When we first started homeschooling, I had this picture in my head of days curled up on the couch reading books, afternoons building castles and drawbridges at the kitchen table and the weekly field trip to see something interesting and to get us out of the house. Three years later, the picture (on most days) is so different.
Add piano lessons, competitive ice skating, PE class, volunteering at the church food pantry, hockey, library time and homeschool book club to the homeschool mix, plus groceries and other household errands and there is not a lot of time for staying home!
As the kids have gotten older and their interests have started to become part of who they are, my idea of what homeschool looks like changed dramatically. Their basic education is still the most important part of our homeschooling. However, I am in the process of learning that education doesn’t always have to come out of a book and that home education doesn’t always happen at home. It is a learning process for us all.
We are learning to incorporate opportunities outside the home into their education. We are also learning the art of scheduling school time and downtime and car time. We are learning that we can get a lot of school work done at Panera in the hour or so between ice skating practice and volunteering. We are learning discipline. We are learning compassion. We are learning the benefits of a day or even an afternoon off. We are learning to think outside the box. We are learning to go with it.
So, maybe my idyllic view of homeschooling was a little off. As I watch our kids flourish in their school work, their interests and their character, I think we are creating our own ideal homeschool life – one that works for us.