Homeschool, Parenting

Thankful We Homeschool

A day like today makes me feel so thankful we made the decision to homeschool. Everything the kids and I did today reminded me that learning is special, magical, and fun.

The kids watching a worm wriggle because of the heat of the sun. They tried helping it by sprinkling water on it. When it eventually died about an hour later, Audrey said
Kristo and his friends watching two worms wriggle because of the heat of the sun. They tried helping it by sprinkling water on it. When both of the worms eventually died about an hour later, Audrey said “bye wormy”

Many times I’ve been guilty of bringing the classroom to our home, thinking that I have to conform to what’s the “norm”.  I’ve called Kristo out when he doesn’t sit up straight when I’m discussing a lesson. I’ve refused to let him eat while answering a worksheet. I’ve been constantly reminding him to be quiet when he’s doing his math and writing drills and the list goes on. Bottomline is, I’ve found myself on several occasions mimicking the traditional classroom set-up in our home.

Huge mistake.

Yes I know it’s all about discipline and there are probably a bunch of reasons why we grew up with all those rules in traditional school. Thing is, does it really help him learn and do his work well or does it frustrate and slow him down?

Every child learns differently. Kristo is a mix of a kinesthetic learner and a visual spatial learner. If you’re familiar with both types of learners, you’ll know that to understand a lesson better, they’d have to move around, they like fiddling with stuff while listening or they like doodling while learning and more. They also need lots of breaks, pictures, colors, graphs and manipulatives. Since he’s this kind of learner, I can’t expect him to sit up straight and not fidget for long periods of times. I constantly have to remind myself that the goal is to have him learn as much as he can and enjoy the process too. The worst thing I can do is have him associate learning with torture.

Soo today….

Learning venue #1 -- Yeah, I know they're in the pool but I overheard Kristo and his friend Asher (who is also homeschooled) talk about different animal facts.
Learning venue #1 — Yeah, I know they’re in the pool but I overheard Kristo and his friend Asher (who is also homeschooled) talk about different animal facts.
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Learning venue #2 – Couch in the clubhouse. He was doodling plants, trees and fruits while I was reading/discussing about plants. Audrey on the other hand was “coloring” a picture of a flower which I drew.
Learning venue #3 - poolside where they saw a worm struggling to survive. None of us planned on learning about worms today but the kids were interested, so we had them spend a few minutes learning about worms by observing it.
Learning venue #3 – poolside where they saw a worm struggling to survive. None of us planned on learning about worms today but the kids were interested, so we had them spend a few minutes learning about worms by observing it.
Learning venue #4 - on top of the slide while he was working two standard reading test and a few math word problems. =)
Learning venue #4 – on top of the slide while he was working two standard reading test and a few math word problems. =)

Usually, Kristo isn’t too keen on reading tests and word problems. However today, when I allowed him to do these two drills while lying on his belly on top of the slide — he was done in less than half an hour which is his record time so far! =)

I also had him go around the park to take photos of different plants. When we got home and transferred the photos he took, I was genuinely impressed. Take a look at these UNEDITED shots —

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Today I discovered something new about Kristo. He has an eye for photography, don’t you think? =)

I have to be honest, none of the activities I’ve told you about were in my master plan for the morning. I also had a good ten to fifteen minutes of frustration when I couldn’t sit down with Kristo and discuss a lesson I had prepared because his little super active sister just wouldn’t stay still! My good friend and ever-reliable neighbor Beth (who is an awesome homeschool mom of two!)  reminded me today that Audrey was studying too! Ayayay! I totally forgot that I was already teaching two kids! As soon as she said that, it’s like a flood of new ideas and revelations came to me!

With Beth, one of my super homeschool mentors! Spending time with her and hearing her stories and ideas always refreshes and inspires me!! =)
With Beth, one of my super homeschool mentors! Spending time with her and hearing her stories and ideas always refreshes and inspires me!! =)

As soon as I let Audrey explore and learn, she was able to go up and down a flight of stairs for the very first time without my help! Kristo got so excited about this milestone too! It was such a beautiful moment!. Nerve-wracking, but awesome!

This also doubled as lesson on
This also doubled as a lesson on “up”
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Kristo was so proud of his sister!
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A lesson on “down” =)
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This was also the first time I had her sit on the swing on her own!
Look at how comfortable and confident she is in the water -- without me by her side!
Look at how comfortable and confident she is in the water — without me by her side!

I am thankful we homeschool because everyday I get to discover so many new things about my kids. God constantly reminds me that each child is different, each child learns differently and at their own pace. Each child is special and my role as their mother and teacher is not to put them in a box.

My job is to see how unique they are. I need to support and encourage their interests. I’m here to help them be the person God created them to be. I need to make learning as fun as can be for them. They are kids and I want them to enjoy these magical years through learning AND play. My husband and I need to make sure the kids know that we live in such an amazing world and God wants us to discover His creations. We have to remind them that learning should never stop for any one of us. =)

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3 thoughts on “Thankful We Homeschool”

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