Last year at our local curriculum faire I was introduced to a wonderful method of homeschooling called "Lifestyle of Learning". Something inside of me clicked! "Why haven't I heard of this? This is exactly what I have been trying to find! This is what it's called", I thought. Now, I have been in the homeschool setting my entire life. My mother taught my brother and I from birth through graduation, as well as several other children through the years. I always knew, without a doubt that I would educate our children at home.
I spent several years(before having any children of our own) teaching in a Christian school setting and taking educational classes-mostly from a worldy point of view, but practical, none-the-less. Along the way, I think my vision of what homeschooling should consist of became askew by being in a system of grades, tests, behavior issues, school politics and the like. But somehow I wanted it to be more than textbooks, tests, or even making sure my children were 10 grade levels above their age. I knew there was a way of shaping and nurturing our children in a loving, fun and still educational way. But I had no idea what that looked like or how to weave it into learning math facts or grammar rules. Then I heard Barb Shelton speak. WOW, a lifestyle of learning...what in the world does that mean??
In a nutshell its about your family, your child, their individual learning styles. Teaching to their particular bent. I'm sure you've heard it, maybe even from your pastor, that the verse in Proverbs that says "Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it" is literally meaning according to their particular bent. Train your child according to how she/he learns, what they are interested in, what excites them, moves them sparks their imagination. Most of all be HOLY SPIRIT-led.
Every day I ask the Holy Spirit where He wants me to go that day. I ask Him to fill me with everything I am going to need for that day so I can pour it back out to my children. I ask Him for peace to stay above the chaos--hey I have 3 children-- one of them is a potty-training toddler, there is an abundance of chaos going on here ;o). I ask Him what areas we need to develop in each child. I'm not talking math or handwriting, but attitudes, heart issues, the things that will last for years after they forget how to diagram a sentence. Building a foundation solidly planted in the Lord is what matters. And I love how faithful He is. Every day! Now I'm not perfect, believe me, not even close. But He is always making room for me to recover from my mistakes and sow love into my children's hearts.
For more about a Lifestyle of learning check out this article by Marilyn Howshall