I’m often asked do you have school holidays? We do have school holidays off from slightly more formal learning but in my opinion learning never stops. Jessica is often making up songs, cooking, doing stuff on her computer, doing craft etc. regardless of school holidays, weekends or night time. She still helps me teach computer classes in the holidays too. Doug’s working at McDonalds and he’s learning mysql and php too. School holidays are a bit of a break for me from organising and marking their book work though.
I’ve written here about different styles of homeschooling before and what sort of style we use/follow but I’ve been thinking about it a bit more since we had our yearly visit from the Education Department to gain our approval for continuing homeschooling for another year and this is what I came up with. I do follow the unschooling/natural learning/authentic learning ideas to a point. So we have lots of unplanned just ‘learning from life’ happening BUT we also have some bookwork happening in the background. I see the bookwork as a back up to the natural learning. Neither one is the focus for us. The ‘life learning’ isn’t the absolute focus with no structure or bookwork etc and the bookwork/structured learning isn’t the entire focus either. Sometimes the natural learning stuff can be my ideas/parent driven or just totally the kids ideas and going with what they want to do. Also the bookwork or more formal, structured work can sometimes be totally the kids’ choices and motivation. For example I haven’t directed or asked Doug to study networks or php he’s just asked me about it and researched it of his own accord.