Thursday, August 11, 2016

Homeschool 101 ~ Traditions

Today's topic for the Homeschool 101 Blog Hop is Traditions.

Homeschool 101, Traditions, homeschooling

For most families, that means they might talk about first day of school pictures, or special breakfasts they have every year. For us, it'll be about what we do when everyone else starts back to school and we wait until September. 

As I've been thinking about this topic all week, I can only think of three school year related traditions we have kept over our 14 years of educating the girls at home. 1- visit the State Fair during August, 2- start our school year the Tuesday after Labor Day, and 3- finish our school year in Mid-May with a Field Trip!

If you were looking for great inspiration for how to create some family traditions of your own, you might want to click over and read the other posts for today. I'm simply going to share how these three traditions got started in our home and why we continue them today.

Visit the Great Indiana State Fair

Our State Fair is in August each year, and ever since Emily was a baby, we have made at least one trip to the fair as a family each year. Some years we go a lot, others just once or twice. Many times Kurt has only been able to go with us for one day, and the girls and I go back on another day to see more of the fair. Here is a picture from 2013. We were in the cattle barn, and the photo-op area for the participants wasn't being we borrowed it.

Homeschool 101, Traditions, Indiana State Fair

Start the School Year the Tuesday after Labor Day

This will be our 14th year of educating the girls at home. We have started the Tuesday after Labor Day all but two of those years. One time we started a week early because I knew we were going on vacation the week of Labor Day and wanted the girls to at least get started on their math books before we left. The other year we tried starting around the 20th of August (like the public schools used to) but it felt like our summer was cut short, so we went back to the Tuesday after Labor Day the following year and have stuck with it.

Life with your children is short. I know that can be hard to believe, especially when you're trying to help them learn to read, going through potty-training, or your oldest struggles with long division. Trust me on this, it goes by in a blink. You will teach your children a lot over 12 or 13 years, but they will teach you even more! The most important thing you can teach them is about the saving grace offered to them by Jesus Christ. Bookwork can only help them for this life, Christ changes their eternity. Don't get so focused on your curriculum and checking off the needed boxes that you forget to tie heart strings with them. Summer is a great opportunity to learn and have fun together, without needing to record it all in a planner. Go have fun! Schoolwork can wait, Summer will not!

Finish the School Year in Mid-May with a Field Trip

We love field trips! Experiential learning is our favorite way to learn as a family. It is nice to have an end date for your children to look forward to each Spring. If you can end your school year with a field trip, everyone can make cool memories to share over and over again. It uplifts both you and the children when you talk with friends and family about "that cool place we went" instead of summing up your year like this: "we FINALLY got to the end of our math books!" See what I mean? Much cooler to share about how you caught a salamander newt in the swamp, or met Mario Andretti at the racetrack!

Whatever you decide you want to do for your family traditions, keep these two things in mind:1- If everyone loves them, continue them, if not, change them up. 2- choose loose traditions that don't cost much money so you can always look forward to them, without the dread of not being able to afford to do them again next year.

Come back by tomorrow for a little encouragement about finding the strength and patience to homeschool your children! Know you are loved!

5 Days of Homeschool 101
* *

No comments:

Post a Comment