A Spring Learning List

We live by the "make hay while the sun shines" adage but since we don't actually live on a farm it's more of a "living by the seasons" philosophy.

And so the same thing happens every spring. The weather warms, the kids are bitten by the outdoors bug and start spending hours outside each day.

"But what about the schedule?" my inner organizer cries.

"What about the kid's education?" the teacher in me calls out.

It happens every year but this time 'round I was prepared.

Last Friday, after writing down what books we read and what the kids explored, communicated and created during the week I wrote out the learning objectives for this next month of spring transition.

My winter time school schedule lists read alouds, handwriting & math as morning routines. As long as that is what is written I can't let go of it to embrace something new. (I'm like that about the written word). I had to write a new routine, but each day can be so different depending on the notoriously tempermental spring weather so instead of a day-by-day plan it's more of an overall priority list (in order) that looks something like this:

The first 3 are the absolute priorities. And it will be an especially productive day if we accomplish the top 5.

  • outdoors & gardening
  • kid's interests
  • reading lessons for the 6 & 8 year old
  • math for my 9 year old
  • reading aloud as requested
  • handwriting practice
  • math for my 8 year old

As you can see from this list we're not rigorous academics around here. My kiddo's overall well-being is the highest priority in our homeschool and there's a lot more to our days - chores, music, meals, art, crafts, errands, community activities, etc... that I'm not mentioning.

But during this spring transition it comes down to this; sometimes working on their handwriting is important, and other days making mud and sawdust pudding takes precedence.

I've learned that as long as I write it down I feel like we are accomplishing what we set out to do. Even if our goal is to be outdoors all day. If I wrote it down as the goal then we accomplished our learning objectives.

Maybe you don't homeschool (you've probably stopped reading already) or even have kids. You can still re-evaluate your spring goals. Let yourself be in the season. If you're a compulsive writer, like myself, sketch out a list of spring goals that you know you'll achieve because you are naturally driven to do those during these warmer and longer days.

Plan(t) the garden, walk through puddles, wash and hang linens, take photos of blooming bulbs. Enjoy Spring.

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  • SavvyChristine

    SavvyChristine on April 8, 2009, 5:15 p.m.

    I don't homeschool OR have kids, but I read the whole thing. I like seeing what philosophies you use, particularly for ideas for when I visit with my nieces and nephews. And I'm a compulsive list-writer too.

    SavvyChristine's last blog post... Not Quite Under the Tuscan Sun


  • Bianca

    Bianca on April 9, 2009, 5:05 a.m.

    This is my first visit to your site. I am loving reading about your families adventure from the urban perspective. This is our life as well. I am curious as to what your reading lessons entail for your 6 and 8 yr olds. I am homeschooling mom, leaning toward uschooling, but with a partner who truly believes in structure, especially for reading and math. We are looking for suggestions and a middle ground. Thanks.


    • renee

      renee on April 9, 2009, 9:11 p.m.


      When I have a moment I'll respond in greater depth but I'd like to direct you to FIMBY Homeschool. If you scroll down the right side bar you'll find information that goes into a bit more detail on how we homeschool. I even have a link to a video presentation I did at our local library. It's an hour long but explains in fairly good detail how we homeschool our children and what are plans are for their future education.

      We use 100 Easy lesson for reading lessons - you'll find the link on the sidebar.


  • kirwin

    kirwin on April 9, 2009, 3:31 p.m.

    I didn't realize you homeschooled until this post. It looks to me like you're raising well-rounded children (who are gorgeous, by the way.) You're doing a great job.


  • steadymom

    steadymom on April 9, 2009, 7:09 p.m.

    We do the same thing here, and I love it. Learning outdoors is just as important as learning indoors. And our children will be better for it.



    steadymom's last blog post... survival


  • shelli

    shelli on April 9, 2009, 11:28 p.m.

    It sounds good to me!! I intend to enjoy spring too. Although I really have to clean my house before some family visits later this month.....I hate to think about all the cleaning I have to do.


  • Naomi

    Naomi on April 11, 2009, 11:50 p.m.

    I once read a really cool tip for new moms that applies to homeschooling as well. Instead of writing a to-do list, write a list of everything you did as the day goes on. Then at the end of the day, you'll see how much you got accomplished without setting your sights high. This is something I haven't quite learned to acheive yet, as I am also a big list person ;0) but I think it would be a good thing to do once in a while as encouragement.


  • Trisha

    Trisha on April 13, 2009, 6:36 p.m.

    I can't relate to the homeschooling part yet since my daughter is only 22 months old, but one look inside my house shows that we've been spending all day outside. I'm justifying not getting my cleaning done by telling myself that a little dirt inside is good for Grace's immune system- that spotless houses are unhealthy.


  • kristin

    kristin on April 14, 2009, 11:42 a.m.

    oh, what a wonderful life.

    i cringe a bit that my kids fit this kind of learning play in after a day in public school...but for now that's the way it is.

    eager to read more.

    enjoy your day, kristin


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