Relaxed homeschooling creates an environment in which children can create, explore and study what catches their interest. It is establishing a lifestyle that naturally leads everyone in the family to learning.
When you remove the pressure to learn, an amazing transformation occurs in people. Given time and space, most people begin to explore their environment. To become interested in things, ideas and people around them. They begin, in fact, to LEARN!
As a homeschooling Mom I see my role in creating this type of environment as twofold -
Being a role model - if there is something I want to learn - I learn it. I work in my journal regularly, I read, I recently learnt to spin. I let the children see my trials and tribulations in coming to grips with a new skill or subject. And I practice relaxed homeschooling with myself - by allowing myself time and space to follow my interests I have learnt that everything is interconnected. Maybe I didn't do any spinning for two months - but by allowing myself to delve into the world of graphic design, I was able to go back to my spinning with a fresh perspective on colour and texture. At first I felt guilty about carving out time for myself, but following my interests has introduced the children to a lot of new people and situations they wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to.
By creating an environment where new and interesting things are frequently on the horizon. Unless you encourage, and set some parameters in the environment (especially at first) there will be little to catch the children's interest expect the TV or Computer. I strew new and unusual things around the house. I plan projects ahead ready for the cry of 'I'm bored'. I facilitate the new subject that catches my child's attention with trips to the library, or museum or the purchase of a lapbook. It doesn't always have to be something NEW. It is more a case of 'being aware' - if my child mentions a country over breakfast, then I might pin up a photgraph of them there. If I notice no-one has done any drawing for a while I will leave out some pencils and a fresh supply of notebooks. Even toys boxed up and put away for a few months seem more fresh and interesting when they are unpacked. Leave out some historical fiction or read to them, or 'let them' catch you learning to knit, or totting up a balance sheet - I bet they will want to try it too!
By relaxing set notions of what should be learnt, in what manner, and for how long - I feel I have uncovered a richer and more rewarding type of homeschooling. And I believe, a more educational one!