I recently answered this question over at The Homeschool Lounge.  Thought it would be good to post it here too.

Question:  How do you decide what to have your children learn? What does relaxed mean to you?  Has the definition changed as your children have grown older? Easier to be relaxed when they are 5 than when they are 15?

 

My Answer:

Relaxed to me means that we aren’t pushed into a mould, that we aren’t rushed to perform and that we aren’t copying someone else’s model.  We may glean from other models but we are free to take on what suits our family.

 

How do I decide what my children learn?

We have written a  scope and sequence that covers their whole life development.  At the beginning of the year, or whenever I feel things are lagging, I review these aspects and consider the gaps or opportunities that I can see in each child’s life.  I then plan towards finding resources to help in that area.

 

Just to give you a brief overview of that scope and sequence:

Relationships – God and Man

Responsibilities

Intrapersonal – personal skills

Talents

Academics – Basic skills

Academics – General Knowledge  (History, Science, Geography)

 

The scope and sequence link gives more details of what gets studied under each category.  Many of these topics happen during everyday life.  Recognising these has been an aspect of us becoming relaxed homeschoolers.

 

I probably prefer the term discipleship homeshooler though that is not as widely understood or recognized as Relaxed HS.  The definition has changed for me as my desire to disciple rather than educate has become clearer and stronger.  

 

I had a “freak out” moment when my son reached 8.  I suddenly realized that this was serious and that I had to buckle down and do this properly.  I remember saying, “No more sandpit time for him during school time!”  This lasted for about 1 month.  Then I set about to discover if we could have a relationship based approach, a living life approach with the older children.  We are still conscientious over studies but not at the cost of our family life, or relationships.  Is it easier older or younger?  I think once you’ve made the switch in your own understanding of what and why of being relaxed/discipleship then it is the same – looks different (15yo Josh no longer plays in the sandpit! LOL) but the famiy dynamics are the same.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

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An Alternative to Chocolate

An Alternative to Chocolate

Not that I have anything against chocolate - but these jelly beans can help your kids share the message of Jesus, his love, death and resurrection at Easter time.  

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Parent Guide: How to make your Family Bible Study Really Work

Family Bible Study is Tricky with all the Different Ages

 

But there is a way to make this a rich learning and bonding family time.  This Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts.  

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Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

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A quick reference to help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill for when your child loses it!

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Three things for parents to pray for in the Moment.

Make God your First Response

Print out this parenting reminder to call out to God in the middle of the moment.

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Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

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Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

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Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

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When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

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When family relationships get tense - look for the niggles.

Heart Focused Parenting Resource for the Intentional Parent

 

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Hearts: Heart focus homeschool

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Find ways to Re-engage your Student

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This worksheet will help you move from addressing behaviour to really parenting the heart, one issue at a time.

 

 

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Personal growth starts with an honest assessment

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Give Effective Consequences

Think before you React

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One Another Verses

Be Intentional in the Teen Years

Use this Cheat Sheet to remind you of how you can love your teen.

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Devotion Response Kit cover

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5 prompts to encourage the heart of your child as they learn to respond to God's Word

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Prepare a Heart focused Christmas

 

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Blending Life and Lessons - and start your journey of changing your thinking about education.

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Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download: One Another Verses pdf

Download this list of One Another verses and teach your children how to love others.

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Raising Kids with Character

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A bonus for Heart Booster readers:  Learn how to teach character to your kids so that they can live their lives making values-based choices.

 

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Connecting everyday living with the Word of God

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Bonus Reading list

 

Sharing my Homeschool Belief File

Knowing what you believe and why about education and homeschooling helps you make good decisions.

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