Leah has taken to homeschooling like a duck to water… her mama… well not so much! I started out with all these plans in my head that this would be the year of playing and learning through play with a touch of more structured work like handwriting and written maths but the reality has been quite different.
The first week went smoothly with a few outings and pottering in and around the house, painting, crafting, sewing, puzzles and a bit of sit down work but it soon fizzled out to Leah keeping herself entertained and me trying to catch up on all the house chores I had neglected. I know that she is only 5 years old and this is probably okay but I had a bit of a wobbly thinking that maybe I am making a huge mistake. But then I see what a change in behaviour there has been in her, she is much happier, more relaxed, listens better (although not all the time obviously) and she genuinely seems to be enjoying this one-on-one time with me. Even though I am a lot of the time sorting things out or packing away things the little conversations that happen between all the chaos has been probably one of the things I enjoy most about being able to do this with her this year. She has a safe space to say stuff to me and elaborate without interruption or fear of judgement. She has so many new interests and questions and this thirst for knowledge causing me to get excited about the ordinary things that we sometimes take for granted or overlook. Cutting up a pineapple for lunch is no longer just a simple task, it now involves 100’s of questions about pineapples which we now have the time (and energy!) to explore. She has taken to homeschooling like a duck takes to water because that is her natural default as a child, to want to gain more understanding and to feel secure enough to ask, investigate and discover. It is me, her mama, that has struggled with adapting to this new routine and new energy and spark from this very curious little mind. I won’t lie, it is a very exciting time, but I am so exhausted by the days end that I hope (and pray) for renewed strength each day in order to help her through this journey of discovery. I know that this isn’t just the struggle of a homeschooling family, I know that we all have children that are curious and ask a million questions. The difference for us (I have noticed since starting) is that she’d come home from school with all these questions which I would give half answers to because I was just so exhausted. The girls were usually by this time of day at each others throats, both vying for my attention. Then started the awesome crazy hours (those hours just before supper/bath/bed) usually starts around 4pm for us and then I am finished, no time and no energy left… I was depleted and felt defeated. We still have those days, but they are fewer now and maybe it’s just for now but I can’t help but think that the calmer start to the day and general flow has something to do with how the day ends for us.
Sooo… cutting a very long story short, we have had some teething problems and we still working it out each day but so far, Leah is happy and seems to be enjoying this new routine and I am finally (I think) getting into the swing of things.
This is week 3, I wonder what I will say next week…
If you are new to homeschooling, I’d love to hear how things are going and if you are an old hat homeschooling family, I’d also love to hear any tips or words of advice!