Homeschooling is one of our most favorite and amazing parts of life here on the farm. I get lots of questions about when, where, why, and how we home school. So, in this blog, I thought I'd share with you a little about school on the farm.
School on the farm is definitely not a one person job. It involves our whole family. Joey and I both teach Elizabeth every day; and sometimes, Elizabeth teaches us! We all are very committed to education and love learning, so it truly is an exciting adventure for us all.
We use a Christian curriculum from a wonderful company called Sonlight (www.sonlight.com). Our daily subjects cover literacy, math, science, social studies, Bible study, history, and geography. We have a few supplemental materials like Weekly Reader (www.weeklyreader.com) that we do as well.
Since I teach second grade at a public school during the day, Elizabeth is with Joey on the farm. Joey teaches Elizabeth her formal science lessons and part of her literacy. He also reviews any skills that need to be taught again. Living on a farm has provided Elizabeth with hundreds of informal lessons in everything from growing plants to helping count change at the farmer's market.
After the formal lessons are over, Elizabeth gets to enjoy being in the fresh air and sunshine while working (and playing) with Dad.
When I get home in the afternoon, Joey heads back outside to do chores or complete tasks that don't require the help of a five year old. Elizabeth and I head into the schoolroom to start on the rest of her schoolwork.
The schoolroom didn't start out to be a schoolroom. It just evolved over time and somehow turned into one! Elizabeth's grandpa built her a little desk and a chair that is just her size. Her desk faces two big windows that look out over the garden. She loves to sit at it to do her paper work. We have big comfy pillows on the floor that we like to sit on to do lessons and read. The walls are filled with Elizabeth's school papers and drawings. One side of the room has bookshelves that go from floor to ceiling. The bookshelves are filled with children's books and magazines. The very bottom shelf holds a large collection of puzzles and games. Elizabeth's dollhouse sits snugly in one corner of the room. Technology is also a part of our school. We use the computer, I-pad, and Internet quite frequently.
After our evening meal, we take a few minutes to finish up our formal schoolwork. Learning never really stops at our house. It seems that there is always something that Elizabeth (or Joey or I) is wondering about! One of the last things that we do together each day is share bedtime stories with Elizabeth. This is also part of her school curriculum, but the stories are so enjoyable that we all love hearing them as a bedtime story!
Even though Elizabeth loves being at the farm, she also needs to have socialization with other children. She attends dance classes, enjoys her Sunday school class at church, and loves having friends over to play. She also likes going with us to help at the Farmer's Market.
Homeschooling isn't for everyone, but it was just right for us. Learning is a journey that never stops. No matter how old you get, or how much you know, there's still more that you can learn. It's such an exciting blessing to be able to lead our little one on her first steps down the pathway of knowledge. We're looking forward to homeschooling for many years to come!
Our family enjoying The Boxcar Children together in the porch swing
during Elizabeth's first month of Kindergarten.