Sharing ideas, teaching tips and resources for the homeschool journey.
When I first heard about homeschooling nearly 18 years ago I thought it was a crazy idea. Why would you homeschool when there were so many perfectly good schools! However the idea grew on me and by the time my first child was ready to go to school my husband and I were fully convinced that homeschooling was for us.
I’ve now been homeschooling for thirteen years, and that once little homeschool boy is now an adult at university. My other three children are still home educated doing highschool studies.
Over the years my style of homeschooling has changed. I initially had a very school at home approach using workbooks and textbooks. I was always worried I wasn’t teaching enough to my kids. After a few years I was burnt out. I dabbled with school for two of my children. Sending my kids to school was actually the turning point in my homeschool.
Whilst they were in school for a term I regained my strength and looked for ways to make homeschooling work. I knew if I wanted homeschooling to be successful then I needed a new approach. It was at this time that a friend introduced me to the teachings of Charlotte Mason and a Living Book approach to education.
I brought my kids back home and switched my teaching style from a very school type approach and began to implement the Charlotte Mason method and use good literature as the backbone to my children’s homeschool education. I can’t tell you how much the new approach breathed life into me and my homeschool. I chilled out. I replaced a lot of the desk work with reading aloud on the couch with little ones on my lap or playing at my feet. I began to enjoy homeschooling!
I learnt over the next few years how to teach my children. Much of my help came from studying the methods of Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick. These experienced educators showed me “how it do it”.
When I started homeschooling there were a handful of resources that complemented a Charlotte Mason and a living book approach but none of them were Australian. When I used them for my Aussie kids I found I often needed to tweak the curriculum to include Australian content.
Over coffee one day back in 2006 my friend Margaret Taylor and I were discussing the great lack of homeschooling material written for homeschooling in Australia. Many of the living books, with Australian content, that we wanted to use and recommend to friends, were out of print. We decided somebody needed to do something about it, and we decided it might as well be us. Our first project was the Downunder Copywork Series. We then organised a republication of The Wonderland of Nature and wrote The Wonderland of Nature Journal and Nature Journaling with Kids. What started as an afternoon tea hobby quickly expanded into Homeschooling Downunder, which I (Michelle) now run with the assistance of Ken my husband and our four children.
Homeschooling Downunder is the combination of our homeschooling publishing business and this homeschooling advice website. Our desire is to provide homeschooling families with quality homeschooling resources. While many of our products have a "downunder flavour", some have universal appeal.
We are a Christian family and our products support a Christian homeschooling education, but our resources are basically secular in nature. You will find reference to God in our literature in context with our Christian heritage as a nation and you will also find some references to the theory of evolution in The Wonderland of Nature. You as the teacher can choose how these ideas are presented to your student.
To ensure you get the products we made the decision to provide many of our resources as ebooks. We know that you might want to pass these great homeschool resources on to your friends for free to save them money. We ask that you do not. Please refer them to us instead. We want to serve homeschooling families with our teaching tips, free downloads and products for sale.
To find out more about our homeschooling journey visit my blog.