At the weekend, I sat down and took out the plans I had made for the year and threw them away.
For a few hours, I replanned the entire year’s home ed. .. but differently.
A few months ago, I read a blog post by a home edding mother who spoke of how important it is to home educate YOUR OWN WAY. It’s great to share ideas, to read blogs for inspiration etc but ultimately what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you and your little sprouts.
She aptly went on to ask ‘what kind of homeschooling family are you?’
Some home ed families are really crafty, some constantly bake, others read LOADS!! I know a home ed family who are really sporty.
I had to really have a good think about what type of home ed family we are and I came to the conclusion that we are a book loving-quran focused-documentary watching-following self interests type of home ed family.
I then thought about the type of home ed I’d like to provide for my children and I took the following into account as I replanned:
– I am very much pro letting my children follow their self interests and being a facilitator for them. So I INCLUDED my children’s thoughts in what they would like to learn and do this year. It isn’t just about me and what I want them to do. For me, they must love to learn. If they don’t I feel I have failed in homeschooling. It was so enjoyable asking them what they would like to learn about and how they enjoy learning. What I discovered from R in particular is that she hates using the same textbook or workbook all year.
– With that last point in mind, I split all the subjects of the year into monthly topics. Eg january focus on measurement for math whilst February might be a focus on fractions. Whilst November could be a month of poetry and December a month focusing on imagery within writing. I did this for all the subjects for all three of my children for the entire year.
– I then looked at all the books I have and whittled it down to a few that I feel suits the children. I received a phone call from a sister on Monday who was quite stressed about all the resources she has and feels the need to use. One mistake many home edders make is buying so many books. It’s overwhelming, costly and unnecessary. I constantly declutter and sell on as there’s always this niggling feeling that I need to use those books too!
– I then spoke to my children about how they like to learn and at the end of it, I realised that it can never just be sitting down at the table writing or completing a workbook. I need to enrich their learning. Here my resource lists which are separated into hands on, websites, places to visit etc will come in handy.
– I feel much happier with our new plans as it incorporates what the children want to learn, how they want to learn it. I also told them that there are certain areas of learning that are non negotiable. They have to do certain things daily. They’re happy with this agreement.
– Yes, this requires a little more planning on my part but having got rid of the greatest distraction in my life. .. whatsapp, I now seem to have more time. I was complaining that I don’t have enough time etc etc but whenever I delete whatsapp from my phone, there is so much time to do so much more. As another sister shared with me, even though she isn’t whatsapping, the very fact she is constantly checking messages thay come through and reading them is distracting her and wasting huge amounts of time. It is like a drug. If you think it isn’t a drug try not looking at your messages for 24 hours and see how you feel!
– I feel we also have a good balance now of formal home ed, hands on, physical exercise and time to socialise. The latter I’ve noticed is more important to R this year. I can see she needs that time with girls her own age. Our attendance at a home ed group every wed aswell as me making the effort to invite her friends here or arrange for her to visit her friends has made a huge difference. Need to find more 1 to 1 friends for my boys.
I’ve decided to revamp my blog and now that I have the wordpress app I can inshaAllah blog whilst breastfeeding. So expect to have a ummihomeschools me overload!!
I will inshaAllah be reorganising the categories toinshaAllah tie in with the subject and topics as we go along which will be easier for myself and any readers looking for ideas so watch this space!
Lastly, I’ve become a pinterest addict. It has benefited my home ed in so many ways. If you don’t know about pinterest, I highly recommend you register and once you do search for me under Umm Raiyaan and you can start following my boards which are full of really great pins I’ve found. Www.pinterest.com
Finally, I blog more when readers of my blog interact with it. It encourages me to blog more. So please don’t be a lurker. Please comment, share tips suggestions etc. I will endeavour to reply to all comments inshaAllah.