Homeschool: Shifting Thinking

From schedules to curriculum, outdoor play to field trips. . . Homeschooling has taught us to think about things differently!

One of the very first things we did was to take time off from learning.

We just played. Explored more.

This helped us shift to thinking about how homeschool would look different than traditional school.

We started school later than everyone, and we ended up unintentionally taking a month break. . . at the beginning of the year. We continued school throughout most of the next year, as a year-round school year. At most, each kid spent 2-3 hrs of intentional learning each day.

Our first year was definitely anything but traditional.

How did homeschooling look different than you expected?

Homeschool: Getting Started

Starting homeschool can be a daunting task. Just like any “new” thing you may take on. Wondering where to start? How to start? What will it look like?

For us, we were leaving public school. So, after the disruption of the pandemic. After the transition from being stationary, to traveling full-time. We needed a reset.

We needed to take some time off of “traditional”, to re-frame what learning at home would look like for us.

If you’re like us, and you’re transitioning from public school to homeschool. . . There are many things to do to “get started”:

* Write it down! Write down what you think homeschooling will look like. Write down what you want it to look like. Write down your fears. Write down what you’re excited about. Write down your obstacles. Write down your values. Write down your why.

*Research: Curriculum and State Laws. Different styles of homeschooling. Schedules.

*Find community. Find a mentor.

*Keep the transition conversation flowing with your kids.

*Take a season to play and explore, and to learn naturally, before starting curriculum and schedules. Especially, if your family is transitioning from public/private/charter school to homeschool.

What questions do you have about homeschooling?

Rainy Day Activities

Since we are no longer in the “survival mode” of homeschool, we are starting to add more activities in our day.

Lately, my girl has been loving painting.

This week, she painted an egg carton.

The next day, she used pinto beans to transfer from a bowl to the egg carton.

Both painting and this activity are great for fine motors skills.

She’s also learning how to sit still and focus on one activity for longer periods of time.

What are your family’s favorite rainy day activities?

Flexibility

One of the things that I absolutely love, right now, is flexibility. We can get school work done quickly, or we can pause in the middle of the day and finish later.

It’s something we couldn’t do, before. I’m so thankful for my husband’s new job! On his slow days, we can go swimming or exploring in the middle of the day.

Years ago, I had partnered with a company, and something we did was make Vision Boards. Some of the things on my vision board were travel and flexibility.

I thought that we had to be at a certain income level to be able to do that.

What I learned was, that I don’t have to reach x,y,z expectation before doing anything. If we just take that first step, God will lead us. Our motto over the last few years has been: We will say yes until God says no.

It’s been amazing to see how He shows up, when I get out of my own way!

What are some of your dreams? What would you give up to get there?!

Science: Fall Days 5 and 6

We took the last couple of days to get caught up on Science.

Yesterday, we went on “A Leaf Hunt”.

It was such a fun activity.

I started off by asking the kids to “Find a leaf that_________.” I gave the clues as to what kind of leaf I wanted them to find. “Find something that sends nutrients through the tree.” It also helped them practice listening for descriptive words, and listening skills. After finding a few leaves this way, they wanted a turn. Each kid gave clues as to what types of leaf everyone else needed to look for.

We collected our findings in a “nature bag”.

It was pretty late in the day, so when we got back home we set them aside for today.

Each kid picked out a leaf, today, and they created a leaf rubbing art. We talked about the parts of a leaf. Then, they labeled the parts of a leaf.

They ended up using different things they collected to create and build.

They had a ton of fun, and this activity kept them busy for quite a while.

Science and Social Studies: Days 3 and 4

It’s important to note that not every day goes as planned. On day 3, just as we were getting ready to do our activity for Science, it started to rain. This is any outdoor activity, so, we had to put it on hold for a later date.

For both science and social studies, we continued to use Epic!, to read about fall and voting.

This week is our first week doing multiple contents with our new curriculum . So, the goal for science and social studies this week has been to have fun while learning. Since we are focused on getting caught up in Language Arts and Math, we also have been focused on getting into a rhythm and not putting too much on our plates for other contents.

We also reviewed by watching voting and fall videos on Brain Pop.

Day 4, we had planned a field trip to Dogwood Canyon. They currently have educational activities that fit right into our theme for science. Unfortunately, as we were pulling into the parking lot. . . I hear from the back of the truck “Mom, my stomach hurts.” I’ll spare you the details of what happened next, but let’s just say. . .we had to turn around and leave just as we arrived.

We got back home, and immediately I had to clean out the truck.

So, we ended up taking a day off from school, yesterday. It was much needed after the morning we had.

If you’re new to homeschool this year, and you’re feeling overwhelmed. . . Please remember to give yourself grace. Give your kids grace. It’s ok to take a day off here and there. You can catch up! Don’t stress. Find community and link arms with those who have gone before you!!

*Out of transparency, I do not get a paid commission if you click on the links above. I like to share resources I use. Both of the learning websites, I do pay monthly subscriptions to. And the field trip, when we reschedule, will be a paid field trip. There are a ton of resources out there, though and it’s easy to find free resources in your community!