What Will My Homeschooler Remember?
Memory is an interesting thing.
When people told me I wouldn’t remember any of the pain from childbirth I thought surely that couldn’t be true. Guess what? They were right – I honestly don’t recall the pain of childbirth. What I do recall, however, is they way those sweet babies felt when I held them for the first time.
One of the most rewarding parts of being a homeschooling parent is having a child graduate from your homeschool, have some life experience, and then come back to you with their memories. I can’t quite describe the sweetness of hearing my child recall a favorite book or activity. To know that we were so intimately involved TOGETHER in their education is a feeling like no other.
Yes, I know hindsight is 20/20. I know current homeschool struggles are important. That math curriculum decision seems SO important at the time.
Please allow me to play the homeschool mentor mom – let me share with you what your children will REALLY remember from their homeschooling days.
Your Homeschooler Will Remember The Books You Read
Literature comes up so often in daily life!. (We are big Jeopardy! fans and you wouldn’t believe how many questions are about literature!)
Make reading with your children a top priority. Read aloud to them. Read silently alongside of them. Encourage individual quiet reading times. Read, read, read!
Not only do books create shared memories and closeness, they also impart so much knowledge. I also found that if we associated activities with our books (which is why I loved the Five in a Row curriculum so much) the memories were even more vivid.
I could list pages and pages of books my children remember reading, but one stands out vividly! A Prairie Dog for the President holds a special place in our hearts because it reminds us of a couple of weeks when we pretended we were Lewis & Clark explorers. We read all the books we could find, made paper bag nature journals, and trekked around a local lake as if we were Lewis & Clark, too.
Epic read-alouds like The Hobbit, Robin Hood, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory also hold memories for my children.
THIS is what your children will remember.
I guarantee you they won’t remember the time you almost lost your marbles trying to teach them long division, or how it took them a few months longer than their peers to read. They won’t remember the failed science experiment or the trouble they had narrating a specific passage to you.
They will remember the stories of adventure, beauty, love, and greatness you shared with them.
So, when all else fails – sit down and read a book with your children.
Your Homeschooler Will Remember The Field Trips!
The great thing about this is that you can plan the field trips and search for books to go along with them!
As we talk with our adult children now they will tell us they are so thankful that we traveled with them – it wasn’t always extravagant (many times it was just a local field trip) – but field trips create so many memories and they remember what they learned on them!
Some of our favorite travels:
The Oregon Trail/Fort Laramie
The Erie Canal/Niagara Falls
Exploring the West
Muir Woods and Alcatraz
Volcanoes National Park/Hawaii
Homosassa Springs Wildlife Refuge
California Academy of Arts & Sciences
The Home of Carl Sandburg
The Home of Thomas Edison
The Beginning of The Trail of Tears
We often took LARGE chunks of time to pick up and travel – and guess what? My kids never got “behind” in math or reading. We just spent time catching up on lessons when we would get home or took our learning on the road with us.
The people our children met, the diverse experiences they had, and the bravery it instilled in them are things I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!
Favorite Local Field Trips:
Dissecting Owl Pellets at the Nature Center
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
The Zoo (I would let them choose an animal to research and let them get a stuffed animal of it from the gift shop!)
Taking school to a beautiful lake – changing scenery makes a big difference
The governor’s mansion
Georgia Tech Robotics Day
The Atlanta Symphony
The Fox Theater
Sometimes we get so caught up in checking off all the academic boxes that we forget to just LIVE with our children. Take those fieldtrips. Learn on the road.
Your kids will remember the change of scenery, and chances are they will remember lots of details from the field trips, too. Once again, my own children thank me often for the experiences their dad and I were able to give them.
Your Homeschooler Will Remember The Times YOU Had Fun!
Do you let your children know you ENJOY homeschooling them? (Do you enjoy homeschooling them?)
When I could relax and have fun with my kids and not be quite the “disciplinarian” and “teacher” we made great memories and learned a lot.
Once we made magnetic slime and I think I had more fun than the kids blowing huge magnetic slime bubbles! Then, there was the day I called off formal school and declared it Angry Birds Day! My children also loved when I would participate in homeschool co-op classes with them – teaching a class for each of my children meant the world to them.
What about the time it was SO hot in September and we went to the pool to do all of our memory work from the diving board and pool, and then went to “Happy Hour” for slushies afterward?
You have a unique opportunity to ENJOY your children – and trust me they are only little for a very brief period of time. They will remember (and cherish!) those times that you had fun with them!
Your Homeschooler Will Remember Morning Time
Morning Time is near and dear to my heart. It is what I will miss the most next year when my tenure as a homeschooling parent is complete.
(And yes, we’ve even kept up Morning Time with our last high schooler!)
Morning Time changed with each stage my children were in, but a few things were always consistent:
Memory Work Review
I believe my children have many memories from Morning Time because it was a CONSTANT – mom never let morning time slide, and if she did, you knew she was either sick or just plain old exhausted. And, because our Morning Time consisted of things that were true, beautiful, and good, they remained in our hearts and minds.
For many years we used the Charlotte Mason Bible verse memory box – that’s a keeper.
You can probably also guess that Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time was a constant – my son still listens to the listening calendar selections!
Here is an example of our simple morning basket.
Keeping a consistent Morning Time means you WILL accomplish something each homeschool day. It also instills a habit of routine and attention to beauty in our children.
I’m actually wondering if my husband and I can keep up with morning time once my son graduates – I’m not kidding! We can have our devotions together and maybe I can convince him to read aloud with me! (My kids think I’m a little nuts on this one, but I think it just might happen.)
Launching Our Children into Adulthood
As we launch our children into adulthood let’s keep in mind the big picture. We all want to have young adults who are responsible, adventurous, caring, attentive to detail, and who have had a wide range of world experiences.
THESE are the things they will remember. THESE are the things that will help them succeed in life.
I promise – you can always study to fill those “gaps” they might have in certain subjects (although I didn’t find my kids too bad!), or outsource that Chemistry credit that seems so overwhelming for you to teach. You cannot, however, outsource the other things mentioned above. You cannot outsource relationships and a soft place to land.
When it’s all said and done, you will look at your children and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude and joy because you created memories – with the added bonus of learning thrown into the mix. Aren’t we fortunate to be able to homeschool our children?
What is something you think your children will remember most from homeschooling?
Share it in the comments below!
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