Thursday, March 19, 2015

Building Familial Bonds Through Homeschooling

We had another half day of school today.  We decided this morning that we wanted to go visiting in the afternoon so the boys were eager about setting down to do some schoolwork.

I had just planned on a few of the basics for school today anyway and since the boys were eagerly working and willing to do a bit of extra with me we covered quite a bit.  We finished up right around 11:30 and headed to have lunch with my husband at work.  Then we spent the afternoon at my grandmother's house visiting with her and my aunt.  It was nice to just have a relaxing day connecting with family.

I love that we get to pick and choose when and how much we get to work as homeschoolers.

I love that my boys have such close connections with our family members.  We often go visit our elderly relatives during the school day and we could never do that if the boys were in public school. 

Homeschooling has helped us strengthen so many familial bonds! I had no idea when we began this journey how important that would become to us all.

  • I have watched my boys become friends and not just brothers.  
  • They get to see their cousins weekly and have become so close. 
  • The boys are so much closer to their aunts too; who we'll frequently visit with.
  • They've started going out to breakfast with their grandmother-- on a school day! It's such a fun special treat and they look forward to it so much. 
  • They often visit their great grandmother or great, great aunt and play games and cards with them.
  • They now know that they can come to me with anything and that I'll always be there for them.
  • They can stay up a bit later and spend time with their dad even on nights when he had to work late or visit him at work.
  • We've accompanied my husband on last minute business trips so we could spend some time together exploring new places and building family memories. 

Homeshooling has allowed us the time to spend with family and really get to know them, know their stories and made personal connections with one another.

I had actually worried that homeschooling would strain our relationships; that the boys would fight more and worse being home together, that I would not have enough patience and end up yelling all the time....  but I was so very wrong.

This has been such an expected blessing to homeschooling!

We could have skipped our schoolwork entirely but I know that my boys do best if we keep just a bit of a routine going.

For math today:  I played a game called I CAN add and subtract within 20 game with Evan and Alec.  It was a free download and I bought a can of Pringles this week at the grocery store specially to make this game.  Evan and I played one game and Alec thought it looked like fun so he then asked to play a game with me.  Both times the boys won.

It was nice to hear and see how they work out the math problems.  Each had their own approach and I gained a greater insight into how they think.  One of Evan's questions asked him what 9 +5 equaled and he told me that it had to be 14 since 10 would have made it 15.  I love that he's already figured out how to use nearby facts to make his math work quicker.

I had another coloring worksheet for Alec and Ian set aside for today.  They had to color all of the fractions that were shown in their lowest form to reveal a mystery picture.  It was a top hat that I had meant to give them for St. Patrick's day but forgot.  They thought it was pretty easy but didn't understand that it was a hat!

I also had time to sit with all three boys and complete a verbal math lesson.  I thought we would have been so much further along in these books by now but I'm trying to be patient and take things at their pace.

For reading-- Evan read me another two Dick and Jane stories,  Ian read another one of his digger books, and Alec skipped reading altogether today.  He was up late last night reading the Minecraft book to Evan as they had another sleepover so I didn't mind.  He reads all the time anyway.

We also read a wonderful story called the Voices of Pearl Harbor (which counts as History too!). This book was amazing.  It showed the story from all different perspectives and followed the timeline of events leading up to the actual bombing and up to many years after.  The illustrations were beautiful too.

We listened to Inkheart while we were driving to lunch and to run a few errands later on too.

I asked the older boys to do a bit of writing today.

They went from asking to learn cursive to groaning anytime I brought up the word cursive.  After thinking pretty long and hard about it I decided they really only NEED to know how to read it and how to write their names so I found a webpage that allowed me to type in their names and print up a practice sheet.

They each practiced writing their full names; first, middle and last five times each.  They grumbled a bit but when I explained that they'll have to know this to sign checks and legal documents they agreed it was pretty important (until they saw me signing a receipt later in the day and realized mine signature is pretty messy; guess I need to set a better example!).

 We practiced some English fun using Mad Libs.  The boys all wanted to give the answers to fill in the blanks but no one wanted to actually write the answers so I offered.  Each boy took a turn and we all had a great time reading the crazy stories they came up with.  They practiced "noun", "adjective", and "verb" today.  The older boys rarely have to double check what these words mean anymore but Evan often forgets.  He knows one is a describing word, another is something you do, and one is something you can touch; I think that's a good enough understanding for 7.

 Alec ended up getting in some spelling practice all on his own today.  He rediscovered the fun of Scrbblenaughts and double checked the spelling of many of the words with me.  He does not let his spelling affect what he's asking for though so he naturally challenges himself.  A few of the words rhymed with other words from his spelling word list this week and I was able to relate what he was learning about to what he was interested in.

It's great to see them learning on their own in their own time knowing they keep adding to their knowledge as needed.

They had a wonderful visiting with their father at lunch and talking with his co-workers.  They rarely are at a loss for words and enjoy talking with everyone.

They eagerly arrived at my grandmother's house and had a few snacks while visiting and chatting with her.  It's so nice to see how kind and gentle they are with her; though Evan does tend to get a bit frustrated that she often asks the same questions over and over again.

Linking Up With:

I Choose Joy!

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


  1. This is amazing. I love this! I wish I had what you guys have.

    Yes, I agree. This is one of the beautiful things about homeschooling.

    I love this post!

    1. Aw, thank you! That is so nice to hear.