There are a lot of days in a school year and I can honestly say we have had our fair share of unproductive ones. Those are the days when we just don’t seem to get anything of note done and might just spend the day in full-play or even “gasp” watching television. Interestingly, though, I have realized that many of our very productive days might not look much differently to the outsider. The untrained, compulsory-schooled eye might only see us playing on some of those extremely fulfilling days. But I know the difference and that difference is the reason I believe what we are doing is the right thing for us and why I love what it is we do.
Case in point: what I considered to be one of our best days this past year…a day I didn’t think we were going to “do” anything…a day when the neighbors probably muttered to themselves about “lazy homeschoolers”. But, I know better.
Our beautiful day:
What? All you see is chalk? Ah, but take a closer look. This is what I saw:
I saw a day when the girls played cooperatively and helped each other with a variety of problems. I saw a day of exercise with hopscotch and bike riding and, later, playing on the swing set. I saw number recognition, addition, subtraction and pattern recognition as they jumped from square to square. I saw color theory and art. I saw problem solving and thinking skills. I saw reading of words I spelled, drawing pictures for those words and writing words of pictures I drew. As we made our way from the front yard to the back, while swinging and sliding and laughing, I heard rhymes, consonant blends practice, and a slew of antonyms and synonyms and an understanding of what those things are, as well as valid discussion on why they are needed for descriptive purposes. We talked about the clouds and our shadows and why they are cast. We played and we talked and we thought and we analyzed. We had art, math, science, p.e., spelling, reading, literature, and citizenship, just to name a few.
I can only wish that everyone could experience the beauty that is natural, fun learning. So, take time to enjoy the days. Don’t sweat it when there isn’t always “a plan”. You just might find the best learning comes with no direction whatsoever.