A lot of it boils down to flexibility. Allow me to explain:
~ We aim for a year-round schedule with breaks wherever we need/want them. Like last year, Eric was born on November 4th and we completely took off from all bookwork from then until January. Sweet!
~ Although I planned to work through the summer, I could tell we needed a break come late June so we did “school lite” just fitting the books in here and there. It has been a blessing…and we had more than one “ah ha!” moment when things just clicked on non-school time.
~ I planned to start our new school year on the day after Labor Day until we had the opportunity to take a mini vacation with family the next weekend. So we will start, officially, in mid-September. For now, we are easing in that direction–getting used to a new schedule, organizing the books, training in new household responsibilities…
~ During our evaluations this year, it became apparent that part of our current curriculum is not meeting all of our needs. We could keep plugging away and hope that someday it will work but we have the freedom to scrap it and try something new. Also, P & C have different– dare I say, opposite— learning styles. I love having the flexibility to choose the right curriculum for each child. As my friend, Melissa, would say: “The Curriculum works for you, you don’t work for the curriculum.”
~ Related to that, we are able to erase grade lines and work in each area wherever the child is. Just as age does not automatically determine maturity, age is not always the best gauge for what you are ready to learn or should be learning.
Besides the flexibility, the other benefit I love is recognizing that learning does not only happen during school hours with a textbook at a desk or table. Learning happens anytime, anywhere. We learn about nature when we play outside, fractions when we bake, and oh-so-many character lessons just in the normal course of the day.
It is not always hunky-dory. Days do not always (ever??) flow smoothly. I have almost as much to learn as a teacher as my kiddos do as students. We have highs and lows, cheers and tears. I’m sure I’ll write about all that another time, for today, my point is simply that homeschooling works for us.
What works for you?