I was on a podcast the other day and the interviewer asked me ” what do you do as far as homeschooling your children?” Well, I have never tried to explain it to anybody. I will attempt to lay out what we do in this post.
Let’s start from the beginning, We have a 4-year-old son and a 16-month-old daughter. There is not a whole lot of structure to what we do right now. The most important think for us right now is for our children to be playing outside in nature as much as possible. This doesn’t mean they don’t learn anything or that my son does not know nor been taught words or numbers. My son reads, he enjoys it. We don’t let him much screen time but if he wants to earn it he has to read a story to us. He reads whether or not he wants screen time anyway. Right now he is currently sitting beside me with my wife working on writing. He writes humungous letters right now but is progressing well.
He learned his numbers 2 years ago but hasn’t worked on it much since. He is starting to be interested in math and as his interest grows we will work with him on math facts and addition and subtraction using manipulatives. We have also used an online program called starfall.com that he enjoys that has reading, math, and other things you can do. He likes to try the more advanced stuff just to see how he does. We don’t really push him to learn anything right now, just following his interest.
With following his interests we have been able to talk about all sorts of stuff that probably wouldn’t be talked about any other time. He enjoys star wars so we talk about galaxies, stars, space travel, we watch the NASA live feed, talk about aspects of space, the moon and more. These discussions vary in depth and breadth but I believe are valuable. He enjoys them, we have lightsaber fights and play like we are flying through space.
My son also enjoys nature. We go on hikes, go to the beach, mountains and more. We actually just got back from a hike today. We talked about butterflies and caterpillars and how they change. We talked about worms and birds and the difference between ravens and crows. We explored a rock garden and climbed trees, played in a swimming hole underneath a waterfall. Looked at the fish in the swimming hole and found rocks that caught his attention. As we turned a corner on one of the trails there was a deer standing there. We got to talk about deer, what they eat, where they live and how high they can jump. There are learning opportunities everywhere!
The kid’s mind is naturally curious if you listen you can find what they are interested in and can find a lead in to help them learn from that one lead in. My son has a wide array of interests right now, some we pursue more than others but all allow for increased chances for learning. Take notice of these and exploit them to teach your children about what interests them.
As far as my daughter, there is not a lot going on right now. It is more of her learning how to move and use her body. Working on climbing with confidence, running, throwing and the like.