My Advice? Quit reading blogs! No seriously, remember when most people blog it isn’t warts and all stuff! The only lovely gal I know who has the courage to tell it as it is is arwen_tiw, Sarah!! She has a beautiful, lyrical way with the written word!
As I’ve learnt to my cost and occasionally sanity! Home school is not school!! It’s not meant to be, thank God. If you can hold on to the fact that, when little ones learn ie toddlers they’re not told to do anything they just pick things up as they go along. Why shouldn’t it be the same for older kids too? I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve changed tack because Benedict is not interested in what we are doing! For instance last year we did a mini project on The Home Front in the 1940’s, truth be told that’s my interest, not his, no wonder he lost heart, LOL!!!
Hold fast to why you are HE in the first place and that, hopefully should give you the strength to get through this temporary fog!!
Big Hugs and understanding
PS Just checked your kids ages, they really are only little!! Be kind to yourselves!
Got about 2 seconds to post but I would say don’t read those kinds of blogs, or take them with a pinch of salt as they aren’t in your situation/don’t have your children etc etc (don’t mean there is anything wrong with your situation or anything, just mean they are not living an identical life to you so try not to judge yourself against them). I know all HE parents have different ideas on what to do with their LOs but I would say perhaps let go of it all for the time being, your LOs are so tiny really, my DS is 4 and a half and all we do is playing stuff really and I read to him when he wants to, that and playing with other LOs and I intend to have no real structure until he is at least 7 and then I’ll see what I feel he needs. If that feels too unstructured then maybe try it for a few weeks, let your LOs get on with what they want for a bit and then introduce something back again when you are all ready to do it and enjoy it
I agree your kids are really young. When my oldest was 5 we did painting, baking, drawing, cutting/sticking, gardening, nature walks, crafts and that was about it. Oh we also went to a home ed group that met every two weeks for a couple of hours. I’d go slow and be easy on your self. I found (find) websites like cbeebies, activityvillage and enchanted learning really good for easy, fun activities. lots of stuff to print out. Also childrens magazine subs like rspb (http://www.rspb.org.uk/youth/join_in/wildlifeclub/club.asp) and storybox (http://www.bayard-magazines.co.uk/gammebox/storybox.htm) can really spark off other interests and activities.
Books - my oldest went through a stage where she didn’t want to be read to, but loved story tapes - she was very active and just couldn’t sit still long enough for us to get through a book! I’d have audio stories/CDs on while we did things like making things out of clay or painting which always worked well. She’s a complete bookworm now! Free stories here - http://storynory.com/
It might also help to have a little rhythm to your day (if you don’t already). Such as Monday we visit library in am and bake in pm, Tuesday we go to park/nature walk in am and paint in pm, Weds we garden in am and do ‘science’ in pm, etc.
As I’ve learnt to my cost and occasionally sanity! Home school is not school!! It’s not meant to be, thank God. If you can hold on to the fact that, when little ones learn ie toddlers they’re not told to do anything they just pick things up as they go along.
Crikey is that what you think pre-school and infant school is like then? Learn what they’re told, not by themselves?
I know you HE and are obviously passionately HE, but you have made a big assumption of schools there. I’m passionate about education and choice whatever we all choose but don’t like to read such blanket assumptions on the forum. Sorry just my opinion but couldn’t read that and not comment.
To the original poster - I agree don’t read the blogs, blogs can be heavily edited to make lives look perfect sometimes.
yes, respect for homeschooling, but I’m bringing my Babes up to inform the teachers of what it is she would like to learn…?
Having said that, I get burnt out by school, so you’re doing a brilliant job homeschooling and we as a society SO much need that so here is to freedom in education.
I would relax completely and just let them, fill your home with books and interesting things and they cannot fail to learn in my opinion. If they are resisting your attempts to offer some structure, go with their needs and instead make sure you are available for a cuddly story time at some point each day. Turn it into a special time, each choose a favourite book, a snuggly balnket and just enjoy books and stories. I honestly don’t think you need to do more than that.
We do no structured learning at all, we always read stories at some point during the day and my children are 6, 4 and 2 years old. Mia the eldest has never ever sat down to a structured learning to read or write session, not ever, and yet she is passionate about books and stories and has recently started to write letters, try to read words etc. It really does come all on it’s own because children want to be part of the world around them and want to explore all it has to offer.
You are doing a great job and i love the John Holt quote that ‘hos entire educational philosophy could be summed up in two words - Trust Children’......
Totally understand where you are coming fromf
I have 4 under 7 and the oldest 2 are out 3 half days a weeka at a steiner kindy. I will soon have the oldest and youngest at home full time and do find the thought daunting, you aren’t alone. Equally think its important that you wouldn’t be failing your children (not that you suggested you would be) if you did decide that for whatever reason the best decision for you all was school. Although we are going to try HE, it isn’t for everyone and might not be for us. I sometimes think people (I musn’t forget about blogs) hold it up as the ideal, its only the ideal if it works for your family. As for blogs I have met some bloggers in real life and was shocked how unlike their blogs they were, so remember that they aren’t the whole picture.
Hope you feeling better. Oh and we also I haven’t done any structured stuff regularly and wont be until they are 7.
I agree with all of the above posters. HE is not school. The reason for doing it (generally) is so you can do it YOUR way..not the way other people are doing it. I also agree that your LOs are very young so it’s all about play right now. To be honest, I don’t think you NEED structured “lessons” at all just yet - the oldest is only 5. I think the same as Sparky that I wouldn’t introduce structure til 7. When they’re little they absorb so much providing its what THEY want to do and so go with the flow and with their interests. Not sure how you do things but maybe get your LO to choose a theme and go with that. E.G. Volcanoes - get lots of books out of the library on them, go to websites to find out how to make a volcano science experiment, get them to make a volcano from playdough and baking soda and vinegar etc http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/nature/volcano/ ... again, not sure how you do things, but at 5 there’s not huge need for writing unless they want to. Maybe if you want them to learn pencil control you can get them to trace pictures of their choice. Letter formation can come later. Get them to choose a book to read at bedtime and not as a “school” session. Keep it fun and free for as long as possible and they will learn so much more.
Please don’t give up (not if its not what you really want), just maybe step back a bit, take a breather and start again.
Big (((hugs))) x x x
Hugs - I am wondering if you are maybe asking permission to stop HE and look at (pre) school for your older children? If you feel that, then go ahead and look into it. it does not in any way mean that you have ‘failed’ at anything. Thing change - sometimes we need to explore in another direction - and they can change again if need be.
Please be gentle on yourself. There is no need to push yourself beyond the limit to meet some super- home-educator target.There are none - only ordinary folk muddling along.
“As for blogs I have met some bloggers in real life and was shocked how unlike their blogs they were, so remember that they aren’t the whole picture”.
That’s an interesting thought. Always think there is a danger of this - nice photos and such - sometimes appearing to protray an ideal that no one can ever live up to…I think it is good to keep it real
pah! just wrote a really long reply and gp ate it!!
basically said i was feelign similar with regards to how little we do (esp when reading certain blogs). If we do an activity once in a fortnight thats all we manage atm and even then its usually interupted by the baby. All my friends kids are in nursery school now and starting full time in september and its hard to not think how much they would be doing if they were there too. Reading this thread has helped me feel a bit better about how little we do atm!
Im curious though, what do you all do with your 4/5 year olds? Ive seen a lot of you say you dont do structured activities but then mention printables websites etc? Atm we draw, craft and bake most weeks, have a play date most weeks, i help at bf drop in once a week, and charlie goes to music train, swimming and gymnastics for fun. We read most days and once every few weeks we might sit down for 5-10 mins and do some basic number stuff (usually directed by charlie with things like her magnets) or a science experiment (like the plasticine volcanoes). Does this sound reasonable? I trust she will learn things when she wants, but how do you spark an interest in something? What i mean is how will she discover an interest in something without being exposed to it? and how do you expose them without it being about teaching them iyswim?? Im tempted to get some dvds like blue planet (for me if im honest lol) and see if she shows an interest in what im watching. She is so full of questions atm but not quite paitent enough most of the time for much of an answer (so i get asked about 50 questions in a 10 minute walk lol). Shes so bright i worry about her being bored, or falling behind because im not doing enough with her, or being put off by us doing too much! its all such a worry some times!!
Have you heard of strewing? Try http://sandradodd.com/strewing . I do a version of this with mine, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I have to say since HEing I’ve become fascinated with things I’d never of looked twice at before!
As for using sites like enchanted learning, activity village, etc. Often I’ll co-incide this with something else. Say we’ve visited an aquarium, I’ll print out some stuff that is related to fish or oceans, etc and show it to the children, but with no pressure that they have to do it. Nine times out of ten they will, esp if I sit and do it with them. I’d get some books out of the library on sea life and stuff as well to supplement. Or if there’s a festival coming up, like Chinese New Year, I’ll print things about the festival, China in general, maybe we find a few recipes on the web and make those or make our own chinese flags, etc.
I don’t do this for every trip or activity, but you get the idea! I find that usually they are interested esp if I’m enthusiastic and sit and do it with them. Sometimes one of the kids might say no thanks, but that’s fine.
loving the idea of strewing!! tbh we probably do it a bit anyway as we have random bits around and have always liked things that arent ‘toys’ to be in amongst charlies things! little gemstones, fossils, shells etc so its an extension of that really isnt it! loving that site and on my way to bed (well out of bed to sort before coming back here to sleep - nate is in seperation anxiety territory atm) im going to strew a couple of things and see where it takes us tomorrow! im thinking put her magnifying glass on the seasonal table and move the mancala game of ours down from the shelf to see if she asks what it is! If she doesnt then no biggie, but if she does i can show her how to play etc! yay lol. We have so may interesting things around that we could show her all sorts! I spent a gap year in africa so long with some photos i also have a big box full of african things we collected while we were there! i bet she would explore that for hours! Its so simple really isnt it!
Am feeling excited and inspired again about home edding rather than feeling a bit of dread that we arent doing enough! Thanks!!