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De-Schooling. Shaking Off All We Knew.

We have been learning from home for just more than a week now. The days go by so fast but one thing that I am loving is, I am not getting that wild post-school day struggle that would happen the moment they walked off of the bus. The fight to get homework done in the midst of getting snacks, supper ready and answering the phone calls for our home business. The fight is gone because the homework is gone.

It feels odd, good but so different to what I have ever known from my own childhood and also from what he have learning in our oldest’s first five years in the formal school system. We get up, take our time with breakfast, get some chores done and come together at the table for morning time. During “Morning Time” we set the tone of our day with the days of the week and date, weather and how we are feeling today. We move easily into read aloud time where I read and the kiddos get to do quiet handicrafts or relax with some tea and listen along. So far we have covered the first four chapters of Luke, and we are three quarters of the way through the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Our home learning is quite Charlotte Mason with some online math and science for Sam, RLA is steeped in McGuffey’s Eclectic readers and lesson books from Mom Delights. Our morning reading and copy-work includes scripture and we are able to spend time in open discussion and reflection. Eden’s curriculum is play/nature based for Kindy and she is loving it (we purchased Blossom + Root Kindergarten curriculum). Animal fables, nature journaling and modern art/music in the mix. With that we are getting American History, swimming for PE and field trips every other Friday. Our school days are ending well before 4 pm and no homework.

By no means do I intend to make this sound easy at all because they are my children, and I know them. I am mom, they are safe with me and they are definitely open about their emotions and feelings – hourly sometimes but I am so thankful that they feel safe enough to express themselves as they do. We are only a week or so in and we are in this strange in-between feeling like maybe we need to do more to be busy like they are in classrooms and then I have to remind my self, this is HOME learning. As it turns out, I was worried that this would all be way harder than it really is.

We do not have mini desks, daily calendar charts, “centers,” or assigned reading corners. We have one shelf dedicated in the dining room to our school books, one cupboard that houses the handicrafts and art supplies for specific projects, and picture frame “dry erase board” that we can write out daily tasks to keep us on track. Other than that we have book shelves lined with literature rich books, an outdoor classroom in the backyard (which is simply the backyard) and one at the gorge we visit every other week. Math lessons happen online and in the kitchen, STEM and science projects happen weekly with a learning center we “zoom” in to and reading aloud happens all over our home.

A few weeks back, I could not see how this would look, I was nervous going “all in” on this home school thing but then I remember…I was called to this. My children are learning new things already, and I love seeing the glimmer of excitement when they see the dots connecting in the deeper learning we are doing, together.

Together. I love that. There is no place like home.

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