Our Education Philosophy

Over the last few years GCK Home School has evolved in so many ways that it is sometimes hard to explain. 

When KM first came home from public school in December of 2007, midway through 5th grade, we were on a very "school at home" schedule. I really wanted her to be learning things that interested her, but I couldn't break away from the idea that I had in my head of what "school" and "learning" SHOULD look like. 

Each year I become more and more relaxed in our schedule and my expectations, as I dissolve idealized notions from traditional schooling. One of the biggest things that has helped to pull us away from the "school" mindset is to try to use that word as little as possible. For instance instead of saying "Did you get your schoolwork done yet?", we say "Did you get your lessons done yet?" It can be tricky and we slip every once in a while, but it is amazing how that one little word can change the meaning and intention of the question and/or concept you are trying to convey.  

Our family is very routine oriented and we tend to do best in all aspects of our lives when we stay on a pretty steady schedule, so we continue lessons year round. This also allows us to have 10 week sessions and leaves a lot of room for shuffling or adjusting schedules without feeling as though we are falling behind, getting off track or limiting what extras we can say yes to. Our schedule flows with the seasons, so we take 2 or 3 weeks off at each solstice and equinox.  If KM completes her set tasks ahead of time then she gets longer breaks. 

As I mentioned early I really want KM to be learning about things that truly interest her, so I allow her to have a loud voice in the decision making and lesson planning process. If a program is boring or really just isn't working for her, then out the window it goes! If there is an area that she really feels passionate about or is totally enthralled in, then I allot more time to be devoted to it. Therefore if I had to be pinned down to one philosophy I would say that we are very eclectic child-led learners. We have done away with all the "busy" work and really tear most programs down to the bare bones before adding games, websites, movies, field trips, projects and whatever else we can come up with to make it more exciting and engaging for her.