I remember how scared and uncomfortable I was when I first started homeschooling. I just wanted someone to sit me down and tell me step by step what I needed to do. I wanted a magical formula on how to teach.
But I have learned over the last few years, that there is no formula. Each homeschooling family is unique, which means that each of us will teach in a variety of different ways. And that is not only okay, it is essential. How thankful I am now that no one ever told me what to do. I was able to figure it out on my own, for my own little family.
So many of us homeschooling moms were schooled which often makes it difficult for us when we teach our own children. We grew up day-by-day sitting in subjects like Bible, Math, Spelling, Science, Reading, Art, Social Studies… blah blah blah blah blah.. Over and over everyday was the same. Often times, learning wasn’t fun. It was something I had to do. Don’t get me wrong. I loved my teachers and I know they made learning as fun as possible with teaching a room full of students and meeting all of the state requirements. But I remember how difficult it was to sit through some of the subjects I didn’t really enjoy. I remember choking the learning down because I had to.
But even though this type of learning can be boring, it is something we are used to, something that is comfortable. So many of us want to stay with what is comfortable, what we know. I get that. But what if we allow ourselves to stretch? What if we allow ourselves to do something different?
Having a few years of homeschooling under my belt has given me the confidence to think outside of the box. I don’t have to school at home. I get to educate my children differently. I don’t have to teach the subjects in the same way that I was taught. I have been thinking a lot lately about what a gift we are given by living in a place that gives us freedom. The freedom to teach our children what we think is important and in the way that we think is best. The freedom to think and to teach outside of the box. The freedom for our children to learn outside of this box. The gift to break away from that which is comfortable.
I am not a mom who can sit and teach each subject until a timer dings, moving onto a new subject every 15 minutes. I can’t teach like that. It just doesn’t work well for me or for my children. We end up working on our subjects until we need a break from it for the day. Homeschooling naturally allows for the blending of subjects, allowing us to cover a few subjects over more time.
For example, we touched on many subjects one day as we learned about the anatomy of a flower. We dissected and analyzed it (Science), talked about how God designed and created a variety of flowers, and how we too are designed to be unique and special (Bible), created art from the petals (Art), learned the regions where it grew best (Geography), and read a book about flowers (Literature).
With the unique ability to blend our classes, we have the ability to create fun and different subjects as often as we like. I can teach my children Bibliohistography (Bible, History, and Geography) one day and Biblioscienceing (Bible, Science, and Handwriting) the next. I can teach Litonicsing (Literature, Phonics, and Handwriting) or Mathec (Math and Home Economics. Each day brings something different. Subjects often naturally blend together, making it easy to create new “subjects”.
This merging of subjects allows more time for extracurricular subjects like fun, adventure, and exploration (a few of our family’s favorite subjects) or Funventoration. 😉
Okay, I know I’m being kind of silly, but stay with me for a moment. It’s about being creative and mixing things up. It’s about meeting our kids where they are; taking their interests and their desires and blending them with subjects that aren’t their favorite. Turning learning into something fun and exciting. Something different and brand new.
As a homeschooling mama, we have a gift, the freedom, and the ability to create new subjects. We don’t have to stay in the mold just because that’s what everyone else is doing. We can think outside of the box and try new things.
So if you are new to homeschooling and are like me, wanting a magical formula for homeschooling, remember this. You are the mama that God gave to your children. You know them best. And whether you homeschool or not, you can make the learning in your home fun. Add music to your to-do’s (or chores), dance while you and the kids fold the laundry, sing along with Pavaratti in the opera Turandot while you teach the kids to clean the toilet. Learning can be fun. Learning should be fun.
Let’s break the mold and create new subjects that help make learning fun. I would love to hear how you blend subjects in your home.