The next type of memory I alluded to is at least as significant to me: learning done in the margins.
I try to leave plenty of margin in our day for our kids to be just kids. That means even my 5th grader who is passionate about math is doing 30 minutes of math a day and when the timer beeps she’s done. My goal is to put a limit on formal schooling, so my kids have adequate time to be bored and learn how to fix that by being interested in stuff.
I have to continually check myself on this because it’s so tempting to sneak in more good academics and “educational opportunities” but I’m continually amazed by the cool stuff my kids come up with all on their own given enough time and brain space.
Again, homeschooling generally gives lots more free time in the day but any parent can protect their child’s free time and cut back on scheduled activities to allow more unstructured time. Doing less is more when it comes to childhood I think. Sprinkle some interesting books around the house, give the kids access to the recycling pile and see what they come up with.
Excuse the poor picture quality, but this was a fun memory for me. I walked into the bathroom to find these girls learning about bats (I think?) and giggling like crazy in the bathtub.