June was another month of awesome learning adventures for the B3 Life Learners. Since we spend time at the lake each week; we began exploring and learning about invasive species that damage the ecosystem of the lake, such as: Eurasian watermilfoil, curlyleaf pondweed, zebra mussel, asian clam and spiny water fleas. We visited Cooper’s Cave, which inspired James Fenimo Cooper to write, The Last of the Mohicans in 1825. The kids weren’t too impressed with the history. They however, sure did enjoy running across the bridge and climbing on the platform over the cave to point out different birds that flew by; as well as looking to see if they could spot any fish or animals. After leaving there, because my four year old had to use the bathroom, we went across the street to the park. However, the bathrooms were closed. I pulled out my trusted little “Go Girl” and an empty water bottle; and my girl relieved herself with no problems. The kids then went rolling, running and jumping down a hill. We then went to check out the big flock of geese. When it was time to go, they were all complaining of being itchy. My 6 year old asked; why is my skin so itchy? I told him that the grass made it itchy. His response: how? I said, that’s a great question! We will look it up; and we did….after they took baths of course! We found out that grass has serrated edges on each blade that makes microscopic cuts in the skin; and secretes an irritating fluid that makes us itchy.
Aside from these adventures; we attended my niece’s graduation party; where the kids got to interact and play with older cousins, friends and family members. They learned to play ladder toss, played with six week old puppies Jax and Duke; and played with various toys. We go out on the boat every week. So this past week; my 6 year old told my husband that he wanted to drive the boat; so he did for a while. The other three also drove the boat. Other adventures and activities that the kids engaged in during the month of June was washing the car, watching a couple of bees pollinate flowers, picnicking, drawing, painting and practicing their musical instruments. The kids also played with one neighbor’s bunny; and another neighbor’s cat.
We continued our regular activities like reading through the book of Matthew, listening to the wonder bible at night, cleaning; as well as learning through gaming on ABCya, Khan Academy Kids and Starfall. My seven year old (and I) learned about interjections through playing a game on Starfall. I didn’t know that there was such a thing; until he started playing that game. He was also learning how to read building plans. My kids draw, write and read nearly every day; as well as bike, walk, run, play and explore outdoors. There was so much packed into this month that this post would be a book, if I wrote everything. In a nutshell, the kids are progressing and learning quite well. To see a video of some of the adventures, click here. Thanks for reading! YHWH/God bless you and have an excellent week!
I felt that YHWH/God was leading our family in another direction concerning homeschooling. I heard the words: “Wholistic learning.” I began to research it and was lead to John 7:15b: The Jews were impressed, but puzzled: “How does he know so much without being schooled?” I had heard of unschooling before; but didn’t feel that it was for my family. This time, with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I learned of Christian unschooling and life learning. Check out my video here, as I explain my findings; as well as share some of the pictures from our experiences from the past few weeks.
I often get asked how do I do it (homeschooling) with four kids. It is only by THE grace of YHWH/God. I actually really enjoy it…frustrations and all. Prior to this past week, I was frustrated with my second son because it was taking him longer to read his books. It wasn’t because he was struggling or couldn’t do it; rather, it was because he did NOT want to read those books. I told my husband of my frustration. He responded: “He’s just not interested in those books. Let him read what he wants to read.” I said, he only likes to checkout cookbooks from the library. He encouraged me to just let him read them. He said that kids are eager learners and demonstrators. They only resist when they are uninterested. So, that Sunday evening as I planned the lessons for the week, I had the idea to make index cards with facts about him and the things that he enjoyed. Last Monday when I handed him his work folder and told him that he would be reading the cards instead of the books, he was so delighted! He read and read those cars all week long….forward and backwards; and created new sentences with them, as well as asked for more cards. Wow! What a difference a little God idea makes.
In addition to the reading switch for my six year old, they made their own little creations out of the air drying molding clay; as well as put together a robotic spider. Boy was that a hit! I’m going back to Walmart and buying the other five robotic creatures that they had. Our school is run somewhat like a Montessori School.
They are free to select whatever they want to work on or play with; and I just rotate between the four of them to teach or explain new concepts or help when there’s a need for it. I work one-on-one with my two year old with her shapes, colors, numbers and abc…..only because she wants to. I’m sure her older siblings serve as an inspiration for this desire. I’m all about letting little kids learn through play and observation. My favorite part of being my kids’ principle educator is the discussions, dialogues and teachable moments that happen all throughout the day. I just love it!
There are moments when I’ve had about enough of my little people. That’s when it’s time for quiet time. They go into their rooms and have the option of napping or doing a quiet activity for an hour. There have also been moments when I have left my house as soon as my husband stepped foot in the door. There’s no need for an explanation of any kind. My husband just says: “Mommy needs a moment.” So between God’s grace, my husband’s wisdom and my knowing when to take breaks, this homeschooling thing works well for our family. Also, teaching my children how to pray the word of God, biblical principles for marriage, and finances; as well as who God says that they are, is work that I am truly honored to do.
If you are a full-time homeschooling parent, what do you love about teaching your children? If you are a part-time homeschooling parent (your child(ren)) attends private or public school), what do you love about teaching your children?
As always, have an EXCELLENT week and I’ll see you on the blog!