Monday, April 2, 2012


I pretty much never post anything about homeschooling.

Judging from the blog, you'd think we never get around to doing our lessons between the painting and playing.

But, we do. It's just - well, if you take a photo of lessons everyday, they kind of all start to look the same. You can only do so many pictures of a child with a Latin workbook.

Last Friday, though, we had a really pretty Botany lesson. We were learning about seed production and flower anatomy. It was so lovely, I took some photos.

There are as many different ways to homeschool as there are homeschooling families. Because a curriculum can be so individualized, and because homeschooling has to fit into everyday reality for each family, virtually no two homeschools look exactly the same.

There can be quite a lot of variation even within one family over several years. One year we many have to accomodate a baby in the mix. Another year there may be a move involved. Children get older. Their needs change. Their gifts and aptitudes come to light. Possible weak points are identified. The homeschool changes with all that.

At least it does in our family. This is our sixth year homeschooling, and it has not looked the same for even two years in a row. Although there are some constants, every year is different. Some years have been very, very hard. Like the year we moved here. Little Dude was almost two. Homeschooling is harder for me with a toddler than it is with a baby. But, every family and stage is different. It may not be so hard when Baby is toddling around. The older kids are... older. Helpful.

We are, for the most part, Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. We "do school" all around the house and outside, too. We do Latin and Language Arts at the dining room table. Math in the kitchen or alone in a bedroom. Geography on the living room floor. Literature and History on the living room sofa.

And Botany is either outside or here... at the kitchen table.

This is the first year I've been able to have the four oldest all do work together. Little Dude is five and very bright. He's able to pick up on at least some of the lesson, even though it's for middle schoolers. I adjust it some for Punkin, but she takes a lot in, too.

I know, someday soon, the older children are going to be doing a lot more independently... in a room away from the hub-bub and noise. That kind of makes me sad. I like us all packed into one room in the middle of the day.

It's silly, though, to be sad about a possibility.

Maybe they'll be better at handling distraction than I was as a teenager. Maybe we will still all hunker down in the living room or kitchen together. Who knows?

"It's too soon to tell."

But for now, I'll just enjoy today for what it is. All gathered and a little crowded and full and good.

And thank my gracious Father for the blessings of this day.


Kristi said...

I don't know as if I've ever commented on your blog, but I've been reading it since Young House Love featured your door. (I know...shame on me.) I love seeing a post about your homeschooling! I have a 6, 4, and 2 1/2 year old and began homeschooling my oldest last year. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder how in the world I'm going to do it when all of them are doing school. :). I love seeing what works for your family (which is beautiful, by the way).

Jess said...

What a beautiful post! Not just a bit about how you homeschool but your feelings on having to adapt and change. I so admire you for homeschooling.

Also, love the photos in this post. All of them!