People often ask me if I give my boys holidays at the same time as school holidays. This is a tricky one to answer, because our method of homeschooling is based on natural learning. Our lives become our way of learning and no, we don’t stop living over the school holiday period.
The boys still cook with me, discuss rare sea creatures with me, build and design LEGO villages, discuss climate change and think of brilliant ways to reduce human impact, learn teamwork, experience finances and money management in real life, search for bugs and spiders to identify, swim, practice problem solving and creative thinking. That is life and we are intentional about how we converse with each other and the broad range of activities we present to them.
So we don’t really take a break, we just keep living and learning through real life.
What we do take a break from is the maths curriculum that they follow. I guess that’s what people mean when they ask. I don’t expect the boys to sit down and go through their maths books over summer, but they do sometimes come to me with flash cards etc, asking me to test them on their time-telling or number recognition.
All kids love to learn. It’s just that all kids don’t realize that they love learning because ‘learning’ has been wrapped up in a set of rules and time slots that repel rather than attract most children. I have tried my best to deschool my boys so that their love of life and learning can now be lifelong and not seen as a chore, so that as they grow they can continue to problem solve and process information and think creatively to succeed in any form of work/entrepreneurship/directing/path they choose.
Don’t get me wrong, I do see great value in learning grammar and handwriting and other ‘sit-down’ types of skills, but I think that being able to process information and think for yourself, challenge your surroundings and have fine-motor and gross-motor skill confidence is vital for things like grammar and times tables to be relatable and to be useful in life.
I think that most employers would take a critical thinker over someone who rote-learned information. A problem solver who could process new information over someone who knew how to do long-division. And I think that these skills will also set up my boys to be able to create their own jobs or companies if they choose to do so.
Anyway, just some Monday morning musings from my brain!
Happy holidays y’all!