October 27, 2020

3 Ways to Homeschool November

Daylight savings time ends this weekend for 2020. The days are growing cooler and shorter. Soon winter will be upon us!  We had a sneak peek this week as temperatures here dipped to January temperatures. However, the temperatures did not stay low.  This morning is 11 degrees warmer than yesterday. It seems like one more quirky thing about 2020!

I am grateful for all of you, for the homeschooling journey we have had so far this year, and to be able to share my thoughts with you through our newsletter and blog posts. It is my hope that some ideas here will be a blessing to someone reading this. 

As we move through this season, how can we make homeschool and family life more meaningful?

3 Ways to Homeschool November... 

1. Time for a Victory Lap!

Most have been home schooling for several months this year. It is time to review and see how you are doing and have a mid-term assessment. Too often we focus too much on what is not happening to see all that is happening. Life is full of starts and stops. Most of us have been pinched by trials, health issues, and some interruptions. That is just how life is. As you assess this fall, look for the highlights, give yourself and your children credit for your victories- big and small. We have all survived those interruptions and developed strategies that got us through. That is a victory, for sure. Look for the victories and celebrate them.  If we focus on the areas not happening, our gaze will pull us down to mediocrity. Why? Because when we ignore the victories and strengths to dwell on areas that need strengthening, or things not happening, we tend to stagnate and not move forward.  So, look for the victories and acknowledge them. Lift your gaze! Embrace those victories. 

Here are some victories you might overlook, consider asking yourself:

Did we go to the park? At the park the children play, and develop physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally.

Were there any fieldtrips this fall?  Fieldtrips expand intellectual horizons and are opportunities for socialization. Even virtual fieldtrips count. They expand horizons and provide jumping off points for further learning and family discussion.

Have we read and discussed Bible stories? They strengthening children's understanding of God and can refine children's character.

What great books have we read to our family? Great books can give "scope to the imagination," teach children about human nature, help children think and improve.

Has there progress in learning since homeschool began at the end of summer? 

Take time to see and focus on the victories, the things that did get done, the experiences, and the progress made. Make sure you list those victories and record them. Written acknowledgement of all the victories is vital!

Once victories are acknowledged, celebrated, and recorded, then consider areas that need improvement and things that may need to change for those areas to improve. Then take baby steps to build on victories and enjoy the season.  You can work to help these things happen while still focusing on strengths and victories.

2. Get Nurtured by Nature

There are still some warmer days left in the year.  Even here where we saw temperatures as low as 12 degrees this weekend, will be in the 60s by this coming weekend. Take the children outside every day you can, to be nurtured by nature. Bundle up as the weather gets cooler. Take long walks as part of PE.  Kick leaves. Notice the change of the seasons. Do a campfire or fire in the fireplace and drink hot cocoa. Have fun. Study nature as part of natural science studies. Make collections and decorate with leaves, pinecones, and nuts, as part of art studies. These collections will provide subjects to study during the more bitter days of mid-winter, when it comes.

3. Weave Memories through Family Traditions

Good family traditions bind families together and build warm memories. These family traditions can be part of their education, as well. 

Here are some of ours: 

We winterize and prepare our garden, house, and yard for winter. Learning home maintenance skills are important adult life skills.  So, far we have cleared the garden, blown out the sprinkler lines,  we have brought the outdoor furniture cushions in, and shut down our swamp cooler for the season. Leaves are dropping and we will mow over them and put them in the garden.

Our home has a wood burning stove with a catalytic converter for cleaner burning. We gather and make sure we have enough wood available for power outages and "hygge" evenings. We have a good stash and we also harvested pine from a neighbor's trees that were cut down months ago. They are stacked and seasoning.

Learn about the Pilgrims!

"We gather together to ask the Lord's Blessings..."  Each evening throughout November, we gather for our family to enjoy the Classic Thanksgiving Devotional. Through the devotional, we enjoy learning about our providential history, Bible verses, quotes, poetry, hymns, quotes, short Thanksgiving stories, Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations, and doing daily acts of Thanks-living. This all enhances our sense of gratitude as we learn!  Below is a link to the devotional.  

 We also celebrate Thanksgiving Day!!! As we cook and prepare, the children are learning many lost arts and doing in context, living math as they work through the recipes.  This year, it may be just a few of us. However, even so, we will still work together.

 What are your fall family traditions and how do you incorporate your traditions to enrich your homeschool learning?

I invite you to take the victory lap, assess, make a plan, take baby steps, get nurtured by nature, weave your family traditions into homeschool and enjoy the journey!

Enjoy the Journey!

You will want to get this now so you can be ready to start on 1 November.
"A Classic American Thanksgiving Devotional"

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