As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stealthy Homeschooling?

No, I'm afraid that post title carries the wrong connotation.  It sounds a bit war-like...and our homeschool is anything but war!  (We're all on the same team!)

What I'm trying to convey is that of learning taking place, almost without the student even being aware.  Although...hmmm...the student is aware, so that's not right either.  

Maybe what I'm referring to is learning that is not a part of the "school day."  Learning that is natural, easy to accomplish, and fun.  Learning that is a part of a lifestyle of learning.  

I'll give you two recent examples from our homeschool.  

I told you about my book find, Twenty-Odd Ducks, the children's book illustrating the importance of punctuation.  What I didn't tell you was that I was so enamored with it that I read it before it ever got home, as I sat in my van waiting for Ron at a doctor's appointment.  I thought that I would read it with Bekah the next day, and that we'd find all of the differences that punctuation had made in the example sentences, and laugh over the hilarious scenarios.

Then I thought better of it.

I decided, instead, to lay the book on the kitchen table and allow her to discover it.  Before dinner, she had picked it up, taken it over to the kitchen love seat, and was reading and laughing.  Every few pages, she'd hop up and bring it to one of us (or every one of us!) and share the funny picture.  She read them aloud.  She described the pictures.

I think she read it three times that evening!

It was so much better for her to relate to the book herself, and enjoy and glean the ideas for herself, than for me to "teach" the book to her.  She "got" it...and she'll remember it.

Another way that we have brought some fun-and-natural learning into our "not school" time is by instituting Game Night.  On Monday nights, while Dad is balancing the checkbook and writing out bills, we have begun to play educational games.  I have accumulated quite a few educational games in my twenty-odd years of homeschooling.  (Did you notice my use of the hyphenated "twenty-odd", as in the aforementioned book? ~grin~)  Some games were ordered to accompany a specific topic of study, some we picked up at museum shops, some were purchased at yard sales.  But there are many of them that Bekah (the youngest...and only student now) has  never played, so we're choosing a different game each week to play with her.

The first Game Night was happenstance.  Bekah took Scrambled States of America from the game shelf and asked if anyone would play with her.

Dad was busy with the checkbook (so not a game!), but Kati and I both agreed to play...and we had a ball!  In fact, she convinced us to play it twice, and another time or two later in the week! And so, I was inspired to make it a regular activity.

One night we played "Presidential Lotto" in which you fill your board with photos of the Presidents as a card is turned over.  We added a twist to that one. Before you could add a President's photo card to your board, you had to give a bit of trivia about him.  If you didn't know any, you deferred to Dad who certainly would.  Another Monday evening, we used a deck of "Quiz Me" cards with questions about famous Americans.  

I believe that there is great reward in learning itself, and it doesn't always need to be "fun." However, when there is enthusiasm on the student's part, learning occurs and knowledge is gained rather easily.  


  1. You know I agree heartily with you! I am going to find that book - what a fun way to learn a boring subject!


  2. You, dear mother and teacher, are a wise one! Thank you for suggesting these items. There's no reason why learning as to be as dull as toast. I know that I have fun learning here.

  3. Hi Deanna! Bet I just missed her...

  4. This post shows one of the beauties of homeschooling! Unplanned, unexpected learning taking place.

  5. ICheryl, I know I would enjoy this book, and I know I would benefit from reading it . ~smile~
    Our second son absolutely did not like to read when he was very young, but he loved Dennis the Menace, Family Circus,and Peanuts cartoon. I went and bought these books and he began to read more, thus, he soon developed a love for reading.
    You are such an inspiration! Thanks for sharing.
    I am still on hiatus from blogging, hope to return real soon.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  6. I've never seen the book it gave me that, "why didn't I think of that" feeling. Brilliant. A great way to get the point across.

    Scrambled States is a favorite here still! The girls and I are using the same Aristoplay 'Where in the World', to learn countries and their capitals that I used with Cory and Hillary way back when. Aren't we just doing what we love?!

    Blessings, Debbie


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