It is fall again here in the North America. If you are in the northeast, you are beginning to see the oranges, browns and reds start to pop and the once lush green countryside is now taking on the glow of warmth that comes with preparing for the long sleep of winter. I used to think the fall colors of the midwest were the most beautiful but that was before I found myself calling New England my home. There is a reason why people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to this area just to see the autumn show. If the beginning colors prove out over the next few weeks, it is going to be a spectacular leaf season. I can almost hear the Maple churning in the trees….
With fall comes the cooler temperatures and an invitation to spend more time outdoors. Since we are a homeschooling family, everyone here looks forward to doing some of our lessons in the great outdoors during this time. Yet another advantage of homescooling. So, I splurged and got something so very 'not organic'...I hesitate to even tell you what I did. I would tell anyone this is like putting straight poison into your body and one the worst things you could do but, what can I say, I wanted to make it fun, soooooo, out came the Dunkin Donuts and hot coffee. We found a lovely table in a partially sunny location and hooked up all our laptops to the net so everyone could begin schooling.
Now, in the good old days, I was as 'old school' as you could get…..my poor children. I taught everything myself and I didn't even like the books to have colors or cartoons in them. When I look back I have to wonder why I thought that would be such a distraction. As time moved on and I learned more and more, there were alternations to our curriculum in order to accommodate the changing needs of our family until I finally found our resting place. Who knew that would be on-line curriculum with cartoons, funny voices and game like practice sessions. The older children have been put into an accredit high school with all the trimmings from counselors, tutors and assessments. After finally eliminating my prejudices, I began to realize the fact is the rest of their lives are going to be spent working with computers whether it is work or organizing recipes so they might as well be learning on them. It transformed our schooling and what used to become a dread became fun, and, as difficult as it was for me to believe, we made better academic progress. I suppose it's one of the those times where you never say never…
So, we all sat-up on the perfectly situated table to dig into school. We worked away for a few hours enjoying the beautiful sun and comfortable breeze until our donuts wore off. With hungry tummies grumbling, we headed to a small buffet close to the apartment. Everyone piled the food high and headed to the benches along the waterfront. Instead of hiding away inside, we ate together while enjoying the water splashing on the pier, hearing the chatter from all the people around and throwing a crumb or two to the duckies hovering in the water below us.
It was just a fun day. It is what Homeschooling is all about. Achieving the desired goals by not sequestering oneself inside at a desk but by getting out into the world and learning that science isn't just about words in a book or in a lab but it's about nature itself. History and Social Sciences is all about what and who is around you. Art is about drawing and recording your day to day adventures and Psychology is about learning to meet and understand those you come in contact with every day regardless if they are 8 or 80. Amazingly enough, when you incorporate all that into your children's academic life, their test scores reflect this larger world you have open to them and they excel. So, we excelled that day, in addition to making a warm fall memory.
May God Bless and Keep You in His Grace,