The way you wish you'd been taught

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Almost all of the schools around us have started the new year and my Facebook feed is clogged with photos of children heading back to school. It's a special time to mark the start of another season of growth. And, I'm missing it.

We started school sometime in July. We took some books on vacation and, voilà!, school is in session. I think I have the start date recorded. I have no first day photo. I made no grand announcement school was starting. In fact, if Natalia didn't like the books so much, I don't think she would have noticed anything about our life was different. For example, last weekend we skipped school on Friday and by Sunday night she said, "Can we please do school? We haven't done it in days and days!"

I check everything off in the schedule but my days of the week are on as often as a broken clock tells the time. We do school most evenings after Elaina is in bed. After the first week or so, Dave wanted to be the one to read History, Science and the Read-Alouds; he thought the books looked just too good to miss. So, evening school it is! A nice quiet way to wind down the day and get ready for bed. The only problem is, you don't always have a wind down period. Sometimes, you just have to go straight to bed. I like to think of us as just being flexible.

So, I guess this is the way we do school.

The start of school on vacation in Florida

My friend Kathy just started homeschooling as well. She is much more organized and planned. On the first day (which she had decided would be her first day!), she said, "Welcome to kindergarten! I'm your teacher..." She has time set aside each day for them to do school. She has her materials out and ready to go. They take a "recess" when they meet us at the park.

This is her version of doing school.

It makes me laugh that we are so different. I didn't grow up doing school "most evenings". My mom wasn't quite as formal as my friend Kathy might be, but she was very organized and planned. We knew what we were supposed to get done and had school at the same time each morning. So, growing up we did school in a third way. I loved the way I was taught growing up, that's why I am so excited to homeschool my own girls. But, I'm very grateful that the schedule, and the material in general, allow us to make school something that works for our family.

Will we always do school this way? Probably not. But, it sure fits where we are right now.

I just want to encourage you, whatever your style, if you are just starting a new year or if you are continuing what you started earlier this year, you can do things your way. If something feels off, try something new to find out what works for your family. Children learn in lots of different ways, and, depending on your stage in life, school might end up looking pretty different.

As always, we have advisors standing by to help you with any questions you might have and forums to discuss any issues you might need help working through. We are part of a beautiful community of parents stepping out in this challenge. You are not alone! May you be encouraged today as you walk this journey.

Until next time,

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