We officially have one month of homeschooling under our belt. One of our recent lessons was about cause and effect. I loved this sincere answer my daughter gave on one of her worksheets.

It’s the truth.

I feel like it isn’t real yet because we started school a month earlier than our public school district did. Now that they are starting it seems more official and I actually am even more nervous than I was before! I realize that this probably shows just how much of a product of the system I am. Maybe that will eventually wear off. August went really well though! I looked back through the photos to remind myself what I wanted to highlight and it was tricky because there are a lot of things that weren’t necessarily “homeschool” but were very educational. For example when the kids went to the Creation Museum with my parents,

or when we observed wildlife in the back yard

or made Amish Friendship Bread from a starter bag that my sister in law gave us.

That’s the cool thing about homeschooling is that you don’t turn it on and off. It’s perpetually educating your children and fostering a love of learning in them. Granted this is what I have always done with my kids, even when they were not homeschooled. I guess it’s just around the clock now.

Anyway, one of my absolute favorite homeschool moments was a field trip we took on the first week to a park called Heritage Village.

There just so happened to be a free event at a place that teaches about life in Ohio in the 1800s and it was phenomenal.

Another hands down favorite lesson in my opinion was when the kids made chocolate chip cookies.

We were reading a book about a boy who didn’t have parents around and he tried to make cookies and they didn’t turn out. I told the kids I wanted them to make chocolate chip cookies without my help. They immediately started considering the ingredients and utensils in the kitchen. I told them it doesn’t start there. First, you had to find a recipe (I directed them to the Messy Mom Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe which they printed out). From there they had to see if we even had all of the ingredients (which we did not). So I told them I would help them get to the grocery store and I would pay for the groceries, other than that it was all up to them.

Z printed out the recipe, while SJ made a list of instructions, and Ez wrote down the grocery list and then we headed to the store. 

I sat back and watched them learn that there is so much more to cooking than just the final results in the kitchen! There is money, planning, preparation, and a lot of time that is involved in the whole process start to finish.

When they actually made the cookies they kicked me out of the kitchen. I tried to resist because I wanted to take pictures. So they took my phone and took their own pictures.

I had forgotten all about it until I found this selfie later. It was so cute! The cookies turned out great and the experience was even greater.

Another fun homeschool day was when we had a big field trip P.E. outing to swim with their cousins who live in Kentucky. We only swam one other time this year because of COVID, so getting them in the water again before the weather turned cold was a big priority for me. It was the perfect day for it.

We have also been going through each country of the world a day at a time. The goal is to learn about all 195! It has been so cool.

I personally am learning A LOT right alongside them and each day we pray over the countries we talk about. The kids love to use the Intelliglobe. We were so blessed to have found this gem at a yard sale several years ago and boy has it come in handy.

Every day at the end of our school day I have the kids write in a journal. One day I read these precious words and it made my heart melt.

Today we talked about the world. We learned the [ASL] signs and verses of the world. Like John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son.”… We also learned about Algeria and that America isn’t the only country that matters to God. I also prayed for Algeria…

Of course reading something like that makes it all worth it!

Oh and one more favorite memory from this month is doing schoolwork outside.

I love that the kids can get sun and fresh air while learning casually in the treehouse or on the patio. I feel like when weather permits it’s so much healthier than being cooped up indoors.

Often times we have had other children join in on our school time.

I’m sure that won’t happen as much now that public school is back in session but it’s been a fun twist to spontaneously include other kids in our “classroom”.

Today I was doing our read aloud and I looked around and each of the kids were holding a chicken.

I had to question if this was my real life, but actually I loved it! I wanted to have someone walk up and take a picture. Since that didn’t happen I snapped this pic myself at the end of our reading time.

Now onto the ugly parts of homeschooling so far. This is an actual photo one of the kids captured of me teaching one morning.

We have a lot of fun but there are times that I have them work individually on math and language arts so that it is grade specific. This includes daily worksheets, reading, and writing. For my two middle children this can be like pulling teeth! I know they never acted this belligerent with their teachers. It can become a battle and one child in particular has been digging their heels into the ground. I’m hoping as they come to the realization that we ARE doing this every day and there is no way to opt out, then maybe they will start co-operating more easily. Some days are better than others and I have already seen progress in the area of writing. I want to ensure I am keeping it real on Messy Mom because I could say “It’s going great” and if someone peeked in to see the arguing, whining, meltdowns, and disrespect that goes down on the daily then you might call me out on my optimism.

So there you have it. Month one done. I am sure I’ll be writing a lot more on the subject of homeschooling. We have an entire school year ahead of us.