This week is the kind of week that I particularly love at Rodgers University. The kind of week where we are doing tons of learning while we are living, not just set aside time at the desk memorizing math facts and conjugating verbs. Oh, those things are important too. And believe me, we do a lot of those types of things. Most of our "school hours" are spent doing things like math and language. But weeks like this one are particularly enjoyable for homeschooling because we just learn about what we are doing, as we are living. I could go on for days about why I love homeschooling my children, but this week it is because of the freedom we have- in how we learn, what we learn, where we learn, and who we learn from.
Monday evening, we had a young lady from our church over for dinner to tell us all about her recent mission trips to Africa. Laura Kay, I discovered, is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She fit right in with the Rodgers family, playing with and reading to the girls, sitting on the floor of their room under their tent. She showed us where Togo and Tanzania are on the globe. She showed us pictures of the people of Togo and their homes. She brought beverages from Africa for us to sample. And, the girls' favorite part- she brought a baby doll and a piece of fabric for the girls to "wear" their babies like they do in Togo. Each girl "wore" the baby for awhile and played Mommy. What fun!! They all loved Laura Kay so much. They want to have her over again soon!
Tuesday, my mother came and took Allie and Maggie to her house for school for the day. I've asked the Lord for fresh ideas and vision in our homeschooling, and one day not long ago while I was in the shower, He put the idea in my head to get my amazing Mom involved. She is a retired elementary Music and Art teacher. She was like the most talented, creative, caring teacher that ever lived. She has a degree in Piano Performance and a Master's in Music Education. So I knew it would be a good thing for them to learn these subjects from her. They are going to spend one day a month with Grandmomma for as long as it continues to work for all parties :), learning from her and getting to know her better. The first day was fabulous. They could not stop talking about it when they got home Tuesday night! You can read all about their school day here
On Wednesday, Allie and I began to incorporate a new study into our Anatomy course called Vintage Remedies for Tweens. You can read more about it here. I met the author of the book and founder of Vintage Remedies at a Blessingway for my friend Elizabeth Dunne. She is Elizabeth's sister! I immediately fell in love with her and wanted to read all her books. I'm currently reading The Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food as well. Anyway, Allie eagerly started into this study to complement her study of nutrition in our Apologia Anatomy course this year. There are lots of cooking projects in the kitchen, so it will help her get her Kitchen Scientist badge for American Heritage Girls as well. I love it when things come together!
Today we had some time together to write out our goals for the remainder of her fifth grade year and set a timeline for accomplishing them. She also ran a mile with me for P.E., read some of Robinson Crusoe, and made recycled paper at AHG. I'd say it was another good day of unconventional learning.
I thank God for the opportunity to be my children's teacher. He has given me an awesome responsibility that I don't take lightly. I ask Him every day for wisdom and insight into each child's world. I don't often talk about homeschooling on here because I know that not everyone chooses to do it, and that's okay. But I love so many things about it. The fact that we can go at our own pace; learn in whatever style suits each child best; take time away from the "regular" subjects once in awhile to learn something totally different. I love that I can educate the "whole" child. As their parent, I can see what they need to do physically, emotionally, spiritually, and academically and plan to work with it throughout the day. Each moment is a learning opportunity. As we go about our days, conversations come up randomly in which we discuss ideas and learn from each other. When we don't know something, we look it up. When we need to ask an expert, we ask an expert. God has enriched our lives with so many wonderful people to learn from. There really is never a dull moment around here.