I’d be lying if I said we’ve had the best year of home schooling. Moving, having two toddlers, and being pregnant with twins has seriously thrown a wrench into our normal flow. There has been almost no “adventuring” in the last five months, and I have struggled to even make it through each day. I keep having to remind myself of my goal for my home school and to not just recreate public school at home. I’ve doubted my decision to continue in fear that I’m selling my kiddos short. Can I actually do this? Are they learning anything? It becomes so hard not to get lost in the sea of comparison, especially in the social media world. This year is about LIFE. When you step back and think about “what am I teaching my child?” NO, my child isn’t reading at a high level yet, math is a daily struggle and she’d rather make potions and play in the mud than sit and do copywork, or flash cards. This year she is learning about perseverance. This year she is learning to be a leader. This year she is learning to be more independent. Watching me struggle, but continuing on anyways, watching me deteriorate physically, watching me plan, budget, cook, clean, and care for her and her siblings. Yes, we still do “school,” but no, it’s probably not enough by societies standards.
Here is an example of our “School” day.
5:00 am-I wake up
6:00 am- Kids wake up
6-8:00 am- snuggles, breakfast, diaper changes, and lately a cartoon.
8:00 am- we head upstairs to get ready for the day. I get everyone dressed, make beds, start or finish laundry and the kids all play in the upstairs living room area.
9:00- we clean up whatever mess was made upstairs, and head back down stairs for more free play, and usually my kids go outside right away. I clean up breakfast and pick up the living room a bit. I usually try and sit down for a second if everyone is happily playing outside.
10:00 am- second breakfast…… Are my children the only ones who eat constantly?? Its like a habit or something, but it drives me crazy.
10:30- clean up again… at this time I usually set out coloring or beeswax on the kitchen table and everyone colors for like 10-15 minutes and makes another giant mess….
11:00-Noon- More free play and lunch
After lunch I put Sawyer down for her nap and that is when we do academics. It is just too hard to do it while she is awake. She is at the age where she wants to be included in everything, which is great, but she’s two, so it doesn’t last very long and it just turns into me keeping her out of stuff, which results in a lot of tears.
I’d like to say that I have some big organized outline of what we are going to study for the day, but I don’t. I find it very difficult to do interest based learning and also plan ahead. I have been hand writing math problems, copy work assignments, and totally winging it. If she obviously needs work in a certain area, I make extra work in that area. For math, and writing I have curriculum that I very loosely follow. For everything else, it is self lead learning and interest based. She is recently very interested in learning about the Presidents and United States. So we have been learning about George Washington and the White House over Christmas break.
Anyways, back to my day.
Noon-1:00pm – School, with lots of breaks
1:00-1:30pm- I take the last half hour of Sawyers nap to clean up lunch and school, and Khloe and Asher usually go back outside to play. They have been so into the mud lately and playing “magic” or “explorers.”
This is it really for our scheduled day. Lots of free play, lots of snacks, lots of clean up and an hour of “school.” Now I put quotations around the word school, because that is the only designated time we do academics, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only learning that’s going on. We do read aloud, crafts, cooking, we have SO many conversations about things, we do chores, and nature walks (with dad, because I can’t walk right now), outdoor play, Khloe works out with her Dad, she helps me take care of the younger two, and has plenty of time to ride her bike, play with friends and be a kid.
2-6:30- Total chaos………………………………I’m kidding. Kind of. Our afternoons usually involve more outdoor play, more cleaning for me, Khloe and Asher making huge messes with their “potions,” watching some tv in the afternoon so I can put my feet up for a few minutes. Lots of free time to explore self interests is a fancy way of saying it. Sometimes we do science experiments, or go to the used book store, it just depends on how I am feeling that day, because lets face it. Twin pregnancy is by far the most physically challenging thing I have ever done, throw in the two year old, the four year old, the six year old, the aging dogs, the house, the chores, the shopping, and blah blah, I am exhausted by 3:00 pm.
So what’s the plan?
“It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.”-Confucius
Just keep plugging away! I’m planning on continuing through summer. I already have a 2019 bucket list of adventures started and seriously cannot wait to be myself again. Continuing with the unschooling, self lead approach. Continue teaching MY child at her pace, and not focusing on “where she should be.” Although reading, writing, math, sight words, and history lessons all feel very important and definitely have a place in a lifetime of learning, the greater things learned in life have nothing to do with school. I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Wish us luck as we near the end of this twin pregnancy journey, and start a whole new adventure as a family of seven!