The Fire in My Heart From a Good Homeschool Day

By Holly Giles | Great Outdoors

fire

Fire in my heart

It was going to be a good homeschool day. I was on fire about it. I had the planners filled out. The papers, books, and necessary items were within reach. In addition, the anticipation that THIS was going to be a good start to the week.
The boys woke up a little late. Consequently, made them sluggish in getting to work on their chores, breakfast, and getting dressed. I began to get a little irritated that our time was already off for the morning. I needed to light a fire under them to get moving.
 
This season we were going to start strong. I wanted to check off the boxes of completed work and keep moving.
I wanted the impossible.

Morning disasters

 
First, the phone rang. Then, a box was delivered. Next, the chickens were in the neighbors’ yard. After we rounded up the chickens, the dog ran out the front door. Finally, the kitchen floor had unidentified green sticky goo. In cleaning that, I discovered mud tracks going from the back door to the bathroom. 

It is 10:30 am and my frustration is coming to a boiling point. I went to check on the boys and I found Grant on the living room floor. Flying.

The pilot

“I am a pilot momma.”  He said. “Here is my radio to call the tower, my headphones to talk and my feet are my rutters.” He was adorable, however, this was not part of the morning plan. I told him that pilots need to do Language Arts so they can go to pilot school. 

“Get back to your desk.”

Grant began work on his computer lessons and I went in search of Grayson. Of course I found him out back building a fire. Yes, I said fire. He is a woodsman ya know. He is able to start a fire with the flick of two stones. (there are strict rules in place, don’t worry)  He has been honing his outdoor skills since he was five. Right now it is “bush crafting” that is on his agenda. 

The bushcrafter

I yelled out the back door, “Even if you are lost in the wilderness you need to know math to survive, get in here and get. math. done!” I got an eye roll from him and he put out his fire and came back inside. The rest of the day went as the planner was written.

The funny thing is, at the end of the day I did not feel successful.


 In the end, the boys did as they were told. They were not excited or disobedient, they just did it all quietly. Similarly, there was no laughter in the kitchen from us cooking together. And no excitement of “cool stuff” we learned from our read-aloud because we didn’t read aloud today. We had too many other items to check off before a read-aloud. We didn’t wait for the hummingbird to come for his lunch, and we did not waste time on the backyard swing talking to the chickens.

Something missing

For such a productive day in academics, I felt like something was missing. I seemed to be agitated and irritated, but I didn’t know why. After the evening routine and the tucking in, I realized I had not seen a smile on my boys’ faces since I stopped their fun this morning. As a matter of fact, I am sure I did not smile either. 

Must imagination and interests be smothered out for the sake of “learning”?

However, I know that interest-led learning produces amazing results. I wrote a book about it! Why do I continue to circle the fire ring of comparison and the trap of workbook learning? Here I am a person who touts to others about interest-led and passion building in home education yet I fall back into the fire myself!! 

What did I learn from the lesson planner today? That education IS about math and reading and writing. However, if I want my children to develop their God-given talents for HIS glory, I have to let them explore. 

flying

Imagination

Grant loves planes, flying, and reading books. He also watches videos on being a pilot. Giving him time to imagine and pretend is part of growing. He will learn things I cannot teach him from a textbook. Grant is nine. Also, he needs time to find his own interests.

As many times as I say “Don’t start that fire in my living room” in a day, (am I the only mom who does that?) I am so impressed that Grayson has taught himself skills that most adults I know can’t do.

fire


 He is passionate about outdoor living, he pursues it diligently. It is his education. He fervently reads books on all subjects involving the woods, Native American skills, hunting, and primitive living. 

What if this is his calling?

fire


Mama’s, let us leave a little room in our daily planner for some fire and flying.

 Besides, I sure do enjoy the second cup of coffee out on the swing. Watching the chickens seems to have a calming effect. Won’t you join me? Bring some marshmallows because I am sure there will be a fire.

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About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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