What counts as learning

learning

I am a planner and an organizer. I love spending time over the summer planning out our curriculum for the coming year. I love seeing what curriculum everyone else is using, and because I love everything new and exciting, I think I need to do all of it with my kids.

It is easy for me to fall back on the structure of traditional schooling. Math, spelling, reading, geography, science and so on, all in structured blocks of time throughout the day. It is what I grew up with and the only kind of school I have experienced.

One of the reasons I love homeschooling is that I don’t need to follow a 6-hour schedule every weekday. We have never even come close to following that schedule, but now and then I find myself questioning if I am doing enough. Are my kids really learning history even though we rarely sit down to do a history lesson? Are they learning science even though it is only October and I have already scrapped my plan for the year?

Here’s what I need to be reminded of regularly: just because it doesn’t look like a formal lesson doesn’t mean they aren’t learning. My kids are learning from the science podcasts we listen to every week. They are learning history when I play the Story of the World CDs in the car, and check out corresponding history books from the library for that week. They are learning when my husband does an art lesson with them on a Saturday. Yes, we still do lessons and practice math facts, but even outside of that, it is surprising how much my kids are learning.

I have a simple document on our laptop with a heading for each subject, and each time we read a book or do an activity, I write it under the appropriate heading.  It is encouraging to look back and realize we are doing much more than I thought we were doing. It is a good reminder to me that learning doesn’t just come from the curriculum that I buy, but from everything that we do.

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