Guest Blogger: Elizabeth des Roches
Blog: Handwork Homeschool
My good friend Sally, here at Fairy Dust Teaching, asked me if I’d like to share a bit about my homeschool & life in France. “Sure”, I said, “why not?”
Today, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into our time at home – learning, creating & making.
Who are we?
We’re Canadians, who decided 3 years ago, to sell our city house and most of our belongings, buy a glorious old house in the French countryside, pack up the kids and live on the wild-side! We have 5 children, 3 grown adults & the younger set, who are 5 & 9 years old. Andrew & Arabella have been homeschooled their entire lives.
Our Wild Waldorf Ways
I say wild, not because the kids swing from the trees during their lessons (well, not usually!), or spend their days in their PJs (they’re usually dressed at some point) but because I pick from the many Waldorf theories & techniques that make sense to me, mix them in with a bit of Reggio & add a dash of my own style. I call it “Worldschooling”.
I do make plans for the year, design lesson blocks, gather books & resources, gather the children for a circle-time & teach Andrew a main lesson 4 days a week. I have been known to “forget” about wet-on-wet painting for weeks on end, build entire lessons around handwork & use cranes, diggers, princesses & fairies as teaching tools.
Our homeschool is inspected once a year by a state inspector and the interview is conducted entirely in French (I can speak fairly well but I still worry that I’ve said something totally nuts by mistake!)
The kids are picking up the language through daily interactions with friends (old & young) and by being totally surrounded by it! Our tri-lingual babysitter comes once a week to hang out with them and ensure that they end up with great accents!
My kids are lively, engaged & learning in leaps & bounds. My son (9) has 5 minutes a day to spend wandering around virtual construction sites online & other than that, they never look at a screen. They don’t miss electronic media one bit. They are too busy telling their own stories, drawing their own pictures & making their own things.
We are restoring our house, bit-by-bit. My husband does most of the construction work, I tell him what to do (ha ha!) and the kids help when they’re needed (or they want to)! We are with each other almost all the time as my husband works from home. Our days are always busy.
Next week, come & explore Our Secret Garden (see the pond, river, bridge, ancient stone ruin, old orchard & new veggie garden). Until then – have a happy week!