“What do we have to do today?” Nathan asks every morning when we start school.
He wants a run down, how many lessons of each subject are we doing? A mental checklist he can check off as we go.
Most days we get everything done, if one lesson takes a little longer, I move things around for the next day. It’s nice to have that flexibility.
There are some days though, where he gets a look of being completely overwhelmed, exhausted by the thought of having to think.
I can tell by the look in his eyes it’s going to be one of those days.
I used to try to power through them and check off our to do list. But honestly that’s not benefiting anyone.
Nathan is a kid who is super smart. He is curious, fascinated, and interested in so many things. He will spend hours researching things he wants to know about. Want to know about a bug or critter? Ask Nathan. Need help putting something together or working on a project? He’s your kid.
Need to learn about equivalent fractions? He may burst into tears.
That was yesterday. We got about half way into the lesson and I had lost him. We did 2 problems on his worksheet and the tears started flowing.
I wish I knew. Last week we talked about it & he got it, understood completely, and dare I say…even seemed to enjoy it.
Maybe he was overtired? didn’t sleep well the night before? Worried about something else? Who knows?
All I know is that he was not going to absorb anything and I was setting myself up for frustration.
So I had him lay down for a few minutes. Then sent him out to check on the rabbits water. Gave him a snack.
I removed him and myself from a situation that would have ultimately ended badly.
Then we did 3 Science lessons, and he helped me plant some bean seeds.
So what’s my point?
My point is that as a homeschooling mom I often feel the pressure to check things off the to-do list. To make sure I’m doing everything right and covering everything that needs covered each and every day.Trying to do exactly what is done in “regular” school . Teach and then move on to the next subject.
But I have learned to take cues from my kids. The fact is that I don’t want to just make it through the lessons so that all his work is done. I want him to learn. I want him to enjoy learning, and to foster his creativity and curiosity.
It’s taken me a long time to figure this out (poor Anthony was the guinea pig), and to be OK with it. To accept and enjoy the fact that the “classroom” at home is the whole world. That I want my kids to learn all day every day, not only when its structured.
And I want them to feel good about learning. Not have it be something that they dread.
So we work around bad days, tired days, we all have them. Some days History is fascinating, some days Math comes easy, and some days the to-do list is complete.
And sometimes Mommy is sneaky and has her helper measure 2/8 of a cup while she’s cooking.
“What is the same as 2/8 Nathan?”
“1/4,” he dumps it in the bowl and starts to stir, never suspecting…
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