My thoughts on Home Learning thus far….

Jenny Lutes 2015
Cookie jars filled with buttons & craft items; drawers
filled with drawing books, math cubes, & fabrics

We were late to start home learning because Ava attended public school for the beginning of this school year. After a few weeks of school she was sure that she wanted to try home learning and my Husband and I talked it over many times wondering if this would be the best thing for her and if we could successfully maintain her level of schooling.

I had no idea what home learning would look like, and never ever thought that I’d take this route with my kids. I’m not a teacher and I’ve never desired to be one. It turns out that I don’t have to be a teacher  – I can be Mom and that’s enough.

Most people were supportive when we mentioned that Ava was learning at home and some even told me that this way is ideal. Others questioned how she would be ‘socialized’ and I replied, “That term makes it sound like we’re domesticating an animal.” People can be surprising sometimes, and everyone seems to have an opinion even when they have no experience or information about home learning. Kids can be very active without recess breaks, and can have lots of friends without sitting in a classroom for 6 hours a day.

Jenny Lutes 2015
Ava’s Origami drinking cups, dogs, swan, & sailboat

Our days at home are filled with creative time for the girls – baking, sewing, woodworking, art/painting, creative writing, kitchen experiments, and more.

Jenny Lutes 2015
Together we sewed this pocket system for her bed 

Ava has learned how to: solder, use a hand drill (and what the bits are called), and use a sewing machine.

Jenny Lutes 2015
She made this Mommy & Baby kitty & chocolate
chip cookie

The girls have lots of park & pool time with Daddy and he takes Ava ice skating every week. She loves to indoor rock climb, and to climb trees and run. She loves nature walks.

Jenny Lutes 2015
Ava took this photo at the Bloedel Conservatory

We no longer have the morning rush stress, and Ava eats breakfast when she’s ready to rather than eating to get out the door on time. She can stay in her pj’s and read a book or colour while she eats, and she has all the time she wants…. The challenge for me is to keep sane with both girls home, and with Maddie being so young and still wanting so much of my attention. Some days we cover exactly what I planned for the day, and other days Ava plays in her room and makes videos with plots and characters, and guides her own day. The beauty of home learning is that we’re flexible to make plans and change them as her interest in topics increases or wanes.

Jenny Lutes 2015
Ava wrote a 3 volume comic about this kitty she
bought at a craft fair

Ava wanted to learn about Ancient Egypt and the Arctic Fox so we spent time on those topics. Next she wants to read about the Snowshoe Hare and build a planter box for flowers and veggies. With our wonderful teacher we created a plan for the year and it’s completely centered around what Ava has asked to cover and what she enjoys doing right now. Every person learns in a different way and home learning allows for Ava to learn in the way that works for her.

Jenny Lutes 2015
Egyptian inspired collars and a cuff – painted paper plates
 and a tp roll

I don’t know what the next school year will look like yet…Maddie will start Preschool in the fall (she’s really excited to go) and Ava will be in grade 4. We’ll do whatever is best for Ava whether that means she returns to public school, or that we continue to learn at home.

Jenny Lutes 2015
Ava’s flowers…look like crop circles….

It’s time for me to put together the resources for this week….

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  • Reply Therese Brown

    It's all in the attitude, listen to and be aware of your child and you will be one of her best teachers throughout her life if she is being home schooled or not.

    March 2, 2015 at 5:43 am
  • Reply Robert Kropla

    I confess it was Steve Bell's beautiful song "Jenny", which brought me here. I used to see Steve perform with E,S&B in Winnipeg back in the day. Then I noticed that you were homeschooling and your ruminations so far on the topic brought back memories of another kind. My wife and I made that journey with our own children – now both grown. I know there are probably as many different reasons for such a choice as there are parents. In our case, we wanted a new path for our children – one that honoured who they were as unique human beings in this world and also allowed them the freedom to explore who they were and who they might become. Our particular brand of unstructured homeschooling has been termed "unschooling" by some. By whatever name, it felt natural to us and complemented our approach to parenting. There were challenges, of course, but all paths have them. My wife and I definitely enjoyed the journey and treasure all the time we got to spend with each of our children before they set out, confidently, on their own. Our son and daughter grew into caring, compassionate and inquisitive adults. They had lots of friendships and lots of what concerned friends and family termed "socialization". They had little trouble adapting to the structure of post-secondary education and, indeed, post-graduate work in their chosen fields of endeavour. I'm rambling now. Just wanted to say "hello" and offer some encouragement to you as you continue your adventure.

    April 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm
  • Reply Ruminating Mommy

    I completely agree.

    April 20, 2015 at 10:57 pm
  • Reply Ruminating Mommy

    Robert thank you for your comment – it's fun to have the Steve Bell connection with people. Ava was adamant that she wanted to homeschool because she feels free at home to learn about what she's interested in. Our teacher believes in the unschooling approach and now that we've been homeschooling for several months I can say that I believe in this too for Ava. Next school year may look different for her, or not, and we'll make a plan with her about what that plan will be. I think we need to teach to the child and not expect every child to learn in the same way.

    April 20, 2015 at 11:43 pm
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