Choosing our approach

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Oh the headache… I love routine, plans, schedules, worksheets, lists you tick so I imagined this would transfer into the way I was going to homeschool, except that it is not me learning, it’s them! If it was me, following a curriculum, guidelines and fill practice sheets would suit me fine. I would probably lose interest at times but I would do fine.

If it works with E to a certain extend, he is obviously not thriving. He is accepting that this is what you should be doing and goes with it because once this is done he can move on and play. He is very similar to me (our arguments confirm this too!)

With V however I am starting to hear things like “do we have to do Math?” (insert whiney, long sigh)… and this every time we do Math. Being in our third week of homeschooling, this is the promise to a long torturous road to Math excellence for sure!

The thing is that we know it should be a strength so there has to be a way to make him enjoy it. But hey maybe he will never like or enjoy it and that’s fine too. We also know he struggles with organisation and focus and so every time we try to do some math he rolls away with the Fairies and doesn’t come back until I sat down with him and work him through every. single. question… It does help if I am the one writing the answers and we do it more like an oral practice so maybe that’s what I should stick to for a while… I can’t help but thing it is not because he doesn’t like doing Math but more because he is bored to death!

He is so engaged and happy when we learn French, History, or when we read books. Dickens has him right into the heart of the story with him and he can retell what we have just read with the most elaborate words (even when I think he hasn’t listened to a thing I say because he has been flying lego planes during the process).

I have been advised many times to de-school which is based on the thoughts of the philosopher Ivan Illich which suggests that there should be a period of transition between school as we know it and homeschool. Evidences show that this is a necessary time for the children and the parents to disconnect from our old schooling habits in order to transition into a new way of educating our children based on following their interests and most importantly to find out how they learn best.

Of course the first reaction to this would be to think that if you let your kids decide what they should be doing they are very likely to request day long recesses and plenty of video games. Except that this only lasts until they find out about what really interest them and then they just want to learn. Children are naturally curious.

So I am going to chill a bit and stop resisting. We are going to spend more time going with the flow…

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