“When are you done with school for the year?”
I get this question a lot. My answer is always something like: “Oh, we never really stop.” To which the reply is usually: “So you do school year round?”
Yes. We do.
For many, the end of the school year signifies the end of the structured day of learning. No more scheduled recess and lunch. No more assigned seats. No more after school programs.
For us, school is not a physical space we go to every day for 6-8 hours. I hesitate to even call what we do “homeschool”. There is, or used to be, such a stigma there.
Instead, maybe it should be called “life training” or “skill development”. Because really, that is what we are doing every day. We are providing the tools our kids need for living their best life.
We are creating little life-long learners early and in a safe environment.
We don’t stop learning with the end of a school year. We just keep going.
We get to explore new interests whenever we want. There is not a set time for learning. We don’t do recess at 11 and then lunch at 11:30.
We don’t get in trouble for looking out the window when we are supposed to be doing our math work. We go outside and continue our math while jumping on the trampoline, doing laps around the house, or gardening.
There aren’t punishments for talking in class without raising a hand. Some of our best discussions have been born from a wild and off-topic question during a lesson. We have the freedom to drop everything to investigate and explore.
If a fun field trip, activity or play date pops up, we go. We can do this because our school day is just another day.
On Sundays, I sit and make a list of lessons I’d like to do for the week. This structure, or checklist, is for me. The boys don’t care. Their interests change daily, weekly, hourly and sometimes by the minute. My list is a loose guideline that I can quickly adapt, adjust or abandon completely to chase a crazy question that pops up over breakfast.
We have the freedom to be flexible.
That is what homeschooling is–freedom to change. Freedom to choose a different direction or curriculum. Freedom to learn.