One of my fellow Putty Tribe members had recommended we check out the McDonald Observatory in Texas, where you can go to a “Star Party” and look through their giant telescopes. I read some more about it, and it sounded like a really neat thing to do, both for us as well as for the kids.
A lot of people ask me why we chose to homeschool. It’s hard to answer that question in a simple sentence.
Before we came on this trip (and before we made our official announcement about it), I asked a question in a local homeschooling group: “If you had a whole year in an RV and a tablet, what apps would you want for your homeschooling?”
Homeschooled kids often learn in different ways and at a difference pace than their public school counterparts. For this reason, many people don’t understand what homeschooling actually is, and what homeschooling parents actually do. This causes all kinds of weird assumptions… and sometimes us homeschooling parents end up listening a little too closely to the critics.
Homeschooling seems to be a controversial topic. But it shouldn’t be. Homeschooling is simply one of many ways to educate children. And in Canada and the United States at least, parents have a legal right to direct the education of their children, including homeschooling them, if they so wish.
As everyone is gearing up for “back to school,” I’m gearing up for a trip to London, ON, to see one of my cousins who is coming to Canada for the first time. Me and my kids get to pick him up in Toronto on our way to London to spend time with our family. We’ll probably do some school while we’re in London, but we won’t get back into the real swing of things until the second week of September.
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I’m often asked whether I use a curriculum or other resources in my homeschooling. I thought it was high time I wrote a post about how we homeschool.
Firstly, it’s important to know that I don’t identify strongly with any one particular type of homeschooling. I consider myself a flexible homeschooler. I do follow a curriculum for certain things, but if there is a life experience available, we set the books aside for a while and go live life. I think it’s extremely important for children to live in and interact with the world around them, instead of being restricted by four walls and senseless testing or rigid mandates.
In my attempt to get my house purged and cleaned out, I’ve been running across some old stuff that I had written down a long time ago, that I didn’t have time to do anything with, and that is actually pretty useful.
Even before I had children, I already knew I wanted to homeschool. There are a number of reasons for this, which I’ll write about in a future post. Homeschooling is a lot of things. It’ fun, interesting, joyous, and often exhausting. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This post is part of a daily series to notice “all the nice things” in 2017. I encourage you to also keep a journal of all the nice things that happen this year. At the end of December, you’ll have great memories to look back on. Thanks to Cesar Abeid for the idea.
Today’s nice thing: skipping school.
Yesterday was a rough day with the kiddos. I love them and I love homeschooling, but it’s not always easy. Some days are really hard. Yesterday was one of those days. Today, in order to re-set, I decided to go with the flow of the day. I wasn’t going to nag the kids to get their chores done (or to do anything, really). So I just kept to myself for most of the day, attending to them as needed, but not asking much of them. They ended up still getting all their chores done (albeit it took them 3 hours), playing really well together, and I ended up being able to clean up my inbox while they played. And we still managed to make it outside to play in the snow.
Sometimes we skip school. We’ve been judged for this, but we don’t care. We’re living life on our terms. We don’t need to explain why skipping school is OK, but I’ll write a post about it later on, because I’m tired of people talking about stuff they know nothing about. Skipping homeschool lessons is perfectly fine, not only because we still get all our work done by the end of the year, but also because life experiences, even (and especially) at a young age are much more valuable than structured lessons. There was no time when our kids learned better than during our bike trip this summer. During that time, we did not do structured lessons at all. Yet, my son’s speech skyrocketed (he has a speech delay), my oldest daughter finally got the concept of how a story is told (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, resolution – she’s still working on setting), and my youngest girl learned from her siblings at a pace much faster than what she does at home.
Today I’m thankful for the flexibility of homeschooling.
Another nice thing about today is that because yesterday was so rough, hubby gave me the night “off” tonight, which means I get to sit down and do one my favourite things – write. I also got to go to the gym and do a quick workout and have an uninterrupted shower afterwards.
Today I’m thankful for showering at the gym.
What nice thing happened for you today?
Thanks to Dream Big Printables for this post’s great image. Check our their awesome art!