I have been educating my son from home for the past Year. I want to educate him about life and to teach him about responsibility for his own learning and his place in community.
Aside from the usual standard of information learned in a school environment such as math, reading, writing, etc. I have outlined a much broader spectrum of learning which involves aspects of everyday life in which a child needs to know in order to grow in response to their practical needs for themselves and in relation to others around them.
The following outlines some of the informal aspect of learning using discussion, practical experiences and how they contribute to each subject of learning. My main objectives in these fields is to foster excellence in attitudes, values, understanding, knowledge and priorities to be practiced on a regular basis.
Community outreach - Visiting other families and organisations. To interact with members to gain an understanding of differences in values, priorities, needs, and to learn how to be respectful and responsible of how each group operates and how best to be of service in each circumstance.
To be employed in physical labour for others with a monetary reward which contributes to an understanding of service, responsibility, economy and mathematics.
To be employed in physical labour for others, without monetary reward which contributes to an understanding of voluntary work and to gain an attitude of helpful service.
Through various experiences resulting in knowledge and understanding or desired behavior through either natural or prepared consequences.
These experiences include but are not limited to:
buying grocery items at the supermarket, crossing the road, living with distraction and how to refocus on priorities, maintaining chore responsibilities with a positive attitude,
Negotiation Practicing the skill of negotiation of time and resources to maintain order and a smooth running of lifestyle or decided goal.
Communication - Receiving and responding to information.
Practicing communication skills to accurately interpret information by listening to audio information or visualising through media then responding by vocalising, writing or typing the interpretation of information given.
Road safety and awareness.
Learning road rules. Hand signals. Anticipating movement on the road. Physical safety. Regular road excursions on bicycle to reinforce learning.
Time management and priorities.
Using a chores list, educational activities and rewards that foster a sense of responsibility and priorities to be achieved.
Personal Hygiene and Health,
A regular routine and instruction in cleansing of the body.
Educational discussion around food types and their benefits.
Practical experience of food preparation to maintain health.
Regular intervals of drinking water for hydration to maintain body and brain function.
Regular eating patterns to encourage routine for time management and routine of body function.
Spending time with people of all ages, races, gender, beliefs and abilities to gain an understanding of differences and how to process these in relationships.
To gain an understanding of scripture including health principles which help to complete the cycle of growth in spiritual matters and to learn to testify of Christ in order that others may come to know of His saving power and grace.
I really like the well rounded program you are aiming to teach! As a father of a 3 and almost 2 year old, my wife and I are looking at education options. We are blessed to have an excellent Adventist school within cycling distance so will probably go that route. But we think we will be doing our pre-school / kindergarten activities at home. Of course our daughter really wants to go to school, so we'll have to take that into account.
Thanks for writing this out. It's a really good guideline.
Hey thanks for your reply.
I am encouraged to know my experience and knowledge can be of help to you through the program I outlined. That's great you have an Adventist school close by.
I hope to hear more comments like yours as it helps to build confidence in making decisions for the future of our precious children.
Hi my brothers and sisters in Christ,
There are advantages and disadvantages of placing your young child in a school. Being an Adventist Pre-K and K teacher I see the ill effects of placing a child in a program/school too early. Many 3-5 year olds are much too immature and impressionable to be in the care of another and influences of the other children. I teach this grade level out of the shear need for this program but I encourage any parent to home school their child as long as they are able to. I also know that God has made a way for us to have a Early Childhood Program due to the work that needs to be done spiritually in the homes and communities of today.
Here are some things to think about when placing your child in school. When being exposed to other children be cognizant of the illnesses that they bring to school. So many parents knowingly drop their children off to school with fevers, colorful snot and coughs because they cannot miss work or just want a break from their child. In some cases, I call them to pick up their sick child within hours of their arrival. I have one parent who drops off their 4 year old son as early as 7:30 am and he is almost always the last to leave our After Care Program at 6:00 pm! That is much too long for a 4 year old to be away from his/her parents. Our Adventist schools are definitely a mission field. With more than 50% of the students being non-Adventist or even Christian, we are bringing many to Christ. So, in these cases, the best place for them are our schools as I have certainly seen the Holy Spirit's handiwork.
I believe all children should have their beginnings with their first teachers; their parents. I believe many of us have our priorities all wrong. Yes, we need to work to survive, however why did we have children if it didn't mean for eternity. No one can teach the type of spiritual lessons which a parent can impart on a child at such a young age. I understand that sometimes circumstances dictate whether we are able stay home with our children or not. If I could stay home and fully home school my 8 and 12 year olds I would, then my son would be able to progress at "his" level which is 1-2 years higher than his age. As a single mom, I do the next to best thing..........teach at an Adventist school instead of a public school where I once was, to assure that my own children receive the spiritual component. I might add though not everyone is cut out to be a home school teacher. I've seen, and know personally, some parents/ homes where the children run a muck, have no schedule, direction or sense of boundaries. When or if placed in a program/school these children WILL be behind on basic academic skills. The current trend to home schooling is virtual school. I am not a fan of this as children need nature, sunshine, less electronics, hands-ons activities, variety, flexibility and a myriad of other modes of learning to reach all learning styles. There are plenty of home-school network groups (some even non-denominational Christian) around to fill up ones day with such activities as Science, P.E., Art, etc. There are even field trips, Spelling Bees and Science/Art fairs which your child can participate in so socialization with other children will not be the issue.
The next best thing to home schooling is Adventist Education. Just take your time...........not only tour the school, interview the teacher and get to know her/his values as there are many levels of Adventism. I care for my students as if they were my own. I actually call my students "my children". I don't bring teaching material in my classroom that I wouldn't expose my own children to............I don't care for anything Disney. In addition, learn what her/his discipline procedures are as this will tell a lot about your teachers' own spiritual walk. I personally do not focus on the negative; no "time-outs", catch students "being like Jesus", use Responsive Classroom and Love and Logic (natural consequences), point everything back to God and the bible (fruits of the Spirit) and lots of love and nurturing.
As in everything, pray for these life changing decisions. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide you all. I will continue to pray that His will be done.
In His Service,
Thanks for your reply Lina. Lovely to her your thoughts. God Bless
That is interesting to know about the SDA home education system. I agree with your point about influences of other children in school settings. Although we can not protect our children from the world, at least in a home schooled environment providing they do have social interaction, we can teach them how to process their thoughts about influences that come their way. Thanks for your post.