Homeschool Seasons

At our house, the difference between summer and other seasons was the fact that summer brought more children to play with. Sure, the kids might have focused a bit more on some subjects in the cooler months, but they were learning all the time no matter what page the calendar was open to. Having gone to school myself, I always loved summers more than anything. I loved being able to read, draw, hike or participate in whatever activity I chose on any given day. My children had that freedom every season of their life.

Homeschooling Seasons

I recall others asking if I was spoiling my children by homeschooling them, or damaging them somehow by not forcing them to follow the norm of leaving our home and following a rigid schedule. I don’t know what our interrogators thought our life was like, but we did have a schedule, chores and our own list of what we thought was important in an education and what we would do to help our children achieve their goals and desires. Still, having gone to school, I will admit that when public school let out I sometimes felt a bit less responsibility to make sure I was doing all I could to help my children ‘learn’. However, as the seasons passed, I learned to relax as if it were summer all year and I enjoyed seeing what the freedom to learn, live and explore offers a child and it was delightful. Below are some articles and resources that look at learning.

Playtime – A Time for Children and Parents to Share and to Grow – Amber P. Keefer

Studies show that some of the most creative children are those whose parents have played with them. From my own experiences as the parent of a highly active and resourceful child, I know how important it is for children to channel their creative energies into constructive and rewarding outlets. Child development experts remind us that parents are among a child’s first and best playmates, and for this reason, we must actually involve ourselves in our children’s play.

Learning from My Kids – Helen Hegener

I learned the value of learning, and I think it’s a lesson my kids will need to learn for themselves. Like so many things in life, it’s not something you can just tell someone else and expect to have any meaning , it really needs to be experienced, to have a context all its own.

Early Years Child’s Learning Assets – Linda Dobson

Homeschooling uses childhood energy instead of constantly trying to dam it. Now, curiosity creates interest, interest increases attention to the task at hand, and attention gives rise to learning.

Why Independence Is Essential To Homeschooling – Larry and Susan Kaseman

Homeschooling offers parents tremendous learning opportunities. Thanks to our children and our homeschooling experiences (both the stunning successes and the flops), many of us have developed a new understanding of learning, revisited and recovered from our own difficult school experiences, discovered or rediscovered the joy of learning, and done things that we wouldn’t have if we hadn’t been homeschooling.

A World of Learning by Barbara Theisen

I’ve never believed that the only way to get an education is to sit at a desk with four walls around you. The world is our classroom and our home – a 41 foot sailboat – takes us there. My husband Tom and I dreamed of sailing around the world before our daughters were even born. Their arrivals only increased our desire to live the “cruising lifestyle” – a way of life that has given us the opportunity for lots of quality and quantity of family time.
Homeschooling Seasons - Playtime

Educating our two daughters while living afloat on our sailboat, Out of Bounds, has added a wonderful new dimension to our lives. Kate is in sixth grade this year and our youngest daughter, Kenna, in third grade. Homeschooling hasn’t always been easy. But it has been fun.

Five Steps to Unschooling – Joyce Kurtak Fetteroll

And, finally, forget the linear approach to learning we grew up with. For instance, we learned that the way to learn is to read “all the important” stuff about a subject gathered and packaged for our convenience in a textbook and then move on in line to the next package of information.

Self-Inspired Learning - Karen Vogel

But, despite living an unremarkable existence in the depths of suburbia, my kids all manage, at one point or another, to develop an interest in a subject I never bothered to introduce. As most of my friends know, I regularly suffer paroxysms of guilt over my complete neglect of science as a school subject. Aside from having a birdfeeder outside our kitchen window, with a bird identification book handy (well, when we can find it) and a cheap pair of binoculars (which are often missing as well), my children’s parent-led science education is nothing short of woefully inadequate. But my oldest, at the age of nine, followed me around the house with a bird book, demanding that I read it to him. In fact, we ended up buying him the aforementioned birdfeeder for a birthday present. He has since developed an interest in gardening and botany, both subjects at which I am an abject failure.

The Many Faces of Home Education – Tamara Orr

During the summer of 2002 and 2003, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet dozens of homeschoolers across the country. I came home filled with their enthusiasm, their curiosity and their wonder. I also came home knowing that no matter how many families I met, not one of them homeschooled exactly the same way. Like snowflakes, they may have had many commonalities, but when it came down to how they actually homeschooled, from day to day, they were each wonderfully unique.

Other Resources

Teach your Own by John Holt
I Learn Better by Teaching Myself by Agnes Leistico

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