As homeschooling parents, we often project our impression of our learning time together onto our children. But how often do we take a step back to see the day through their eyes? Speaking for myself, not often enough. I know my girls are happy, stimulated, and learning–I can see it in their faces and their muddy toes, and I hear it in their dinner-time banter. But what do they remember most from the day? What lesson struck a chord? What resonated in their souls, setting little seeds that will grow and bloom for years to come? These are the questions I often ask myself when I shut their door at the end of the day, after tucking them into bed.
We had a beautiful Sunday last week–one of those days where time creeps along in a graciously slow unfolding of early-Autumn light and unhurried discovery. We started homeschool around ten in the morning and gently rambled out of one lesson and into the other all morning long. We do about half of our learning over the weekend, as my husband and I both work full time (from home) so there’s always a good amount of activities on our wish-list. But rare are the days when we manage to fit so much in and yet feel so relaxed.
At the end of the day, my oldest sighed as she snuggled into bed for stories. “This was a great day, Mama.” She smiled at me from under her Frozen comforter, her little Mona Lisa grin just visible over the covers. The next morning, I asked her to tell me what she liked so much about our Sunday together. I asked her to tell me the story of her day and, like a good Brave Schooler, I recorded her words on scratch paper with a marker and asked her to please illustrate what she had told me.
Hearing her account of the day showed me so much about what mattered most to her, what inspired her, and where we might elaborate further in the next week. Here is Blake’s account of her kindergarten homeschool day:
As I had guessed, the highlight of her kindergarten day was the discovery of the roly poly (which she refuses to call anything other than an “isopod”) by the creek. She was so fascinated with her guest for the day that she immediately pulled out the Rocky Mountain Insects book to find it, and quickly absorbed every fact in record time. Before setting him free once more, she made a beautiful little painting of her visitor to hang on the wall. I’m sure not every day is so exciting or peaceful for her. We have days with tears, days where Mama has too much work to do to hang around in the creek for an hour, days with frustration or boredom or self-doubt. But that day was a good day. Hearing her interpretation of it made it even better.
Have you ever asked your child to illustrate or write a “day in the life” account of their learning with you? I want to do this at least once per season.
Want to read more blog posts through the eyes of a homeschooling student? Check out this awesome link up from ihomeschoolnetwork.com! (Click the picture to find more posts!)
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