We are definitely not a "school at home" family! We love learning OUTSIDE way too much! We believe that children should be allowed to be children and shouldn't be expected to have too much of a rigorous school schedule too early on. As each year passes, the kids are expected to do more and more formal learning, but with plenty of wiggle room literally.
We get to see how things are made- like the day we made a bench! The importance of having a sturdy frame, how to work together as a team, hard labor (ok, it wasn't that hard), the satisfaction of making something ourselves. We got a little creative with the extra wood! We spent time together. We painted.
We get plenty of exercise (although mama could use a little more! LOL). Fresh air. Togetherness. Working together. Not everyone can be a leader. Someone has to stay behind with those who bike slower. Safety.
We don't really have "textbooks" as much as we use living books.
You would be amazed at how much children pick up when they aren't forced to learn. I have a state puzzle that the kids have been putting together almost daily. The three girls have been alternating who puts it together and often, they won't really announce that they are working on it. You'll just notice them sitting at the table with the pieces spread out. They're learning about US Geography. History lessons are thrown in- on the sly! On Monday my middle daughter was working on it and she got to Louisiana. Well... she was born in Louisiana and Monday just so happened to be Louisiana's 200th birthday! You better believe I threw that tidbit into our conversation!!!
And if you think your young preschoolers are only capable of grasping their ABCs or 123s, think again! My 4 year old was on the floor searching for a missing puzzle piece, the state of Washington. He happened across a history book that had George Washington on the front. He hollered that he had found Washington! HE KNEW!!! We drive by Mt. Rushmore frequently and he recognizes the faces. We've held a flashlight to our hand and "discovered the blood" and he remembers it!
Kids are super smart! They truly are like sponges!
Another benefit to homeschooling, we get to see the country! These are the Badlands of South Dakota. This summer we will hit Yosemite. Last summer, we went to Yellowstone.
Learning is everywhere! Embrace it! I use to be so worried about missing something important in my kid's learning, but once I started relying on God I relaxed. We still do paper work- we do copy work, math problems, and work on spelling and reading. But we do have fun while we do it!
If you homeschool, what is your method?