Hodge podge method, you ask? I believe the technical term would be eclectic, but in my humble opinion, the words hodge podge rolls of the tongue with a zing.
We do use textbooks, but we never finish them all. Gasp! I certainly do not remember finishing a textbook in my public school career! And we school year around! Double gasp! Have no fear, dear reader, I have a few tricks up my sleeve! If my daughter finds a lesson exciting and wanting to learn more, we hit the internet and research. Sometimes we may find a documentary to watch on tv or Netflix, go to a museum, or the local library to gather more information. The possibilities are indeed endless.
Our house history is a prime example of our hodge podge method. Not only did she and I both learn about our home, but how to research through the archives. This lesson was used as a lap book. We made a booklet of our findings with my book binder and laminating machine. Since learning about genealogy research, we have made a couple of genealogy books for family members. If you do not own a book binder or laminator, check around your area, you may have a “make and take” educational co-op, where teachers go to make items for their classrooms. We have one nearby for public use and the prices are very reasonable.
Visiting parks and museums can be such a fun and hands on way of learning. We have several museums and state parks in our area we visit frequently. We are on a first name basis with at least 2 state parks. (Oh, yeah, we visit very frequently) Also, check with your state parks to see if they offer classes. We have been to a soap making class and a dutch oven cooking class. One park even had a Trial by Jury Dinner Party. We got to participate and act out a trial from the late 1880’s and had a wonderful time. Crochet, knitting, canning and preserving, tatting, and genealogy are just a few classes that are offered at the Powhatan State Park throughout the year.
There is no wrong way of homeschooling. My daughter has learned to cook, do household chores, garden, maintain an A in Algebra II, and we have not ruined her yet. Yes, she has learned more than that, and she’s still learning. Everyday routines can be a learning experience. Life is a learning experience. We must embrace it to the fullest.
I think the greatest thing Morgan has learned is compassion (Bible study and devotionals do wear off on your kids! Can I get an AMEN?). She accepted Jesus into her life a couple of years ago, and tries hard to be an example to others of all ages. When she sees others in need, she does her best to fulfill those needs. It may be taking trash to the curb for an elderly neighbor, or helping unload their groceries, making a goody basket to deliver to someone who is sick and praying for others, she shows kindness toward others. Sometimes, she has to remind me of the following verses.
Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
So, there you have it, our Hodge Podge Method of homeschooling, um, perhaps you prefer the word eclectic? Whatever method you choose to homeschool, you cannot go wrong. Yes, you will have days that are just plain old stinkers. We certainly have had them and still do on occasion. (Must be a full moon when that happens!) Just pray, and if something is not working, change it up a bit. Make it fun and creative. You, too, will learn something new. Don’t forget to pray!
Blessing to y’all!