I'm fairly new to life as a homeschool mom, but not as new as I was a year and a half ago. That small amount of experience has taught me to relax a little bit. In fact, I am finding that it is best if kids are not super focused on academics at this age. We "do school" every weekday. We work on things like math, writing, reading, etc. We study history and science because those subjects fascinate the kids. But I'm learning to let go of my previous expectations. I'm learning to fit our lessons into times that work best for the kids. I've stopped interrupting them when they are deep in imaginary play.
We spend hours each day simply reading. Lately we have been re-reading Charlotte's Web. While I made dinner tonight, Charlotte and Wilbur appeared in our living room. Big sister, Charlotte the spider, got out magnetic letters and spelled Some Pig, Terrific, Radiant, and Humble in her web. Little brother, Wilbur the pig, said words like Salutations and talked about what they meant. As a home educator, I think of these activities as spelling, vocabulary, etc. But even more important, these experiences allow us to bond as a family. They give us the opportunity to laugh together. The kids are learning to love learning. I sat by a cute little pig during dinner and the pretty little girl sitting across from me became a little girl named Fern.
Homeschool seemed very mysterious to me before I started doing it. Since then, I've come to appreciate the simplicity of home education. Teaching young kids is about building relationships, not knowledge. Teaching is about nurturing a love of reading and learning. It is about encouraging imagination, creativity, and curiosity. It doesn't take much more than picking up a great book, reading it together, and giving kids time to play.