“Don’t they drive you absolutely crazy being home all day?!?!”
“ I’m not organized enough to homeschool.”
“ I wouldn’t even know what to teach them”
Homeschooling really freaks people out! The very thought of being responsible for our kids education seems completely overwhelming and impossible…until you are actually doing it. There is extreme fear in the unknown and I think even more fear in going against social norms. And there is nothing more normal then sending kids to school right?!? Parents throughout history have been sending off their little humans to sit at desks all day, and learn all the “should’s” this life has to offer.
Oh and I get it. I was paralyzed in the fear of homeschooling for over 18 months.
A self declared “anti homeschool” mom I would think : Those parents are certifiably insane to have their kids home all day…what in the world are they going to learn?! Not to mention: They are home ALL DAY…that just cant be healthy for anybody!
Oh Lordy, now look at us! Homeschooling our 4 kids, often times while traveling the globe! And to top it off then we go write a book about it- I think we need a lesson in irony next week hahaha! Is this what a midlife crisis looks like? Possibly, but it sure is fun so I’m just going to keep rolling with it!
So let me debunk some of the stuff that freaks people out about this journey we are on:
You do not need to sit your kids at the kitchen table for 6 hours a day and “teach” them…in fact if that what you are planning on I would suggest NOT homeschooling. I guarantee this will only make the process miserable for yourself and for your kid!
So #1 find a rhythm to your routine. Even when traveling we naturally fall into a rhythm that works for our family. Ours looks something like this:
Rest is important!
Kids are constantly growing, both their minds and their bodies. Staying up late to do homework and getting up early to catch the bus is depleting our kiddos of important sleep. So my kids are allowed to sleep until they wake.
**That being said my girls are all up by 9 at the very latest and on average its more like 7:30. I’m not encouraging you to allow your kid to sleep till noon, we are not talking about laziness we are talking about healthiness.
What is important to you?
Building a relationship with my kids was MOST important when we started this. So when I got my mornings back with them, I went from being a chaotic mom packing lunches and yelling to get their dang shoes on. To cuddling up on the couch and starting our day with devotions and my cup of coffee. The girls prepare their own breakfasts, and move at a pace that is productive but not rushed.
What do you want to learn?
A few times a month we sit around a big white board and I ask the question? What do YOU want to learn? Or I pull from a list of questions or conversations we have had over the last few weeks that I felt they were expressing interest in.
I set up my kitchen table as a “buffet” Laying out everything needed to complete their lessons and activities of the day. ( I will break down the Buffet of Learning in my next blog!)
I will talk about the amount of time, how exactly that works for us and why I believe less is actually more extensively, in our book The 5 Hour Schoolweek.
However It is true that with academic type work such as math, writing, reading, basic science and history we typically spend an hour of focused study a day. This type of work is done with a homeschool online program which there’s a ton to choose from that cover the stuff we refer to as the “academic supposed to’s “
( and if it is at this point that your are now 100% convinced we have lost our minds I completely understand!) But I will guarantee that in a fraction of the time your kids spend at school they will learn an equivalent to this traditional material if not more. Even better they may actually retain the information, instead of memorizing for a test only to forget the moment they pass.
Get comfortable saying YES!
Yes you can only study language arts today and save math for tomorrow
Yes you can study on the couch
Yes you can save your hour till later and go play outside
Yes you can find the answer by yourself ( because YES they are capable)
Yes you can start that project
Yes you can skip your hour to be creative
Yes you can listen to music while you work
Yes you can stand while reading
Say Yes and be intentional with the no’s. This is SO important you guys! I feel like the word NO is a trap we fall into as parents. I was saying it so often it was all I said, and there was no legitimate reason for at least half of those no’s. With every no I could be missing a learning opportunity for my kids.
Its going to be a beautiful mess!
Not everyday will look the same. You will not cross everything off your list on the days you really want to. You may have to mix it up several times before you find the rhythm that works for you. The rhythm my change. Remain flexible…stay strong in the knowledge that no one knows your kids the way you do….and that every opportunity is a learning opportunity. Enjoy the mess, learn along with them, have tantrums alongside them…because one day these will be your favorite stories to tell!