Schooling with the Seasons
Do the seasons of your life play a role in your homeschool rhythm? We love the freedom to follow life's ebb and flow as we school through the seasons. Read on to find out why following your life's natural lead can breathe life into your homeschool!
Every year when springtime comes around, we find ourselves gravitating outside in lieu of lessons, eating lunch on the back patio instead of the kitchen table, and soaking in the sunshine before the heat hits for the summer. When the dog days come and we want to either be swimming or cool in the house, we all crave a bit more learning again and settle in for another round of schooling. We've found that we tend to repeat this cycle over and over, year in and out, as the seasons (both weather and life) roll through.
Homeschool rhythms and schedules are different for every family. Sometimes a rigid yearly schedule provides the structure a family needs, and that is a good thing if it is helpful for you! Above all, follow your intuition for what YOUR family needs. Here are a few things we've learned about the freedom and flexibility that schooling with the seasons brings to us!
- I realized early on in my homeschooling career with young children and new additions every few years that daily rhythms and needs will be forever evolving and shifting. It seems as soon as we settle into a daily flow that works well, someone's naptime changes or a baby becomes mobile and it's time to reevaluate. Taking advantage of seasons with free hands does wonders, as does giving yourself grace rather than guilt when life feels like more of a balancing act!
- Take time to notice. Seasonal schooling is a great way to stay aware of what is going on around you. When you school by seasons, you'll naturally pay extra attention to your children's daily temperatures and moods, as well as the climate of your home (let alone the actual weather outside). Take note of how everyone is doing and what they may need- it will serve everyone much better than sticking to a rigid timeline or schedule!
- Follow your child's natural interests. Perhaps you have a child who is alight with curiosity about a specific topic. Grab hold of that and run with the interest which lends itself to organic learning! Don't be afraid to take a break from one topic to focus on another for a time. You'll always flow back to "normal".
- Don't be afraid to take time for the things that feel less critical. Reading books aloud may carve into time that could be used writing a report, but that read aloud time during the formative years will imprint on all of your souls. It may feel tempting to wrap up outdoor play for lessons or rush an art project to get to the next thing. Breathe, let it be, and remember that you only get these years once.
- Of course, there are certain things that nobody wants to do but everyone needs to do. That's ok! Plan a time and stick to it. Everyone will feel proud for completing projects or tasks that felt difficult or inconvenient. It's worth the effort to learn the hard, less-fun things too!
- Use the weather to your advantage. Can't take the day off on a beautiful spring day? Take your lessons outside and finish the day with a nature walk! Extra cold weather that has you all wanting to huddle inside? Make it a poetry tea time around the fireplace!
One of the beautiful things about homeschool is the freedom it gives us as families to create resonant lives that fit our own unique needs. No two families are the same, and gleaning ideas from one another then employing the ones that fit us best is a gift! However you choose to do it, you're doing a wonderful job!
xo, the Harbor + Sprout Team