When my first child was two-years old, I began weaving learning opportunities into our days together. This was the beginning of our embracing a lifestyle of homeschooling. In the years since, our family has grown, and in many ways, our life has changed;
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but one constant remains: this very natural dance of teaching and learning that our family has discovered along the way.
It is not our goal to simply do school at home but to nurture a life-long love of learning and a natural bent toward serving others. Our days are not dictated by the curriculum we’ve chosen but by a passion to successfully equip our children for life.
Yes, we use curriculum resources, and yes, we comply with the homeschooling requirements set forth by our state,
but instead of adhering to a 180-day school calendar where families may at times feel as if they’re getting behind with their lessons, we have embraced a 365-day learning lifestyle, and we have fallen so in love with this way of living that it’s oftentimes difficult for me to keep the benefits to myself.
This approach is rich.
It offers MORE…not less.
If you’re new to this idea, I invite you to join me in releasing what is generally accepted as an official school calendar or academic schedule. This can be tricky for this former classroom teacher to do sometimes, but I have seen first-hand how everyday life experiences can transfer into natural opportunities for learning – moments that oftentimes include evenings, weekends, and yes, even holidays.
I have never regretted introducing our children to learning by making sure that school revolved around home life, not home life around school. – Durenda Wilson
Think this might be a good approach for your family? Okay, here’s the first thing we’re going to do. Together, we’re going to release any preconceived ideas as to what we think a yearly homeschool agenda should look like. That’s right! We are going to forget about the calendar that is kept by the school down the street; We are going to let go of all that we’ve considered about the homeschooling timeline that other families we know keep; and we are going to start with a blank calendar (Literally – I’m gifting you one this month!) and consider creative ways to weave occasions for learning into our own family’s calendar year.
While some may think that a Lifestyle of Homeschooling requires both parents be engaged full time, it’s actually all about making it work for YOUR family – your family’s makeup, your family’s schedule, your family’s lifestyle – no one else’s.
In our house, Daddy works long office hours, yet we are still able to enjoy all kinds of different learning opportunities together as a family, because we’ve let go of the restraints of a traditional school schedule and discovered ways to embrace these moments together when our specific situation allows.
Life is full of [both big and small] events that call for adjustment. For us, that has included new babies, challenging toddler stages, fluctuating naptime schedules, therapy appointments, additional extra-curricular activities – just to name a few, but as lifestyle homeschoolers, we have the flexibility to adjust in whatever way(s) may be necessary from time to time. Why? Because we are not chained to an academic to-do list. Instead, we have embraced a year-round lifestyle of learning – gifting ourselves with space to prioritize as needed.
God did not give you nine months a year in which to educate your children. He gave you twelve. Break free of the hold the education system has on the way you think about your calendar, you may just find you have a lot more time to work with than you thought you did. – Sarah MacKenzie
No matter the day of the week, no matter the season, lifestyle homeschooling gives us the opportunity to learn together from Lights On to Lights Out. There is much I want my children to know and understand, and throughout our days together, I am able to naturally weave those things into our daily rhythms and routines, and the same is possible in your home.
Children can learn to read on the lap of a parent reading stories quietly while the baby is sleeping; math can be learned in the kitchen or at the store; Science is regularly learned outside or whenever an adult’s back is turned. Learning can happen in many different environments, and often the best learning is hands-on and child-initiated. -Lorilee Lippincott
So what do you think? Do you like the sound of this – living and learning together? If so, I have no doubt that you will begin to recognize the many ways these possibilities are already, in some way, very much a part of your family’s unique lifestyle.
How do we create a culture of learning in our home?
By adopting a lifestyle of homeschooling – where learning never stops.
Want to read more about our family’s Lifestyle of Homeschooling? Our daily schedule? A look at our week? I would be honored to share with you how we have adopted a lifestyle of living and learning together and how you can do the same with your own family: