The following is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Raising Cajuns.
In our house, we have a wide variety of interests that changes pretty regularly, so our eclectic homeschooling style changes with us. To understand what we do and how we do it, you probably need to know a little about me and my family. Here’s a list of ten things you should know about me:
1. I’m a DIY, “from scratch” kind of girl.
My homeschooling budget consists mainly of money for paper, printer ink, craft/art supplies, and gas to get us to the library.
2. I like to wing it.
I have trouble following directions, especially those found in teacher guides. This is another reason I don’t invest in expensive guides.
3. I like change.
As a kid, I used to hide in my room and rearrange all of my furniture. Now, instead of moving furniture, I change materials and methods. It keeps life fresh and interesting for all of us. Sometimes it gives me a bit of whiplash and a headache, but I think it’s worth it.
4. I’m an introvert; I crave quiet and calm.
Both are hard to come by in this house, and homeschooling when you have noise sensitivities can be downright painful. Coffee, Yogi teas, and super dark chocolate are the only things that keep me sane some days.
5. I follow the rhythm of the seasons: spring, summer, football, gumbo.
This means that we do football team geography units, and we spend springtime outside digging in the dirt. I plan our homeschooling activities around our natural inclinations. More snuggling, reading, and book work in the winter, and more flexible time for field trips and outdoor activities in the spring and fall.
6. I don’t like to leave the house.
This is partly because of #4, but I also like to be home so we don’t feel rushed to get work done. I try to combine errands with lessons or group excursions, and I try to spend at least two full weekdays (usually Tuesday and Thursday) at home. This allows me time to relax and get housework, writing work, and school work done and breathe in between. Breathing is important.
7. We watch television.
We limit electronics, but I do watch television with my kids. They have learned valuable lessons, and not just from science shows and history documentaries. Through our television watching conversations, my children have learned why I hate when people say they “gave 110 percent,” and they have learned to always read the fine print.
8. I’m a writer, and I met my husband in music school.
What happens when a writer and musician homeschool? Probably not what you think. We value the arts, but our kids aren’t enrolled in music lessons and I don’t formally teach grammar. We want them to have a natural love of the arts, so we let them tinker on the piano and scribble stories while they’re little.
9. I have a garden and a sewing machine, and I know how to use them.
I couldn’t say that a few years ago. Thanks to homeschooling and the opportunities and inspiration it has provided, I can now whip up a skirt or a homegrown salad on my own.
10. I am a Ragin’ Cajun.
I have swamp water in my blood. This means I’m fiery and have a strong spirit of self-reliance. I jump in with both feet, whether I’m trying out a new hobby or changing our lives completely around to homeschool our children. It also means you (no matter who you are) are always welcome in my home for a strong pot of coffee and a big bowl of whatever’s on the stove.
Michelle is a wife, mother, writer, and Cajun who prefers everything extra spicy. She writes about their homeschool adventures at Raising Cajuns.