I was recently having a conversation with a good friend, and she wanted to know what my plans were for the week. I told her we had some stuff going on with school. Her response made me laugh. What? School? It’s summer! “I thought you guys would be ready for a break,” she said. She was so shocked that we had something going on for school in June. I had to stop and think about how our life may look to outsiders. Sure it’s odd that we still have stuff going on over the summer. Odd maybe, but perfect for us yes.
We love to take little adventures, mini field trips and big field trips. In doing so, there are several days that we do not do any school work. Instead, we pack lunch and go have school in other ways. So yes, my kids have algebra to finish, and they both owe their sweet Biology teacher (not me, thank God) a completed leaf collection. Even if we bombed it and they get a zero because it’s weeks late, they owe it to her, and to themselves for completing their responsibilities. We will finish up their Civics over the next month, and they will finally have a month off before they start their next year of school.
Our lifestyle fits our little family. We love to take time for the little things, to appreciate life and make memories. Recently we went on a drive to a town my dad grew up in. We were going to have a picnic, maybe put our feet in the river and enjoy nature. Since the river was flowing too fast for this mama’s comfort, we had a little change of plans. We collected leaves for said Biology project, and spent some time exploring. On the way out of the park, I saw a sign for an old homestead. I had heard of it before, but never been to. Due to a knee injury, I didn’t think I would be able to do much walking! But the sign at the trailhead said it was a short hike. And even better, an overlook of the Buffalo River was only a little bit further. I can remember thinking that view was something I would only see in pictures. But we took off on that trail, looking at flowers, weird plants and the old homestead. The kids learned things inside that old homestead, and I told them stories of when their papa lived in a cabin a lot like that. Logically, they had a history lesson that day, learned about rivers rising even though there was no rain in our area, they read a topographic map, and listened to a variety of music from the past. So, not your normal day of school, but it was sure fun, and what they learned, what I learned will last us a lifetime.
These pictures are at Tyler bend.
This newspaper was one from when President Roosevelt was in office. There were many other pieces of newspapers on the cabin walls, along with cardboard. Both used as insulation in the older cabins.
I wondered if I was doing things right for them, a few different times. Mostly when people question me, or pointed out we are not doing things the way they were. But on Saturday, I had a wonderful lady witness to me about how things were done in her family. She too has school days like we do and I’ve seen how well her older children are doing. She was an encourager to me. And I hope to be that for others. We need to lift each other up more, and focus on the positive, not so much on our differences.
If I had to give any advice to fellow home-school moms about planning their school year, and their curriculum, My advice would be, follow your heart mama, and do what fits your family. Not every child learns the same, and not every family schools the same. The reason we home-school is we don’t want our kids in a normal public school situation. I know my family has chosen this path so we can control what curriculum is introduced to our children, to teach them things we believe are important, and many other things.