And We Interrupt This Bookwork for...

I don't model our home learning experience after what's typical in institution-style schools; in fact, I purposely make things different in many ways. However, neither am I an unschooler, so we do have a schedule - every day and by the year. I'm not rigid about it - if things come up, we adjust as necessary, and doing so doesn't even stress me out (anymore). But I do see the value of consistency so we typically do bookwork every weekday unless we have a planned week of vacation.

However, I revel in our freedom to change things up at a moment's notice. And so, when an older lady friend of mine came over on Saturday to present the girls with a gift card for a store called Justice - complete with a coupon giving us an additional 40% off if we visited by May 9 - I decided Monday's planned lessons would be mostly set aside in favor of an impromptu Girls' Day Out at the mall.

I'd never heard of Justice before, let alone shopped there - and, having now seen the prices, you won't likely find me returning in the future without another giftcard! Plus, I found the "attitude" of much of the clothing to be "sassier" than the norms I want for the girls. However, we had a delightful time together, at Justice - where I was pleased to see the girls very mindful of whether or not particular items were appropriate - and at one other store and then eating lunch in the food court. The girls used the gift to choose what they'll wear at their party this weekend - outfits I have keep under lock-and-key until then so Daddy doesn't see them early! - and we even covered a little math as I explained to them that the card and coupon enabled us to buy what Justice deemed worth $106 (!) for just $30.

We did a truncated version of bookwork - mainly to get us started on our last geography unit study of the term - that afternoon. But then on Tuesday we were off on another interrupting adventure: a planned "field trip" to The Building for Kids, a children's museum about half an hour away.

I like to plan regular outings, though we didn't do as many as I would have liked this year. I'd planned the museum trip for March, but then Abigail suffered her concussion, and I neither wanted to subject her to possibly making the injury worse nor unfairly requiring that she limit her activity at the museum while Rachel and Anna ran and cavorted. So we waited.

Last week, I felt secure enough in Abigail's progress to re-schedule the trip for Tuesday - and didn't even think twice about moving it after my spur-of-the-moment decision about Monday. For one thing, the museum is educational - in fact, it's going down on the attendance sheet as a day of "school." For another, we have that wonderful freedom to be flexible.

And so the four of us - my girls and me and our little Anna - enjoyed a wonderful day together.

Rachel and Abigail returned to their regular schedule of bookwork today - and Anna will have a full slate of K4 activities when she comes back tomorrow. But I love that - whenever necessary or desired - we can freely interrupt bookwork for...well, for life.


Laurie said...

So was this the surprise? It looks like you all had a good time and got some good deals. :-)

Lisa said...

What a fun couple of days! That freedom is one of the things I thoroughly enjoy about homeschooling as well!

Lisa said...

Good for you for being flexible! I've gone through different stages. I started off almost too relaxed and evolved into a routine that was way to rigid, skipping out on some great field trips because I had a "schedule" to conform to. Ha! That is so not me! I finally feel like I'm starting to strike a balance (4 years later! haha). Having a schedule provides the structure of a routine that everyone ultimately desires/needs. But flexibility allows for fun learning times without the stress of feeling like you'll get behind.

Your pictures are fabulous! What treasured moments you captured.

Kimberly said...

That is one of the nice things about home education. When things come up we can take time off. It is also one of the hardest things for me to do as I like to keep to my schedule. This year has shown me that I can be more flexible and still have a good year of learning.

Your outing, scheduled and unscheduled, looked fun.

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