Monday was a normal homeschooling day, but illustrates why our family is loving homeschooling…..
We started the day with our regular routine of Phonics, Piano, Math, Spanish, and Memory work. I had to help the baby with something, and found Becca trying to teach Ryan his letters and the sounds they make. Too cute! This “atmosphere” of learning is one part I love – the kids are eager to learn, and to help others learn something new!
After those studies and lunch, we had some friends over to study all about St. Augustine Florida, a trip our families are taking together within the next few months. I mentioned “Ponce de Leon” when talking about the founder of St. Augustine. Instantly, Becca piped up “Hey….. Cortes, de soto, de Leon, and Coronado – the Spanish Explorers!” (These are part of the History timeline they are memorizing). I told her she was right, Ponce de Leon was a Spanish explorer, and he claimed the first settlement for Spain in St. Augustine! I told the kids how he had sailed over with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage, when Ryan (2) interjected, “1492, first of four trips, Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria”. Ryan had just recoginized the name Columbus, and recited the older kids memory work from Classical Conversations. We all laughed a bit and told him he was right, and moved on to the rest of the lesson. He was pretty proud of himself.
Later that night at the dinner table, Brock asked the kids what they learned today and we all talked a bit about what we learned, with an emphasis on the information about Florida (since we are all excited for our trip!) Becca asked if St. Augustine was named after “St. Augustine who converted to Christianity” (no joke, she actually said that – another history card in our timeline). Turns out she was right! Another spanish explorer landed on the coast of St. Augustine the day they were having a feast in celebration of Saint Augustine, and thus named it “St. Augustine”. I love how Becca made that connection.
Lastly, that night we started readng a wonderful new book we got for Christmas by Lamplighter Publishing, called “The Captive” . In it, a young boy is taken captive and sold as a slave. While working as a slave, he saves the master’s daughter from an attack by a fierce lion. The next morning, the master offers to set him free and take care of him like a son, as long as he will abandon his Christian faith and choose to follow Mohammed. At this point, I paused to make sure they knew what the book was suggesting. I asked, do you know what the master is saying? Robby replied, “yep, he’s talking about Mohammed and Islam” (another event in our history timeline). I reminded them how this is a false religion, and they were on the edge of their pillows wondering what the slave would choose.
This is just one of our homeschool days. It is not that you can’t have these conversations if you are not homeschooling – you can and should! The family is responsible for the education of our own children – whether they go to public, private, or home school. But as one who had sent her child to an excellent private school for a few years, it is just much easier to make the connections with your children and interact with their studies in an atmosphere of learning when I am involved in the details of their studies. I love seeing my children learn, make connections, and follow their interests!