Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Part 3 - Reflections As We Enter Our Fifth Year

Just recently I had a bit of a light bulb moment, some might see it as daft of me to not have thought about this before and others might think it really daft that I’ve actually implemented it!!

You know what if it works for us, then it’s ok and there are times in ones’ life when it’s ok to be ok with ok!

I guess I need to back up a little. Having a toddler in the house is demanding, but in a please read to me, play cars with me, pick me up and kiss and cuddle me, demanding sort of way. It is definitely a juggling act when you have spelling lessons, time to read one on one, phonics instruction and a whole list of other stuff to get to with two school aged children, without leaving the toddler to simply run wild.

I’d be telling false truths though, if I said that we have never had those days, because we have certainly had our fair share of them.

We tried for quite some time with Montessori inspired activities but these either ended up all over the floor everywhere or unless I sat with him for every second of his activity he was simply not happy. So in essence I was spending a good portion of my time preparing, so called, independent activities for the toddler, when they were actually making more work for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Montessori philosophy and I do intend on trying again, now that we are very close to having a 3 year old in the house. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.

That left us being back to, ‘what to do with the toddler’ so I could at least spend some time with the other children.

For awhile they all lined up on the kitchen bench. I’d go from child to child to child, with each spare moment I would be cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry or baking something...what a circus that was.

We’ve also had the tag team schooling, one kid plays with said toddler, whilst I spend time with the other and then they switch. Which often worked out pretty well, until said toddler became upset for whatever reason and wants no one but mummy!!

A couple of months ago, it dawned on me....why, why, why where we not taking advantage of the times when daddy was home.

That was when we threw Monday – Friday schooling out the door.

We overcame the need to stick to school terms about a year or so ago. Not having set ‘school holidays’ is very freeing and opens up a whole new dimension to our year. We don’t attend a school, have no intention on attending a school, why on earth do we see the need to schedule our lives around school terms and school holidays?

Now if we have a busy social week it doesn’t matter, we are always learning, never needing to worry about having to ‘catch up’ before school holidays are upon us. We simply continue where we left off. We don’t have the worry of whether we need revision because we have taken too long a break either.

I guess it was only a matter of time before I came to the realisation that we could also ‘do school’ on the weekends.  So now that is what we do. Not every weekend though, we’re pretty relaxed with it and if we have family things going on then that’s fine we let it go. However if we are home we take the opportunity.

It works out fabulously for the toddler, he gets loads of totally fun one on one daddy time!

For us this is a season and I know it will be only a short time before we have no need to do this. However the happiness of the kids and my sanity is way more important than trying to get our school work done if the toddler simply doesn’t want us too.


Stephanie said...

Right now we are only doing preschool at home and I find myself struggling to keep my 16 month old entertained while I work with my 3 and almost 5 year old boys. We used to do our work at the dining room table and finally gave up when no one could hear me over the baby screaming because she felt left out. So now we have gotten creative with our time and place for learning too! Sometime I even work with my oldest after the others have fallen alseep!

Wonderful Homeschool Adventures Logbook said...

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. So true. We have been home schooling for a term and with our 4 and 6 year old doing lessons I feel I'm constantly juggling and making up creative ideas for our 18 month old darling to take part in lessons. I was also following the school term and break schedule but I like the idea of year round lessons it certainly takes the pressure off. This term has been all about getting things right and what a wonderful opportunity home schooling is, what a joy. I agree completely with the Montessori being extra work at times. I also love the philosophies but after a night organising, hunting down manipulatives and putting together tray activities only to have them thrown across the room has been frustrating to say the least.

Love your glob I love to see what others are doing with Montessori, we are starting with Montessori for elementary and sequencing studies into classical education with some exceptions. Again what a joy Home schooling is, brilliant resources, and the kids at home, how fantastic.

I'm new to the blogging world too how great, very addictive. I've got to monitor this really

See you


Erin said...

Great idea!

Anonymous said...

We are trialling a similar thing at the moment… My 14 month old was crying at my feet while I tried to assist the older ones. No one was happy! We tend to homeschool year round too and only break when Daddy has holidays from work. It has really taken the pressure off… Everyone is more content :)

Anonymous said...

We are working through these holidays. But because of cousins and friends who aren't homeschooled, my children are all too aware of when they should be having time off. I am going to try to do more of this kind of thing though!!
Bianca xx (for some reason I can't comment using my profile)

Jill said...

I can only imagine how difficult homeschooling must be with younger children and babies to look after at the same time! Good for you for finding a way that works for your family! Nice that you can be so flexible with your school hours!

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