It’s that time of year…Sandwiched between the July 4th decorations and Halloween, it’s the back to school supplies at every store around.
This is the time of year that I stock up on glue, washable crayons (we had an episode with a crayon, clothes, and a dryer), and anything else for crafting during the year.
We homeschool. Never in a million years did I think I would utter those words, but then again, I never thought I would have four kids! In fact, we unschool. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a free for all and my children can run around and do whatever they please. Believe me, that’s what I thought unschooling meant. It simply means in our home that our children are free to learn about what they are passionate about.
Take my oldest for example…..she loves birds. She is obsessed with them. She can tell you what type of bird it is, where they live, what they eat, wingspan, the list goes on. And that is with hundreds of different birds. Through that she has learned all about science, math with calculating different problems dealing with birds, working with money to buy certain books about birds and raising them, geography by learning where different birds are located, and history how certain birds played a role in the making of our country. The list goes on. When we school with our children’s passions, it makes school more fun and honestly easy too. Sure, she may not learn a specific thing that some children her age in public school or other curriculums are learning, but their is always time for that. We have the rest of our lives to learn! We encourage our children to pursue their passions. We have found in the 5 years of schooling, this shows the best results.
We do have time in the morning for a math lesson, and reflection time which also works on her writing but shhhh, I don’t think she is onto me with that one! But the rest of the day consists of exploring, creating, encouraging, and failing (a big one we often don’t think about). All these things shape our children into young adults. But I want my kids to be kids. I want them to play hard. I want to see them get dirty by exploring mud (ok, maybe not painting their youngest brother from head to toe in mud, but you get the idea). I want to see them be able to rest and relax. Enjoy nature. Watch a butterfly and observe what it does. Sit with a dying chick. Make a pulley system. Catch squirrels in a homemade trap. I want their little wheels in their heads to turn, problem solve, feel. And many children can do that in any situation. But you know what? I love being able to see that with my own eyes and not being told about it. I love to see one of my kids struggling with something and giving them a moment to figure it out and the look on their face when they do. Just like when all my babies took their milestones when they were little. To me, it doesn’t stop there. To me, that is only the beginning of the journey.