Today was the first official day of February vacation in the local schools. You know what that means? All four kids were home from school today. It was actually kind of awesome. We had a nice chill day, all considering.
We started the morning out with reading. It began with the second chapter in Story of the World. Overall I think the kids don’t hate it. I have to engage with them every single paragraph for them to do anything other than glaze over and tune out. If I keep asking them questions after every paragraph they actually listen. I can’t make them be history lovers, but at least this is a start in getting them engaged. The only down side I see is it brings in Biblical stories into the history, which isn’t really something I follow with. We’re not a religious family, and at the risk of upsetting someone, there’s little historical fact to support that the Bible is an accurate account of history in any way, shape, or form. Still, I think it’s a good base to work with. The best part? Even Luca was engaging with the reading when I took it paragraph by paragraph. I was so proud of my little Bear!
From there we went on to You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Sumerian Slave. The kids liked that well enough, even Corde. It wasn’t the most comprehensive history book I’ve found, but it at least got them to be interested in the subject. It gave them a different view of what life was like back then, and had more of a personal feel. Those books are short enough to make them fun and easy reads.
After that the kids cycled through doing their work on the computer. Sander and Luca played on Starfall for a good while after they were done. They loved that program. I’m so glad I payed to get the full content. It wasn’t expensive ($35 for the year, I think?) and the kids really like playing on it.It’s been great for teaching Luca to read. It’s been helping Sander too, though not as much. He even read a book to me today, with some help along the way. His skills at reading have gotten so much better.
Then, out of the blue, Luca said to me, “Mom, can I give you a kiss?” I almost didn’t catch it at first. I said okay and I got the sweetest little peck on my cheek. Luca then gave the happiest little grin. These are the moments that make me love having the kids home, sweet moments that I would miss if they were all in school all day long.
We’ve taken a bit of time out from our regularly scheduled homeschooling tasks to keep the state happy this week. Instead we’re focusing on having a good week as a family, and doing some reading because I know the kids are at least picking up on a few facts that way. It fulfills the suggested amount of reading twenty minutes a day. We usually go way above that, mostly because I enjoy reading to my kids and they seem to get something positive out of it. Besides, I would feel lost if we didn’t at least do something. So computer time and reading it is.
I’m really happy to be getting back to our unschooling roots again. This week has already been really good for that. I think we’re going to be borrowing some stuff from classical homeschooling again, like the suggested reading list (because it ties in with the Charlotte Mason living books thing I like so much), but for the most part I want to keep our bend towards unschooling.
Today I really learned something from my kids. The best moments are those spent doing things we enjoy. I like reading to my kids, and they seem to enjoy it, so I suppose we’ll be keeping more of that. The kids seem to like their math program, so we’ll keep up with that. Luca and Sander really like Explode the Code, so we’ll keep working with that. Sander and Luca both like Starfall (which is to be honest, a very unschooler way to learn reading, through playing games on tech), so we’ll keep with that. The kids are enjoying their work on the computer, so we’ll keep up with that too. Because when it comes down to it, doing those activities that they seem to love really inspires some beautiful moments with them. I wouldn’t want to miss it.
And that’s what I love about this. I love hearing A.J. say his land is called “Mesopotamia” because it means “the land between rivers” in his play. I like working with Sander on his reading, and watching his vocabulary and his ability to read slowly growing. I love getting kisses from Luca for no reason other than to give me a kiss. These are things I never saw when the kids were in school. These are the moments I missed.
Today’s beautiful moment was a kiss from my littlest. I have no idea what tomorrow’s moment will be. I just know that, whatever it is, it will make my day that much brighter.