Present Parenting Education
A Personal Glimpse
This page provides links into our family's personal blog from 2013. The posts I've included here capture our home-school life with 6 children ages 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 22 months. You'll see that our home education during elementary years was/is very enhanced by public school activities before our kids join their peers full-time starting around 6th grade. I hope it's obvious that my main focus in educating my elementary age kids is to embrace childhood and appreciate each moment life brings. Yes, I teach them to read, write, and understand math. But the more experienced I became in brain science and education, the more my focus switched from trying to cram information into them all day long to instead figuring out how to minimize academic rigor so my children could feel free to explore, create, and think for themselves as much as possible.
In general, I find that an hour or less of simple academic time is plenty for kids ages 6-8--and I usually break that up into a few 15-20 minute sessions that feel more fun than hard. And no more than 2 hours of expected focused time a day is enough for ages 9-12. Once puberty hits, 3+ hours of sit-down academic rigor is beneficial as long the child still feels empowered by the direction of the learning. My job as a teacher was--and still is--to be familiar with basic educational steps and then to be in tune enough to each child to discern the most important steps to fit into those short, individual academic time slots. I also find it important to help balance technology time to ensure that devices are used to enlighten rather than numb their minds.
So then what do we do with so many hours of "free" time? Click around below to see a glimpse. We've had a lot of FUN over the years!
In 2020 I'm still very pleased with this plan. I've witnessed brain development in lots of wonderful directions. My oldest two have both been accepted to a major university after having very successful careers at our local public high school. And the younger ones are very self-motivated and successful at each of their various stages of current learning.
I should also note that each of my children have a different learning personality. Each personality is unique with both weaknesses and strengths. Reading and spelling have been a sensitive struggle for some of our kids and not at all for others. High test scores have come very naturally for some and not for others. History or science is a joy for some and a bore for others. Social success seems easy for some, but takes practice for others. Regardless of the personality, I've been grateful for our simple plan of carefully minimizing the "required" academic learning so that each of their brains felt intrinsically inspired to keep growing at a unique pace.