Thank You For Asking

There are 2 questions I am asked 
fairly often these days:

Last Sunday-coerced into standing on a bridge for a fall photo with Mom

From strangers: "Are those all yours?"

From friends: "How is homeschooling going?"

J's drawing of a house--complete with (happy!) sunshine and a compass rose 

For this post, I'm talking about the latter.

The question, posed to my kids this morning:

Miss N's answer: "atch atch!" (watch what I can do!)
Mr. N's answer: "Good! Did you know I love you?"
J's answer: "Well, we don't do homeschooling very often--mostly we are going on walks or play outside, going to the museum, reading books, playing math games, cuddling, fighting dragons, building with sticks, making projects, going to the library, and we also have dance parties."

N & J proudly showing off their "stick temple" that withstood the snowy wind

J's answer pretty much sums it up. We aren't DO-ING too much differently than what we were already doing before--playing, learning, practicing, growing, and having fun doing it together. He doesn't identify our daily adventures in learning as 'homeschooling' since it isn't much of a deviation from what we were doing before 'school started'. 
Building/spelling/reading words with Trader Joe's alphabet cookies

about our decision 
to homeschool 
this year (complete with some great links!).

"If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."~Rachel Carson (biologist, writer, ecologist)

The biggest difference between now and before the start of the school year is that J is reading so we get to delve into details with more focus on sight words and literary challenges. We are enjoying a low key schedule and follow his/their interests and questions to determine our topics.

With J, I have found it very easy to delve into topics since he asks many questions everyday and has a strong desire for discovery about how things work and why. He has come up with several 'inventions' in the last several weeks that he is very proud of and we are registered to participate a science fair in a few months. 

I have found that some people who ask how it's going really just want to know how we are keeping up with mainstream school 'standards'; they are asking for more of a report of our status or grades. I completely understand that, since that is how public school works (study and learn & then test to show your status/grades) and how we are trained to view academic progression. Minnesota law does require yearly testing for children who are schooling outside the public school system--but not until they are 7 years old. I have a printed list of the kindergarten standards used in our state; I reference them for my own mental break down, but not to use as a strict curriculum. Our education facilitating style is very relaxed with integration of many options for expanding experience through contact with other home educating families and the many offerings of educational/recreational activities in the Twin Cities.

One of my favorite things about homeschooling is the natural accumulation of quality family time (and sibling time!) as we learn together. Mr. H's job takes him out of town every other week. This means our family time schedule is different than a lot of families who have more consistent home time. I am so grateful that on the home weeks, the kids get to have extra pockets of day time connection with when he wants to squeeze an orange for mid-day refreshment

Orange squeezing 101 by Dad

"A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful, is dimmed and even lost  before we reach adulthood." ~Rachel Carson

Another favorite for me is experiencing the excitement of a new word, a new concept, a new idea--as freshly as they are processed. I am re-learning things (and learning new things--like--what the frill is on a dinosaur) with my children. Their thirst for knowledge (and ability to quickly assimilate information) is inspiring and energizing (or exhausting--depends on the time of day, perhaps?)

This was a long answer to a simple question. 
I guess the short answer is this: 
"School is going great, we love it! 
Thank you for asking." 

Every day in November!  NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. Write a post on your blog every day in November. For the 3rd year, I've decided to tackle this challenge & enjoy the opportunity to switch to writing mode. Want to join me? Leave your blog link in the comments so I can follow you too! 

1 comment:

Linda said...

It is awesome. I am always thinking ...I am so glad Jackson is home doing and learning so much! With winter days being so short, he would barely get home before dark!