I’m often asked about HOW we can homeschool when I’m chronically ill. It’s a legitimate question as most people think school must happen between the hours of 9-3.
In a traditional setting of course they do but in a homeschool setting, everyday life presents learning opportunities EVERY DAY! It can start before 9am and finish well and truly after 3pm too.
If I am sick and tired, we can still learn!
If my kid is stung by a bee and can’t walk properly (see last blog post), she can still learn!
If we have to ‘delay’ our learning activities that morning to catch up on washing, we can still learn!
Well first it helps to have anchors in our day and home (I wrote about our poetry anchor here).
Next it helps us to be adaptable and to remember that learning opportunities are all around us.
And it helps me to have some easy to grab items like our #readalouds that I can quickly pick up out at a moment’s notice.
Let me tell you about what happened yesterday.
One of our family anchors is our fortnightly shopping day. This happens after everybody has nominated the meal they will cook in the next week (we repeat the meals for 2 weeks). Then after setting the menu, the shopping list is printed (yep I know 😆 but it keeps me sane).
This week I couldn’t do the shopping. I could drive to Aldi but Mr 16 kindly took said list and did the fortnight family shopping while I sat in the carpark with the little ones.
Did they miss out on learning?
We changed our ‘learning room’ to be our car and the carpark itself.
Before we left, I grabbed 3 read alouds from our current read aloud baskets that live next to the lounge.
We are reading through a fab measurement book called Mathtropolis. The littles are really enjoying it!
Today we read about old measurements of thumbs, feet and yards and the origins of each term (history reference bonus points went to Zippi who recalled King Henry 1 was responsible for making the feet and yard measurement official!)
We then talked about how we’d measure feet and Zippi raised the question about how feet could change depending on whose feet were being measured.
I could see all the ways their minds were taking in the information, digesting it and questioning it for themselves to understand it.
They were engaged!
They were learning!
Zeeki measured the concrete edge next to the car and estimated how many of his feet it would be. They measured their thumbs against the inch measurement in the book and learned about fractions of an inch too. They halved and doubled the fractions all just by engaging their minds with a great book and some time spent under the trees in our car in the Aldi Carpark.
We then read the beautiful book Simpson and his Donkey. We learned about #johnsimpsonkirkpatrick coming from England to make Australia his home and fight with the ANZACS. We talked about ANZAC Cove, about the Gallipoli campaign being part of World War I and when we got home, Zippi suggested that she could type a summary of Simpson’s life, death and legacy (on her birthday typewriter - thanks Lawrance and more on this another time).
Later in the afternoon we built on their questions about WW1 - I'll post about this a little later in the week.
Brett and I have always wanted our kiddos to be engaged learners, ready to ask questions, to process information in their own way at their own pace. This certainly happened yesterday.
These are just some small examples of how learning can flow throughout each day no matter our physical abilities or location for learning.
Learning = life = learning.
Be encouraged to make the most of small moments when you are able to.
And when you can’t, that’s ok too.
Have some books in a book basket that are easy to grab at a moment's notice.
Don't be discouraged by WHERE learning takes place. Sometimes it is while we are lounge-schooling or hospital-bed schooling (like when our daughter was ill years ago) or it may be car-schooling.
Go gently with yourself.
Sending love out to anyone struggling today.
May God strengthen and encourage you with small moments of joy.
Hugs for when it's hard,