Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Roadrunner in our yard!

We caught this guy walking all around our backyard. Took me a bit to figure out what he was, but my first instinct was roadrunner. Come to find out, I was correct!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn by Julie Polanco ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I love a good encouraging homeschool book to read. For the last few weeks I've had the pleasure of reading God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn by Julie Polanco.

There are so many different ways to homeschool. You have your Charlotte Mason method, Classical style, Relaxed/Eclectic, and School at Home just to name a few. At some point or another along our homeschool journey, they have all intrigued me, and we have even tried a few different methods ourselves. The one that has always been a bit controversial, but that I also find super interesting is Unschooling. No, Unschooling is not being lazy and letting your kids do whatever they want to do. To me, if you're doing it right, it's almost the hardest style of learning to go with because as a parent, you have to be very pro-active in your child's learning. Most homeschool parents are pro-active, but this takes it to a whole new level.

This is where God Schooling comes in to play. First, let me tell you a little bit about the author, Julie Polanco. Julie, a wife and mom, has homeschooled her four children from the beginning and graduated their first child in 2016. She is a regular contributor for Old Schoolhouse Magazine and their Homeschooling With Heart blog. She has regular involvement in the homeschool community and teaches science and writing classes in her home and co-ops.

In her book God Schooling, Julie explains what unschooling or natural learning means to her and her family. The book, as the title states, is her views on how God intends for us to learn. It is broken down into two parts which are Dispelling Myths and Practice. When it comes to natural learning, or unschooling, I have found most people to either understand it and believe in it, or think that it's crazy. See when this type of learning is put into practice, there is no set curriculum. Your child learns on his own and learns about the things that he/she finds interesting. As a parent, you do everything possible to provide your child with what they want to learn about. Julie starts off the book by telling us how her children did not like being forced to learn what they were "supposed" to be learning. Through a lot of prayer God led her to Christian Unschooling.

When you get to the second part of the book, the author breaks down each stage of development. She will cover teaching children under the age of 8, teaching children ages 8 to 12, and then on to teenagers. For each section Julie will give you ways to incorporate learning into your child's life. My favorite chapter was Giving Teens the Wings to Fly because I have only teenagers now. I love the examples she gives of the teenagers who invented or did great things at such a young age! My two kids left at home who homeschool are very different learners. Edyn does not like to book learn. In fact I did mostly interest led homeschooling with her. As she became a teenager and I watched her grow more  and more into the young woman she is now, I let her have a little bit of lead on her education. She has never wanted to go to college, and I am not the type of parent who would ever make her, or make her feel like she's less than if she chooses not to go. I always left the option open for her. She would say "Mom, I have no need to learn Biology. I don't care to learn it because it will not help me in any way of what I want to do." See, as she grew and learned, and I gave her a little more authority over her own education, she realized that she wanted more than anything to be a realtor. It makes total sense. It's literally the perfect job for her. I totally think God led her down this path for a reason.

Now with my son who is 13, he has decided that he wants to be either an architect or an engineer. He realizes that he will have to go to college for this, so we will make sure that he is also set on the right path for that. Unlike Edyn, he doesn't mind learning about things he may not use in real life. He is not as much of a people person as Edyn, so he will definitely not be taking the same path as she will.

I love that the book is filled to the brim with scriptures that promote Christ led learning. Julie also gives you some discussion questions at the end of each chapter so you can write down your thoughts.

Now here's how I feel about it. I loved the book and found it to be an easy read. Is unschooling or natural learning for everyone? No. I think that everyone who was called to homeschool will do what's best for their family, or even each individual child. There were so many things that I agreed with, but I have trouble letting go completely. I will definitely let my children continue to have some say so in their education. I do want to emphasize that Julie is not promoting radical unschooling. That is an entirely different movement. I think this book is well worth the money and would be a great read for anyone who is even remotely interested in natural learning.

If you are interested in reading the e-book version of God Schooling, it will be on sale for half price until August 22!

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God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

New book! Girl, Wash Your Face!

Started a new book this week, and will hopefully have time to write a review when I'm done. One chapter in and I'm hooked!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

First Day of School

Monday was our first official back to school day. This year we are using ACE curriculum! So far we love it!