We are on our last month of homeschooling before summer break and to say we all have summer brain is an understatement. Not even the teacher is focused all the way in on school right now. Because of our lack of focus, I have decided to dial down the strict workbook and textbook-heavy subjects for this month, but we will still be doing them twice a week.
I got to mid-April and realized I hadn’t focused as much on the arts as I need to in order to meet the requirements for the state we are in so I decided we would make May an art month. That means more lessons on artists (Monet, Cezanne, Picasso) and musicians (composers like Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart) throughout our week and fewer lessons on math, science, and history. We will still be doing those last three subjects, just not every day.
This is a relief for Little Miss who is so dramatic when I tell her it is time for her math lesson. You would think I would have told her it is time to clean the toilets at a frat house.
She often runs and hides, pulling a blanket over her head in a homemade fort she made by turning our couch to face the wall and hanging the veil-like curtains across it.
Once she sits down and does it, however, she really doesn’t have any major issues with doing the math.
She isn’t a fan of having to write letters either so that has also been a struggle this past year. I need this summer break as much as her.
However, I have told her she will need to do some math during the summer so that she doesn’t have to jump back into it cold in August when we start up again. I’m also considering starting school a month early this year. This will allow us to take more breaks throughout the school year at times when we feel beat down by the mundane routine of daily lessons.
I have been the most relaxed about homeschooling this year than in any previous year. I have finally started to accept that homeschooling is not simply school at home. It is not bringing the traditional idea of public school into your home.
We homeschool so we can break away from a system we do not feel is conducive with the need for children to be free to focus on their passions and to learn at their own pace. Homeschooling parents bring their children home to learn for a variety of reasons, but at the core of it is that the child is not thriving or might not thrive in the traditional environment.
For us, homeschooling has offered more opportunities for learning beyond the scope of a daily lesson. It has allowed us to take a subject my child is interested in and explore it beyond one moment in time in their education. It has also allowed us to go visit or go help my parents whenever is needed, which has been invaluable to us, especially to my son who is very close to his grandfather.
Resting on my newfound acceptance that homeschooling doesn’t have to look like a traditional public school day, we started taking a much more relaxed approach to our homeschool days sometime in March. We did math and reading lessons, but history was reading historical fiction and watching videos and then simply talking about history. Math was lessons in our book but also on ABC Mouse for the youngest. The oldest does his math online so there wasn’t much of a change for him. Reading or English has been some actual lessons about parts of speech and grammar but it has also been simply reading books out loud to each other, discussing hard words when we get to them or discussing what we read.
I read a post on Facebook recently by … that reminded homeschooling parents that homeschooling can happen at any time of the day. She wrote that you don’t have to read to your child only during the day and count that as a time of learning. Read-aloud sessions can happen at night before bed while waiting in the car, or pretty much anywhere at any time.
Life lessons and skills can be taught throughout the day.
Homeschool is a 24/7 type of education that doesn’t require a desk or a book or four walls around a child. It is a constant flow of information and knowledge that can come through the everyday journey of life.
With all that being said, yesterday Little Miss and I watched videos about Mozart while she made slime. We read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle before bed for our English reading.
Today we have a homeschool gathering at the local library.
Tomorrow we will be painting in the style of Monet while watching videos about him and the other impressionists or while listening to Mozart. We will also probably read some from The Cabin Faced West for history and do a math lesson or simply go on ABC Mouse and have her play some games there related to what we’ve been learning in Math.
The Boy will be reading Fellowship of the Ring and working on a research project and also preparing some Minecraft creations for the art requirements under the homeschool guidelines for our state. Then he will go to work as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, which I see as another educational opportunity and an activity that fits in well with homeschooling.
Later in the week, we will be watching art history videos, and videos about famous composers, and I will be encouraging him to continue bass lessons at home since we are taking a month off from his formal bass lessons (which were 45 minutes away and a bit expensive for us this month).
This month, both The Boy and Little Miss will also be studying music from a book I ordered that is set to arrive today.
I am absolutely loving this freestyle type of learning that incorporates music and the arts into our academic lessons. It’s something I plan to do more of during our next school year.