My daughter and I made four dozen peanut butter chocolate balls this weekend. She had an order for two dozen and we decided to get ahead of the game and make four.

Rather than separating education from our time in the kitchen, I used this opportunity to teach her math. And science. Presently her “book work” has her learning about how many are in a dozen, why not use the peanut butter balls as a visual and hands-on math lesson?

As far as science goes, while boiling the water to melt the chocolate, we talked about the three different states of water.

Again, we come back to math when figuring out finances. She received a certain amount of money but 10% she saves for her tithe. Then I give her the price of the ingredients for each batch and she has to pay me back that amount. Trust me, it has been tempting beyond all measure to just give her the full amount of the money received rather than take the money from her for the ingredients. She puts so much hard work into it that I hate to take the cut from her. But, it is an important, practical lesson. In real life, there are taxes and every company needs to factor in the cost of materials.

Everyday is an opportunity to teach. For me, I like order. So having a set time and place to teach my children from a curriculum works for me. But I have also learned to be flexible. I know this may sound silly, but sometimes it’s easy to put a comment or question my child has on hold. I’ll place it on the backburner and think, “oh, I’ll get to that someday, during school.” But, I’ve been learning that these comments or questions are an open door. An opportunity in. When they are inquisitive and their minds are racing, I have to be quick and ready to answer. If I don’t know the answer, we try to head to the computer, right away and look it up. I know we can’t always drop what we are doing to teach about an exotic critter that our kids drag in while we are making dinner, but I know for me, there are more times I know I need to, even if it is a bit of an inconvenience.

When my child stepped outside and was confused to see the moon in the middle of the day, instead of ignoring her comment, I explained to her, why. While hiking in the woods, we searched for fossils and talked about how, where and when they may have been formed. I’m sure many of you agree with me that school doesn’t have to be confined to a room with four walls. Of course, some of us who grew up sitting at a desk a majority of the day oftentimes have a hard time really believing that the hands-on method is effective. But it is. Is allows the children to experience the lesson rather than just hear about it.

I hope to encourage the mom that hasn’t had the chance to get through every single lesson in their planner this year that your children are still learning. They are growing and developing and you have been placed in their lives to help them along in this journey. Homeschooling is not only about the curriculum we use but the lifestyles we live. Spur your kids on as they explore this world and be the guide that they so desperately need!