Yes, August is usually still summertime. But not in our home. It’s the month we decided we’d start homeschooling (Christian Unschooling, to be exact). It’s the month we gave our son’s Montessori school final notice that he would not be returning for the 2015/16 year. (gasp!)
We realized very quickly that our homeschooling style isn’t like a faucet. Unlike many homeschoolers who choose to only homeschool during the same months public school is in session, our son showed a desire to complete workbooks, read (a ton) and do some of his finest artwork when there wasn’t pressure nor the environment set up in a way that forced him to do it.
Here’s an example of one of the pieces we ended up framing – he did this on his own in his room and wouldn’t let us look until he was completed:
To start off, our son LOVES board games, puzzles, maps, hiking, Taekwondo, drumming, and books and books and more books, upon other interests. These fit in snugly already with the time we have as a family, let alone if he were attending school. He’d NEVER have the time to do all the things his heart desires or have the time to perfect his work or hone his crafts.
So here’s what August looked like almost daily:
Daily bible reading and devotional
Looking through comic books independently
Workbooks (mazes, math, spelling…etc.)
Some type of art (drawing, painting, coloring…etc.)
Outdoor time (hiking, park, socializing with other kids…etc.)
Trail hiking (Oregon is great for this!) / that was more like 2-3x/week
You may look at this list and say, so what? That’s what happens in schools too. Sure, you may be right. But what I know for sure is that our son is doing these activities on his own will and I get to be there when he has questions. He was also able to travel to LegoLand with his Grandmother and met another 5-year-old cousin for the first time, when everyone else was already in school back here at home.
Please please please don’t bring up the “socialization” question. This argument that homeschooled kids aren’t socialized is bogus and I’ll do another post on that later. Our kids are extremely social children with a wide range of friends and mentors that happen to live, work and play outside of the four walls of a classroom. Not only have they made great friends but these people will probably never bully our children but encourage and support them along their unique, God-given paths. (IHooray! I find this to be one of the most fulfilling aspects of homeschooling!)
For those asking about our 1-year-old daughter, I don’t document what she does because she’s a toddler and frankly, all over the place right now. But since our son is school age, I am trying to document our days so we can go over them every semester and make sure our actions align with what God is also speaking to our hearts.