It’s been a few weeks since I felt like this is the beginning of our real homeschooling experience and I’ve felt acutely aware that we are doing this thing. Eliana is not going to kindergarten at school, so this is it. I’ve been thinking a lot about our priorities, and what I want our days to look like and be filled with. I wrote about my plans here, not too long ago, and I’m already tweaking (of course).
I am happy to report we have kept to our plan of having project time 3 days a week, which I’m proud of because Juliette’s nap schedule is not much of a schedule these days, and that’s when the best project times occur. But this continues to be at the top of my homeschool priorities and it’s been happening. The kids choose to work on projects daily, I just don’t give them my full attention that I do during our allotted times.
I had planned on having mornings free for outside time, play time, board games or whatever strikes us. Too many mornings, too many hours, too many choices. It wasn’t working. Now written on my newly hung dry erase board, under Wednesday, is Outside Time. The kids and I know that come Wednesday we are spending the entire morning outside. It’s not that we don’t try to spend time outside every day, but on this morning a week it’s the only thing on our to-do list.
While talking with the kids on Tuesday night about where we should spend our time outside the next morning, Eliana said she wanted to go to a park we hadn’t been to in a while. Stephen surprisingly had no rebuttal, so it was an easy decision. (Oh, the day when Juliette can string a sentence together…we’ll have SO many opinions to consider!) Last week they both picked a park we frequent often, so that was easy too. It’s only been two weeks since we’ve prioritized this block of time to spend outdoors, but I’m liking it so far and I hope we can continue.
It’s harder than it seems to keep our days slow and meaningful, full of learning opportunities and the time needed to explore, digest, reflect, return to and actually learn something on a deeper level. Sometimes I think it would be easier to sign up for lots of activities and classes to form our days, but that’s not what we want. We don’t want to jump from one thing to another; that defeats the purpose of giving ourselves the time to learn on a deeper level. It doesn’t allow for anytime to play. We want to fill our days with the things that matter to us. Letting my kids run around in the grass, climb trees, play on the playground, collect leaves, hike in the woods, build sandcastles, look at the clouds, chase birds, discover new plants and animals, play, play and play some more…that’s what’s important right now.