Spring Homeschool Job Requirements

Ahhh, its finally here! The coldest months have past, the days are finally growing longer, and the sun has begun to peek in each morning to the tune of song birds... We home educating mom know these are the sure signs that its planning & purchasing time!  Without question, I absolutely love the freshness of the season, but speaking as an educator my enjoyment is in more than just the weather!

As the calendar flips to April, it's time to take care of important home education business. Next fall, our future selves will certainly thank us for these focused efforts now. 👍  To start, SELF-REFLECTION should be top-priority during these last months of the school year.  Think seriously on these.  Make lists, brainstorm, get real and mull the answers to questions like these... 

The Veggies You Will Make Over & Over

Prep: 15 min    Cook: 30-40 min.   Temp:  375 degrees F

Here's what you need:

- a few of your favorite fresh veggies 
( purple cabbage, carrots, onion, brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower...)
- extra virgin olive oil
- choice of seasonings
- plastic gallon storage bag
- shallow baking sheet (I use a jelly roll pan)
- foil

Homeschool Diversity

As we began this journey years ago, my husband and I both held teaching certificates.  He even completed his Master's degree within weeks of our first born...yep... in Education.  After both of us spending several years in the public school system, we knew how to teach classically and both enjoyed it.  By most standards, we were even good at it too!  While we had nothing against the classical education system, as the day approached to drop our daughter at the kindergarten door we just didn't have a peace in our hearts.  So...

After a lot of prayer, and a considerable amount of furrowed brows from family and friends, we began the journey of teaching at home.  Homeschooling was a leap of faith, for sure, but today I can confidently say we have no regrets in making the decision.

Coming from the school system though, has posed unique challenges for us as teachers.   It takes some time to realize how quality learning can be accomplished without a bell schedule, but a very flexible one... maybe sleeping in a bit longer won't hurt anyone either... and best of all, nobody has to sit in a classroom with nice, neat rows all day!  Early on,  I tried to force the classical school mentality at home, thinking we had to "look" like school as most of us remember it.   This simply wasn't necessary and soon I realized that much of the beauty of homeschooling lies in the blessing of daily DIVERSITY!  You might wonder: What does diversity in a home school week look like?  What you see in the photos here happened in the span of ONE week... yes, all of it!

Diversity in homeschooling happens when we allow our motivation for deeper learning to be fueled by curiosity, experiences,  and exploration...
instead of the clock. 

During a typical week,  we don't look like a classically structured "classroom".  At any given time, our daughters  may be playing the piano or guitar, laying on their bed working on grammar, sitting at their desks writing in their journals or completing daily science experiments in the kitchen or sometimes even the garage!  They love working with typing software on the computer and earning points on our #1 favorite website for math: www.khanacademy.org.   I think my personal favorite activity is snuggling up to read our Bible and history on the sofa each day.  You'll see we include baking too.  Making cookies last week was a fun way to learn more about the Periodic Table of Elements... and eating them has been even more fun!   Our eighth grader took the photo of the flower above last weekend.  She enjoys taking photos and her enthusiasm of capturing the bee in that frame makes me smile.   When kids are excited to learn, it's priceless.  We really do work hard, but we make sure to have a lot of fun doing it.  During lunch on any given day,  we enjoy using my handy Apple TV to watch videos from www.DiscoveryEducation.com or www.BrainPop.com to add interest in something we're studying while we eat.  They love this time!

While covering all the curriculum work is top priority, we always make sure to include social time too... yes, homeschoolers actually can be quite social...haha!

With the beautiful weather last week, we worked in the garden at our local Food Bank too.  It was not only fun, but time well spent learning to work hard with friends accomplishing a task for others.  It was a great way to end the week.

So, there it is.  That's what a week of diversity in homeschooling looks like at our house!  In all fairness, I do want to mention that the classical school system has many incredible educators with hearts for the students.  I do believe the decisions regarding the education of every child should be made on an individual basis according to what is absolutely best for that student.

I am thankful for the blessing to have the choice to home school.  It fits our family perfectly and I am happy to report that many of those original furrowed-brow family members now see that these kids will indeed have an extraordinary education heading into the future.   :)

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