Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Headlong Homeschooling – Our homeschooling (in India) journey so far

We never planned to homeschool N this year because he was already going to a happy little Montessori school. Yes, I’ve always liked the concept of home education, and have wondered if it will work for our family, but I never expected to take the plunge this year.

N creating a 3-D model of a butterfly's life cycle with clay
You see, as we waited for N’s lovely little Montessori school to open for the school year, my husband got his orders to travel for work. With a very long work trip looming ahead, we decided to travel as a family. That’s when I started teaching N at home, or rather, in our hotel room. With play dough clay and drawings of robots (his current favorites), stories and simple phonics lessons, with everyday material and a dash of fun, our makeshift homeschool took off happily.

When we returned back home, with the Montessori school unable to send transport to drop him back and us (we live very far from the school), on the brink of embarking on yet another work trip, going to school became near to impossible again. And so our homeschooling adventure has been a work in progress.

Now, we’re returning from our second work trip in a row. We don’t know if N’s school will be able to slot in a school van to drop him. We’re also expecting to move very soon, and are wondering if sending him to school for a few days before we move, makes sense or not.

We’re still wondering if we should send N to the neighborhood school wherever we are moving to or if we could continue homeschooling him. Even though we have several question marks sticking out of our homeschool plan, I’ve been mulling over the way that I want to teach N. The best part about being a homeschool parent is that you can borrow from a wide range of curriculums and teaching methods, take what you like and leave what you don’t find interesting.

N's version of an Igloo with the 3 of us inside - after we read about houses across the world
Continuing homeschooling: I have a loose curriculum that seems to fit in with the way N learns. It’s a slice of world education with beautiful books forming the bedrock of the “syllabus”. We plan to learn about this vast planet that we live on, the people who inhabit the world, the landscapes & animals in different parts and about children of this world. I strongly feel that in today’s time and age, raising global citizens, who can embrace the world culture, understand the issues that are plaguing the planet and have more tolerance for differences, is a must. The more our children can marvel at the beauty across the world and understand that people do not need to look/talk/behave the same way to be your friends, the more empowered they will be to create a warm and loving life for themselves and others. 

Simple sums with aliens, robots and clay balls
We’re also planning to continue our counting & simple addition + subtraction exercises through everyday material: playdough balls, rajma beans, coins, spoons and storybooks.

Natural science will be an important part of our “studies”. We study the life cycle of various insects, understand how clouds are formed, see how leaves are the kitchens of plants & trees, understand how seasons change. I’m not using any book for this, but letting the natural world around us + high-quality Youtube videos to guide us in our learning adventure.

Storybooks are ingrained in our homeschool and home life. We read lots of stories to N. I do believe that all this reading is helping encourage better vocabulary and letter recognition. We do a bit of phonics, and this is something I want to bump up a bit more.

Free play is a big part of our days
Nature study is also part of our homeschooling. It can be free flowing, with us moving around a garden, looking at the plants & insects there. Or, we go out on a mission, collecting all the different kinds of leaves in a space, and then go back home to draw a few of them, marvel at how different each of them are, and learn how leaves cook food for plants.

Art and craft is a major component of our days. N likes to do whatever I am doing, so it’s also a great way for me to re-ignite my love for all things arty-crafty. If I paint on a canvas, N also sits down with his own to create his painting. If I embroider, then N makes things out of the thread. If I make collages in my journal, N sticks Washi tape, stickers & ephemera in his scrapbook. We can spend hours making things with either music or audio stories playing in the background.

This is our current plan for our ‘headlong homeschooling’. I would like to add or tweak things as we go, see if this journey is nourishing for all of us.

Do you homeschool or are considering homeschooling?

 #homeschool #homeschoolindia #homeschoolinginindia #teachingchildren #prekhomeschool #homeschoolparent 

4 comments:

  1. Glad to have discovered your blog. You seem to be doing great with the homeschooling stuff...

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  2. Good to see many Indians into homeschooling. I have homeschooling my kids for the past three years.Its been amazing to see them blossom.
    May I ask you what curriculum you use?
    We use Sonlight which is a literature based curriculum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm using free flow learning based on story books.

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