I can't count the number of times I've either said or thought this.
You walk into the kitchen and there are dirty dishes and crap strewn from one end of the bench to the other. You start cleaning and you think, "but...we should be homeschooling right now!" Your washing machine packs it in and you spend time trying to troubleshoot the issue yourself, watching videos and learning about diagnostics, calling the lovely repair man to come by, taking washing to your daughter's house and you think, "but...we should be homeschooling right now!"
You look at the baskets of washing on your dining table and fold those and then call the kids to put away their pile and as you do, you think, "but....we should be homeschooling right now!" You have the flu shot and the next day are crazy-tired. You don't drag yourself out of bed until after 10am. You know it's ok and yet that thought creeps in...."but we should be homeschooling now!" Then you look at your kids who have made you a coffee, done their chores (with a little gentle prompting), are happily watching a movie they've been keen to watch while they play with Lego and have made themselves something to eat and you think...this is life right now! We are doing ok and they are learning!
See, we are so used to compartmentalising our lives that we think we need to separate out life and learning when really, the two go hand in hand. We are so used to 'school' happening within the hours of 9-3 that we think we must also homeschool during those hours when we don't have to! We are also conditioned to think about learning in tickable activities - things like bookwork or worksheets rather than seeing learning as a journey of progress that occurs in our everyday life together. Truth be told, most of the learning in our home probably happens 'off the page'.
The thing I love about eclectic homeschooling is that we have times where we do lots of focussed activity and times for the opposite! Just this week we have had the times I mentioned above plus Miss Z is recovering from a sprained knee (ice-skating injury) so we have an extra reason to go a little slower this week.
Here are some activities the kids have done in the last few 'down' days:
* Hang out time with Sull (our Aunty)
* Brainstormed questions and activities that they'd like to delve into this coming term. We used THESE sheets. * Zeeki has been working on putting together a lego kit which is incredibly complex. This has been challenging and stimulating for him and he has appreciated the time to focus on this activity.
* He has been working on writing up a birthday list (at his Aunty's request) which has involved getting online, price comparisons and working out which store to purchase items from. He has handwritten a list that we will photograph and send to her. * Zeeki received a letter in the mail from a new pen friend and was so excited to read it to me. He is planning on writing back today.
* Zippi has been researching the technique of draping. She got out all the TAFE folders which one of my beautiful followers forwarded on to her a while back (thank you again!) and went through those to see if there was information on draping. She didn't find anything in there but she did find more info on some of the sleeve styles she loves and took some time to point them out to me. * She also made a few mini Marvel movie posters (Marvel is a current passion of hers). She designed and printed these off in Canva and then laminated them.
* Last week she read 2 big books and this week was trying to find out if there was a 3rd in the series that she could access.
* Daddy helped Zeeki with a wood working project that had been pumping around his mind.
* Zeeki found a cool bubble making recipe online and asked if he could try it out. He asked me to come and have a look at it - he was having a ball with making bubbles through a net. He also wrote out the recipe for that.
Why am I bothering to share all this? I guess I'm wanting you to know that: a) I still have the "but...we should be homeschooling!" statement sneak into my thoughts even 15 years after starting homeschooling!
b) and I think it's helpful to be reminded that our kids are learning ALL THE TIME. It's a reminder even for me that it's ok to prioritise life too.
So the next time you have the "but...we should be homeschooling!" thought creep into your mind, think about what your kids ARE learning in the meantime. Think about that learning in terms of character development, autonomy, time for curiosity, developing passions and even the example you are giving them of life and learning being enmeshed.
I hope this might be an encouragement in some way to you. Big hugs, Lusi x