Ever get struck in the middle of a crazy, hectic day by overwhelming wave of gratitude for being able to share a special moment with your kids? Well, that’s what Thankful Thursday is all about. Each week, I’ll aim to share a special moment that I would have missed had my kids been away at school . . . and I’m counting on all of you to share yours, too. It will give us something to reflect on during those other six crazy, hectic days!
This summer, the kids participated in a 4th of July play and learned an amazing amount about US history. They know the words to many patriotic songs, the history leading up to our fight for independence and even what the colors of the American flag symbolize. From our recent trip to DC, Noah can tell you the height of the Washington Monument and why there's a slight color variation in the stone, and Ava knows (and plans to take advantage of) the process for requesting an American flag that's been flown over the Capital.
Even outside of organized activities, our choice to homeschool puts us in the mindset of always looking for opportunities to learn. One evening this summer, while driving in the car, Noah asked about negative numbers - something we hadn't touched on yet in math. I gave him a quick explanation, and a few nights later at dinner, he randomly came out with "1 - 2 = -1" then "2 - 7 = -5" and finally "100 - 300 = -200". Guess we didn't need a classroom for that!
When we finished our official school year in May, Ava had been struggling a bit with number recognition. This summer, she easily learned to count to 100 during her martial arts classes. I'm not sure if it was the repetition, the group setting or the physical activity that made it stick for her, but I plan to experiment with all three during our classroom time this fall. I've also been doing some basic math with her while driving around in the car such as 1 + 1 = 2 (which Noah then informed me could also be said as 1 + 2 - 1 = 2) and 5 + 5 = 10 (to which Noah proposed (5 + 15 - 10 = 10).
Over the past year, I've seen the kids take giant leaps forward in comprehension when we take breaks in the classroom, and that's why we're sticking with our December and summer breaks for now. But of course, a "break" for us is never a break from learning! I'm so thankful that homeschooling has conditioned me to recognize and act on how - and when - my kids learn best.