Insert disgusted face here]
Before I get hate mail, I believe that if your life calling is to be an electrical engineer, doctor, nurse, etc, by all means, Go To College. However, I no longer hold to the belief that college is the only way to a good life.
Obviously our views on what constitutes a "Good Life" has drastically changed over the years. Our goal is for our kids to love God, have a relationship with God, enjoy learning, and have more emphasis on life experiences over having "things".
More specifically to education: Be able to communicate well and know the math that they need.
My husband and I do not require our kids to go to college. In fact, if they have no idea what they want to do at 18, I will advise them to acquire some life experience before attending so that they might learn more about the person God created them to be.
Jesus was a carpenter. That's a trade skill. So maybe college wasn't a thing back then, but it lends to great thought. We need skilled laborers. Plumbers are often looked down upon, but why?! We need plumbers! It's not a bad wage, especially if you own your own business!
And you don't have to go to college to own a business. #SupportSmallBusinessOwners
I didn't mean to have this post turn into my philosophy on college and skilled work, but it's one of the reasons I decided on Minimalist Homeschooling. I want my kids to enjoy learning and want to continue learning and reading well into adulthood.
Never stop growing, learning, exploring and dreaming. That is the foundation of minimalist homeschooling.