With my anxiety yesterday (and for a bit off and on), I realized that I needed to make some changes. I wrote about some changes yesterday that I’m making.
Science and Nature Studies, Simple Homeschooling
I decided that homeschooling may have to look different than I want or imagined. I have had it in my head that I want to follow the Charlotte Mason philosophy, so I have tried to focus so much on nature studies, narration, etc. Unfortunately, the boys aren’t super thrilled with nature studies, so the idea of doing them multiple days a week had them a little grumpy and frustrated. Instead, they want to do The Good and the Beautiful (TGTB) science unit that I was saving for summer. They are so excited about the experiments and projects that are involved. They need hands-on stuff. Lots of it. The amazing thing is that they will learn about density, buoyancy, the oceans in the world, and ocean animals just in the first lesson. So it’s hands-on and they will learn a lot. So while it’s not Charlotte Mason method, it’s what works for our family. We will focus on nature studies some, but it won’t be our every day focus. I still make sure that they are playing outside because I think that’s important, and we will go on nature hikes, etc. I’m just not worried about studying specific things… just what stands out to them.
And I’m just continuing to keep things simple. TGTB language arts, Math U See, read a book of their choice and reading response, and Friday free-writes. Morning time with reading aloud.
The beautiful thing is that the change to their science isn’t costing me any money. I’m just doing what I can with what I have! I really don’t want to spend anymore money on curriculum for a while… just when they need the next level and the next science unit that we pick.
Wild + Free Homeschooling and My Interpretation
I’m still trying to approach this in a relaxed way. The funny thing is, the boys WANT structure. I tried to take apart the school room and just make it my office again (and do school at the table/in the living room), and they want it to be the school room, so I put everything back. We can be relaxed and still have structure, thank goodness. Also, my office/the school room is very relaxing to be in and has lots of pretty things in it. And I have a diffuser and candles going most of the time. The lighting is low lights (a strand of Christmas lights and a lamp) with some natural light during the day. It’s perfect in my opinion. I just wish it was a little bit bigger! Oh well!
For me, Wild + Free homeschooling isn’t necessarily and method of teaching. It’s a lifestyle. Our boys do so much playing, and I jokingly call them “free range children” because they come and go as they please here at camp. Ethan is outside playing for hours and hours. He jumps on the trampoline, skateboards, rides his mountain bike, helps work on bikes here at camp, and more! Levi plays with Legos and Transformers for hours and hours and sometimes rides bikes with his siblings. Karis isn’t homeschooled, but she comes home everyday and takes herself on a hike. Where we live, it’s so easy to go out and about. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to take it for granted and not utilize the land that we have to explore. I think I have been so focused on “nature studies” that I haven’t focused on just enjoying nature. The boys and I are doing a hike on Friday and I’m excited about just enjoying being with other Wild + Free mamas and kiddos. I really want to start going outside as a family more often and take advantage of this 1400 acres that we live on.
It’s also about cultivating connection. Reading aloud, cozied up on the couch. Cuddling before bed. Hugs and kisses on the cheek. Feeding them emotionally and nutritionally nourishing food. Working on less yelling and anger. Working through the hard stuff. Making them feel wanted and valued. Helping them learn about who they are and focusing on their individual passions.
We are part of an amazing Wild + Free group (San Antonio), and I’m hoping to really utilize the opportunities that there are in the group to be outside together.