Our Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschool Environment for 5 Boys
Do you enjoy seeing and hearing about other homeschools? I love to “neb” (Pittsburgh-ese term for being nosy!) and discover out how others find ways in their home to provide a successful learning environment. I thought it was about time that I share how we operate (or at least try to!).
I have dubbed our homeschool as relaxed/eclectic. It’s basically a laid back approach with a medley of what works.
What Does Relaxed & Eclectic Homeschool Mean for Our Family?
I would say we are relaxed because I am very flexible in terms of how my boys learn. My #1 goal is to help my boys love to learn. I believe that means meeting them where they are and going from there. I don’t want to force them into a curriculum that just doesn’t fit for their learning styles or personalities.
Eclectic here just means that I dabble in a bit of everything! Copywork, nature studies, memorization, online learning-whatever it takes!
We are so delighted to share with our homeschool environment. What do I mean by environment? Where’s our homeschool room?
Well, we don’t have an “official” homeschool room. We like to think of our entire home as a learning environment. And I strive very hard to make it that way!
Boys are known for their energy-and my boys are no exception. Instead of bemoaning their activity level, I embrace it and use it to my advantage in our homeschool.
My boys learn best when they are able to get up and change surroundings every 20-30 minutes. They have the freedom to move about and find a change of scenery and learning area.
A Peek at Our Relaxed & Eclectic Homeschool Day
We start off every homeschool day with Morning Gathering, a special time where we gather in prayer and mini-lessons for a positive start to our learning fun. Morning Gathering typically takes place in our dining room but may also happen in our playroom or even outdoors.
After Morning Gathering, my older boys may migrate to a computer for math or grab books for reading. The younger three boys often have a storytime with me. I have found that when I give this special time to them, I get much better cooperation and much less interruption for the rest of the day for the older boys’ lessons.
Boys move in and out of learning areas, always checking in with mom. My older two boys are very good at independent work and enjoy having space. Smiley and Bear are usually right at my hips while Xman is running off to find another mess to create (although he did promise to be a helper this year.)
We pop in and out of rooms. Read alouds occur wherever I can herd the boys together. Quiet toys are allowed to keep little hands busy (and from touching each other!).
Our two main rooms for homeschooling are our dining room and kitchen. One of my boys is always hungry and I find it helpful to stay in range of these areas.
Each boy has specific books and resources to study. I may assign pages or just give them a book and we work for a set amount of time. The amount of work done on any given day will depend on the mood of our homeschool, as well as our activity schedule.
Assigned work may be given for a variety of reasons. Perhaps that child needs to spend more time on developing a skill. Or maybe that boy has an interest in a specific subject at that time. I sit down with each boy and talk about their current goals and hopes for homeschooling. With that information, I try to locate the best resource (at the best price!) to help their home education.
The overall focus of our relaxed and eclectic homeschool is to instill a love of learning. I try not to sweat the small stuff or worry over a worksheet. I have found that when I am relaxed, my boys are more engaged and open to learning.
Our Relaxed, Eclectic Homeschool Environment might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it works for us at this time. I am flexible and willing to add or eliminate when the situation calls for it. In a house full of boys, I have to be!
What type of homeschool approach do you use?