Embracing the “Light Bulb” Moments
Our homeschool changed drastically this year, and I wanted to wait to share it with you after we’d had a chance to get into a routine.
Our Family Story
As a blog manager, I work part time from home. My husband works full time outside the home, and we spend as much family time together as possible whenever he isn’t at work. We are so blessed to have all my kids’ grandparents within a half hour of us, and we see them all every single weekend. What a joy it is for my kids to have a close relationship with them, and for them to really know our family story.
I have three boys, who are currently in fourth, eighth, and eleventh grades. My oldest is also a dual-enrolled college freshman. He is taking two college classes this semester, so his schedule is packed with assignments, homework, and activities. That’s been the biggest adjustment for us this year. You see, we have been year-round homeschoolers from the beginning, and we’ve never been tied to a “school year” calendar.
Now, our relaxed homeschooling style has adjusted to meet the needs of my oldest. (I color code my Well Planned Day planner with everything, and without checking it each morning, I wouldn’t know where or what or when about anything.)
A Typical Week
So, a typical homeschooling week for us is two full days of schooling at home, two full days of schooling on the road, and one day to catch up, attend activities within our homeschool community, or go on field trips. I lead a homeschool literature group, and we often have meetings or field trips with them on those days. My boys also take art and music lessons each week, and my oldest is in the middle of a film project with a group of teens. (No problems with isolated homeschooler syndrome here!)
I keep a big bag packed with books and assignments at the ready for my younger two, and we often sit in the college library and work while my oldest is in class. I try to keep this bag sorted as much as I can in advance, because we are inevitably grabbing it and running out the door at the last minute. These days are well-suited for subjects that require more reading, writing, and quiet study.
On our at-home days, we do science, Bible, and other lessons that require more talking and activity. We might do a math lesson on an at home day, and save the written problems for an “on-the-road” day. Or, watch a science video at home, and do the comprehension questions on the road.
We use an eclectic mix of curricula, mostly from Christian publishers such as MasterBooks, AIG, Berean Builders, Sonlight, and BJU. We also use Beautiful Feet history and geography materials, Bluestocking Press for economics/government, and Rosetta Stone Spanish. Admittedly a bit of a curriculum junkie, I am happiest when I pick and choose different resources rather than being tied solely to a curriculum package.
As a former classroom English teacher, I haven’t found the perfect English curriculum yet, so I use a bit of this and a bit of that and customize courses for each of my boys that complement their other studies. Currently, my youngest is working in Explode the Code, LLATL, Lightning Literature, a printing with pictures my oldest son made for him, and listening to my middle son’s literature read aloud (currently Around the World in Eighty Days).
The Light Bulb Moments
We have a menagerie of pets, and we will often drop everything to study an interesting bug or plant that one of my boys finds, or to watch our snake shed her skin. Gathering eggs from our hens each day, we are apt to find that one of the girls is molting, or a mouse has moved into the nesting box. Nature study has been a part of our schooling from the beginning, and my oldest started his first nature journal in kindergarten.
If we have an opportunity to attend an event or field trip, we will often cater our history, literature, or science studies to meet the topic. For instance, my husband recently had the opportunity to accompany WWII veterans on the Honor Flight, and we were able to meet the plane when they arrived home. We had already been reading some WWII era literature, so we also visited a war museum, met with WWII veterans, and covered that time period in our history lessons. All of this tied together when my sons saw the faces of these heroes as they came off the plane.
I love seeing the “lightbulb” moments when my boys make connections.
So there you have it–a peek into my homeschool. I’d love to hear what yours is like, so share your story in the comments!
What is your homeschool like? Do you have a relaxed style or more structured?Share this: