I believe homeschooling should have as is central educational goal to enkindle in a child the love of learning. There are of course faith, spiritual, moral, and other important goals but I am speaking specifically about this part of our homeschooling plan.
For me using the Charlotte Mason philosophy is a perfect fit, and truly the best means I could imagine for living a homeschool life.
It is characterized by three words: Atmosphere, Life, Discipline. What could be better than living in a beautiful well run home, where we live life in pursuit of the real good things - faith, love, hope, friendship, peace, joy, introspection and self examination and constant interaction with nature and our community? A life filled with good books, music, art and children?
It really is a simple life that does not happen without planning, sacrifice and lots of tweaking.
I love books. I love to read and to learn. My children see more tearing through books, devouring them really every week. All the children would mark reading as a favorite pass time. As much as we love reading we love discussion equally. We love to debate and relate ideas, stories, songs, jokes, politics, faith, the world.
This is a thinking home. I do not use "texty" books, I do not believe in taking a fascinating subject and having every ounce of wonder removed, then forcing a child to chew on it like a piece of gum, until what little flavor it had is gone. Is it any wonder they want to stick it in their hair?
The textbooks we do use for Math and Science are not your momma's texts. They are narrative, living books by passionate people, in an enlightening, creative, engaging way. I do not use formal grammar until High School until then we narrate, dictate, and speak well.
Art is everyday. Nature is everyday. Responsibility, Faith and Character Formation is everyday in the course of our life. The rest of life is simply lived for the joy of living it.
It feels good in this life, in this home, and in this way of living and schooling.
Perhaps not everyone feels comfortable in this method? That's okay. If what you are doing is really working for you and for your children, press on.
But if not, I would encourage to re-examine the goals. Why are you homeschooling? What do you hope to accomplish? Are the goals purely career, academic, with a side of life or are you thinking about a good life, and how to help your child discover her passion?
How do you help them find it? If you think you find it, how do you light it?