The other day my six year old asked me what we’d be doing for school that day.
“No school today,” I reminded her. “It’s Saturday.”
With a delighted sigh of relief, she found a comfy corner of the couch and started reading Life of Fred: Butterflies.
Side Note: If you’re not familiar with the Life of Fred series, it’s a quirky but effective math curricula adored by many homeschooling families. We’ve used it as a math supplement over the years and all three of my kids love it.
When her brothers picked up other books in the Life of Fred series and proceeded to read math books for over two hours… on a Saturday… for fun… the inspiration for this post was born.
Every year we’ve homeschooled, I’ve realized more and more how much “education” can happen anywhere and at any time. On vacation, on sick days, on bad days, or boring days, and even on weekends, learning can and will happen.
If It Were a School Day…
If it were a school day, we’d call the Life of Fred book reading marathon “math class.”
If it were a school day, I’d say we “did science” when we read 101 Hidden Animals and talked all about camouflage and other animal characteristics.
If it were a school day, playing two hours of soccer games might’ve counted as “Physical Education,” and we’d call an afternoon break playing hopscotch and foursquare “Recess.”
If it were a school day, I’d say word recognition and spelling practice doing word searches, not to mention hours of reading books and magazines, covered at least some of our “Language Arts” for the day.
If it were a school day, we could call our nature walk “life sciences.” The questions and conversation we had about flora and fauna, plus our leaf rubbings and study of different textures outdoors, might even be worthy of the title “lab” or “field trip.”
Does it really matter if we label our experiences and activities and group them into subjects?
Does learning only count if it’s in a classroom setting on certain days of the week?
Of course not!
In fact, the unplanned teachable moments that fill our weekends are sometimes more effective than school days when it comes to long term retention. When kids are interested and relaxed, they learn more easily and they’re more likely to remember what they learned.
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday…. ANY DAY can be a day of learning and new experiences! ALL learning counts!
If you’re having trouble thinking of non-traditional learning as “real education” — check out my book, Think About Homeschooling: What It Is, What It Isn’t, & Why It Works. Whether you’re just thinking about home education or have been homeschooling for years, Think About Homeschooling will give you the knowledge and courage you need to move forward with confidence!
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