We started the school year off with our bags packed and ready for adventure. We escaped to the Catskill mountains in New York with Sam Gribley (Far side of the mountain series) We learned to live with whatever the land gifted to us to survive. We made friends with nature and the animals.
We saved our money in a jar with Billy to fulfill our dreams of being a coon hunter in the Ozarks. We learned of self confidence, faith and gratitude to God, and doing hard things through Him. (Where the Red Fern grows) We crashed a plane onto an unknown location in the Northwoods and had to learn how to survive with nothing but a hatchet, little hope and many memories and dreams from the life before the crash and the world around us. (The Hatchet)
We took a couple pit stops to Hogwarts with Harry Potter, Ron and Hermione. We traveled to the Moors with Maleficent as she told her story of heartache and pain,love and vengeance. We were reminded that everybody has a story and that forgiveness can be hard, but needed.
We traveled and journeyed with Bilbo Baggins (The hobbit - read with dad) and took a field trip to the Children's Theater)
We learned to ride horses with confidence and stride in Littleton, Colorado (Little Britches)
We ate chocolate bars and even won a golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory!
We made friends with Charlotte and Wilbur in Charlotte's web and learned that friendship can be life changing and can make an impact in who we are able to become.
We were new to the seas as harpooners working for a mad man as captain in Moby Dick.
We made our ways through 18th century Paris in Les Miserables (childrens edition- edited by Matt Larsen) and learned of repentace, life choices, sacrifice and love. This was probably our favorite book of the year. We still refer to Jean Valjean daily.
We suffered in the prisons with Edmund Dantes. We learned alongside him from the mad priest and made plans of our escape to get our life back in the Count of Monte Cristo.
We hid in the underground lair of an opera house from The phantom of the Opera. We talked about love and how to give love and be loved (and! how NOT to be loved-- ie; dragging people into your underground dungeon is not a way to be loved ;) we listened to the music, sang along and look forward to seeing it on stage in November.
We even went rogue at the library and picked a book off the shelf that looked "interesting" and learned of the spirit world. (The curious tale of the in between)-- suitable for middle aged children. I edited this as I read aloud and we had many discussions on faith and the life here and life after.
Marshall is currently reading The Lord of the Rings with the boys right now and they are eating it up.
This is only some of the learning that we were able to devour this school year. We learned of history, science, nature and the outdoors, math- so much math, money, budgets, planned expenses and savings- even buyers remorse (on Ezra's part/impulses) cooking, cleaning and relationships and our faith and living good and worthy of spiritual blessings and giving gratitude for them.
Our school doesn't look like worksheets and projects, our school is personal, intimate and taught with connection to our lives and the books that we are reading. Our schooling is knowledge we obtain from the stories we read, what is understood-- and then how we can apply it with confidence, the wisdom my children receive is the "grade"
We feel so fortunate to be able to learn at home together, our lives are filled with so much wonder and inside our walls, it is bursting with interesting information, ideas, realizations and conversations from everyone here.
We continue on with our "school" thtoughout the summer because this is a lifestyle, a culure for us. It is easier to keep momentum if we keep the connections rolling.
Here is to another school year filled with joy and story.