Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Homeschool Files : What's important right now

One of the things I love about being a home educator is being free to make time for whatever is important right now; today, this hour, this minute. That might be planting our vegetable patch or spending time with grandma and granddad, celebrating someone's birthday or taking a trip. It might be a book that really does have to be read right now or a game you need to play four times in a row because it's just that good and can't wait. 

In this vein the children have spent the last two days enjoying an extended sleepover with two of their friends – watching movies, building a dry stone wall, spending a lot of time on their bikes. And the adults have used all the consequent free time to get out in the garden and get digging. A few weeks ago, everything else pretty much stopped as much loved grandparents visited and devoted themselves to a lot of reading, lego and game playing. 

Of course we have activities outside the home that we try not to miss but we can if we need to and I really do like that liberty. And although we do have a structure to our days and most of our time is roughly planned for, there is still a lot of freedom within that planning to allow for spontaneity and flexibility.  

This is a way of life that works for us. I'm certain it wouldn't work for everyone. It can be frustrating when you were really hoping you could get something done or progress in a particular area and the children have a completely different agenda. At those times I try to remind myself to live in the moment and that in so doing any learning we might do will almost always happen easily and with joy. 

It can also be complicated when more than one of us has one of these 'really can't wait' moments - a work deadline and a garden that needs planting and a child who really wants to read to you right now! At times like that home educating and working from home and trying to increase our sustainability can feel overwhelming even though there are two of us. Yet another reason why visits from helpful friends and family are so nice. All we can do is just keep plodding on, try to evaluate which need is most important right then and attend to it first. And remember that it's not always that hard. 

In the end many of these magical moments stolen from our everyday life are the ones we will always remember. The ones which will write our family's story and hopefully sustain our children throughout their lives. 

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