Last week was nothing short of revolutionary. Have you heard of The Wild and Free community? We joined a local group. Also, we had our first outing with them – at the Knoxville Botanical Garden. I have been praying and hoping for more time outside.
The answer came in the form of this group. Another homeschooling mom introduced me to them. This means that I will only get four days of instruction at home with the children. We spend the fifth day exploring nature in our area, at local gardens, hiking trails, zoos, and parks.
The kids get time to be kids. They meet other homeschoolers and interact with people of various ages. I keep an eye on them, but monitor their progress in social skills from a distance.
Lessons #2 and #3
This is also about freeing myself from the tyranny of the curriculum. Teaching from books for four days a week instead of five scares me, but I feel I need to try it. It makes me a better mom. I make picnic lunches for us for the day and we load up in the car without a care in the world. It takes me back to the times when they were preschoolers and we just went places to explore and have fun.
The other thing that happened, which was equally liberating, was that I felt tired on Friday and I let one of my children go without a lesson in writing. I had it planned, but we had an extra violin lesson that morning, to prepare for auditions next week. It pushed the schedule too much into the afternoon. By 3pm, I was sleepy and ready to tackle the cleaning of the house anyway, rather than plough over writing techniques with my son.
He has published three books and yes, he still has a lot to learn. But the boy is 11 and has written three books already. In fact, he is working on book number four. It’s not like he needs desperate help in writing. Where is the flexibility in homeschooling?
So there, a revolution is happening in our home, slowly but surely. Skipping lessons to adapt to heavier days. Replacing book instruction with nature field trips once a week. Do we dare? Apparently, we do.
How do I join the wild and free community?
The Wild and Free Community is made up of local groups. I know our group is full and has a substantial waiting list. The national organization encourages people to start their own group, when their local group is full. https://www.bewildandfree.org/about-groups
If you scroll down, you will find a map. Depending on where you live in Sevier County, you may want to join a group in Knox County, Jefferson County, or start your own. After you connect with the Sevier County Homeschoolers on Facebook, make an announcement and you will probably get several mamas interested in joining/starting a group with you. Hope this helps!
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