The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Home Education

by Kari on October 30, 2013

Patterson-23 Photo by Lacey Meyers

A big forest behind our house, lots of free time to read, a garden, science fairs, a playhouse, maps on the wall, Legos, an old piano, sketch books, almost no TV, and a library card.

These were the key components of my homeschool education growing up. In fact, when I’m asked what my homeschool days were like I usually respond, “I remember home but I don’t remember any school.”

My mom loves that.

mary pride homeschooling book

She enthusiastically led us in a joy-filled, relaxed approach to learning.  “Doing school” did not dominate our days.

Last year I ran across my mom’s worn and tattered volume by Mary Pride, homeschooling guru from the 1980s, who raised seven kids, wrote books, and taught countless seminars. On one of the many dog-eared pages I discovered part of the inspiration for Mom’s philosophy.  When asked, “How do you do it all?”  Pride responded,

“The key is … laziness! The best way to teach is to not have to teach at all. Ideally, our children should learn how to learn and begin to teach themselves.”

I believe this is why some moms can have a gaggle of kids, homeschool, volunteer, maintain friendships, and be active in their communities without collapsing. (They might have housekeepers too; I’m suspicious.)  We give our kids the key to learning and then relax a bit. Here are a few ideas to make this work (Thanks, Mary).

The lazy girl’s guide to home education:

{Here’s the rest over at Simple Homeschool. Thank you for reading!}


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica October 30, 2013 at 4:28 am

Where did you get that wall map? I love it!
Love reading you every day!


Kari October 30, 2013 at 6:40 am
Candi October 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

We love this way of learning! For our kids teaching them to read is an integral part of this. We love books!


Kari October 30, 2013 at 10:21 am

Yes! Absolutely–get them reading and most of your work is done! (See you soon!)


Caila October 30, 2013 at 5:39 pm

I read the whole thing over at Sacred Mundane and it was so good, Kari! Even though I’m not a homeschooling mom, you gave a bunch of tips I can use with my kids at home. We do a lot of home education, even though Hudson is at a private school for first grade. Thanks, friend!


Caila October 31, 2013 at 10:59 am

Oops, I meant to say I read the whole thing over at Simple Homeschool! ;)


Cara November 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

This “unschooling” method definitely works very well for young children, however it can be quite a challenge to graduate a well rounded (academically speaking) child to college with them just choosing at random what they will study and for how long they will study it. At some point, children really gain a lot from “doing school.” It can encourage children to use structure to their advantage, schedule their time, be efficient and learn even when they don’t “feel” like it. Obviously, the key to getting things done, as a mom, is to teach responsibility, time-management, obedience and good work ethics and it definitely helps to have children that can read well and do much of their work on their own. But it is still “work” much of the time. And I don’t think there is anything wrong with learning to work hard…that is how great things are accomplished! I can’t tell you how many kids I know that are home schooled and go about life at their own pace. That is nice and relaxing…for now. How will it be when they leave home and are faced with real life?


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