You know what’s funny? This time last year homeschooling was not on my radar. And yet here I sit, one year later, and I am not only homeschooling but I am enjoying it most days.
When I think about all the things I’ve grown to love and appreciate about homeschooling, the list is long. If I had to pick my most favorite part of homeschooling, I would have to choose the flexibility.
Homeschooling is so flexible! With homeschooling, I can choose when to start and end our year, how many days to homeschool and for how long each day, subjects to cover, materials, field trips, etc. Not that we’ve been healthy enough for a vacation, but we can take one at any time. Heck, homeschooling is so flexible that I could homeschool on vacation if I wanted to do so. Also, if we are having an off day, we can relax and see what happens. I’m often surprised by how creative my kids are on those days, and how much learning happens when we relax and just let it.
This morning I had a poorly timed doctor appointment and a bunch of errands that I had to do today. To add to the fun, one member of my party was less than cooperative, making everything take so much longer than it should have. At one point, this child of mine tied his boot laces together and it took forever for my frozen fingers to remedy the situation. As I was struggling to untie the laces, the child attached to the laces was throwing a fit because he was afraid he would never be free again. It was in this moment that I thought to myself, “Self? I have a feeling homeschooling is going to be tricky today.”
Do you know what? Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and so the public school was not in session. We started our MLK, Jr. Day by reading Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport.
Next, we watched a video on MLK, Jr. and Rosa Parks on BrainPop, Jr.
Next, we watched King’s famous I Have a Dream speech on YouTube.
In addition to all the MLK, Jr. activities, we had a snuggle party during which we took turns reading a huge stack of library books aloud, Leo asked to do some math, he practiced piano, and we played a trivia game at dinner. We learned quite a bit on Monday, which was technically a “no school” day.
So, this morning, as I struggled to untie Leo’s frozen boot laces, I had a feeling that we were headed down a bad path. We were at risk for having another off day. I like to think I learn from past mistakes and so, when we returned home this afternoon, I cleared our schedule. The public school kids may have had Monday off, but we had today off.
It all started with Kiwi Crate. Don’t you just love Kiwi Crate? The kids’ grandparents got them a subscription for their birthday. I save them for rainy, sick, or other “off” days and -lately- Leo likes to lead his very own art class using Kiwi Crates. I get to sit back, enjoy a cup of tea, and watch the fun unfold. This month’s Kiwi Crate included a decorate your own cake craft and a decorate your own chef hat and apron craft.
Instructor Leo taught the littlest two poppies how to create their cake and then their hat and apron. There was a lot of giggling and paint was everywhere, but you care less about these things when your kitchen looks like this.
Kiwi Crate always includes ideas to take the crafts one step further and this crate was no different. The kit included tips for creating your own restaurant. The trio collaborated, got creative, and made their very own restaurant: Kids Cookery.
This day was so much more enjoyable than it would have been had I decided to push my homeschool agenda. I’d argue that a fair amount of learning happened, too! I love that we have the flexibility to stop a potentially challenging day in its tracks and have some fun.
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.
Cait co-hosts The Homeschool Sisters Podcast and is co-founder of Raising Poppies, a community for parents of gifted and twice-exceptional children. Cait is also founder of the Family Book Club at My Little Poppies, a fantastic community of book-loving parents and the Gameschool Community at My Little Poppies, a vibrant community of gameschoolers.
Cait is a contributing writer for Simple Homeschool. Her work has also appeared on The Huffington Post, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, GeekMom, and many others. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
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