How We Lifeschool

October 24, 2017
I remember when we first decided to homeschool our toddler, he was our first baby and I was determined to do it right. I didn't even know what was the right was to homeschool. So I turned to the internet. This was before Instagram, Facebook was really only used as a social media outlet and people really hadn't discovered the power of Pinterest. And even then, I was overwhelmed with the styles and methods to homeschool.

I choose to replicate school at home because after all, it had been working for hundreds of years before and although my husband was on board my family was not. We set up a little homeschool corner and successfully taught our first born toddler his alphabet before he was four years old. We were on track. He loved it, he loved the time we spent together until, we had another child and moved across the country.

Why didn't homeschool work for us?

Why didn't homeschool work for us?
It's most likely not because we had another baby or moving that homeschool wasn't working anymore, but because our family was going through some terrible things and turmoil. On top of everything we had going on, he was getting to the age where he wanted to be more independent, he was busier and didn't want to sit still to 'do the homeschool' worksheets. Children aren't created in a way that allows them to sit still. I certainly don't blame him for not liking homeschool anymore because it was a pattern of listening then 'try it with pen and paper'. It was dry, and an unnatural way to learn, in my opinion.

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After we decided to move back across the country to move away from the turmoil, we chose to take a much more relaxed approach to homeschool. We spent a year just focusing on spending time together as a family, repairing our bond to each other and souls. It evolved and we created what is now our version, of lifeschool. We choose not to call it unschool because we still educate our children with a few things. We also don't call it homeschool because we no longer want to replicate school in our home.

How do we lifeschool?

First, I feel obligated to say I am not an expert and this shouldn't be used as a guideline on how to lifeschool. This is just how we lifeschool our children. If you would like more inspiration, follow us on Instagram, we post daily with photos and stories.

Lifeschool can't be summed up in a list of things we 'do' in a day. It just happens. But here is a run down of a typical day in our home with some of our daily activities:

Morning Rhythm:

Our morning lifeschool routine.
I call it a rhythm because we don't keep a schedule. The kids, 5 and 7 years old, wake up and start to play with lego or cars on their play mat. They have breakfast in their pyjamas and when finished the clean up after themselves and start their self care routine. They change, pick up their laundry, brush their teeth etc. 

Meanwhile, my husband is getting ready for work, I wake up, do my self care and daily beauty routine, check in on my essential oil business and blog and start laundry. The kids help wash laundry from time to time and we also have one chore a day which I try to get them to help with, unless its the bathroom. Before my husband leaves for work the oldest reads everyone a book while the diffuser is running with our favourite essential oils which you can buy here. (If you also love essential oils and want to work from home, please email me!)

During this time they are:
-practicing fine motor skills
-learn to keep a home tidy
-imaginative play
-problem solving and planning
-sibling rivalry 
-practicing self care & self love

Everyday errands are an opportunity to lifeschool!

When visiting the grocery store, I will have the oldest read the shopping list, count money, name coins, colours, letters, or the youngest will read the numbers!

We will write letters or colour photos and mail them to our friends across the country and visit the post office to mail it. This is great for penmanship, spelling, counting money and is a basic life skill.

Walking to the park, we read the numbers on the houses to practice place value. We talk about the birds we see, the colours and varieties of the trees, and the different kids if clouds in the sky.

The oldest runs a lemonade stand or farm stand and sells veggies he has picked, counts the money and uses his earnings to purchase his own toys.

Because we are minimalists, we try not to sign up for a lot of extra activities but occasionally we participate in Gymnastics, Swimming Lessons or Yoga with our homeschool group.

They are learning:
-math, addition, counting cash
-reading, reading currency
-natural science, place value
-Introduction to business, manners, counting cash, natural science of growing food

Our passion for adventure collides with lifeschool!

What lifeschool looks like.
We visit our museum regularly to see each travelling exhibit that comes through town. Each exhibit is an opportunity to learn something different. We have learned about RADAR-SAT, the science of human hair, history of the dinning car. We read every sign together and discuss it! And at the end of the day, they sit down with their father and tell them all the really cool things they learned.

Visiting National Parks and stopping at every educational sign to read the info and discuss it. This is also our PE class!

We visit National Historic Sites and dive into them.

Lastly after and adventure, we come home and they draw pictures of the coolest thing they saw or their highlight of the trip.

They are learning:
-natural science
-art & creativity
-writing, spelling and penmanship

Afternoon Rhythm:

How we lifeschool or homeschool or unschool...
Usually by the time afternoon rolls around and we have eaten lunch, I need to recharge. I do this by putting on an educational cartoon on netflix, put my feet up with a cup of tea, diffuse some essential oils and come here, to this blog. Depending on how our morning went, I will read a chapter of a book aloud or we will go out to the garden to harvest or pull weeds.

They are absorbing:
-how to grow food

Our lifeschool will always evolve!

Above are examples of lifeschool in these young years, as they get older we will use literature, maps and themed days to discover the world from our home. We will use microscopes and magnifying glasses to learn more about biology and science. We will also seek out historical sites, science centers and museums which they are interested in learning more about. And once they have decided on a solid career path, we can provide them with opportunities to encourage them.

There are a few things that we need to accomplish everyday. For example, they need to read and I need to read to them everyday. We also choose a new math skill to learn with counting cubes. But ultimately, they are always learning, they aren't glued to the screens, they are happy and they know they are loved. 

How our family benefits from lifeschooling?

Having our children home with us makes for a very flexible schedule. The weekend is no longer something we look forward to because our 'weekends' are when my husband doesn't work. We can leave town or vacation whenever we like and find it particularly nice when school is in and the beaches, museums, nature parks, library are all empty.

Having the children at home really strengthens our family bond which is something that is incredibly important to me and because I am able work from home sharing my love for essential oil, I am so so grateful.

If you share this love for essential oils and are interest in learning how to work from home doing so, please contact me!

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