Friday, August 7, 2009

Getting Real!

The Learning Lifestyle

When I began my homeschool journey back in 1998 I had visions of my children and I curled up on the couch reading-a-loud from Moby Dick as we would sip our hot cocoa. I could see them leaning forward in rapt attention, eyes wide in wonder, hanging onto every word. When we were done I would usher them outside to our beautiful garden so we could begin our daily nature study. (btw, I’ve never gardened in my entire life) Afterwards we would come back inside to my spotless home where the smell of Downy Fabric softener would be permeating from each and every room. Close your eyes and imagine Better Homes and Gardens. Perhaps I watched too many episodes of Leave It To Beaver?

As funny as that is now, for years this vision cost me dearly. It was the beginning of my quest for something that could never be. I went from curriculum to curriculum trying to find the one that would help me walk out this picture I carried in my subconscious mind. Yes, I really believed that a curriculum would help me look more like June Cleaver. One day I woke up and realized I needed to GET REAL! I realized that my children were missing out on real life while I was busy trying to create something that could never be.

I took a long hard look at my homeschool and realized that somewhere in my quest for perfection I had forgotten my main reasons for homeschooling my children in the first place. For us, in our our home, Biblical Worldview was at the top of our list, yet my curriculum was taking me so long we never really had time to sit and soak in God’s word. Teaching my children to be lifetime learners wasn’t happening because I kept purchasing programs that required my boys to be dependent on ME. Serving others was not happening because I was too busy trying to check all the boxes in my teachers manuel.

Our main homeschool program is now an amazing on-line curriculum that I adore. It makes me want to wake up and KISS my computer! I no longer feel bogged down with lesson planning or even record keeping, though if I am feeling creative I certainly can. I now have time to snuggle with those precious little ones who are growing up way too fast, and together we read great stories from long ago. We have time to enjoy our bible study and scripture memory. Some amazing discussions ensue as we talk about current events and pop culture and how that lines up with God’s word.

We are able to run errands together, go to park days, plug into our co-op, work on the yard, sit and talk. I am able to stay on top of my house, though you might not smell downy permeating from every room. (grinning) A recent favorite memory is that of my boys and their daddy helping to care for a friends yard while they were out of town for her dad’s unexpected funeral. When we were trying to create formal learning these things caused me great stress and now they bring about GREAT JOY!

Oh how I wish I had understood that Lifestyle learning would give us far better memories than that silly picture I carried in my head for all those years. How about you? What does Lifestyle learning look like in your home?


  1. I think I am still learning this lesson.

  2. Very funny. This reminds me of some books that I took with me when I left for two years in the Peace Corps. Among them Moby Dick. Twenty-seven months in a small quiet time but I never got bored enough to make it through Moby Dick or Paradise Lost or the other big books that I'd always had trouble with.

    I did read a lot. But it was books that interested me, not books that I somehow felt that I should read but didn't like.


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