With a new schoolyear starting soon..my inbox will be flooded with questions about homeschooling.
Here are some important points:
How long does it take? Check this handy dandy flyer that is a great start and is very realistic on how long it should take you. Remember, your kids are learning ALL THE TIME. 30 minutes of intentional work with a 4 year old is NOT all that happens in a day.
What curriculum we do need to use? I'll tell you none. Especially the first six months. And box curriculum would not be what I recommend. But. every child is different.
I work-I won't be able to do it. WRONG! School can be done at night, weekends, holidays, on lunch breaks. Maw Maw can help too. I RUN A BUSINESS y'all. There are THOUSANDS of families who work full time, run businesses, work out of town and still homeschool their kids. Be creative.
It takes HOURS to do homework when we get home, how are we going to have time to do it? Your schoolwork is your homework.
Where do you do work? The couch, floor, car, trampoline, steps, restaurants, libraries. Planes, trains, tables. Living room. Kitchen. Bathroom if necessary lol.
It's important to understand you do not have to recreate the classroom at home. I understand some kids need this structure, and you can give them structure without being at a desk, table for 8 hours a day. I don't remember the last time we sat down in a desk or table for hours doing worksheets. After trying for 6 months of doing this, we realized nope it's not for us.
I remember Jon listening to me read to him while he literally practiced his rolls for karate on the living room floor.
Examples of what we do:
With Finn (4) we are working on identifying letters and numbers. On a kid's menu at a restaurant there are usually games--- use that as a time to identify letters. This past week we had to decode a secret message--each letter we worked on identifying the letters.
We play UNO and I make sure to say you can match this color (she knows all of her colors) or this number. What is this number?
I read everyday. Multiple times a day. It's not unusual of for her to pick up a book and pretend to read. She often asks "what does this say?" I've started to point out easy words to encourage her to "read" those words when we are reading together. The. A. Is. I.
Lots of artwork. Lots of projects. Lots of using old boxes to build fun things. Lots of games.
Lots of conversating. When she asks a question-- I often don't give her a straight answer. Could it be this? or maybe this? or what else could it be? The wheels spin.
That is what I WANT TO HAPPEN. I want her to be curious. I want her to ask questions.
And exploring. In our backyard, on the road, in Florida. On the computer.
With Jon (13) he needs to improve on his writing and reading skills and his confidence. He's at an age where peer pressure is real. He is home with me more than he is not, but he is exposed to peer pressure in so many other areas of his life.
Part of the plan for next year is to:
In our day-to-day life, he will help me in my business, is going to take online classes (for high schoolers ) and we will start on a daily routine in September that includes time to get in the right GROWTH MINDSET, exercising and eating a healthy breakfast before we start our day (together). This will include him focusing on a goal, writing out a plan, tracking his progress and making changes until he hits that goal.
Fun fact: I curse like a sailor in front of my kids-- and neither of them curse (they fuss at me for cursing) so him listening to a podcast, watching a YouTube video or reading a book that pumps him up and puts in his head "f**k those people, you are strong, brave and courageous. You do not WANT to be like everybody else" --- is exactly what we will be listening to. Hearing it from his momma doesn't always sink in but maybe listening to other highly successful people and hearing their stories will let it sink in. If not, we'll try something else.
research landscape architecture (this is what my heart knows he would love doing--but the only way to know, is to try it out).
being intentional with our writing--- learning that we need to focus on those words we are not sure is the right form, spelling or use and researching it (handy-dandy google is always nice to have at our fingertips) and encouraging him to remember how to use the word without having to research it in the future.
being intentional with writing more complex sentences. He will focus on the who, why, what where and how to improve those skills. He has a momma that will ask 45 questions if it's not clear enough.
taking online classes that focus on learning how to use critical thinking skills, building the skills for high school essay writing, learning to properly paraphrase text and the like.
we'll always include art in his work--- drawing has been a big part of his day to day life since he was able to hold a pencil.
soccer and conditioning outside of practice.
and he's ready to start working to earn some cash. he's been helping my parents repair their rent house and would cut our neighbor's grass each week but the plan is for him to reach out to landscaping companies to learn about their BUSINESS OPERATIONS and maybe get a little dirty too.
Exploring new places isn't as fun to him anymore, but I will NEVER stop encouraging him to get excited about a new place, city or new area.
My biggest tip is--if you feel your kids are fighting you-- take a break. When you are overwhelmed, not sure what to do next or are feeling discouraged--- you would take a break. It works the same for kids.
We take lots of breaks. So we can travel!
If you'd like to help support our family, book a travel consult with me!
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As a homeschooling mom who found that her children thrived more when living life together instead of being stuck in a classroom 8 hours a day, I turned my love of travel and educating my kids into the perfect mix: unschooling.