Our academic routine. Not for everyone. Crazy and yet it worked so well for us. But there’s more. During the day when we were all awake, (those night owls slept in rousing when the mood fit) I had them work on projects like these.
I was a stickler for entering every creative contest that came along. Art contests. Writing contests. Poster contests. National Geographic’s Geography Bee. We subscribed to Cricket Magazine and religiously every month I had all three enter the Cricket League competition. Open to all with several age group categories. The League rotated between prose, poetry, art, photography monthly. There was always an intriguing prompt. Later Cricket added an adult category and the boys insisted that I had to enter too. I was the teacher, I hesitated. But what’s fair for the the goose is fair for the gander. And so I did reluctantly. We all won. Multiple times. Sometimes first place, second place, third, honorable mention. Sometimes nothing. This was an international contest too with hundreds of entries. And everything had to be mailed with a stamped return mailer if you wanted your work back. Work. But worth it.
Sometimes to mix things up we took all the academics outside and worked together. We ate, chatted, studied, took breaks, went swimming. We had fun. But you know what the best part was?
They. Never. Got. Sick.
It was as though the sick switch turned off. And while we did not belong to any homeschool groups (we were our own group) we did interact with the world. They swam on our local community summer swim team. They went to summer 4-H camp. They were all on Dare County Parks and Recreation basketball teams. We traveled to Richmond to be with Donny at work. Being school Geography Bee champion, Stephen got to travel by Amtrak to the state level competition in Raleigh. Andrew got to go to the state level competition too when he was old enough too but no free train ride. (By the time Lewis was eligible organizers had figured out their mistake and banned independent home schools.) Home school for us was not stress free but it was stress that we could handle.
Next time, how they faired in college and the real world. Spoiler alert. Fleek!