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.
Reading and talking about Gideon and the importance of obeying God.
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.
WOOT! WOOT! RECESS TIME!
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.
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.
Stopping at the pond and checking out the lily pads for frogs.
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.
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