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Do you know a startling fact? Not all homeschool days last the same length of time! I KNOW.. it is SO different from public or private school eh? Homeschooling parents all set up their days differently, as many different ways as parents who teach. The funny things is… your days will evolve over time.
I thought I’d take a moment and walk you through how over lives have changed over past 8 years.
We started our homeschooling journey when the lad was 5, he’s now 13. When he was five, you know what we did? We walked and talked, we played and told stories.
I remember the advice a homeschooling friend gave me. Don’t buy curriculum until he’s 8 years old. You don’t know anything before then. Take your time and just have fun. Count everything, read a lot, take him everywhere and talk about what you doing, bring him places where he can ask questions and have his imagination turned. I took her advice to heart (beyond the buying curriculum, which in the end… we never did use). We held this course pretty much for the next three years.
I tell stories as naturally a breathing (people tell me I should always write them down but they never come out the same you know?) Through stories we learned history, practiced our math, tried out new words, and wove in elements of experiments. Did we use books and what not? Of course we did. But they weren’t the mainstay of our life.
My son has always been big into weapons and fighting. And we have gone through many renditions of armour. Back in 2012 we learned about warriors from Fiji whose weapons were shaped like pineapples. Schooling for us back then was a whole day affair of simply living life and learning. We tried different things like word walls and some book work but reading and talking about things worked so much better than anything else at this age. Bookwork perhaps took an hour at the most.
From 2014-2017 bookwork gradually increased. We learned some important lessons such as… even if a boy does math backwards (at least in mom’s mind) but gets the correct answer and can explain how he got there, it’s okay. Just means a mom’s mind and a boy’s mind work differently and math can still be learned. Ergo, I don’t teach math, but I do act in a supportive role! Early on, we discovered the joy of learning on-line. We kept reading, books at breakfast, lunch, and bedtime. So many great books we read, and the histories we went through, delightful!
We learned to work with how a boy set on routine works when his momma isn’t a routine/organized type person. It was HARD. On a positive note it meant that school would last exactly three hours or four hours. AND a boy learned to bend when “come on, it’s field trip day, NO, you don’t have time to do everything you usually do”.
One winter we spent hours learning about snow and compacting it and using water to create a thin, but durable layer of ice.
We still spent time exploring different ideas. Reading poetry and drawing what we thought it meant. It’s amazing sometimes where words can take us. How many different directions they can take us, and yet, at the same time, how often they can take us in the same direction. We laughed often and were amazed together. The cat often joined in the fun.
And now we are in 2018. With a lad doing most of his work independently. Needing a weekly conversation to see if we are on track. Learning together doesn’t happen quite as often. School happens differently now. A lad often getting up before his mother does. Doing his easy stuff in the morning before Dad gets up (takes about an hour). Then playing and doing things with Dad until it’s time to go to work. Dad gone, it’s off to do schooling again (takes about 2.5-3) hours. Sometimes we do things differently with videos being watched at night, research papers written on the weekend, flexibility is more easily managed now.
And now I have a boy who will volunteer to read a good section in a book to me out loud. 🙂
It is magnificent watching a boy learn and grow. To develop skills and confidence. I absolutely love it!
What about you? How do your days go? Have you seen changes in your scheduling over the years? Or if you are just starting out, are you prepared for things to change?