I'm often asked what kind of homeschoolers we are. It seems like everything has to have a label these days. So I guess this applies to homeschooling as well as everything else. I would totally be an unschooler if it were up to me. But we have this other person, you know, the one called Dad, who does not believe in unschooling. I've looked at Classical Homeschooling, but I don't think that is my style. I finally decided that we are Eclectic Homeschoolers. We have used Time4Learning.com for our core curriculum. It covers all the basic subjects. It's very easy to use. My son loves the fact that a lot of the lessons are like playing video games. Which, you know, every eight year old loves. But we also add other things as well. We spend a lot of time at historical sites like Historic Speedwell, Miller's Grist Mill, and Fosterfields Living History Farm. We also spend a lot of time at Beczak Environmental Education Center and the Tenefly Nature Center. Then we throw in a monthly play at the Mayo Center For the Performing Arts. So yes, I think Eclectic would be a good label for us. I like the way that sounds.
Whatever our style of homeschooling is, I know we could not do it without the support of our homeschool community. So many of the groups in this area seem to have a religious based. That makes it hard for those of us who do not want to include religion in our homeschooling life. We have been priviledged to find a few great support groups that are secular in nature. We are proud members of Butterflies In The Wind, NJ Homeschool Hangout, and Gecko. They are all very accepting of who we are. They are open to all religions, races, and sexual orientation. We have also been so fortunate to find homeschool support groups that include kids that are extremely gifted, kids who some would consider "normal", and kids with different learning abilities.
One of the support groups that we are members of, actually I am the founder of is Butterflies in the Wind. This group was started based on a poem I found which to me sums up what I'm trying to say here today.
A Child is like a butterfly in the wind.
Some can fly higher than others.
But each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one against the other.
Each one is different.
Each one is special.
Each one is beautiful.
As you start this new year of homeschooling, may you and your children fly the best you can.