Homeschool looks different for every family. There is no right or wrong way to homeschool, only finding what works best for your family and enjoying that process with your kids. We've been homeschooling since day 1. It wasn't something I had set out to do, but as preschool years came around, I felt God leading us to homeschool. After that first year, which we called our trial year, we were hooked. Hubby and I saw how our kids had flourished and knew that this is where God wanted our family. I have had that prayer of question reaffirmed over and over again as we homeschool.
Throughout the years, our homeschool picture has changed. We have over the years found a rhythm that works for our family. I've learned quite a few things along the way as well. The first thing I've learned is that I am not in control of our homeschool, God is. He knows my children's hearts far better than I do, so I include Him in every thought I have about our schooling. There have been many occasions where a problem will arise, with me knowing not how to solve it or how to get through to one of my kids. Once I take it to Him in prayer, it is amazing the inspiration I receive. I am thankful for His constant guidance over our homeschool. He is truly looking out for my littles and myself, as we continue on our homeschooling journey.
Each day our schedule is a bit different. I try to have plenty of opportunity for free play and learning. This is not something I always strived to incorporate throughout our day. I use to be very rigid with my scheduling of our school days, but since adding in more free play/learning time, I have seen a huge change in my children. They are exploring books more, they are asking questions more, and they are thinking more deep. These are things that both Hubby and I wanted to come out of this new year of schooling, so I am beyond excited to see some of those wishes coming into play.
Some days we start with a formal lesson on the dry erase board. We also may stick around in pajamas far longer than is socially acceptable. I'm ok with that :)
Some days we spend hours reading from books or listening to audio books, diving deeper and deeper into the stories. We just finished The Indian in the Cupboard. The kids didn't want to stop listening to that book. They loved the fun antics between the Indian, the cowboy and the two little boys that brought them to life. Reading this book also gave us time to dive into Native Americans and some of their customs. We utilize our libraries massive collection to get in as much reading as possible.
Some days we spend having Harry Potter marathons because Mr. Keagan just finished reading the entire book series. I am so proud of this boy. When he started he couldn't imagine reading the whole series....it's a lot of pages, but he stuck with it and read an amazing story, which he is now obsessed with. I am super proud to have another Potter nerd in the family :)
and other days are spent learning life skills and heading out to the pool for some much needed recreation time. This particular pool day was full of a first for Miss Libby. She finally worked up the courage to jump off the diving board. She now is hooked and finally believes me that diving boards are like the best thing to happen to pool time. They're too fun!
and other times we spend the day with our co-op group, learning a new technique in art.
or we spend our day having some baking time and talking about geography as we make the continents out of sugar cookie dough...of course when that happens we have to make some simple circle cookies for Dad too. He loves my sugar cookie recipe :)
Then other days are full of art classes, field trips, ballet lessons, and soccer practices. Our goal is not to teach our children in one subject or just a few, but in a wide range of topics (isn't that what we all want for our kiddos?) We want to create learning opportunities for them to grow and hopefully light a fire for further curiosity to flourish and thrive. As I have loosened the reigns, and allowed God to more fully lead our homeschool, I have seen a HUGE shift in our days. We have more calm and more love...we still have sibling disagreements and days when mama is dog tired, but that's ok....that's normal. We are not perfect, but we are trying to more fully live after Christ's example.
I hope this gave you just a little peek into how our days are laid out and how I have chosen to not be a slave to the schedule....it's a process for me and one I am striving to be better at.....I am striving to allow time for inspiration and fun. Homeschooling is such a blessing to my family. I know it is not for everyone, but for our family it is something we know God has asked us to do and I am thankful for the opportunity I have to be home with my red heads and see them grow.