Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Learning

Summer has officially begun in our home! No more part-time work for a couple of months for me and a more relaxed school schedule for the girls. Instead of completely spacing out my insatiably curious girls have summer lessons which deviate from our typical curriculum. For now Heart of Dakota sits on the shelf with next year's books waiting in the wings for use.

So far we've been learning Latin, Sign Language, art, multiplication (Please can I learn multiplication, Mommy? Please, please, please?) and literature. When they are bored I hear, "Can we do some lessons?" When we're outside it's mostly, "Ooooh! Look at this cool bug! Let's go look it up in the encyclopedia!" When I give them each 6 strawberries for snack I hear, "That means 3 x 6 is 18!" from the seven-year-old quickly contradicted by the five-year-old with, "No, no, it's 6 + 6 + 6 is 18!"

No, I don't have abnormal children. Children are very smart and curious by nature. All we have done is encourage their natural curiosity. I will admit to you that sometimes the continuous, "Mommy, why does..." can get to be a little much, but then I see children younger than 10 shopping with their mothers with a hand-held game or ear-buds hooked to an mp3 player and I think, It's worth it. My kids love their time with the computer, kindle, tv, wii, and anything else electronic, but they are limited in the time they have with those things. As a result their whys and what fors dominate our conversation. Conversation...my girls converse with us and we with them.

No, I'm not trying to push them harder than I should. My girls beg, literally beg, to do school when we have too much time off. I love to learn and my husband likes doing math problems for fun. While that probably makes us a family of nerds, they come by it naturally. I'm not forcing them to go faster than they are able, but I am allowing them to move forward at their own pace. I'm okay if they are ahead of where they should be if they were in traditional school. What a blessing I don't have to hold them back! What a blessing they can work on something longer if they need to!

No, it's not just because we homeschool. I think homeschooling helps because our home is now a learning environment. I think the biggest difference is my mindset. I'm always looking for ways to engage the girls in learning even if it isn't "school time".

No, I'm not super-organized Mom-of-the-year. I have been making some intentional changes about how I manage our household since the summer began. This is has definitely changed some things for the better in our home, but I wouldn't dare claim that I have it all together. I'm working towards that, but I'm not there yet.

No, it's not because we're weird. Okay...maybe we are a little weird. Here are some definitions of weird from Merriam-Webster...

1. of, relating to, or caused by the supernatural
2. of extraordinary character

So yes, I guess we are weird. If you recognize the supernatural power of God then we fit the first definition and I certainly don't mind my children being labeled as having extraordinary character! We live outside the societal norm. My kids are a blessing, not a burden. My husband is the leader of our home. I am his suitable helpmeet,  I submit to him...and I don't secretly resent him or God for it. We make decisions based on our understanding of Scripture. We have a DVD player which filters out inappropriate content and we use it for ourselves more than the kids.

Here are some of the things we've been learning about...

We homeschool after all...what do you expect?


  1. We are working through the summer but a very light load. We are enjoying the outside as well. My daughter is like your daughter always wanting to learn something. My son on the other hand likes to explore.

  2. My 5-year-old daughter is just the same! I haven't pushed at all - she begs me to do "math" with her (practicing addition) and taught herself (well, almost) to read at 4. She will look through encyclopedias and ask me questions about everything. I can't stop her from learning! :)

  3. We still have a bit to complete, but I'm trying to give the kids more free time this summer.