Every family’s situation is unique. My husband and I both work full time. My work week is the typical 8-5 gig, but he works nights on a week on, week off rotation. It can be somewhat of a challenge; however, it allows one of us to always be home with the kids. Our routines have adapted to this unconventional schedule, and homeschool has been a real saving grace.
School times are structured around our work schedules to ensure we still spend meaningful time together. Family game nights, dinners at the table and daily walks are a priority. We carve out that time to maximize every minute. We may do math while supper is cooking or language arts after bath time. Whatever works!
All lessons are not from a book or a screen.
My littles are learning to operate the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher. They can make a grocery list, taking careful inventory of the fridge and pantry. Daily chores and responsibilities are preparing them to be independent. One day they will be tasked with running their very own households. I want them to be fully equipped and confident in their abilities.
We can move at whatever pace they need for each subject, which varies. My daughter, who is in fifth grade, focuses better when listening to classical music remixes. One day it was The Nutcracker to a techno beat. She likes to do an entire social studies unit in a short span, rather than spreading it out over several weeks. We normally hunker down on a Saturday and travel our way through history. Greek mythology was an exciting adventure!
Their specific interests determine what and how they learn. My son, a first grader, is super interested in Minecraft and design, so he is taking beginner level coding. It is amazing to watch him create! Both kids love art and are visual learners, so I take advantage of every opportunity to turn a basic lesson into a project. They really enjoyed the cracker lab we did in our states of matter unit. Snack and science – score!
When one of them is feeling antsy or having a hard time getting into a lesson, it is time for a break. No worries! After a quick brain break, we’re right back at it. There’s just not much a snack and a walk around the block can’t fix. On especially pretty days, we do math on the driveway with sidewalk chalk or move reading to the front yard. Field trip! Oh yeah, we have even visited zoos all over the world – virtually, of course!
In the big picture, it will all get done.
They will learn the order of operations and how to read, write and make a bar graph. For now, I am going to enjoy watching them learn and grow more confident. I’m going to laugh at my son using a calculator for the first time and thinking it’s the coolest thing since his discovery of fruit snacks. I’m going to take all the brain breaks with my daughter because, let’s be real, this age is a doozy. If you see her writing lines in the driveway, mind ya business and send wine.