It has been six months since we started our homeschool adventure with Jack. It has been wonderful, challenging, and a learning process for both of us. A lot has changed from my post back in November, but changed for the good.
First of all, I went back to work almost full time. I now work at daycare/ dayschool. I have done childcare and babysitting since I was 12-years-old, but never in a licensed, structured center before. It’s been a learning curve for me. I love the job and the kids make the job worthwhile. However, it is personally challenging at times since their teaching/care philosophy doesn’t always line-up with my teaching/care beliefs. But, I have learned some great skills that I have incorporated into our homeschool, though.
So, what have I learned so far? What have I changed? Let’s discuss.
- Curriculum: I originally made a very relaxed, unstructured curriculum. It was kinda random. And there was no schedule, we would just do them at random, too. One unit theme was supposed to take about a month. Well…. about once month in, it just was not working. We started with a forest unit theme, and at the end of the month Jack couldn’t have cared less. He was over it and wanted something new. It was also very heavy on worksheets, which he was not ready for at the time. He had never done writing or pre-writing work ever, so he got frustrated that he couldn’t do what I asked. And in the end, didn’t want to do them at all. After working at the daycare for a month and seeing how they set-up curriculum, I redid it all. I set-up weekly themes. A small piece of a bigger idea to get his brain focused. I also picked a letter/number of the week and color of the month. This is just a basic overview so he learns how to recognizes them. No focus on writing or reading them yet. And cut way down of worksheets and added more STEM/Sensory play. This is how Jack learns best for sure.
- Back to Daycare: Working almost full time means the boys started going back to daycare part time. Jack no longer goes to the nature-based preschool (it closed, but not for bad reasons). They go 3 days a week for 6 hours with their previous in–home provider. As luck would have it, she also is a homeschool parent! So she does stuff with them too.
- Daily Schedule: I work in the afternoon, so we do our homeschool in the morning. At first we did it when ever we could fit stuff in— and it stressed out everyone. It really felt like a chore, which is not what I wanted. I wanted Jack to love learning. So, we made up a morning routine to bring some order to the chaos. This was also a recommendation from Jack’s behavioral therapist for this Adjustment disorder. It has made a HUGE difference. Jack LOVES his morning work now.
- Backing Off: At first, I was focused on him getting every right. But I realized that wasn’t the goal. The goal was for him to practice, try, and learn. So, I just back off on something until he asks for help. He completely messes up cutting out a paper puzzle pieces and now cannot put the puzzle together? No big deal! He will see something is wrong when he cannot put it together. Then will ask me to help and I can explain—and work with him to fix it. Nowm, he learned from his mistake rather than me just doing it for him.
I am sure every parent new to homeschool has made these mistakes and more. This is a learning process for the entire family, not the the kids. But, it has worked very well for us so far. My husband loves seeing the progress Jack has made in these six short months. He has even gotten in on it by taking him to Free Forest School classes around the Portland Area.
I have set-up his curriculum for the summer and the school year already. Even Bear is going to start some basic stuff in the Fall. I am super excited to see what path this adventure takes.
Follow along with our daily homeschool adventures on instagram @VeganBabymama!