Active Homeschooling

As a homeschooling family, our weekends have a new purpose.

Intentionally, we plan activities that are educational, active and fun.  Because I’m new at this homeschooling thing, I’m not sure if Saturday or Sunday should be included; however, it seems to work well for us to continue through the weekend.  We choose bigger projects on the weekends that we can do as a family and it also takes some of the pressure off the weekday schedule.

It continues to be interesting to me that no other topic has caused such a stir with readers.  A lot of strong opinions out there about what homeschooling is and what it isn’t.

Honestly, we are just doing the best that we can.  Don’t we all?

This weekend, we planned to explore the concepts of force and motion.  Without lectures, worksheets and text books, we explored.

We created a catapult and performed several trials.  I’m not sure it was quite as effective as the Pinterest pinner claimed, but it did the trick.

We created a sling shot using materials from our junk drawer and compared the results of our “pull back less” and “pull back more” attempts.

We used foam guns that worked similarly to our favorite stomp rockets (also great for this lesson) to show the distances that occurred after little force and more force.

There was a lot of active learning taking place.

Throughout the spring and summer, we will revisit the idea of force and motion through play.  My mind is already filled with other experiments and demonstrations that we can do.

We have found that real life provides a lot of lessons too.  Sometimes, not positive ones.  The devastating mud slide that took place in Washington State provided lots of information and discussions about erosion, which is also one of the concepts that we were supposed to cover in our third grade curriculum.

Here is what I know for sure.  We aren’t sitting at the table doing school the way that I imagined it would be…we really don’t have to.

We are talking and reading and listening and experimenting and wondering more every day.  This homeschooling thing…it seems so natural.

Although I was scared and skeptical, I have to say that I love the changes that are taking place in my home and for my family.

If you are a homeschooling family, can you tell me if homeschooling is it what you expected?  I would love to learn from your experiences!


9 thoughts on “Active Homeschooling

  1. We have learned that homeschooling is so much more than we expected. Trips to the Farmer’s Market are opportunities to better learn to count money and practice money management. (Our kindergartener is learning to count my portion of the weekly budget properly. Our 1st grader can now take $X and budget it to get what we need for that money.) Taking a walk is a huge adventure, whether we discuss the things around us (we point out things we’ve discussed in Science and explore new aspects of what we’ve covered,) read signs (mostly grade K to sound things out,) or have adventure walks, where the kids chose the adventure they’re on (There’s a bear chasing us! RUN! We’re riding eagles. Soar! Friendly bunnies are showing us the way. Hop.)
    I agree. It feels natural. It also helps our family to take a step back and relax, really enjoying each other.

  2. I love how you use the everyday things of life as a teaching moment! Stay strong and don’t let anyone deter your decision, I think you are doing a wonderful thing!

  3. I agree. I am doing my part in spreading the word that homeschooling does NOT have to be a sit down with curriculum and work through workbooks. (I thought that was WHY people left traditional schooling).

    As I read this, I smile knowing that I take the same approach, but also realizing that this is the way I taught in school years ago. We DID have the autonomy to build mini catapults, test them, and talk about force and motion.

    I’m basically using the same approach with my child now that I used with my students. I hope someday school can be fun again for kids, or that more families will be able to take on the role as homeschoolers.

  4. Yes and no. This is our second year of homeschooling and it’s beginning to look more like what I imagined. Last year I got sucked into the fear that my kids wouldnt learn if I didn’t have textbooks and work sheets. Those can be tools but shouldn’t be the only tools. And then I got stuck in busy-ness and couldn’t give my attention to doing those cool pinterest projects. I could only pin them. So I’m learning to relax and to intentionally spend time with my kids DOING things. And soon it will be all I ever dreamed!

    • I can see how that would be easy to do. My elementary teacher background allows me to do those fun things that you can’t always do with 24 students but can manage with one. I think that I am still, too preoccupied with Common Core standards and minutes of each subject covered, but I’m learning to relax a bit. Thanks for taking the time to stop by! 🙂

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