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  • Writer's pictureErica Stone

Homeschool Mind Shift

She's become more philosophical these days. Maybe it's what she hears on the news when the TV is on.... maybe it's our conversations in the home... or maybe it's our latest approach to her homeschool... regardless I am seeing changes in her.

The other day she asked me about the "fighting in the world"....

Why are people so mad at each other?

Are we all gonna die in a war?

How do we make peace?

Then she asked about Romeo and Juliet... completely out of the blue. Maybe it was Taylor Swift.... she has had her early album on repeat lately ;)

She has asked questions about her history... and her sibling's history....

When we walk the beach she points out things about the ocean I'm not sure I would have thought about at her age....

She worries about Covid since it came through our home... reminding us to grab our masks when we leave the house...

It's sad to me that her little mind is focused on so many hard things. In a "normal" world she would be focused on math problems, a spelling bee, and what TV show she wants to watch when school is over. Instead, it looks a little different.

All that to say.... since moving to the beach... and with homeschool our avenue.... we have adjusted how and when we school. I've worried less about the books and content she is "supposed" to be learning in 3rd grade... and I've let HER lead her day a bit.

For example... silent reading is a MUST. She has to do it every single day. She also has to do a few days a week of math... But things like science and social studies not so much. I let her lead with her own ideas and include her in MY day... rather than creating a space she struggles to focus in. When I am cooking, she is right there... we work math problems using measuring cups and teaspoons... cooking also gives us space to talk science... how quickly they learn what evaporation means when they are watching it happen on the stove rather than reading about it online. We also use the kitchen to talk healthy living and nutrition. She knows more about the back of a label than most kids her age. haha! She is learning home skills and also what it means to be aware of what she puts into her body.

We take bikes rides almost every day. She is getting her physical activity in and while we ride we talk about world events and also about the world around her. We google cool plants and trees she finds along the way. Who knows maybe her curiosity will lead her into a world of Botany. Haha ;)

We bought her a Fitbit watch for Christmas. Now she is watchful of her activity... she sets alarms and makes sure she is completing her "steps" and not sitting in front of a screen all day.

Our car rides are used to talk about the street signs and the roads that lead to areas she loves. She could give you directions to almost anywhere on 30A if you asked her ;)

Sometimes I sit her down in front of a documentary... it makes her "think" she is getting TV time... but she is actually learning something instead.

When she practices handwriting... I threw out the workbooks and instead I ask her to write letters... to family and friends. I am about to introduce journaling to her.... a way to build her communication and writing skills without making her feel bored with required reading/writing assignments. She gets to form her own thoughts and ideas... and to me... THAT is the most important lesson she could ever learn.

All of this... just small examples of how we spend our days... will she be "behind" if she ever steps back into a classroom? Maybe.... but honestly by whose standards? My goal with all of my kids has never to been to ensure they are the smartest in the classroom or that they land an academic scholarship... it's always been to teach them they are NOT the only one living on the planet... they are here to LOVE, serve, and use their voice in the world... and most kids sadly never know what that voice is telling them because of the noise around them.... they eventually end up a cookie cutter student without the ability to stand on their own and forge their own path. I don't want that for my kids. I want them to find their passion... to follow it... to ask the big questions... and search for their own answers. I want them focused on LOVE and HOPE.

Yes there is much truth to the current mental health of children who have lost their "normal" during the pandemic... they don't see their friends and they struggle with online schooling... if that's you... your child... I would just encourage you to consider your own path... Your child can learn, receive, and give to the world in their own way... you just have to give them room to do that... and grace for yourself... you have choices. Feel free to make them.

P.S. You can follow more of our homeschool and daily living journey by following along on Instagram....

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