Homeschooling on our homestead.

“The teacher’s desire is to so feed her students and whet their apetities that they will naturally value books and come to feed themselves… we, like Charlotte Mason, wish to have children take their places in the world at their best, with every capacity of good in them developed into a power. Children have a vast and rich intellectual and spiritual inheritance to draw upon for their present and future. Living books and ideas; a brood curriculum filled with the realities of truth, goodness, and beauty; and a constellation of natural relationship will put them in touch with this inheritance. What they will become we do not know – but we have hope that they will become all God has planned them to be, whether parent, artist, factory worker, business owner, doctor, lawyer, or teacher. We hope this because the ‘who’ of children is secure – all we need do is to place them in a large room spread with an abundant feast of learning.”

– Jack Beckman

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at the very bottom of this post you will find a video – it is actually a recorded talk i gave (just in vimeo format for ease of listening here) at the wild and free homeschooling conference held in portland, oregon last month. i have had many people over the years ask about why and how we homeschool and i feel like this talk will explain a lot of that. and for the parents that don’t homeschool, i still encourage you to listen! so much of what i talk about is purely our genuine desire to ignite a curiosity and love of learning in our children, an appreciation and respect for nature and the importance of nurturing their individual gifts through intentional decisions in the everyday. so after you look through these images, and when you have 35 minutes to relax and listen, the video will be waiting for you.

these photographs are the documentation of my very favorite week that i can remember, the second week of april. the apple blossoms had just begun to bloom on our trees, we were preparing our garden for planting, the dandelions were thick in the tall green grass, and everywhere we looked, the earth was ripe with the fresh beauty of spring.

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“If we want our children to stay hungry for knowledge, remain interested in questioning, enjoy the wonder of discovery, then we must leave them some clutter-free hours for friendship, the great out-of-doors, the rich world of imagination and the satisfaction of the skilled use of art supplies, music, dance, wood and clay.”

– Elaine Cooper

 

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“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”

― G.K. Chesterton

 

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“Together teacher and child are under a higher authority. The child should not be asked to be good to please a parent or teacher. Children and the adults both must choose to obey God. Both are learning to be better people, and both children and adults are interested in learning from books, nature, art, music. Ideas are discussed. Thought is important. Children have amazing ideas and grow in proper self-esteem as they are listened to and allowed to be themselves. Too many of us treat education as a competition, with some idea of success as the objective. The approach is bad for the winners and bad for the losers, who only see themselves more or less as failures. Such a narrow focus ignores children’s strong points, their gifts.”

– Susan Schaeffer Macaulay

 

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you will find the talk i gave on homeschooling below! my husband and i made the decision to begin homeschooling our children while we were living on the road two years ago. we were not in one place long enough to enroll them in traditional school and felt that adventure had sparked a flame for learning in our children. they journaled and gained knowledge in the roots of nature… yellowstone national park, the grand teton mountains, the redwood forest. we thought we may consider a waldorf style education once we settled but we had fallen in love with homeschooling. our family bond has been strengthened, our children have flourished, and we have truly seen the benefits of being able to cater our style of teaching toward the individual gifts of each child and the way that each learn best. we follow the charlotte mason classically-based principles of education and use amblesideonline.org curriculum. we do not know what the future holds, of course, but as long as homeschooling seems to be the most beneficial choice for needs of the children and for our family, we hope to continue on throughout their education.

click play below for my wild & free conference recording…

Joy Prouty – Homeschooling Talk: WILD & FREE from joy prouty on Vimeo.

Posted in Children, Favorite Sessions, our family adventures | 12 Comments

Harvest Session: The Wharem Family

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this harvest session is the documentation of a day in with the wharem family: chris, lexi, lucy and iris. the letter above was written by lexi’s mother to her own mother on christmas 1981, when lexi was two years old. it was written as a ‘thank you for life’ gift all those 34 years ago. it resurfaced again when lexi’s grandfather found it in his wife’s wallet when she died, obviously always kept very close to her heart. an excerpt from nancy’s letter…

“So when your time on earth has ended know this: life greater than your spirit alone shall live on, and the world will be still a better place because you have lived. My children are my gift to you for they will carry on the love obtained and shared by your mother and hers before, and so you have given me great purpose in this life.”

the full letter is one of the most heartfelt pieces of love i have ever read. when lexi sent me the letter and images she told me this, “it embodies how i feel about my own mother, such a full circle feeling when i read it to know that she has in turn passed down that same love to me, and now it will be a gift given to my own girls.”

and she has. that love lives on in every smile she shares with her babes, every twirl in the kitchen in the afternoon sun, every stroke of paint on the kitchen table, the guiding of sewing first stitches for little fingers and kisses in the hallway from her husband with their girls watching on; every moment of joy, struggle, hope and pressing on in the beautiful mundane.

i visited them last month for a full day at their home in lake wales, florida… the town where lexi grew up running beneath the live oak trees with her grandmother, swimming in the lakes beneath the beating sun every summer and where i watched a legacy of intentional gratitude carry on.

“Your light shines on and on and knowing you have allowed yourself to be a vessel of God’s love has given immense reverence to me, to have been born of your womb. My gift to God, and consequently to you, mother, is to keep that light shining and flowing in the truth and honor of your love.” – Nancy

 

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Posted in * Family Sessions, Harvest Sessions | 10 Comments

wildflower. mother. wife. believer. artist. farmer. writer. dreamer.

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