Our Approach to Learning - Eva Varga

January 1, 20083

Hello. I am the mother to two energetic children and wife to an incredibly supportive husband. I have always loved watching the kiddos learn and grow as we experience life together. So much so, that in the fall of 2007, we began our homeschooling journey. I am having a blast homeschooling Sweetie (5) and Buddy (almost 3) in beautiful Central Oregon.

I am a National Board Certified Teacher and taught for 6 years in a public school (4 years as a middle level science specialist and 2 years in a self-contained 5th grade). Let me state for the record that when I decided to homeschool my children, I was honestly intimidated. All my teacher education had brainwashed me. I was convinced that parents couldn’t possibly teach their own children. It had to be done in an institutional setting… professionals with specialized training and expertise.

I happen to have a teacher’s certificate. But even now, as we have just begun our homeschooling journey, I have learned more academic material, more about how to manage individual relationships with children, and more about how to teach than I did in any of my teacher-education courses. Teacher-education courses gave me a great deal of good information on how to manage large groups of children. I needed that in schools, but a parent doesn’t need it to teach at home.

In our homeschool, we have a nature-centered “curriculum” and use a unique blend of materials and methods suited to our lifestyle of learning. We take our cues from the rhythm of nature and the children’s many and varied interests. We read a lot! As well as do lap/notebooking and many craft projects. We also enjoy photography, scrapbooking, cooking and traveling. We enjoy sports and participate in a variety of athletic endeavors (Taekwondo, dance, running, kayaking, swimming, etc.) depending on the season and what is happening in life.

Our approach to education is largely based on the classics with a heavy emphasis on reading and writing. It is structured around the trivium which comprises grammar, logic, and rhetoric as the tools by which a student can then analyze and master every other subject. Loosely, logic is concerned with the thing as-it-is-known; grammar is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-symbolized; and rhetoric is concerned with the thing-as-it-is-communicated.

It is largely literature-based, a little Montessori, a little unschoolish, a little unit-study, a little Thomas Jefferson, a little Charlotte Mason, but mostly just us! We call is us-schooling and it suits us just fine. We hope that you’ll join us on our journey. Feel free to join in on discussions, share your experiences or simply wish us well


  • Summer

    December 20, 2007 at 3:31 am

    That sounds like a nice eclectic mix. 🙂 There are so many positivs with every philosophy I find it hard to narrow myself down. I like to take the best of everything.

  • Robin

    December 30, 2007 at 8:03 pm

    I think it’s great that you are already a BC Teacher. Hopefully it will give you the confidence to believe that what you are doing for your children is the right thing AND the right way.
    I’m just a regular mom and I struggle with this worry a lot. I wonder if I’ll be able to take my child all the way through school, or if I’ll have to relent and send him to public school, which I desperately don’t want to do.
    Your ideas and philosophies seem to parallel mine, so I’ll be interestedly reading about your journey. Even though you are working in lower grades than we are in, I still think we can all benefit from each other’s blogs.
    Btw, I came here from a comment you left on Dana’s blog – School for Us.
    I’ve enjoyed reading today!

  • 6atkins

    October 15, 2008 at 3:47 am

    I enjoyed coming to your blog for the CM carnival.

    I also taught in public school in Virginia for 6 years. I really enjoyed it before I had children. I had an aunt who was a former psSpanish teacher and she homeschooled all her children. By her example I knew that is what I wanted after I had children.

    I agree with you that it is a different type of teaching and I find it much more rewarding and interesting. (One thing I love is that when a student is sick we just don’t do the lesson. I never have to try to teach a 45 minute lesson again in 5 minutes to catch up the 5 that missed!) I am also learning and teaching to my girls so much that I never learned in PS as a student or a teacher.

    I was certified in the middle years (5-8) and taught Sci., Soc, & math 3 years) 5th grade and Language Arts 2 years 6th and one year 7th. I was a bit intimated to teach my own kids how to use the bathroom, tie their shoes, tell time on a face clock, and read! Feeling much better now with the third and fourth children! 🙂
    Glad you are enjoying homeschooling! Thanks for hosting the carnival.

    Blessings, Eva Atkins

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