Friday, February 19, 2010

math and more on our
homeschooling philosophy

Doing math naturally, as it relates to real life (If you buy paper, will there be enough money left over to buy crayons?), and just for fun (like playing school) has really paid off.

When I first began homeschooling, I was kind of nervous about teaching math, since at that time I thought the only way people learned anything was if they were taught. It wasn't that I didn't think I could teach math, but more of a practical concern, like, how can I do this without fighting the children on it?

Until recently, math just didn't appeal to Zoe. In the beginning I tried to push it a few times, but it felt wrong so I stopped. Then I read, The Call to Brilliance. This book didn't convince me of anything I didn't agree with, it simply gave me the confidence to stop worrying. It reminded me that children want to learn, that they learn to talk, crawl, walk, and feed themselves without being "taught" how. Like the principle I admired in, A Charlotte Mason Education, says: Children learn by example.

Learning by example is a concept that set me free. Zoe has been homeschooled since kindergarden, and without much structure from me she has learned to read and write. She has learned about history, science, culture and yes, even math, through a lifestyle that appreciates a thirst for playing and learning.

We don't sit down at 8AM every day and open a textbook or follow a school (or homeschool) curriculum. One of my dear friends, Amanda, introduced me to the term, Delight-Driven, a long time ago. This is my favorite of all the homeschooling style labels, if it even is one (perhaps you can't find it written anywhere). Delight-Driven. I love it.

This is why it came to be that on Monday of this week Zoe was playing school with her friend who is two years older than her, and is now doing these big math problems. As you can see from Zoe's notebook above, Abi, who is also our neighbor, and whom we adore, showed Zoe some math. Apparently, at this time, Zoe was ready for it. Tuesday morning Zoe showed me her notebook, and (because I could hardly believe my eyes) we did some more problems together for fun. Wow.

I have no doubt that Zoe and Ashley will keep amazing me by the things they learn on their own—with my guidance—not imposition. We keep busy delighting in the joy of living and learning in a way that we believe in. And it seems to be working ;-)


  1. I love this post Kelly! Delight Driven learning is fun for the kids and mom!

  2. Thanks Cathy! Is that an actual term? lol I googled it and just found my friend who told me about it using it on her blog :-)