The more research I do on homeschooling, the more confirmed I am that we're making the right choice for our daughter and our family. I am lucky to be married to a man that not only supports my long-standing desire to homeschool, but also plans on helping me do the teaching! Not many kids can boast not just 1-1 interaction for schooling, but in fact 2-1 for some subjects. I've noticed over the past few months that our daughter learns some things better from me, and some things better from my husband. It goes to show that our two different learning styles will greatly benefit her. I find myself learning anew with him as he approaches things, and I bet he's learning new things from me too. I also find myself becoming innovative in the way I teach her things because I love to see those light bulb moments. Since we've actively chosen homeschooling and taken our daughter's education in our own hands, I've been so priviledged to watch how thirsty she is for one on one learning.
Rather than take a break this summer, my big school aged girl and I are working hard to keep her beautiful mind learning. I'm not doing a lot of structured work (unless you count the writing practice homework I give her when she goes to her room at nap time!), but I'm making a point of using the situations we come across every day to expand her experience and knowledge. This of course means lots of reading (and what kid doesn't love reading?), daily discussions about the calendar, seasons, reading the clock, and a plethora of nature walks on our way to and from our friends' houses, the library, and Church. We're having a great time birdwatching, chasing butterflies, and identifying various bugs, flowers, and other plants. I can tell it's rubbing off on the boys, who love pointing out all the different things they see and are asking more questions than ever. I'm grateful too that I can teach them about nature while we're out in it, because I can teach them to respect nature at the same time. (Side bonus: All this walking means I have a pretty awesome tan, and, I think, adorable freckles! The kids are still pale but that's because I'm nuts for sunscreen) It's a shame school doesn't run in the summer for all the public school kids, because this is the best time of year to get out there and learn about nature while enjoying it too. My daughter was staring out the window at the rain falling and explained to me, unbidden, the water cycle. That was just another quiet confirmation that what we've been doing with her is working and worthwhile.
While she's busy working on the little projects I'm making for her (next up is planting an indoor garden with veggies she can help me prepare into a meal!), I'm working hard assembling lesson plans and curriculum for more concentrated work in the fall. I know because she's entering grade primary the learning outcomes are not so far beyond her reach, but it's my hope that with diligent planning, as well as taking advantage of what opportunities pop up, I'll be able to help her achieve those outcomes and then surpass them before the year is out. A little bit at a time, according to her attention span and learning style, I'm confident we're going to have a wonderful year.