2021 Homeschool Week 14 | April 5

As I sit down to write this, last week’s blog post is still unpublished. I’ve felt behind all week, while feeling optimistically hopeful for the next free time to catch up.

As I look over the simple log of our activities this week, I’m noticing we didn’t pick up a single book to explore any of our ongoing topics. No Greek myths, no world wonders, no science encyclopedia, no plant studies. No subscription boxes, either.  

And none of those are problems! 

We have freedom to have our weeks flow as they will, with our intentional guidance and our lack of rigid control.

This week was just as perfect as any other. It was also just as disorganized as any other. The way you feel about that second statement depends on your perspective. For me, it doesn’t contrast with the first, but plays nicely with it.

We didn’t “do nothing” just because it looked different than it has lately, and I could easily see the lack of past habits as defeat. 

But all of these things came to be because we chose them as experience nudged us in their direction. None of it was chosen to be “correct” or the only path we could take.

That’s the beauty of it; we get off road and explore it all. Sometimes we come back to the path, sometimes we find another one. Sometimes we make a new one entirely!

So here’s what this short week in our lifetime of adventures looked like:

Monday we did our egg hunt because it was too dark Sunday after Myles came home from his dad’s house.

Sunday evening, we prioritized going to see my grandparents and finding the eggs they hid, by request to be very difficult to find. They were, and it took us quite a while to discover them all, while Myles’ attitude went from skeptical they wouldn’t be too easy to find to a bit frustrated it was harder than he had expected. He was quite pleased when he opened them and received his Easter basket, so all was well after the hard work was done.

So Monday morning, Myles got up and took care of his chickens and dogs as usual, read some books on his own, and played some more of the new game he found recently, Wordscapes. 

I hid eggs in the yard, and he insisted he was ready for them to be hard, so there were a few good challenges. I had assembled our above ground pool over the weekend as a surprise, so I hid his Easter basket along the closest wall where he wouldn’t be able to see it until he really looked in, and I hid an egg in the middle to draw him in.  

Can you see the excitement and surprise?

Not only was he excited to notice the pool, but then he found the drone he has been wanting in his Easter basket! We had to rush off to babysit before we could find batteries that weren’t corroded or used up, and we somehow didn’t make it back to the drone this week with the rainy weather and other activities we had planned. Pictures coming next week, I’m sure!

We spent two afternoons playing with a friend outside again, swinging, walking through the woods, and imagining all kinds of scenarios to play out.  

Freedom, fun, and dirty fingernails!

Remember how I mentioned I was behind all week? Myles spent mornings playing games or watching YouTube while I attempted to catch up on last week’s blog post and other things. He spent a good bit of time on Prodigy math game again as well as a little time on Cubic Castles and CardLife. I also found him playing a few games of chess online between other games.  

We started a new class with Varsity Tutors from their Spring Break Series, Travel the World with Google Earth. The instructor took time to interact with students, asking where they were from and what places they would like to visit.

He encouraged downloading the Google Earth software, and he showed how they could use the street view to explore new locations, so long as they had street view available. He mentioned how some countries didn’t make that information available and pointed out a few that didn’t, while encouraging students to look for new places to visit on the map. They looked at historic landmarks as well as simple details like buses parked on the street or what a bank or store might look like in that area. Overall, they got a great feel for how other places are similar and different to their norm.

We weren’t able to make every day of class, so I looked for a future session to try it again. This is the kind of class you could take multiple times and it would be different every time, as well. I’m sure you’ll see me mention it again in the upcoming weeks. This class was a free, large group class, as the others I’ve previously mentioned have been. If you are looking for a particular subject, tutoring, or even monthly access to an array of classes, you can use our link to sign up with a $10 credit (we get one also, thank you).

Now that Myles’ chickens are consistently laying eggs, he’s been working on getting a few regular customers. This has added friendship and opportunities as well. Kittens, pool invitation, friends stopping by to hand eggs into their vehicles or coming into the yard to see the whole setup – and maybe be invited into a backyard game of real life Minecraft.  

We kept our Harry Potter book moving forward this week, listening while I continued to tackle house needs and Myles helped or played games. He brought the Switch out again this week for some Minecraft and Fortnite one evening. 

Thursday, we went to Garvan Woodland Gardens. As my grandmother was looking for a map, the woman pointing her to them prompted Myles to grab a nature bingo sheet we had overlooked on the way in. He looked it over, suddenly ready to go on his own mission.

Myles with his nature bingo sheet, stickers, and a map!

We explored the gardens, walking down long paths lined with tulips, several waterfalls, many rocks to skip across, and bridges made from different materials and designs. We made our way to the Evans Adventure Garden with a fascinating “Tree House” and found a model train garden, among other neat features.

The Bob and Sunny Evans Tree House at Garvan Woodland Gardens

For more photos of the gardens and our adventures as they take place, you can follow us on Instagram, here.

Overall, it was a full but very different week for us.  

I will admit I’m looking forward to the days we will pull out our visual encyclopedias and dive into the next Atlas Crate, but I didn’t feel they were missing from the flow of this week and where it took us.

I look forward to adventures, gardening, travel….too many things to fit into one week, which I’d argue is good since we have many of them to live. They don’t all have to look the same. Allowing freedom is so empowering…and freeing!

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