September – Month 1 of Homeschooling

After choosing to go with the Oak Meadow homeschool curriculum, we realized that we didn’t have to rush summer’s end by starting before September. After Labor Day, we jumped into the program, and it didn’t take us long to realize that we could get all of our school done before lunch (sometimes a bit after) and then have the rest of the day for chores, resting, playing, adventuring, you name it. That is the beauty and flexibility of homeschooling. There’s no waiting for a whole class to get through bits and pieces of different programs. There’s no waiting for specials. There’s no waiting for standardized testing practice and then the tests themselves. Minus the testing, it’s all embedded.

Our day always began with breakfast. Most of the time, this included eggs from our chickens or fruit of some sort with yogurt or oatmeal. Some mornings where we had extra time, we’d do the whole pancake/waffle/bacon thing, but that always required more clean-up time, so that was a couple times a month only.

Smoothies are a quick and easy way to fuel up before learning!

Before beginning the studies for the day, we would always do some form of meditation. Sometimes, it was sitting quietly. At others, it was listening or singing to music and then talking about how we felt during the morning. Because our kids were young, they could only sit quietly for meditation for about 5 minutes. We would also stretch with yoga first thing to warm up our bodies.

Next was a morning meeting to go over the daily schedule, figure out what day and month it was and get excited for any upcoming holidays. Because I had a first grader, it was still important to do a calendar study. Plus, it’s so easy to squeeze in some math (patterns), movement, etc. with a morning meeting.

The Oak Meadow program provides so many opportunities for kids to get outside and learn from nature, a key element of learning for kids. Whether it was a shape hunt, color quest, counting event, etc., we were outside ALL THE TIME. Fresh air, sunshine for the vitamin D, and grounding with no shoes on are things we also learned were important during this time. Get outside as much as you can, even if that means reading under a tree, snowshoeing in January, collecting water during a rainy spring day, or just sunbathing. These are such important skills to learn and are easier to incorporate as a life skill when learned as a child. To set the tone for the program, and due to the warmer temperatures in September, Oak Meadow got us outside right from the get-go.

Another activity that the kids got into from the start was crafting to solidify lessons learned. Our oldest had a lot of history for his fifth grade curriculum, so he created a lot of models. Crafting and/or models could be ways to assess the kids at the end of a unit as well. To this day, four years later one of our girls still finger knits and they all have an infatuation with the hot glue gun!

I found that homeschooling is all about going slow to go fast. There were days were I felt like we were doing the same types of activities for too many days in a row, but it set us up for great routines that we utilized all year long. This also gave us options to fall back on if we needed a chill day or if one activity didn’t mesh with one student. Tools in the tool belt!

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