Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Surrounded by "School"

Maestro - motivation for several blog posts lately - has mentioned a curiosity about classroom-based education a few times over the years. It seems his primary motivation has been because of the social aspect: a mistaken notion that going to school will mean being able to talk to and interact with his friends more often. As a result, I've tried to point out where things that we're doing anyway are things that I can frequently "count" as part of our schooling. My intention is to get him to think more along the lines of a "count your blessings" mentality, as opposed to a "count your curses" mode of thinking.

One of our many "alternate" home school activities

In homeschooling, I've had the chance to be with my children in every possible situation it seems. I love seeing them rise to the challenges each day brings, seeing them grow, question, and learn to really look at the world around them with new and critical eyes. Among the things I've written down in our school notebooks are

Airmen take the flag down at Ft. Meade
  • baking/cooking 
  • Boy Scout badge work
  • camping trips
  • day trips to places like Hershey Park
  • day hikes
  • singing in the car
  • making up new songs
  • baseball participation
  • earning and saving money for a trip (business skills)
  • listening to different kinds of music while studying (Sinatra, classical, etc.)
Native Tonga dance display

There are so many more things that we do every day that I count among our learning experiences and yet my boy was a little upset about when I pointed out that I could add an activity to the list. Upon further inquiry, he told me (in a very exasperated tone!) that he doesn't want to feel like he is "surrounded by school" all the time! But that is the beauty of home schooling! We are learning to to see the value of life's lessons no matter the time, place or circumstance. 

Science of motion
We have a great woman who teaches our kids piano - she is also a former home schooling mom. Our teacher recently returned from a trip to California where she watched her Valedictorian daughter graduate from college. Her daughter was home schooled all the way up through high school. Diane related to us that her daughter said that college was not as difficult as it might have been because she had already read a lot of the required books as part of her home schooling schedule. On top of that, she already knew how to learn and study because she had been involved in her own self-education for years.

Legos help with history and architecture

There are many good things about public and private schools and the now-traditional way of schooling is the best option for many families. At the same time, I want my children to see the blessings that we have in spending our time together every day. I want them to learn to recognize that there are blessings - and 

disappointments - in all things in life, it is only a matter of looking for either. If we "school" our minds in looking for the negatives - what the grass looks like on the other side of the fence - then those negative things will be most readily found. Conversely, if we school our minds in looking for the benefits in our lives and experiences, those are the things we'll notice first.

Break time by the grape vine!

What blessings grab your attention today?


  1. My beautiful daughter picked me flowers today. I am truly blessed to be her mom. Love your post!

  2. What a beautiful memory that will bring to you as she gets older. She's sure a spunky kid and lends energy to the very air when she is in the room!

  3. I can't seem to get the spacing right on this post so please forgive all the extra white space!


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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