Thursday the Brownies and Daisies had the unique opportunity to have a class with students from Sacred Heart University who are part of Project Limulus, a scientific study of horseshoe crabs. The purpose of the study is to understand if harvesting crabs can coincide with conserving their numbers. After a lesson about horseshoes crabs, the girls were able to capture, tag and release two horseshoe crabs back into Long Island Sound.
One of the things that has amazed me with about homeschooling is the quality of programs available to the children. This program was scheduled by their Troop Leader after she attended a lecture at her local library. My experience has been that groups are very willing to schedule times and provide opportunities for children during the day. As a result, Lilah’s spring has been an emersion in nature studies and ecology. I know for her birthday she will be getting quality nets for exploring.
I have also benefitted from her classes. I have acquired new knowledge not only of nature but of places in my local community I have not had the opportunity to visit before. When I reflect on my family life prior to homeschooling it seems we were overly structured. We had school 8:30 to 3:00pm. Then it was homework. Most days had a lesson, piano, dance, basketball, art, religious education workshops to name of few (not at the same time but always something!) Dinner around 5:00 and bed at 8:00 so we could get up and do it all over again the next day.
We are changing how we view our family life. We explore more now. We make time every Saturday to leave the house and venture to someplace we have never been. I have relaxed about bedtimes. For my own sanity, I like them upstairs by 8:30 but if they want to read before they turn out the light, I am okay with that. Knowing that Grace is coming home also helps. She has four full days and two half days left. I have taken her out when she cried over having a less than pleasant substitute and took her out to accompany us to the Botannical Gardens.
We are starting the see the outcomes of slowing down, relaxing and increasing our quality time together. My girls are getting along better. Today they are volunteering at the Garden Club’s Annual Tea at church. They showerd together, dressed in similar style dresses, and did each other’s hair! When I was too sick yesterday to get out of bed, Greg commented that the time the three of them spent together was wonderful. My life was wonderful before but it feels even better now.
Could this occur without homeschooling? Sure. But not having the limitations of rushing in the morning, rushing in the afternoon and the serious imposition homework makes on family time, it is certainly much easier. It just has to be conscious.