I'm in a season of learning.
As homeschoolers we place a high value on lifelong learning. In fact, it's one of our family's core values. Not only do Damien and I make time for our own learning because we want to grow, but we do this to model for our children what a lifetime of learning looks like. It's looks just like it sounds. We never stop learning. We never stop applying ourselves to study.
Study does not look like what it did when we were in school, cramming for exams, reading textbooks, and writing papers. Nowadays it looks like lots of reading (Damien does most of his online), accessing online courses and tutorials in audio and video formats, applying ideas to our life, and discussing with family and other people what we're learning. That's what I do here at FIMBY - the "discussing" part. Writing this blog is part of my learning.
Even though we're learning all the time there are seasons in our busy lives as "grown-ups" that are more conducive to study. I'm in one of those seasons. I make time most every day for intentional study. I am able to do this because of our lifestyle and my children's ages and growing independence.
I'm studying for my own purposes - the things I want to learn. I'm studying to set an example for our growing children. And I'm studying to actually keep up with their homeschool curriculum (remember I define curriculum as the whole picture, not a set package of materials we use to teach a subject).
In case you think I'm hunched over textbooks, I'm not. Like I said above, study looks like reading, watching, listening, exploring, discussing, and writing at the edge of my growth curve. Funny, that's what my children's study looks like also, with not so much writing (that's a skill that takes years to develop).
In the coming weeks I will be sharing a post with some of the books I'm into these days. I'm learning about Eastern Europe; what a fascinating area of the world. I just finished a classic on faith and beauty in the midst of hardship and persecution. And I'm processing the life lessons we learn from Jean Valjean and Bishop Myriel and more. I'm so jazzed about what I'm learning right now.
This is what self-directed learning should feel like - exciting. (Homeschooling hint: that's how it should feel for your kids also).
But I'm getting ahead of myself because what I want to share with you today are some online resources and courses I'm participating in or that we use in our homeschool. And some others that I'm not able to participate in right now but love the premise and message (and feel they are worth sharing here).
In no particular order:
Parlez vous français? (Do you speak French?) I don't, but I'm learning. This fall Céline and have started online French lessons, supplemented of course with our everyday involvement in a francophone community. We live in a French culture and part of moving here was the motivation to learn a second language. I will share more of why we are using this program vs. others in my forthcoming homeschool curriculum post.
As part of my application and practice I may be slipping in some French in my blogging, perhaps in comments with francophone readers. Any takers?
Heather's online workshop starts next Monday. I am contributing a new piece on Kids in the Kitchen and Heather will be re-running previous articles of mine: One Pot Wonders and How to Start a Food Buying Club. But there is so much more to this workshop than just my contributions, of course (in fact mine are just a drop in the bucket of all the good stuff Heather offers).
Who knew? Well, lots of people know and if you don't, I'm here to spread the word about this fabulous resource! Yes, it's worthy of an exclamation.
It's been a while since I've visited Khan Academy since it wasn't a good fit for our children when they were younger. But now, well, now it's a different story. Khan Academy is a major piece this fall for Céline's curriculum. (Laurent and Brienne don't use this resource right now). Khan Academy is the democratization of education - high quality, free, instruction accessible to anyone. Truly, it is possible for homeschoolers to provide their children a world class education (not just with Khan, but with everything else that is available to us these days). I get so excited about that.
This is a new generation of homeschooling. This is not about isolating our children for religious or other reasons and then eeking out an "education" with mail order textbooks. This is about knowing our children - their strengths and challenges, building a world class education around our children's interests and their mission (building an education around our own interests and mission!), and having access to amazing resources to support this learning. Can you tell this stuff excites me!!
Ok, I'll calm down now (maybe).
I am a huge fan of the Leadership Education model and philosophy. We incorporate many of these principles in our homeschool. But I've been kind of stuck at how exactly to mentor our students. Which is why I would so love to take this course by Oliver DeMille.
Unfortunately there is only so much I can be actively studying at one time and my fall learning plate was full before I heard about this. I am passing this time but planning to take this in the future, if it's offered again. This course is on my "someday-soon" list.
I love Lisa's work (I'm an affiliate for this reason). Her free teleclass Clear Up the Hormone Confusion and this blog post on PMS prompted me to contact Lisa to ask for some resource recommendations. Specifically, I want to better understand what's happening in my body (physically, emotionally and spiritually) during my monthly cycle. I've wanted to learn more about this for over a year now.
I enjoy excellent health and vitality so I don't need a course to help me prioritize my health or cope better with stress. I'm actually on top of those areas in my life. But what I want to understand better is how to really follow and honor the natural rhythm of our feminine cycle. I want to tune in more to this part of myself. Lisa invited me to join the course and I'm really looking forward to learning more about my body and also teaching that to my girls.
If you want to sign up for this course, don't delay. It starts Monday. (October seems to be a popular month to start courses.)
Speaking of tuning in - how about tuning into your family life? My friend Erin Goodman is offering a fall session of her Pay What You Can (isn't that fabulous) Family Re-Charge. I love supporting courses that are meant strengthen family life and relationships.
Just a quick note about how I make time for digital teaching.
I love the flexibility of online courses. Instead of listening to the radio (or some other media) while cooking this is a great time for me to listen to audio or video teaching. Not every day of course, as sometimes I'm teaching my kids how to cook while in the kitchen.
Alternately, you can download mp3 audio files and listen while driving or doing other tasks. Most video teaching does not require me to watch the speaker, they're just communicating ideas. Then I can work in other aspects of the teaching - journaling, reading, etc. into my afternoon reading time (if I so choose).