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homeschool, Simply Living for Him

A Seasonal Homeschooler?

I was chatting with a friend this week about how we waiver between homeschooler and unschooler at times. Well, not really. But I was remarking how at different times of the year, our homeschool rhythm changes. It took me years to realize this is actually okay and to go with what works for us!

So what do I mean by “seasonal” homeschooler? Let me explain…

My homeschooling style tends to vary by what season we are in throughout the year.

September: The Excitement of a New Year!

In September I am a really “good” homeschooler. 😉 We are all ready to get back to a routine after a carefree summer and schedules are welcomed. All the new books are still exciting, the new supplies are still neat and tidy, the pencils are sharpened and lined up,  and the freshness and newness of the school year have begun. Attitudes are usually motivated and positive. This is a great month for us in our homeschool!

So realizing this over the years, I know that September is a month to go the extra mile. Taking advantage of the motivation, excitement, and energy levels, this is the time of year where I pursue extra assignments, fun projects, etc. This is the month I know I can push hard. We usually have much longer homeschool days at this point and, hey, even get ahead of ourselves sometimes.

On the homefront, I usually have a (simple) meal plan in place for at least a month, I’ve stocked up on groceries, and everything is in pretty good order. Again, because of the summer wrapping up, we are in “organized” mode- sort of a reaction to the lazy days of summer 😉

Holiday Schooling

A few months into the school year, energy levels dwindle a bit, the weather turns a bit colder, and before we know it, Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us. This is the time of year where we may set a few of our usual routines (which have become much less exciting since September) aside and do some fun holiday learning. Books, crafts, and projects tend to be focused on Thanksgiving and Christmas. December is usually an abridged schedule, but we replace many activities with holiday activities! The energy levels are turned toward the fun of the holidays and we learn many life lessons during this time for sure.

Winter Doldrums

Then comes my least favorite season of the homeschool year. January. It’s dark, it’s cold, the holidays have ended and the anticipation is over. The rest of the school year looms and feels really long. Motivation is low. The only glimpse of hope for me is the dawn of the new year does help me to implement some order again now that the loosey-goosey schedule of December is passed.

I do, however, use January as a time to make use of our indoor time for projects we normally wouldn’t do otherwise. I try to incorporate more fun and hands on stuff. Sometimes a unit study is in order- a snow unit study makes a great way to pass the days. It’s also a great time to cuddle on the couch for read-alouds and documentaries when the weather is really dreary.

We use winter to push through with school and rarely take any “days off.” We know that spring is coming and use the time we have in January to really push through our work.

Spring School Springs Forth!

As we move out of the cold of winter, the days grow longer and signs of spring are in the air! This is my absolute favorites time of year- the weather turns warmer, flowers bloom, and we are immersed in nature everyday.

This is also an extremely busy time, especially as our spring has changed the past several years with incorporating traveling to speak at homeschool conventions. Our schedule involves more days off for traveling, which means adjusting our work accordingly. At this point, I am thankful for the extra work we finished in winter.

Science usually takes place in the woods, on the farm, and by the stream. We know that learning is taking place, it just may look differently than it did in September with those textbooks. We also have lots to do around the farm, so hard work and life lessons abound. Learning takes place in different ways.

Glorious Summer!

And then comes glorious summer! Oh, glorious summer! We are still embracing life lessons, but formal school gets put away for a bit. Summer schooling involves some ongoing reading and math, but most learning in summer involves life lessons. Until the cycle starts all over again in September.

So, that is my look at how I homeschool seasonally. I take advantage of the different rhythms of the year and tailor our life and school accordingly. How about you? Does your homeschool change throughout the year? Comment below!

 

 

Simply Living for Him, Spring Cleaning Series

Preparing the Hobby Farm for Spring

Spring Cleaning Hearts and Homes

This weekend we will finally be home and have some time to prepare the little hobby farm here for spring. It is my absolute favorite time of year!

The excitement of warm weather on the horizon, the birds have returned, flowers are beginning to bloom, trees are budding, frogs are croaking, and the feeling of LIFE is everywhere!

I posted this spring SYMPHONY on Instagram last night! It was heavenly at sunset! Click on the video to listen to nature’s music!

 

A spring symphony. 💛 #enjoythesimple #simplylivingforhim #lovesfarm #spring

A post shared by Karen DeBeus (@simplylivingforhim) on

Easter is upon us, and rebirth is on my mind. Spring is such a beautiful time of year and everything about it points to our Savior. It is a time of rebirth and rejoicing! Spiritually, spring holds so many special qualities for me.

And then there are the practical things we must do to prepare for spring around here at Love’s Farm.

Steve and I plan on working this weekend to get the gardens ready for planting, get the animals comfortable again, and celebrate the newness of this magnificent time of year.

As we work to prepare the farm, I will also work to prepare my heart. There is so much there that often needs some deep cleaning as well. I am comparing it to the deep cleaning that is about to take place- it must be done so that life can burst forth!

Hallelujah!

If you have a little hobby farm like we do, or a yard and garden, here are some jobs that we are working on that may help you in planning your spring cleaning.

What would you add to the list?

Click below for a printable PDF version:

 

Simply Living for Him

The Sun is Always Shining Above the Clouds

This past weekend I had the amazing experience to travel to Arkansas to speak at Teach Them Diligently Convention. It was beyond amazing for so many reasons, and I will surely be sharing another post about it in the future.

But for now, one thing I pondered as we soared above those clouds on our way home, was how dark and gloomy and foggy it was upon take off. It was downright dreary and pretty dark yet.

But as we gently soared above the clouds, all of a sudden it was bright and blue and the sun was rising right there above the clouds! The light was SO bright. The colors were magnificent. (sadly, none of this was beauty was captured on my phone, except this shot)

 

But God…

Right?

Sometimes all we see is the dark and dreary. We wonder if the sun will ever shine again in our life? Circumstances are hard. Moments are a struggle. We can’t see past it.

Yet it isn’t even about waiting for it to pass.

Because the sun is ALWAYS shining above the clouds.

God is still there. Sometimes we may forget because our circumstances have veiled our view.

But the sun always shines above…

And lastly, this gem. Another complete GOD story that I will share in the future. But here is a shot of a rainbow directly over the convention center in Arkansas while the convention was going on.

That gorgeous light…the sun…often makes a rainbow right there in the midst of a storm.

There is still time to join me in Nashville! THIS weekend we are heading to the Gaylord OprylandResort where I will be speaking four times!

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