As we finish up Week 6 of our Seed To Seedling Homeschool, I am coming to realize how supremely blessed I am to be able to be homeschooling my child. In many ways, I feel like I’m back to the first words and steps again, as I am aware to see my daughter develop and do things for the first time.
I much like the idea of unschooling and passion-driven learning, but I had gotten a boxed curriculum because I’m new to this and not trained as a teacher, so I didn’t feel like I knew what ought to be covered, etc. Well, six weeks of experience and months of reading up on different methods of homeschooling have shown me that a person can get along just fine without a boxed curriculum, yet I’m glad I got one. Indeed, we’ve had to adapt it a little and make it more flexible, so that Elizabeth is essentially deciding which activities we do which days, rather than us following the daily agenda. This is fine. Because of that, a unit is taking bit longer to finish than how it is laid out in the guide. This is also ok.
But I’m very glad I got the boxed curriculum, Moving Beyond The Page for ages 4-5, because some of the activities that we have done so far, I just don’t know if I would have ever put them before my daughter if I had been trying to put everything together on my own. For example, I am a booky type of person. I love to read and write. I’m an active person, but not sporty. Per my personality, I may have chosen activities for school that I find more interesting, like reading and handwriting pages, but that may not have been captivating enough for Elizabeth. Also, and even though I spend everyday with her, my knowledge of my daughter’s interests, creativity, and knowledge is actually limited. Mothers are NOT all-knowing after all! 🙂
The activity that has really made me feel so blessed to be watching this learning and creativity process unfold is painting with Elizabeth. In one recent activity in which she was to paint an island, I decided to sit down with her and paint as well because I thought it might help her learn what I was trying to tell her if I showed her. One way I learn best personally is watching someone else first do it. I am trying to keep different learning styles in mind, and let my little girl learn her own way. For the project, I got out the blue, brown, and green paints, and then I explained what we were to do. She listened carefully and was interested, so we started painting.
Let me pause here and ask YOU a question: What’s the first image that pops into your head if I were to ask you to paint an island? Which perspective would you choose?
I chose arial, as though I were in a plane looking down on the island. But Elizabeth chose a front-facing perspective (not a technical term…), as though she was approaching her island on a boat. Surprise, Mommy! That was not what I was expecting. But it got even better, as she made the sky, the sea, the land, then went on to make brown trunks followed by round, green tops for trees! The following day, she painted again, and this colorful island had a sun and flowers – that look like a sun and flowers! Why is this all so surprising to me? Because up until this project, I had never seen her draw/paint something, mostly she had just made colorful blobs, lines, or squiggles, so to have her suddenly draw stuff that made complete sense is just so amazing to me! Even though it was nearly a week ago now, I can still hardly think about it without a smile on my face and my heart fluttering. It really makes me so happy! It really is like watching a baby take his first steps. But I all ready got to do that, so I feel like it’s just amazingness happening every day! And since this is just the beginning, I’ve got weeks, months, years of being astounded at what my kids can do!
Public school began Thursday here in New York, and Wednesday, as I watched the kids playing and laughing together in the late morning, I just felt, again, how blessed we are to be able to do what we are doing. I feel blessed that this option was illuminated before us so that we considered it, and then that we chose it. I feel content in my life right now, how blessed am I?
So, besides painting, what else have we been up to?
- Pin the tail on the monkey
- Paper clip measuring and magnetism
- Re-delegating animal cards from the curriculum into a memory game
- Biking a state park on Labor Day
- Nature walks
Chime in: What are some of your kids’ unexpected achievements that have made you feel blessed?