In Defense of a Science-Centered Homeschool

arches-national-park-dark-dusk-33688 (1)So often in homeschooling circles, I hear other moms bemoan math and science – how much they hated these subjects themselves and how their kids hate them too. They hold up, instead, literature as the centerpiece of their homes. They gush about the literature-centered unit studies and the love of poetry they hope their kids develop. And I get all uncomfortable thinking that I should be doing that too, but that’s not true.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I like a good story as much as the next person, and we certainly read a lot of fiction in our home. The problem for our family is that literature-lovers is not who we are. We are science people. We love math and talk about the exothermic nature of combustion at the dinner table (my husband is a chemistry professor). I love going down the rabbit hole of why the sky is blue or how the phases of the moon work, and I don’t really like Shakespeare or Charles Dickens.

It has taken me quite a while to realize that being who we are is the best thing that I can do for my kids. When I embrace our nerdy science discussions and our joy in playing with numbers, we are happier homeschoolers, I’m a happier mama. When I chase after long days of reading novels, although good and beautiful, it doesn’t feel right. Because it isn’t right for us.

Since we are science-centered homeschoolers, we get to enjoy the wonder of nature and see the full beauty of creation because we see its awesome depths. We get to follow our kids’ curiosity about spinosaurus yesterday and squirrels today and birds with forked tails tomorrow. We get to read all the fantastic books in the non-fiction section (and throw in some fiction too), which are the kind of books that I like to read anyway. We get to keep asking questions and looking for answers and occasionally finding them. It is a wonderful life to love science and math, and it is a wonderful type of homeschooling.

So if you too are a science-loving homeschooler, let me hear from you! I need to hear your voices! Let me know that I am not the only one out here who is making science the center of our schooling. Because science is awesome, and people who love science are, too.

I’ll Do Better Tomorrow

Meredith Family Farm

My kids are really quite well behaved, and I love having them around. But every once in a while, our house goes a little crazy. Like the other day, when the two older kids both got into major trouble and lost a few privileges (and that was just a couple of days after they decided to cut my daughter’s hair…). Needless to say, I was very frazzled and frustrated by the end of the day.

And then at bedtime, my kids did the most amazing thing. E, my 3-year-old daughter, looks at me and says, “I’ll do better tomorrow.” And then G, my 5-year-old son, echoed with his own “I’ll do better tomorrow.”

My mama heart just melted. How can I be frustrated or angry or frazzled in the face of these beautiful little people are trying their best to be the best that they can be? I was so warmed and encouraged by their desire to do better in the future even though they had had such a bad day, and in my heart I rejoiced.

That got me thinking about God, our Father in heaven. How much more must he rejoice when we pick ourselves up from our sin and say that we, too, will do better tomorrow? The Father runs to meet us when we sees us coming to him from our sin, just like the father of the Prodigal Son.

I encourage you to do better tomorrow. Whatever today was like, good or bad, God also wants us to grow closer to him, do continually do better. I am sure it will make God rejoice even more than my children made me.