Since this is my first Weekly Wrap Up post, and I haven’t posted a whole lot on how we homeschool, I thought I’d give you a basic run down of exactly what we do and how it works with our current mobile lifestyle.
First, you should know that I’m really laid back when it comes to homeschooling. I guess part of that reason is because I feel that my children should own their education. In other words, they have to be serious. They should have the desire to learn. They should take responsibility for learning. I look at my job more as giving them the skills that they need so they are able to teach themselves successfully.
As my children get older, I relax more. I worried when they were younger that they’d never want to learn. I was afraid to trust the books that said to back off and allow them to learn naturally. I didn’t want three kids that slept in until noon and watched cartoons every day. The amazing thing now is the more I back off, the more they want to learn and the more they do learn.
When we are really on the road, we don't do a lot of book work. We spend most of our time exploring our surroundings and visiting local attractions. Since we are basically sitting still at the moment, we are more focused on getting things done inside.
Getting back on track since our break has been a bit of a challenge. Though this is now the 4th year that we’ve been traveling, it is the first winter that we have spent in our motor home and there have been a few challenges that have arisen. If you’re really interested you can read about those here: A Sewer Story, Rescue Me.
Monday we were thankful to have a friend come visit. Since I tend to be quite the perfectionist, we spent the morning trying to clean the motor home and look like it’s not lived in. About the only thing I succeeded in was to make everyone a nervous wreck until our friends arrived and then all was forgotten.
Tuesday rolled around with warmer weather, and we couldn’t wait to head outside and take a walk. We were amazed at all the birds that we saw in the campground. We spotted a woodpecker, which we marveled at and later learned it was a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. We’ve spotted him every day since, hanging around an oak tree near our camper. He even woke us up a few mornings.
As far as book work goes, the kids each have their own daily assignments that they are required to work on. This includes courses that Connect the Thoughts offers, math (Life of Fred and Math Tutor DVD’s), literature- they chose from a pile of books that I’ve selected for them and their own personal Bible reading. I also require that they write in their journals each day. In addition to their own assignments, we also have what the kids affectionately call ‘Story time’, when I read to them. Even though my kids are older, I’ve never stopped reading to them and it’s something that we all continue to enjoy. We read devotion, a passage of scripture and then take time to prayer together. Following this I also read a chapter from a devotion type book which we discuss. Right now we are reading Created for Work by Bob Schultz. Though it is written to boys and men, I feel that my daughter and I can still glean from it. We are also reading a book about the faith of C.S. Lewis, Inspiring Men of the Faith, that we find pretty interesting. For fun we all learn a new vocabulary word from Vocabulary Cartoons.
By Thursday the weather was wonderful, so we went to a nearby hiking trail to enjoy a few hours in the fresh air and sun with our friends.
Right now my 13-year old daughter is on the computer teaching herself French. She also began teaching herself how to play the guitar this week using an online study. My 14-year old son is spending the day putting math into action- fractions, geometry and algebra- while working with his dad on a job. Finally, my 16-year old is in a nearby field watching the wildlife, so far he’s seen numerous birds and a deer, while reading a history encyclopedia. This week has been a wonderful encouragement to me. I am so thankful to have children that once again love to learn. If you're curious about what school looked like in other homes, stop by the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.