Today is the first official day of Summer Vacation. What does that mean for our family? Well, today it means that after breakfast we sunblocked up and headed out to the pool. (In fact, I am writing this while sitting in one of those oddly comfortable lounge chairs.)
I can already tell that I will rebel against the indoors today (it is a day that ends in “y”, right?) so a picnic and a bike ride will most likely take up a good chunk of our afternoon. My youngest has a tee ball game tonight, and then we will come home, go to bed, and repeat a similar pattern tomorrow.
Sprinkled throughout the day are activities that nine months out of the year would be called “school”, but somehow during June, July, and August are called “fun”. As a family we are working our way through the Little House series, and the kids write in their journals every day. They are doing a Summer Reading Challenge and spend hours engrossed in their books, and math becomes fun for the younger ones as they determine how many popsicles we need to buy or how much watermelon each person gets. My oldest is currently obsessed with calculating batting averages and on base percentages, so Giants games keep him figuring out the numbers in his head. We will paint, draw, sculpt, listen to music, and practice Spanish, all as part of “family fun”.
But here is my confession: Come Fall, not much will change. Sure, football will be the sport that inspires math, and we’ll probably spend less time by the pool, but the learning activities will still be the same. We will do workbooks, and the kids will move up a grade, but our day-to-day life will not be much different.
I know there are around 827 different philosophies of education out there. I am fully aware of the ongoing debate over the effectiveness of homeschooling, public schooling, unschooling, private schooling, charter schooling, and any combination of the above. And I will leave the debating to those more educated and willing.
I will instead focus on what works for my family, and encourage other parents to do the same. After all, we know our kids better than anyone else. We know what works for them, and we know what doesn’t. Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” So let’s keep doing that. Whether it is in a classroom, learning center, living room, or outside by the pool, just keep training them up and trusting the Lord will keep His promise.
Oh, and before I go, one final thought. One time someone asked me if I was afraid that I was going to make my kids weird by homeschooling them. Considering that they have David and me for parents, have been listening to Five Iron Frenzy since birth, and love to do math for fun, they are going to be weird. Homeschooling has nothing to do with it. Normal was never really an option.
See you tomorrow!