In lieu of my Father passing we have had to forgo our schooling the last week. I was feeling guilty about all the erasing I did in my planner and tried to think of any educational opportunities we’ve had. After mulling it over I realized my children had never been to a funeral and we had never really discussed death. This life experience and interruption in our schooling had provided an unexpected learning opportunity that could never have been duplicated by reading it from a book. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted my children to attend the funeral services, but then after discussing it with my husband he reminded me that death is a part of life and our goal for our children other than salvation is preparing them for life. What better way to teach them about death and salvation then letting them observe a funeral service. They gained new vocabulary and a comforting understanding of what happens when someone passes. They exercised their new-found ability to be truly empathetic. My Father being Catholic, we all learned many new things about the Catholic religion and their beliefs and the different prayers they say and practices they have. Visiting the cemetery was quite an experience learning about how to respect the grave sites and visiting all the other relatives buried there. We talked about who they were on Earth and where their bodies are verses where their spirits are. I am amazed by the invaluable experience gained through just living life as it came to us.
I realize that this might sound detached and that is for good reason. Although this was a very emotional time for me and I am grieving the loss of my father this is a homeschool blog and is not the place to unload those feelings. While I was making decisions about how to guide my children through this, I did notice how much knowledge they had gained and what a learning experience this was for them. I thought it might be helpful to share with other homeschoolers that life is a wonderful teacher all on its own. When life is happening and a baby is coming, you are moving, you’re building a house, or someone in your family is passing don’t be afraid to take a break from book work and involve your children in life and watch all the effortless learning that takes place. The elections are a great example of a real-life learning experience that children can observe and learn from. I encourage everyone to look around them and involve their children in what they see.