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Why I Don’t Worry About Missed Lessons

This spring semester did NOT go like I had planned. Between several trips to visit family, repeated bouts of sickness, and unexpected life events, every intentional lesson I had planned for these past few months evaporated.  Very little reading instruction happened, and almost no math. 

*GASP!* Did I just fail as a homeschool mom?!

Not at all. In fact, I hardly batted an eye at what we had missed, and I lost absolutely ZERO sleep over it. 

let me tell you what happened during those months…

In between sick days, road trips and everything else, my four youngest (ages 5-11) spent weeks playing with Legos.  I didn’t think too much of it until I walked in the room one day to hear two of my children giving campaign speeches.  In all this time that they were playing with Legos, they had designed a town, constructed a currency and barter system, built shops and products to sell to their siblings, and were now holding elections for the role of mayor! 

Not only that, but their little community evolved over the following weeks as the play and structure became much more detailed.

My kids’ Lego City in the middle of one of its many stages of evolving construction.  You can see the campaign speech setup on the left side. 🙂 The space was a beautiful mess for months as buildings were merged or torn down to make way to new structures like car washes, mansions, an airport and more.

Even I was surprised at the amount of learning, ingenuity, and critical thinking that had happened through child-led, delight-driven play.  The quality of learning that took place during those months is something I could never recreate in a structured lesson environment. 

Listen, there is a time and place for everything, including lesson planning and structured teaching moments.  I use them in my own homeschool when needed.  

But, they are a tool, not the rule 

Yes, they can be effective, but they are not the only way that real, quality learning happens.  

Four ways kids learn outside of structured lessons

curiosity and discovery

Children are individuals and each one learns in a unique way. Beautiful things happen when we embrace that. Give them time and space to create, explore, ask questions and search for the answers. You will be amazed at just how much learning happens in that kind of environment!

play

There is so much research that has been done on the amount of learning that happens through play and the role that curiosity plays in information retention.  Don’t be afraid to let your kids play today.  Science has proven that the time is not wasted – they are learning!

reading

If your kids know how to read, they are fully equipped to learn.  I know homeschool kids who just read during their high school years then went to college and were at the top of their classes.  If your kids are young and are solely reading for fun, you are winning.  They are developing a love for reading that will carry them through the rest of their lives!

educational programming

Don’t discount the learning that can happen when kids are watching educational programming on TV, YouTube, streaming services and more.  In most of these cases, the material is being presented in fun and engaging ways that stick with kids.  I can’t tell you the number of times my kids have quoted favorite shows, shared a random piece of info they learned by watching a documentary or YouTube video, or sang a song from an episode.

Don’t stress over a missed lesson.  Give yourself grace and understand that learning happens in many different ways.  Train your children to look for the wonder and opportunity in every moment.  Give them lots of time to play, and watch the magic of learning take place!

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