Friday, August 9, 2013

What this is all about

OK, so I just wanted to post a quick something about what this is all about. I am a home school mom who also has a family that loves to camp. That's why it's "Homeschool Camper". Last year we were full time campers, which for those of you who aren't familiar with that it means that for nine months we traveled and camped all over with the entire family. When you're a full time camper you have to stay organized, and if you home school on top of it you are very picky about what you bring into your "home" for curriculum. Not only does it need to be quality curriculum but it also needs to take up as little space as possible and that each new item you think of bringing in has a place to go. We used a couple different methods last year including online schooling.
Now we spend less time worrying about space *(We've bought a four bedroom home and are only camping for fun right now) and more time thinking about how to incorporate "school" space into our "home" space. This is a little trickier than one would think. Each of the three kids has their own room, but if you load children's bedrooms with school things then there's no personal space. Likewise if you load up the living room or dining room with school there is no living space. Our solutions? Well, they're pretty mixed.
The Eldest Cracker Jack (11) has a small alcove in his room with a built in desk, this is his "school" area and since his room is a very good size and the alcove is unobtrusive this works for him striking a good balance and enabling him to work on his own with the methods that work best for him with his ADHD.
The Younger Cracker Jack (8) works at the dining room table, most of her books are stored in some built in drawers in the dining room although the ones she "reads" for her book reports are in her room - this works well with her as she needs mom's attention for at least half of her work and quiet to read so that she can practice the techniques she's learned to deal with her dyslexia.
As for Peanut (4) she works in the dining room or her room or the living room, just about anywhere she feels like it. Her books are in the drawer next to her sister's but she's not able to concentrate long enough to stay in one spot right now, so we shift spots a lot to make things more interesting for her. She also is legally blind, has Early Childhood Developmental Delay, speech problems, and is currently being tested and evaluated for Autism.
Most of our lessons are done in the dining room (the Eldest Cracker Jack gets his lesson plan and heads off into his room after we do our morning binders). On nice days there's an art station set up on the screened in front porch and the kids can go out there and work on a project or even do some lessons if they want. The older two have "home economic" lessons in the kitchen and make us all lunch a few times a week.
We're just like other families, except instead of the children leaving the home for their formal educations they get it at home. What's that you say? What about socialization? Well, we go to church, visit family and friends, they're going to catechism this fall, and doing swimming lessons this year. They socialize every day with everyone they come in contact with, they've learned manners and are usually polite, and they're much more comfortable now than when they were being bullied in public school.
We don't claim we have the only idea, or that if you don't home school your not doing the best thing by your children. But we do say that this works for our family and many other homeschooling families throughout the world. You can home school for free (or nearly) or you can spend giant gobs of money on it. You can unschool, school-at-home, and many other styles and still call yourself a homeschooler. And whether you send your kids to public school, charter schools, private schools, or home school them all of us want what's best for our children - all of us want the best education we can give them. Our children were given to us by God as a gift to cherish and love, nurture and teach - and each and every one of us know deep inside what is best for our children and what He wants us to do.
So this is a blog talking about our journeys through life. What we do in our personal life and what we do in our homeschooling life. Where we go camping and what we learn while we're there. And I hope that even if you don't home school that something, sometime, somewhere on this blog you'll find something that helps you in your life - an organizational tip, a tip on helping your child through a hard lesson (life or school), a recipe, or just the knowledge that there are other families out there just like you in the fact that you love your child and want what's best for them.

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