Saturday, June 23, 2012

No more teachers, no more books............

So summer vacation usually signals the end of 'work' - no more homework, no more mandatory reading, no more math tests, etc. We all usually look forward to summer vacation - sleeping in, lazy days playing outside, swimming, trips,exploring our world......Sounds great and I am sooooooo looking forward to this. However, this year I am more excited because it is really the start of our homeschooling experience. Everything we LOVE about summer vacation is going to be how we spend everyday from now on. School in the summer? Hell YES!

There is so much learning that goes on when children are exploring. Learning doesn't have to be limited to a textbook or worksheet. For example, we are growing blueberries this year - yes we fell short of a full garden, but it's a start. My kids picked out the blueberry bushes, dug the holes, put in the peat moss & planted them, they water them regularly and will be picking and eating the blueberries soon!  We also planted butterfly bushes. Every summer we hunt for caterpillars and grow them into butterflies. We wanted to create a garden space for our butterflies this year. Hopefully it will attract more butterflies than we grow. My kids can study the different kinds of caterpillars, butterflies, what they eat, the patterns on their wings. We will surely go to the butterfly house at the Bronx Zoo and compare/contrast our butterflies to theirs. Maybe find out about plants they have and get them for our butterfly garden.

We also plan to travel this summer. We go camping a lot. One of our trips will be to Herkimer where the kids can go 'Diamond Mining.' I have never been there either so I am excited to learn about this. They will actually be digging up their own crystals. How fun! Be careful though and watch your wallets - they are planning on selling the crystals at $50 a pop in order to save up enough money to buy their own cruise ship!

I love the thought of children learning this way. It is so authentic, interesting and active. It will be so meaningful to them. I guess that's why my kids are excited to homeschool. This is how we have always done things. Now they get to do it full time.

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