A couple days ago my boys enthusiastically let know that the school term is done and they are officially on summer break. I am not quite sure how different summer break looks from the homeschooling term, but that we shall see. Anyway this made me reflect on how our homeschooling experience has been and to be honest, I think that it was more of a learning experience for me than for the children. So I thought I would share these lessons as you too may be reflecting on your homeschooling journey and thinking ahead on what is to come. I have broken it up one lesson at a time, here is the first….
#1 – Ditch the Schedule
For those of you who know me you might be asking who is really writing this article and what did they do with Elle. No schedule? Here’s what I mean though; I started my approach to home education by making a schedule for the boys much like how they would spend a day at school. What I failed to factor in were the facts that not only were they not in school (at home with me all day), but also there was no full time teacher. (cause well that would be me).
So my first week or so consisted of me struggling to keep up with this self imposed schedule, preparing for and creating content and lessons, coordinating activities and sourcing materials to fill up a day of “school”. Doing all of this while also working, maintaining a household and finding time for myself. Not possible or practical at all! It became very apparent very quickly that this was not working for anyone, it was stressing me out and by extension everyone else and how is that for a learning environment.
“Fit homeschooling around your everyday life schedule, not the other way around”
I realised that homeschooling would not be the boss of me. That my life, the life of my family, our rhythm and our routines did not have to change now that we were introducing home education into our lives. The same things we were used to doing, we would continue and then schedule in learning in the slots available and at the times most receptive for learning.
This approach changed everything, it created an ease and a comfort to our attitude as a family towards home education. In our case, we currently live in one time zone but primarily conduct business in another (5 hours behind), thereby my husband and I are most busy with work on afternoons and evenings (mornings for our work colleagues). Home schooling then happens primarily in the morning for us, with afternoons filled with more self directed activities like reading, watching videos, independent play and “free time” that do not require our hands on attention. Homeschooling then fit around our work schedule and normal routine.
And during our mornings, lessons fit in around morning routines, household chores and errands. You may be asking then how much time was really spent on home learning? I will definitely break this down in the next article as it was another valuable homeschooling lesson that I learned as a parent. (stay tuned – I will also share a sample of our “schedule”). The answer to that though is “enough”.
Thank you for letting me share this homeschooling lesson learned with you, I hope that this is helpful to you today and that something in here resonates with you.
Look out for lesson #2 in next week’s post and remember to like or comment below so I will know if this article reached you.