5 Favorite Homeschool Memories

Homeschooling creates beautiful memories. 

Maybe it is a special field trip, unit study, or hands on project.   

Maybe it is just a magical DAY - where the stars aligned and everything fell into place for a perfect learning opportunity!  

Or, maybe a child has overcome something HUGE and YOU, their parent, had the opportunity to be the one with them as they achieved a goal or milestone.

Now that we have been homeschooling for almost 7 years, looking back on those memories is so precious.

I wouldn't trade those times for anything. 

As I mentally cataloged some of our favorite memories, I just knew I had to share them here - so maybe you could make a memory, too.

5 Favorite Homeschool Memories (that you can create, too)

#1:  The Gift of Five in a Row

Five in a Row  was an integral part of our homeschool when the kids were younger. 

Each and every book we "rowed" was precious to us, but one stands out in particular. 

We studied The Story About Ping  just as dear friends of ours were traveling to China to adopt their second child. This book was simply the jumping off point for a unit study about China. 

The Gift of Five in a Row: The Story About Ping

I vividly remember spending an entire morning at a local lake. We read the book together, then we watched the ducks PREEN themselves. (This was a vocabulary word.)   I also took a bag of books along about China and ducks.

We snacked, read books, sketched ducks, and enjoyed ourselves. 

It was a MAGICAL DAY. 

Once I got out of my children's way and let the traditional notions of SCHOOL leave my thinking, these memories began to happen more often.  

My advice? 

SLOW DOWN, embrace childhood, and realize the BEST learning is spontaneous, child-led, and unstructured. 

You can purchase Five in a Row and then choose what books you would like to row with your children.  You can use the curriculum as your core, or as a supplement. 

#2:  An AMAZING Field Trip

We saved our pennies to take an AMAZING field trip when the kids were little.  

This is something you can EASILY do -- just pick a destination (local or far away), learn about it (a lot!), and then visit.  

When we studied American History, my daughter was particularly interested in The Oregon Trail.  We planned a trip to Colorado, and then Wyoming, to visit many of the sites there, and walk on the Oregon Trail.  We visited Ames Pyramid, the highest point on the Transcontinental Railroad. 

The kids earned Junior Ranger badges at the Garden of the Gods and Fort Laramie. 

It was a memory my kids will NEVER forget.  We had a few VERY AWESOME homeschool days

5 Homeschool Memories (that you can create, too)

We didn't have a lot of money back then, and we worked hard and stretched ourselves to give our children a FABULOUS memory. Homeschooling allows us the very unique opportunity to learn from LIFE, and to learn ANYWHERE and ANY TIME.  Take advantage of this time you've been given and plan an awesome field trip!


3. Dissecting Owl Pellets

Ok, I know this is a funny one to have in my top 5 homeschool memories, but when I asked the kids things they remembered fondly, dissecting owl pellets was at the very top! 

We happened to take part in a dissection at a local nature study, but you can easily purchase an owl pellet study kit, and the dissection is easy, fun, and GROSS!  

Five Favorite Homeschool Memories (that you can create, too)

This led to an entire unit study about owls, and also many good memories. 

All of these shared homeschool memories strengthen our children's bond with us (and each other!). To me, this is one of the greatest benefits of homeschooling our children! 

4. Doing Something Hard -- and Succeeding!

Our homeschool took a large turn three years ago. 

We decided to join Classical Conversations.

5 Favorite Homeschool Memories (that you can create, too)

This was a difficult transition for my oldest (then 7th grade), because she is a creature of habit. We had been homeschooling in a certain way (and with a certain group of friends) and we changed gears dramatically. 

We're now entering our third year in Classical Conversations, and then Challenge Program has stretched her in ways I never could have imagined. She is learning Latin, writing beautiful papers - and she even WON the Challenge B science fair last year.  She LOVES her friends here and I've seen such growth in her.  

{My youngest loves it, too -- it just wasn't as hard a change for him because he was younger.}

If you know in your GUT you need to make a change, but are afraid to break out of the rut you are in - I encourage you to just DO IT. Doing hard things is so worth it, and modeling that courage and perseverance for our kids is such a valuable lesson.


5. Serving Through Operation Christmas Child

I love that homeschooling allows us time to slow down and help others.

Because I was on a blogger team that traveled to Ecuador to distribute boxes, my kids were able to get involved in OCC in BIG ways. 

Let your kids pack Operation Christmas Child boxes!!!  

They can pack boxes on their own or they can host a packing party.  Or, maybe they want to spearhead shoebox efforts in their own church or homeschool group. 

My daughter, Anna, collected all of her spare change for one year and packed a MOST EXCELLENT shoebox for a girl her age. 

Our Classical Conversations group packed 100 boxes together as a service project. 

We took a group of teens to volunteer at the shoebox processing center in Atlanta. 

A friend of mine helped her daughters (and Anna) sew dresses for shoeboxes. 

This such a wonderful ministry, and each year we look forward to packing boxes. 

(Click here to see more ideas I have for Operation Christmas Child)

Serving with your children creates memories that last and help grow our children into compassionate, caring adults. Whether it is packing shoeboxes or something else, serving is probably the most important homeschool subject out there!

Do you have a favorite homeschool memory?   Ask your kids and see what they say!  Or, make a list of all your favorite homeschool memories. Sometimes it is helpful to look back on all the wonderful times and see that HOMESCHOOLING IS SO WORTH IT!