Homeschool: What we’ve loved this year

**I just found this in my drafts from JUNE! – I’ll post it anyways even though my next post about what we’re doing for school this year is just about finished.  And ps – I’m technically NOT out of the new baby fog – he still gets up every two hours!**

As I come out of the new baby fog and am fresh from an all day trip to the local homeschool convention, there is oh-so-much I could say about this.  But I’ll keep my focus narrow and just share some of the things we’ve most loved this year in our home learning.

  • Freedom to work at the pace each child needs in each subject area – this piece is core to our reasons for homeschooling.  While kids have worked through reading at lightning bolt speed, math has been slower and more challenging.
  • Time to read and be read to – every single day.  When we’re able to get most of our focused work time done early in the day (always the goal) each child has the freedom to read their own choice of quality books.  In fact as I type this Caleb just interrupted me and said:
    “Did you know that the water they are traveling over in my book right now is fathoms deep?  They are crossing the Atlantic with three ships none of which have been destroyed but they did lose valuable equipment.”  He’s reading a biography of Captain John Smith and is absolutely captivated.
  • Time outside.  Especially with boys, coop them up indoors for days in a row and its a sure recipe for craziness.  They thrive on meaningful work (read: not loads of busywork and worksheets), outdoor time and the chance to be physical.  I’m still learning how to do this but our days at home offer again a great deal of freedom to figure it out.
  • Relationships – though our kids of course argue and bicker as any kids do, all in all they are forging amazing relationships with one another and with me.  I know we could still facilitate this if they were gone all day, but its simply easier to do when we’re together most days.
  • Practical life skills – once we’re done with our work (which takes a lot less than a 7 hour school day for many reasons) we can learn to preserve food, we tend our garden and harvest veggies, we catch bugs and marvel at them, we learn how to read recipes and help prepare dinner, we try our hand at various crafts like sewing, knitting and woodwork, we write letters to friends and family, we get out art supplies and make beautiful things, we snuggle up in a blanket for an hour and read quietly.

Those are just the first that come to mind.  The main theme I think is freedom.  We are totally, amazingly blessed in this nation to have the freedom we do to worship as we choose and to teach our children in the way we see best for our family.