Saturday, April 26, 2008

Heart of the Matter: Happy Habits of A Homeschooler

The weeks go by so fast around here. I keep forgetting to write any sort of review for the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. I didn't even remember to look at the Carnival of Homeschooling, much less post about it. But I did remember the Heart of the Matter Friday meme. This week it's all about homeschoolers' happy habits.

We aren't very good with habits around here, but we're trying.

One habit we do have, and keep to pretty well, is to start our day with the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, which is a study guide for it. This means sometimes breakfast takes a very long time. My kids like to talk - maybe they just like to stall - and we do talk a lot. Much of our homeschooling is accomplished just by talking.

We have the habit of reading daily, or most days, some sort of nature writing or natural history. I count this as science because, well, it is, but it also often leads us to further research on some animal, plant, or place. Right now we're in the midst of North With the Spring by Edwin Way Teale. I love Teale's writing.

We try to keep to the habit of doing our "table work" - that's math, grammar, writing - finished right after breakfast and kitchen cleanup, so we can get to the good stuff - reading history, doing science experiments or reading, research, etc. When I can combine work on these skills with the good stuff, it's a really great day. But that's not always possible, so we try to get it done quickly and move on.

We almost always close our day with a book too. Right now it's Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson. Very exciting and interesting book. This is one of those books my kids could read on their own, but I like kids' books too sometimes. I usually try to read them books that are above their reading level. I also like to read old books because the language is so much richer than most contemporary writing I've come across.

Afternoon teatime with a book is another happy habit, though we don't tend to want tea in the warmer weather so much. I like iced coffee and I don't want to start that habit with my kids quite yet. Reading in the hammock will commence soon.

Just this week we started a habit of going to an exciting and new place on Wednesdays. That is the day Daddy gets home from school early enough that we can go off for most of the day. (We are a one-car family right now.) We don't like leaving him home, but he needs time to study. This week we went to Valley Forge with our dog Max. It was beautiful; we had a picnic and a great walk. The semester is winding down so things will change after finals, but we need to try to keep up a weekly outing while we are living here. There is a lot to see in this area, and we only expect to be here about 3 more years. So, we need to keep moving.

Notice none of those habits have anything to do with house or yardwork. Those are habits we should be working on. But then this was called "happy habits."

1 comment:

Heidi @ Southpaugh Homeschool said...

We enjoyed our outings this year, too. I need to make that a more permanent habit!
Thanks for sharing!!