So we are close to the end of our first two weeks of official homeschooling. And it’s been such a beautiful journey, with some ups, and some downs (which I simply call discoveries about my children) and many alterations.
We have thoroughly enjoyed reading together, spending endless amounts of time just sitting together, reading together, laughing and learning. We did the normal curriculum such as learning about nomads and early farmers, frogs and fish (which became a day long information search about piranhas). We also did fun things like mummy taking direction from Mr. 6 who wanted to teach me about all the different Marvel superheroes (from the Marvel superhero encyclopedia we borrowed from the library). Miss 4 loves her princesses and fairies, as usual, but each child has been able to embrace each others interests, I think because there doesn’t seem to be a time limit to our time together.
We have enjoyed crafts and free creation time, obviously. This is the time where we have directed craft activities such as making Ancient Roman Coins from back in Jesus’ day, and our Prayer Hands activity, to non-directed open creative time where the children can draw, cut, paste, colour in what ever way they want.
What surprised me though, was that Miss 4, who usually cannot sit still, stayed with her colouring activity for 3-4 hours, and has now consistently looked forward to this time to finish her creations. We need to get her something more comfortable to draw on.
We also played in the mud for about 7 hours one day last week. 7 hours. Yes, we. Me too.
We had many opportunities for socialisation as well being the ‘school holidays’, which were absolutely well received.
We also had our downs, of which I now call ‘discoveries’. Mr. 6… in all of his brilliance with Maths, actually doesn’t like it. He’s currently completing a Grade 2 homeschool maths curriculum, and has told me very strongly that in fact, he doesn’t like math. The reason? Because there is always just one answer to the question. I asked him what he meant by that, and he explained that when we did Science, History or even conversational English, it was free flowing. You could ask a question and we could discover things together. With math, there is only one answer, and it just never felt ‘fun’.
So I am changing the way I teach math (he’s well ahead anyway), to introduce a range of manipulatives, and doing math as a ‘conversation’. This has proven successful so far. We shall see…
It’s been a hot week here in Victoria, so we have mainly stayed indoors.
Mr. 6 has created loads of books, creations, a robot T-Rex out of recycling materials, and a few angels created from baking paper from his latest obsession, SuperBook.
However, what I love about these two weeks is the bond that has been built with my children. Something I could never imagined would occur was how the 3 children are not just noticing each other, but they are helping each other. They’re empathy for each other use to be non-existent or performed because ‘it’s what mummy told me to do’. Now, they are really feeling for each of the children. Mr. 6 and Mr. 2 have such a strong bond, it’s quite surreal to watch. Mr. 6 finds museli bars in the pantry and always makes sure he sneaks one for Mr. 2. Mr. 2 helps Mr. 6 pack up his toys. Surreal. Miss 4 is starting to not just tolerate Mr. 2 (who still steals her toys and throws them in the bin) but there are times when I see them dancing together to music, laughing.
And then there’s this.
When the rains broke out this afternoon, and released all that humidity and heat… they all collectively decided to take their clothes off and run around in the heavy rain… the happiest kids I’ve ever seen. For about an hour. No asking if this was okay, no fear of the rain or repercussions. They just did it… together.
No restrictions, no timeframes… just the freedom to fully enjoy every opportunity, and be a child.