When our family went from public school to homeschool, I saw educating my children at home as just that: a way to teach them at home.
I naively thought I would teach them 6 hours each day and we would call that "school".
I printed the attendance roster from the state, stuck it on the refrigerator, and checked off the days. I wrote lesson plans and checked to see if my objectives lined up with the state department of education's objectives. I bought the "What Every Child Needs to Know in XYZ Grade" books for each of my children's grade levels.
You can stop shaking your head and laughing now.
I was a new homeschooling mom. All I had ever known was public school. I was a public school teacher with a degree in educational administration.
It took me about 6 months to realize that homeschool is SO MUCH MORE than SCHOOL!
Homeschool is a lifestyle of learning and inquiry that cannot be confined to space or time.
Homeschool is giving our children the gift of unlimited possibilities, opening of every little door they want to walk through, and affording them ample time to contemplate things of beauty and importance. Homeschool is so much more than SCHOOL.
This week, as I recap our week (as I've done for nearly four years every Collage Friday), it struck me just what a gift homeschool is, and how it is so much more than memorizing facts, writing papers, completing math lessons, and diagramming sentences.
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Give Them Time & Freedom
Because Anna is in her very last week of Challenge B (working hard to finish Mock Trial, short stories, and prepping for a blue book exam), Grant has been a bit more free this week, and it's glorious!
Our weather has been perfect, friends have shown up in abundance, and there have been very few demands on our time. As a result, Grant has learned A LOT on his own, read books, created with LEGOS, and much more!
Grant's week -- going left to right, top to bottom:
- The boy saved his money for a remote control Mustang. He has been drawing courses in the driveway, creating rock race tracks, and parallel parking between cans of tennis balls! He has very few toys (aside from LEGOS), so it did my heart good to see him get himself a "toy" that he just loves.
- We did have one rainy day. Grant got a lazy start to that day and laid in bed to finish Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. He loved this book, and I love that he chose to read. (I'm trying to be intentional about picking quality literature from our local library and then giving him a choice of what he would like to read. He's not my "reader", but he is enjoying reading much more these days!)
- We've been listening to Treasure Island on audio and completing a study guide to go with the book -- I blogged about that this week in case you're interested.
- Lots of LEGO building was done this week - I thought this zipline was pretty creative!
- Grant also started a homeschool tennis class this week! We are taking a break from organized team sports, but my athletic guy was really needing an outlet. This class is perfect because it meets once a week. We were invited by a friend and it's such a nice collection of children, too.
Perseverance Pays Off
I'm a super proud mama right now -- I know "pride" isn't such a great thing, so maybe I should say I'm just so pleased for Anna and what she has accomplished this year. Yes, there has been a huge amount of "schoolwork" completed, but she has grown so much as a person, as well.
Challenge B is a demanding year, and Anna has persevered to complete so VERY BIG projects. She has also been on a personal journey of faith and will be confirmed this Sunday.
This has been a BIG WEEK in her life!
- Mock Trial is this Friday. She's been prepping A LOT, and even dad is getting in on the preparations. My husband and I get to attend mock trial and see all of the hard work first hand. I'm so excited!
- Anna and I sat down with her chemistry lessons on the weekend. We both didn't quite understand the last lesson in Discovering Atomos, but I have learned (thanks to the Challenge philosophy) that if we sat down together, read and reread the lesson, then TALKED through our questions together, we could tackle the challenge together. And, contrary to the world's "school" mindset, success is not about getting the answers RIGHT... it is about tackling a problem, exercising your brain, and not giving up. The learning comes in the struggle.
- One of Anna's closest friends came to spend the evening with us this week - she will be out of town for Anna's confirmation and helped us with some party favors and also brought her the most beautiful cross -- which was HAND MADE from horseshoes. These girls have such a wonderful friendship... they have been friends through church since they were little - and even though one is homeschooled and the other goes to private school, they have remained friends. They each take such an interest in the other's life (and they only intersect at church) and are just faithful friends. This is a blessing.
- I cannot leave out the near completion of Saxon Algebra 1/2! We are Saxon fans here. The math growth I have witnessed in Anna in the past three years is phenomenal. We had tried two other programs before settling on Saxon, and I wish I would have just LISTENED to people when they told me to try Saxon!
As I start to look back on our year, I see that this year (more than any year before) was a year of FAMILY LEARNING.
Each member in our family has grown in their quest for knowledge, interests, and relationships.
The longer I homeschool, the more I see that it is a mindset, not simply a way to educate children.
Homeschooling is SO much more than just SCHOOL... it's LIFE.
Notebooking Pages Sale
Our favorite resource is on sale until May 8. A Lifetime Membership to Notebooking Pages is just $50 -- you will have thousands of notebooking pages at your fingertips for the rest of your homeschooling life. That's a good deal!
Join Me For Collage Friday
Feel free to grab this graphic (right click and save to your computer) and include it with your photo collage post. Use the widget below to add your post with photo collages for the week. Visit other bloggers in the link-up to gain ideas and offer encouragement and support.