It’s easy to let my background in education dictate our homeschool. I’m more of a “school at home” kind of homeschooler.
But, I don’t want to be!
I want my kids to love learning, to know how to learn, and to dive deep into topics of interest.
So, I made the decision to stop the majority of our schooling until January. For the next six weeks, you won’t find us cracking textbooks and merely crossing “school” off for the day.
Instead, you’ll find me embracing learning opportunities as they occur. We’ll be spending more time reading aloud and discussing, and less time doing busy work.
Our time will be spent creating, exploring, and learning together. And though the notion kind of scares me, I know it’s just the public school side of me worrying.
Because, deep down inside, I know that:
- Hands on learning opportunities help build long-term understanding
- Learning to learn opens unnumerable doors
- School can often get in the way of education
- Learning isn’t a one-size fits all activity
- Teaching my kids to use their strengths will build their confidence
- Life is full of teachable moments
I also know I won’t regret spending this time focusing on quality education instead of merely checking off some boxes on a to-do list.
What Are We Doing?
I’m leaving a lot of time open for exploring interests and doing some delight-directed learning. I know we’ll take at least one trip to the library to check out books.
Some other fun educational activities will also take place. For instance, we’ll be:
- Playing more board games
- Exploring entrepreneurship
- Reading self-selected books, comics, and magazines
- Creating artwork and music
- Looking for ways to be a blessing to our family and friends
- Cooking and baking together
- Planning, building, and decorating graham cracker houses
There’s tons of old Disney comics (Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse) comics tucked into a corner of a closet upstairs. These are my Dad’s, and I know a couple of my middle kids would enjoy reading them. I’m actually looking forward to reading them as well, as I used to love them!
I think video making and sewing will also happen. My Ellie wants to be a “sewer” when she grows up, so it’s the perfect time to practice!
Building on Strengths
God gave each of my kids a different set of talents and strengths. It’s so important they learn how to use them and have time to try them out.
I’m looking forward to helping them learn more about their strenghts, and how they can be used. In fact, I envision our homeschool will never again look quite the same.
I see more strength directed assignments being used. For instance, my oldest daughter loves art and coding. Instead of writing a standard book report, she can draw the characters on the computer and use them as pieces in a game she makes.
My young creative daughter can draw flip books and make paper dolls to retell stories.
Learning looks different for each kid, and I’ve been trying to fit everyone inside this neat little box. No wonder we’re all feeling slightly burned out.
Are We Doing ANY School?
With a daughter in high school, gearing up for Running Start next year, stopping everything for six weeks won’t work so well. So we sat down today and made a schedule. She’ll be working on two subjects each day, and should be able to finish up her school in only an hour each day.
She’s thrilled to have more time to work on her novel (she’s almost to 10,000 words!) and to try out some activities she hasn’t had time for.
Have You Ever Stopped Schooling?
I’d love to hear about any school breaks you took. Did you come back with renewed vigor, or did you permanently change the way you schooled?
I’d love to hear how you’re planning to homeschool over Christmas break in the comments.