In the midst of all the turmoil in the world it is very important to take the time to rest and let ourselves be. Especially, if like me you are suddenly involved with another four hours a day in study time for children, where you have to school at home.
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, TRUST, let go and see what happens!”
– Mandy Hale
In my case, in a language I do not speak or read at an academic level – it has been an interesting and occasionally stress-filled school at home time. Needless to say, I am learning many tricks to translate all the data to English, learn the lessons in English and then once we understand the details of the lesson we are translating back to our target learning language to answer all the questions and send the corresponding answers back to my children’s teachers for marking.
We have a very large case of “Perfectionist, please meet your children”. Not one of them will operate on a schedule. Not one of them ever managed to follow any plan that I worked on for hours, planned and researched till I was exhausted, and was enthusiastic to implement during our school at home time.
“What do you do?” I hear you ask…. Well, panic and mayhem were the order of the day for a long time. Until I learnt a valuable lesson…
“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year in conversation” – Plato
I had taken the fun out of learning with my scheduling and research. In my panic over the possibility of missing something, I had failed to recognize, I had left nothing to chance. No space for investigations. No space for thought without an outcome already being known. No space for play.
Find New Ways to Learn
My having missed the mark significantly was summed up neatly whilst learning about volcanoes, when my daughter says, “Mum, we have talked about this till there is nothing to talk about, drawn about it till there is nothing more to draw, when do we get to make the volcano?”
Right, make the volcano… make a mess in my kitchen… for me to clean up mess-in-my-kitchen… eek…. I am thinking “How about, Never! Never works for me!’ Then my daughter pipes up again, “I saw this baking soda with vinegar experiment that they did, online. The mum made the volcano down her kitchen drain because it is really good for cleaning out the drain. Then you just turn on the cold water tap and it all washes down the drain to clean it! Wouldn’t that be neat?” Wait a minute…. Clean my kitchen drain with a science experiment about a volcano…. I can get on board with that! “Please tell me more?”
This was how I learnt that over scheduling, over planning and over stressing were taking the joy out of learning. I needed to step back and “make a time” as opposed to “make time”. Here was where I had to prove to myself and my children that we were worth more than adherence to a schedule that was making everyone frazzled. It was time for a rest!:
Time to make muffins and declare it “all school work complete for the day”.
We covered maths (measuring ingredients), science (Learning about oven temperatures and how ingredients mix together), literacy (reading the recipe) and geography (where did the food come from?). Oh, and don’t forget the tea, hot chocolate and candle for the table when the muffins are ready to eat!!!
Let me leave you with this quote:
“Have regular hours for work and play.
Make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well”
Are you schooling from home or your schools are closed? Here are fun and additional ways you can help your child build their education and supplement their growth and learning.
Have you joined your local library online?
You can sign up online for e-books and audiobooks free!!
Welcome to our new Adventure!
from a Worldschooling / Gameschooling mother!
“Learning while Laughing”
I like to share my family’s learning adventures! There is only one aim: The best learning happens when you are having fun! So, are you ready to come “adventuring” with me! You are now the official “Leader of the Mischief”. Wait! Stop! That was supposed to say “Homeschool Teacher” but it’s tea time so….
Have you joined the online library yet?
You can get e-books, audiobooks, magazines and newspapers online through your library!
Listening to Audibooks whilst playing Lego, making craft, or playing puzzles.
Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne
A Bear called Paddington – Michael Bond
Alice in Wonderland by C S Lewis
Ronald Dahl reading his story stories : Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Julia Donaldson – we love all her books – The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom
Making Origami paper planes – Did you know it is actually an international sport for predominately Engineers and Mathematicians.
PBS kids in USA has lots of fabulous mini documentary cartoon style learning programs.
For extra ideas google homeschooling ideas for “Preschool with Netflix”.
ABC4kids in Australia likewise – tv, online, or app
“DLTK’s Crafts for Kids features a variety of printable children’s crafts, coloring pages, worksheets and activities including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of our children’s favorite cartoon characters.”
Making study time fun! The holy grail of all parents. To make children enjoy the time they are missing out on their play and video games.
“The tree I had in the garden as a child, my beech tree, I used to climb up there and spend hours. I took my homework up there, my books, I went up there if I was sad, and it just felt very good to be up there among the green leaves and the birds and the sky”. – Jane Goodall
It’s back to school time in Australia! If you are anything like me in the midst of the excitement surrounding all the new school adventures my children are about to embark on this year is the ever present quiet pleas I am silently making to my children’s teachers for “useful homework please!”
Does your school give homework?
At our school the Junior Primary years (grades K – 2) have a set of sheets delivered on Monday for 4 nights of 30minutes homework and 15 minutes read aloud of their home reader each day, and all to be returned on Friday morning into the teacher’s homework box for marking. The teacher requests the spelling words to be written out each night. Also no longer than 30 minutes of time should be spent each night completing the sheets. If it takes longer the teacher needs to be advised.
Upper Primary (grades 3 – 6) are given sheets designated to Monday-Thursday which directly reflect and reiterate the weeks learning and are to be returned to the teacher’s homework box Friday morning.
Again spelling is written out using read, cover, write technique. Teachers’ advise that no more than 45minutes to an hour should be spent on the written sheets each night or please speak with the teacher. And again 15 minutes of read aloud time either of the designated home reader or the child’s own school library book.
My kids usual approach to homework used to involve procrastination, getting upset and throwing a tantrum when I asked was their homework complete, procrastinating some more, and then… running around at the last minute in a total panic to complete it before bedtime. Topped off with a promise that it wouldn’t happen again tomorrow, and inevitably tomorrow arrived with a repeat of today’s homework events.
Simply the word “homework” used to invoke chaos and pandemonium even before a book, paper and pencil were involved in the equation. Add a dyslexia diagnosis and afternoons became simply stress central.
Definitely this… Afternoon Study Time!
How is this different from “homework” you ask?
We no longer use the word “Homework”! The idea of homework is associated with stress, anxiety and panic. No more of that!
Kids returning from school I asked for the schoolbags to be put in the kitchen next to the kitchen table.
The same kitchen table… the same work to be done, but… I made some major changes in my attitude. My attitude needed to reflect I was joyful and ready to learn.
I needed resources that brought joy to use only for “Study Time”. I bought a set of artists pencils for drawing and coloring, colored art liner markers for headings and outlines, and also a new lead pencil, eraser and notebook for each child.
At the old “Time for Homework” I call “Anyone for hot chocolate or tea?” and all three kids come running. I already have the afternoon tea snacks (sliced carrots, sliced cucumber, mini chicken nuggets, crackers and cheese) set in the middle of the table. I take orders for drinks and then ask them to get their books and study sheets from their bags and put them on the table. Then we all sat down together in the cubby house I made under the table with the snacks, hot chocolate and tea. Much giggling followed.Amazing difference!
I now have a different read aloud book that I can read or add an audiobook as we start afternoon tea. We started with “A Bear called Paddington”.
After “A Bear called Paddington” we read our school read alouds. Taking time to listen to each other. Very positive start! Variety in books is the key to making study time fun.
When it came to the writing we sat up to the table and I produced new colours to share and new pencils for our new “Study box”. Everyone was excited to start! All the daily sheets completed, including spelling and sentences with little fuss.
Study Time is fun!!
I learnt the level of struggles are all related to my attitude to homework! Make learning enjoyable for everyone!
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