I think it is safe to say that after 5 months we are getting the "hang" of homeschooling. Here is a picture of my sweet girl working on her history timeline. So far we have worked our way from the Incas, Atzecs and Mayans up to the Revolutionary War. I can honestly tell you that I am learning much of this history for the first time. Oh, I learned the facts and a few important dates, but I never really internalized it and understood the real motivations behind many pivotal events in American History. I'm laughing at the pictures of the tv character, Arthur, in the background. My son is obsessed with drawing and he loves to watch Marc Brown draw Arthur. My five year old's rendition is pretty good, don't you think?
I am learning to relax and let learning be our guide. I am also finding that lapbooks are a great way to commit a lot of information to memory. In a previous post I mentioned a shark lapbook from a Magic School Bus chapter book. Here is the finished product:
I'm also very proud of the fact that even though I do not like math, my daughter has been progressing well with third grade math. We have all of our multiplication facts committed to memory, and we are doing well with division. She is most proud of her knowledge of Roman Numerals and a mastery of money -- we like to play store to learn how to make change!
Now, all of this has come with a "price" to our family.... our home is markedly messier, the laundry piles up a little more, and the kitchen table has been permanently transformed to a work table (we would like to convert our playroom to a school room this summer, but no time for that now), and I have less time for myself. But the peace I have from knowing my child is in a loving environment all day where she is learning at her own pace and loving most days makes it all worth it.
It is also amazing to me the people and opportunities God places in our lives to carry us through any season of life. I have a dear friend from church who invited us on a nature walk today. She is quite knowledgeable about the outdoors and had wonderful things to share with us. I have lived in this particular area of Georgia for five years and had never been to this nature area. She provided a scavenger hunt for the walk, and my daughter promptly pulled out her camera to take photographs of all the things we found. Nature is really full of some wonderfully amazing things if you take the time to look around you.
More importantly, it was a time for us to spend time with a good friend, and also time for us to enjoy the mother-daughter relationship and appreciate everything God has given us.
So, here it is 5:15 p.m. and I am hoping the dinner I set out to thaw is actually thawed, the children are playing outside pressing leaves for daddy, and I can barely keep my eyes open because I'm so tired. But, I can honestly say that for now - life is good!