Relaxed Homeschooling… Are you Failing?

I thought I was…

Relaxed is how I want, need, our homeschooling journed to be. Unfortunately, sometimes I feel as though I am failing.

Day One

It all began last Friday when the girls decided they were starting their homeschooling year. Their older brother went back to school on Friday morning so it made sense to them to begin… (We had discussed them starting on Wednesday after their ‘Not Back to School Party’ but…)

Miss 14’s first meltdown happened when she realised she had not completed the whole of Year 7 on Mathsonline. The fact she only began in November last year slipped her mind! I explained to both girls that their are no year levels in our homeschool. They are learning at their own pace so it doesn’t matter if they do year 6, 7, 8, 9, or any other level. The most important thing is that they are relaxed and retain what they do learn.

Meltdown number 2 came with French. I have discovered Mango Languages and although it does cost money I have found it to be a good language platform. Miss 14 is used to Duolingo so I told her she could go back to using that if she prefered.

Miss 14 learns differently to Miss 12 and it can get frustrating for her that her younger sister picks things up faster. Miss 12 also has to get used to Miss 14 sometimes wanting her help and other times wanting her to be quiet! Miss 14 needs to get used to having Miss 12 home with her. It’s a learning experience all around! Maybe separate rooms are required for learning?

Saturday/Sunday – No Homeschool…

Before our homeschool journey began last August I would have said that my children don’t learn on the weekends. Now I know differently.

Miss 12 has discovered a love of cooking. Even going so far as to help with the meal planning for the week/fortnight, grocery shopping and choosing which meals and snacks we make each day. (She also helps put the groceries away when we get home – without being asked!)

She decided that she and Miss 14 were making Cornflake Crunch for a snack and didn’t want any help from me at all. (Yay!) Except for the washing up – we need to work on that!

Miss 12 also made Rice Bubble Bars and Chocolate Balls by herself.

For Sunday lunch she decided we were making Slow Cooker Cheese & Bacon Scrolls and they didn’t turn out too badly at all.

Monday

I was prepared for the worst…

Miss 14 began with English and writing to her penpals, then began Maths while Miss 12 started on French. In their room. Together. I stayed away unless summoned…

Miss 12 helped Miss 14 when requested and continued with her own work when not needed. Miss 14 did raise her voice but Miss 12 didn’t get upset, just went on with her own work and was happy to help again when required.

Maybe the trick is that they need to work on different subjects, not the same ones at the same time…

Only time will tell.

How does homeschooling work in your house?

Do you all work on the same subject together or are your middle/high schoolers happy to manage their own self-paced learning?

Tuesday

A very early morning for everyone.

Getting up at 5am to leave by 6am and drive for three and a half hours wasn’t too bad. Waking Miss 14 and then getting her out of bed was hard!

The HEN ‘Not Back to School’ Party at Adventure Park Geelong was awesome. The girls had an amazing time. Miss 12 even managed to get Miss 14 on a few rides/slides she wasn’t too keen on (not the Tornado though!)

Overall, it was a great sister bonding day and we are definitely going back.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday…

Wednesday was pretty much a duplicate of Monday but on Thursday Miss 12 began Mathsonline. A lot of the lessons she learned during years 4, 5 & 6 at mainstream primary school so I explained that year 7 is an amalgamation of all she has already learned before going on to newer/harder work in years 8 & beyond.

I am encouraging my girls to remember that there are no year levels in our homeschool (it’s difficult with math as the program they are using is in year levels) and actually had a ‘win’ on Thursday when I overheard Miss 14 say to Miss 12 that you ‘can’t get behind in homeschool’ when Miss 12 was saying she needed to catch up on math as she was ‘behind’.

Miss 14 does have trouble with math. She tenses up at the mere mention of it and becomes very anxious. I am now looking at finding her an alternative – something based on everyday skills that she will use throughout life rather than getting frustrated trying to understand things she will never use again.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated…

With all its up and downs, meltdowns and sister fights, this is still something we are definitly going to stick with for the remainder of Miss 14 and Miss 12’s high schooling. The good moments definitely outweigh the bad and I know the meltdowns will become less frequent once we have worked out all the kinks.

I hope your homeschooling journey is going well. If you’re struggling, remember it will get better – we all have bad days – and there is plenty of advice and help available.

It takes a village to raise a child – but no one said what type of village. The homeschooling village is world-wide and accessible online and in person.

 

Remember, enjoy the journey.

Until next time…

Lara xx

 

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Author: Lara Galea

Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.

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