I’m doing this thing on Wednesdays, and, oooh, has it been ridiculously lovely for August and I. One day at home, mid-week: a day that is equal parts recovery, connection and inspiration.
I could spend this post explaining all the reasons behind it but let’s just say that August has landed in a wild Grade 2 classroom (meaning much of the day is spent on discipline over inspiration) with a new teacher who hasn’t quite got a handle on the gang, rendering August a sudden school hater. I wouldn’t suggest this for all kids—this is situational and manageable for us. (My son, for example, is just where he needs and wants to be in his Grade 6 class.)
I realize this is a great privilege. Not every parent can take a day a week of unpaid work (there are trade offs: for example, our car is held together by duct tape, our family doesn’t do new clothes, and Santa leaves Value Village gift certificates- which works great by us), but since I find myself freewheeling freelancing again (anybody got ten bucks?) I felt lucky to be able take on a homeschooling day.
And, oooh, is it fun getting to know my 7-year-old this way. (Don’t kid yourself though, it is work, paid or not.)
I am not an elementary teacher nor do I want to be one… I do teach in other areas for my work, plus I am a relentless learner, full of curiosity and questioning– qualities I don’t see prevailing in the public school system. I also speak French, which, in order to keep continuity with her time in class (4 days French Immersion) this was essential to maintain.
It was important to me to work as a team with the teacher and principal, and that August be made well aware of this mutually respectful endeavour. It is hard to argue with one-on-one learning where I can hone in on August’s areas of need (she has fallen behind in the class chaos).
Here’s how our home day unfolds.
We get Trygve (11) off to school (SUCKER!) then start our day with a hug and an intention. Mine is usually patience; August’s is usually having fun.
We use a chalkboard to write out things we need to get done (the learnin’) and things we want to get done (the adventure!). August’s teacher provides us with a homework package of things to complete (from her day plan) and we create the rest. The day is full of the ‘at desk’ essentials (usually writing assignments and math) but includes lots of hands-on adventure (building geometric shapes, treasure hunts, dance breaks, making healthy snacks, outdoor learning at our river fort (the Duck Den), art, story writing, skating, documentary watching and old people visiting…) I learn just as much as August does.
Anyhow, it isn’t a big undertaking as it is only one day (hats off to you fulltimer homeschoolers) but our flexi-schooling has a big impact on both of us.
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