One of the great things about homeschooling is having the freedom to make your own schedule. You don’t have to start when public schools do, but you can if you want. You can take breaks that work for you and your family and you can change it when needed. I love this about homeschool.
I decided that we were going to try more of a year-round schooling approach for our first year of homeschool. We started on July 15th, so we just finished up our 5th week of school. We have one more week of school to accomplish and then we’ll be enjoying our first break of the year! Our family will also be taking a vacation during this break and I am so excited.
We had a really great week of school this week, but even so, I am ready for a whole week of no school. 🙂
So what made this week such a success? A few things.
1. Group field trip.
At the advice of veteran homeschoolers, I joined our local homeschool association for the school year. Yes, there’s a small registration fee involved and if you continue to participate in the group after your first year, you’ll be required to volunteer some time with the group, but all of this is worth it.
Thankfully, it looks like our local group is fairly active and this week, we joined the elementary group for an end-of-summer bash at a local pool! The weather was great for swimming and I was really happy with the amount of people who showed up. I hope we continue to see such good attendance.
Not only did my son get to play with other kids his age, he was excited that everyone there homeschooled, too. He loved it. We definitely plan to join in on more events like this throughout the year.
2. Games, please.
I am really happy with most of our curriculum choices this year, but math and language arts are still “iffy.” The main issue we’ve had with the math curriculum so far is the repetition.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I see great value in repetition when learning new things, but this curriculum feels like too much repetition. Even I get bored with it, so imagine what it’s like for a 7-year old boy!
So this week, I hit Pinterest for some inspiration and I found great ideas that inspired me to create my own Bingo game. It wasn’t time consuming and was super easy to execute. I don’t currently have a home printer, though that’s something I plan to invest in soon, so I just quickly hand-drew a few Bingo cards and shred some paper to use as cover-ups. In the future I’ll make some pretty printed cards, but this worked just as well, but it’s certainly not fancy. Ha!
We made up a game using a few dice and practiced addition and subtraction. My son also got some good practice in being a good sport, since I kicked his booty 3 times in the game! Haha!
Our math for the day was great practice but it was also great fun. My son said it was the best math day, ever. I am definitely going to be incorporating more games in our weeks and not just in math.
3. Another field trip. Sort of.
I’ve mentioned before that we are using Sonlight curriculum this year. One of the things they do is give us a prayer focus each week. This week we were encouraged to pray for Buddhists.
I love how we have the freedom to really dive into topics in homeschool. We’re not restricted by a rigid schedule most days and we can go as deep as we want! Like, we studied a map to locate some of the countries where Buddhism is prominent, we Googled pictures of Buddhist monks, and we had a great discussion on how we can’t work out our own salvation because all of us need Jesus.
But even better, one day we were feeling a bit cooped up in the house and decided we could use a drive. I had an idea. So we loaded into the car and made a pit stop for a few slushies. While enjoying our drinks, we drove just a little ways to park across the street from a small Buddhist temple nearby. Yes, even our tiny piece of the South has one. We discussed the architecture, the statues outside, and so much more.
It wasn’t a long field trip and we didn’t even get out of the car, but it led to some fantastic discussions with my son and it was a perfect example of a great perk of homeschooling.
We didn’t need a permission slip and we didn’t even have to schedule it, we just went! And best of all (according to my kids, anyways), they didn’t even have to wear shoes. They tried to go sans pants, too, but I drew the line there, my Friends. Even homeschool needs a few rules. 🙂
Until next week, Friends.