Homeschooling Notes: Learning doesn’t have to happen at a desk

 We started homeschooling this week, a day earlier than we planned because we thought we were going to visit my aunt and would need our originally planned first day for traveling. When that trip was postponed, we decided to stick to the new first day, which surprisingly didn’t bother either child.

I was way more prepared than I ever have been since starting this homeschooling journey in April of 2018. Yes, you read that right. I was prepared. Crazy. I know.

I not only had the curriculum purchased, but I started drawing up lesson plans at the end of last week.

What in the world has happened to me? I have no idea.

I was excited for this school year to start, partially because I was actually organized.

We have some great curriculum this year and some exciting opportunities to utilize them to their full potential.

I have started us off light this week, with only three subjects a day for the oldest and two or three for the youngest.

I couldn’t wait to break open the curriculum I had bought for Little Miss. She, however, thought we should deviate from that curriculum and reminded me that learning isn’t only found sitting at a desk (or in our case, the dining room table or couch or sometimes the coffee table in the living room).

I left science for last because I had a feeling it might get out of hand once we started it. Little Miss likes hands-on learning and she loves coming up with ideas on how to make the most of those learning moments, usually not by using a book but by doing something.

On our first day, I started a unit on insects and Little Miss became excited when she saw a section on the worksheet about how to make a jar to collect bugs. Little Miss was collecting bugs all summer, especially grasshopper and katydids, so, of course, this was right up her alley. We cut the top off a water bottle, closed it with a rubber band wrapped around a paper towel stretched over the top, and headed outside. The next half hour was spent with me trying to read Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin by Marguerite Henry, which is part of our social studies/language arts curriculum, to her, while she hunted down bugs.

It was all going fairly well until she called out, “One just hopped toward you!” and when I looked up something black was flying straight at me and bounced down the front of my shirt. I screamed so loud I’m surprised the neighbors didn’t call the cops, thinking I was being murdered.

We didn’t have much luck in the yard so Little Miss wanted to go to the garden. While there I picked some tomatoes, and she found an absolutely huge grasshopper which she caught and we put in a larger container for her to study for a bit.

I tried to keep an open mind the next day, but I had a list I thought we should complete that day. This is the first year that I legally had to file an intent to homeschool for Little Miss, so I want to make sure I can show we did actual schoolwork at the end of the year. While I was trying to tick off my list, Little Miss had other ideas.

“Hey, can we go splash in the puddles?” she asked.

We were getting rain from the remanents from Hurricane Ida.

I told her, ‘no,’ because I had my plan, but then I decided we could do it if we tied it into her science lesson about insects. So there were, standing in a steady rain while she splashed in puddles, then lifted rocks and searched for bugs and worms, telling me all about the bugs as we looked as if she was the teacher.

“Oh, I found an isopod!” she cried lifting a rock in our front yard, with no fear of what she would find.

“And what’s an isopod?” I asked.

“They are the ones that roll up when you touch them,” she said and then proceeded to ramble off some more information.

Later, I looked them up so we could learn more about them and learned they have seven pairs of legs, flat backs, and aren’t actually insects, which have six legs.

Little Miss’s favorite isopods to look at and collect are roly pollies, which are also called pill bugs.

The Boy and I are easing our way into his lessons. This week, in addition to reading from his World Geography and Economics books, he is reading a book called Know Why You Believe by Paul Little, which is written for Christians to helps us learn more about why we believe what we believe because even longtime Christians have doubts or questions. We will add science next week. His English is part of his World Geography but later in the fall, we will add some grammar lessons.

He and I are also watching To Kill A Mockingbird, after reading the book at the end of last school year. We watched half an hour of it, Little Miss saw a dog being killed (it was not graphic) and fell completely apart, even though she has seen much more frightening scenes in movies or shows involving dragons, monsters, or supervillains. We have decided to watch the rest with her either out of the room or wearing her headphones.

It is still raining as I write this, so I’m not sure what today’s lessons will lead to, but I can be sure that they won’t be the simple, straightforward lessons I had planned, and that, in my mind, is a good thing. Being able to wander off in different directions is one of the biggest reasons we homeschool. If one of the children becomes interested in a subject that jumps off of the subject that we are on, then we go with it. It keeps them curious and in a mode where learning is fun and not an obligation.

Hopefully I can remember that for the rest of this school year.

7 thoughts on “Homeschooling Notes: Learning doesn’t have to happen at a desk

  1. Pingback: Yes, you can homeschool your children. No, you don’t need a teaching degree. Tips for parents ready to step into the world of Homeschooling | Boondock Ramblings

  2. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: The Last Swim, Cooler Nights, Family Visits and classic books | Boondock Ramblings

  3. I think, the difficulty many home schooling parents have is holding onto a system. It’s natural to continue what you know. But I also remember public school was not a part of America’s beginnings, and there are as many good and responsible ways of learning as their are people. I’ve also always maintained if the parents have a business, small or otherwise, the children gain a lot from being there, working as they show ability, and learning, for kids who grow up around business parents have a higher tendency to start their own businesses, which is a huge life skill. I strongly believe in our youth having strong math and reading skills, but knowing the real history of our country, which still amazes me the more I learn, rather than the media pc lies. But I also believe that practical applications (i.e. building dog houses, cooking together, taking car brakes apart and repairing, running a lemonade stand, having science fairs, and more…) are very important, that kids and teens, with responsibility, are encouraged to follow their nose. All the best.


  4. This is so perfect. It sounds like you had a great start to your week, and I love all the outdoor exploration!! We had science outside yesterday as well, talking about the changing of the seasons, the earths tilt, etc. It really is one of the best things about homeschooling!

    I have isopods that live in my lizards tanks to make them bioactive; can you believe people breed them and buy them for that purpose? Lol.

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