In some ways, it could be easy to think that homeschoolers are already a tribe unto themselves, a ready-made group of like-minded people.
Now that we’re well into the 21st century, and computers touch almost every part of our lives, it would be easy to think that the most relevant skills.
When we set out to create an issue around the topic of siblings, we knew we wanted to acknowledge the inherent chaos and messiness of life with children, not just an idealized version. In this issue, you’ll find ideas for including your youngest family members in your homeschooling day (“Littlest Learners”) and how to provide peer interactions for families who are raising only children (“Power of Peeps and Peers”). Our article on bullying (“Leader or Bully—A Look at Parenting Power”) may provoke some thoughtful introspection. As parents, we may find ourselves slipping into habits that go against our vision for productive, supportive parenting, and, as with everything we do, young eyes are watching and taking note. In “Seeing the Soul” (an excerpt from The Heart of Learning), Oak Meadow’s cofounder, Lawrence Williams, explains an exceptionally helpful mindfulness practice that can help us see past difficult behaviors and into the heart of our children.
We’ve spent a lot of time at Oak Meadow in the past year considering what makes our curriculum and school unique, and a phrase that kept popping up was organic learning. This captures the essence of OM’s natural style of learning: a combination of nature-based lessons and environmental stewardship, awareness of the developing child’s needs and abilities, and the integration of subjects into a relevant and meaningful whole. For homeschooling families, organic learning also encompasses a style of parenting that flows along similar lines, weaving life and learning together naturally. In this issue of Living Education, you’ll see how this concept plays out in real life.
Many decisions go into creating a successful homeschooling lifestyle, and we wanted to explore how families rearrange their lives to make this happen. So we asked: How does homeschooling impact your financial priorities? How do you raise a thriving family on a single income? What is your definition of wealth and prosperity? The answers were inspiring, enlightening, and encouraging. For decades, Oak Meadow has been committed to providing homeschooling resources and support, many of which are free, such as educational counseling, curriculum support, information and helpful links on our Facebook and blogs; grade overviews for use in homeschooling letters of intent and year-end reporting; and this free educational journal, Living Education. Many homeschoolers have a DIY mindset, for reasons that may have started out financial but often spread far beyond economics into the realm of environmental sustainability, intentional living, and a love for handcrafts made with loving care. We support this mindset and celebrate it! In this issue, you'll find stories of how families (including OM staffers) make homeschooling an economic priority and what you can do to create an economy of happiness in your life. We'll look at financial fitness and teaching financial literacy. Each article is filled with practical ideas that we hope you'll find useful. And don't forget to check out OM News for some exciting new developments. Sit back and enjoy this issue of Living Education, and please let us know what you think.
Literature opens doors to the world around us as well as to worlds inside our hearts and minds. In this issue of Living Education, we bring you articles, resources, crafts, and activities that we hope will enhance your learning and enjoyment of literature. Happy reading!