Still Learning

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Despite the lack of homeschooling related posts, learning is still going on in our house. In many ways this has been a fall of relaxing. Mostly the relaxing has been in my own mind. I feel like we’ve hit a groove this year. Yes, there are still bumpy days and there are still days when I yell and get frazzled and there are occasional complaints of boredom or tears over Math. That’s life. But overall we’re in a good place. They are happy. They are learning. It’s a cliche but true that homeschooling is a marathon and not a sprint. I’m learning to worry less about the day to day bumps and focus on the bigger picture.

Probably the biggest change in my own attitude is that I’ve backed off in some areas on what we are doing formally. I’ve been assigning more books to read to John this fall. He then gets vocabulary assignments and writing assignments from the books. We use these to discuss spelling and grammar as well as working on vocabulary building and writing skills. In many ways it’s harder (both for him and for me since I have to read the books also and come up with the assignments) but we’re both enjoying this approach more than some of the more formal curriculum we had been using. We still use some formal curriculum but I alternate what we do which seems to keep things more fresh and interesting.

SAM_5860 This was a week that gave us a gorgeous 65 degree sunny day in December. We had a picnic lunch and took our books outside. I let them play outside longer than usual because of the rare weather. John got to play with his best friend twice. Focusing on the big picture means realizing that the work not done due to a day in the sun now can be made up later. It means realizing that it’s ok to do Science on a Saturday if it doesn’t get done during the week.

Probably my favorite thing that happened this week was that several mornings the boys woke up early and read together in bed. One morning David woke up first and started reading The United Tweets of America. John came over and joined him and then they started reading Thunderbirds. Another morning John woke up first and was reading a Lego book he has. David joined him and then they got up and did some Lego building of their own. There has been other learning happening outside of what is officially “schooltime”. John has been making a huge Lego house/fort (complete with garage). David has discovered the Draw Write Now books and has used reams of paper as he has happily made drawing after drawing of animals.

This post seems somewhat scattered to me. I’d love to think of a nice way to end. But we have Science to do (friction!). And I’ve told the boys that today is the day we do a “super mega clean” of their room. And we’re going to the Open Gym at David’s gymnastics school and we’re headed to Zoolights tonight. Whew.

Have a great weekend at your house!

2 thoughts on “Still Learning

  1. It’s interesting how our expectations and styles are in constant modification in this homeschooling business, isn’t it? I’m glad you have a good groove going!

    I’ve gotten a little too relaxed over the last week, so now I’m annoying my youngest daughter with spontaneous grammar lessons at all hours of the day — “Your room is messy. What kind of word is ‘messy’?” — in a desperate attempt to compensate.

    Your boys getting up and reading together and playing with legos — that is how my daughters also frequently start their days. 🙂

  2. This is wonderful, Alice. It’s how I want to live. I am seeing the big picture more, too, which is (I think) the only way to really survive (or at least thrive) in this business. I’m curious to know more specifics about how you do this (the more relaxed approach to writing, vocab, etc.) with John if you ever care to elaborate.

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