Interest-Led Learning with Structure: Our Children’s Involvement In Their Home Education

It’s that time of year again, time to decide what our we will be learning in the upcoming homeschool year. This is our fifth year homeschooling.  We have attempted many different approaches to how we homeschool. We have been very structured (that lasted about a week), we deschooled, unschooled, and finally found our groove as relaxed eclectic homeschoolers.

In our home learning I don’t call all of the shots, our children are very involved in what they learn.  You see, I have three children who are very different and alike in many ways.  Each have their own interests and learn in their own unique ways and it is my job as a mama to cater to each of them individually.  Boxed curricula is not for us.  At all.

Interest-let Learning With Structure

I base our home learning on what each child is interested in and let them decide how they would like to learn about different topics.  From their interests and desires I create a plan.  I suppose you could even call it a lesson plan.  I do not plan out a full year at a time, I have tried that and it simply does not work for us and ends up being an absolute waste of time.  I tend to plan around six weeks in advance, this year I am aiming for twelve.

So that is how we do it, relaxed eclectic homeschooling based on  interest-led learning with structure.

We use different learning resources, we mix and match and often make up our own.  Some are easy decisions and require little from me.

Example: For Math we recently switched to Teaching Textbooks, they both really enjoy it and it works so that is a done deal.

If we cannot find something that will work for us I create a plan that will meet our needs.

Example:  When Alex first began learning about American History I could not find anything that met our needs so I created a learning plan myself using several different resources.

The biggest focus in our homeschool experience is the desire to learn and enjoying it along the way.  It is so exciting when I see them wanting to learn, I don’t want to damage that incredible desire.  I often ask our children if they are happy with how we learn at home and if there are any changes that they would like to make.  If they want changes we make them.  I respect them.  I understand that their education is a huge decision for all of us but especially for them.  How can I not allow them to be the biggest part of their learning experience?

The end goal for me is that they know how to learn, then the sky is the limit for them.

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