Saturday, May 25, 2013

Learning Year-Round

I often wonder what my friends envision when they think of me home schooling the little girls. I've been asked a few times if we have school through the summer or if we take a break. The truth is that we home school every day, every week, every month... The girls are always learning something, or I am learning something, in everything we do. I've also had some comments to the effect of "You can't make them learn all the time. They need to have some fun too!"

My goal with their schooling is to teach them the joy of being interested in new things and that everything and anything can be a "school" experience. I don't want them to consider learning what they have to do between the hours of 9am - 3am after which time they get to have some fun. My hope is that they will be gaining knowledge from the moment they wake up until they reluctantly go to bed at night, and enjoy all of it!

This is what "school" looks like at our house.

Who needs pretend food for the play kitchen when you have paper and scissors?
 It may look like a super-mess, but it's really a bakery where bread and crinkle cut french fries and cakes are being made.
This is an art studio where songs are written and fine motor skills are sharpened by a funny little two year old.

Backpack full of books on a Saturday morning.
Physics lab

Sometimes we do some structured stuff... in pajamas...


But mostly we fill our days will a jillion books, and fun trips and talks about big ideas. We look up the things that we don't know about, and we are thankful for awesome resources like YouTube and Netflix and libraries.

And although this just looks like a crazy messy living room, it is really a lab, where all kinds of experiments are attempted. :)
Most days, I love our approach to learning, and love being home with the kids. Some days are more difficult though, and I question myself and wonder how much patience I really have stored up inside of me, and if it will last the number of years that I will need it to. My girls are both pretty intense - emotionally and intellectually, and some days I am just tired.

On one of these days recently, a fellow home schooler in a forum that I am a part of posted a link to this very encouraging post. I bookmarked it, and on the more discouraging days, I plan to read it, and feel good about what I am doing...then treat all of us to some chocolate and a good book. :)

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