last time you heard from me was when I announced our journey into homeschooling and my very emotional, no holds barred, story of how it went down at the school.
I am happy to report that nearly a full term in and we are nicely settled into a routine, that seems well balanced between education and the all important social stuff that ‘homeschoolaphobes’ always voice concern over.
As I mentioned previously, we chose a slightly unconventional route, in that we opted to hire a full-time tutor to take care of the teaching and driving around on field trips and sports activities. Both Mike and I run busy businesses and are very aware that even mainstream schooling was more of a babysitting service than anything else for us. While I wasn’t about to quit work and be a full time, stay at home mom and teacher to the kids, we understood the value of homeschooling and felt determined to make it work regardless of our entrepreneurial commitments.
While I don’t have the full-time capacity- and yes I’ll admit patience, to personally homeschool the kids myself, what I love about homeschooling is being an intricate part of the curriculum and lesson planning. In mainstream schooling, regardless of how involved we think we are, things are pretty much planned by the school and like good little soldiers, we implement where we need to and support the school structure as much as we can. We have no control really. What I am loving right now, is the collaboration between Mike, Anieka and I as well as the greater digital homeschool community in formulating and structuring our homeschool landscape.
While I don’t believe Hamza has any particular learning or emotional issues (nothing that has been defined by his play therapist) it is very clear that sitting in a chair, behind a desk with a pen and paper is not how he learns best. Despite the added one on one attention that he now gets, the first few weeks were a struggle of wills between him and Anieka in the attempt to get work done ‘the mainstream way’. What we have quickly learned is that Hamza is super bright, but learns best through theme based and practical methods. We have seen such an improvement in concentration now that we approach a lesson with an explainer video, a craft project, a worksheet and possibly an excursion. As far as possible we approach language and maths in a practical manner as well and see far longer spurts of concentration.
We spend hours building lego words rather than regurgitating words on a paper, or creating story sums before we work the answers out. We’re currently knee deep in a plant and bug project and really understanding the insect/ plant ecosystem. From parts of the plant; the foods we eat from the plant; to the insects that promote and inhibit the success of the plant; I am finding Hamza a whole lot more enthralled in learning than before.
We start our mornings with maths and literacy, with a big focus on getting Hamza reading and writing this year still and then move into the practical science space. Each afternoon involves either a nature walk, theatre, yoga, art or gymnastics to ensure the kids stay active and social.
Please check out homeschooliscool_za on Instagram for more visual ideas into what we are working on each day.