Monday, September 15, 2014

The Best Laid Plans...

When I started homeschooling a few months ago, I had many expectations as to how my days would go. I started out with plans and page numbers and projects and supplies. I'm sure that for some people the planning would have been successful, but not for us. Structure does not work for us.

The more structure I try to put into our days, the more difficult they become. Allowing my children to lead has been far more productive.

For instance, last week my older daughter had a fantastic week. She was slamming through the math workbook and her Draw, Write, Now book. She did a few pink series exercises and we did some really fantastic reading together. This week it's like I have an entirely different child! She doesn't want to sit down and work at all. I settled for having her sharpen her box of colored pencils today. My younger child is just the opposite, for weeks now she's been playing when we work and ignoring my nicely laid out Montessori shelves. Over the past week, she's blossomed. She did the pink tower, sandpaper numbers 0-2, and every single one of the Melissa and Doug tangram one sitting! She's loving it!

I think that structure doesn't work because this is not school, there are not 15 other children to set and follow examples. We don't have a set start time. We don't have a set recess time. We start when everyone is awake and fed and after morning "chores" have been completed. Today it was 11, some days it's closer to 9, sometimes if I know the weather will turn in the afternoon we just go outside all morning and worry about school in the afternoon. If my daughter starts an art project and loves it, she is free to continue with it for as long as she pleases (which sometimes can be days!). So much for those plans and page numbers!

In the grand scheme of life, I don't think taking a few days off is going to hurt my four year old (in fact I think it might help). We may not be sticking to our plans, but we are happy and we are learning...something.

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