I admit, I like worksheets, crafts, and lots of paper-related education, but education obviously doesn’t happen in a box (or a can!), so I’ve been relaxing my reigs and learning to explore life with my kids. There is nothing quite like being a bit hands off and just watching my kids take notice of nature. This week I was reminded of how un-canned the most meaningful lessons can be.
“Mom, why do ladybugs have spots? How many spots are there on this one?”
“Well, let’s count…” I answer.
As I proceed to help my 4 1/2 year old count ladybug spots, answer questions about their color, where they live, and whether or not we could keep one in a jar, it dawned on me that no matter how many spots we could have counted on a math worksheet, nothing could compare to holding a real, live ladybug while basking in the beautiful sun on a warm, breezy west coast afternoon.
Nothing beats the real deal. It’s moments like these that I realize the beauty in the opportunities we can capture with home schooling. They’re like little snapshots of beauty in action. Real, raw, unfiltered. It’s kids with nature, enjoying the outdoors, and becoming little backyard scientists, and it’s a rare occasion that I would witness this kind of phenomena in most school settings. This makes me grateful for our humble backyard…and for the opportunity to capitalize on what the kids actually want to learn about. It makes learning fun!
No matter how many hard days I have, no matter how much my laundry piles up, or how many dishes are waiting for me in the sink, when I realize that my kids are granted this beautiful space in childhood to actually enjoy it without fear, without retribution, without interference…I am grateful.
Makes me want to have more days like this one.