"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12



“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats





Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mama's Homeschool Steps Out


Literally.

The past week has been absolutely gorgeous here in SW Florida. We've been blessed with cool, breezy, no humidity mornings where we've not had the need to turn on the air conditioner. The kids love it and I love it!

This morning, I thought we'd have a special day of school by taking "school" to the park! It was very cute because when we got in the car packed with a blanket, school supplies, books, laptop, and snacks, Kai said, "Mama, you can't have school at a park." I said, "Sure, we can! That's another great thing about homeschooling, Kai. We can have school just about anywhere!" They got a kick out of that!

So, we arrived at one of their favorite parks, laid out our blanket, Amanda grabbed her laptop and everyone settled in. We started our school day, just as we do every day, with bible study. I was quite surprised how attentive they were sitting there listening to the story and during discussion time.

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Reading and talking about Gideon and the importance of obeying God.

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Everyone hard at work!

We had reading time and then ran off eagerly to the much anticipated playground equipment to burn off some energy. We came back, had a snack during story time, and then did our math work.

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WOOT! WOOT! RECESS TIME!

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Back to work!

Afterwards, we packed up and decided to take a little "nature" walk through the park. We saw neat birds like herons and egrets and walked the boardwalk in search of alligators. We've discussed many times about habitats and which animals live where. I often don't even have to bring it up because the little ones are very quick to let me know where we are and which of God's creatures may be lurking around.

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This boy takes his math very seriously!

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My girl's wings are spreading and she is doing amazingly well!

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My China-man tackling those tough word problems!

We then took a walk through some very neat cactus gardens that AJ insisted on wanting to touch (no worries, I did not let him) and then through some pretty stunning rose gardens and a few small flower gardens that were surrounded by beautiful, fluttering butterflies.

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Stopping at the pond and checking out the lily pads for frogs.

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Nothing like finding real alligators to fit in perfectly with our reptile lessons this week.

I am enjoying homeschooling my babies so very much. Every night I thank God for the opportunity to be home with them and to be allowed this honor. Watching them literally bloom before my eyes is an amazing gift.

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Heading home after a great day of school!

I remember saying to God when we started, "Lord, I'm doing this because I know you have called me to do so, but I am pretty sure that although I know you never make mistakes, you may have just picked the wrong person for this particular job." As usual, he probably laughed while sitting on his throne and said, "HA! Here she goes again." I am so thankful that again, I was obedient and stepped out of my comfort box.

I do want to thank some wonderful, veteran, homeschooling Mamas who have given me such great advice. I remember in particular being told that the most important piece of advice they could give me was to take not take it so "seriously". I thought at first, "Hmm...that's weird. How could you not take school seriously?" Well, now 2 months into it. I find that truly has been one of the best pieces of advice I have been given.

The first couple of weeks, I was so stressed about making sure we were "sitting down ready for class" at 9 am. I felt it was imperative for me to adhere to a stringent schedule. Now, I've thrown that all out the window. Oh yeah, we definitely have class every day. We still do bible study, reading, math, Spanish, science or social studies every day, with a day here or there of music and or art. But, I no longer adhere to schedules. If we wake up a little later, we just start later. If we wake up earlier. We then start earlier. If reading goes past the 30 minutes allotted, great! If it's less time, so be it. We're ALL enjoying school so much more now. The kids know the routine and know which subjects follow which. They look forward to school and on the one or two occasions, where we've not had school because of doctors' appointments or for whatever reason, they truly have missed it.

I am so thankful that I have been blessed with such wonderful friends that are not only amazing Mamas, but they are homeschooling pros. Your opinions, thoughts and ideas are invaluable to me. Please know the door is always open to receive whatever you wish to share!

To teach is to learn twice. - Chinese Proverb


11 comments :

The Princess's Mommy said...

Oh I LOVE this!!! So glad things are going well!

Love ya,
Monica

Patricia/NYC said...

Fabulous, fabulous post Ohilda!! Great photos too!! Sounds like you got it goin' ON, girl!!

So happy you're all happy! :)

Terynn said...

Love this for your day, for your life. You are blessed, indeed. And some days, I am jealous.

There! I said it. LOL

The Byrd's Nest said...

I was that way too in the beginning...we had to start at a certain time....not now! We start whenever we are ready. I have started reading the chapter book at night before we go to sleep instead of trying to work everything in ....it is just too much for them:) You are doing a fabulous job and don't worry my friend....God chuckles at me all the time...I am sure of it!!!

Ohilda said...

Oh Teri, it's no secret that although I know I am incredibly blessed, I once in a while am a bit jealous of YOUR life! You know...taking off on with hubby on a whim. No turning back. No worries left behind. :)

Love you, friend!

Aus said...

Morning O - great stuff - way more learning in the world than there is in the classroom! This really is very cool!

hugs - aus and co.

Mom Of Many said...

What a beautiful post! I am so thrilled for you...and the other day when I was talking to a young mom who was just beginning home schooling I said the same thing, "Don't take it all so seriously. Relax. Enjoy the treasures." You are doing an awesome job! So very tickled for all your kids that you heard Him and jumped in full swing! Very, very proud of you!

Jill said...

WHAT FUN! There is just something about sitting on a blanket OUTSIDE that is so cuddly and PERFECT!

Holly said...

You are a fast learner :) I am so happy to hear you writing this! These years are really precious and will fly by!
Enjoy them and trust God with your plans...then you will succeed!
Okay, I'm going to fall off the face of blog world while I go to CHINA for Elaina :)
Leaving in DAYS!!
love,
Holly

The Ferrill's said...

Your homeschool park day sounds HEAVENLY!!!!!!!
And that Chinese Proverb you quoted...SO TRUE. I am TOTALLY learning Algebra all over again whether I like it or not! ;)
Ohilda I love to hear that you are enjoying homeschooling so much! It was something that I never imagined myself doing...BUT GOD! I thank God everyday for the PRIVILEGE!

Sara W. said...

Just so perfect!! Just think of all that you are doing for your children :-)

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