There are many ways to homeschool, but it’s really important to understand that it’s not “schooling at home”. Far from it. At least for me, if I wanted my child chained to a desk for 4-6 hours a day (metaphorically of course!)I would send them to a public or private school. Yes, they would learn what the establishment deems important, but it’s very rare for a child or teenager to really love learning with this kind of education.
For me, Homeschooling means fun. Homeschooling means following your passions. Homeschooling means moving at a different pace. If Peanut flies through Kindergarten math in 6 months, I can let him. We can begin grade 1 math, no reason to slow him down for the rest of the class. If he is struggling with reading, we can take our time, there is no rush to have Peanut read early since unlike a teacher who has 30 or more kids in her Kindergarten class, so she can’t take the time to read instructions in workbooks to each child, I can. If it takes Peanut until age 9 to read, I’m okay with that. Plus if something like reading isn’t forced on the child, but introduced when the child is ready and wanting to do it,it fosters a life long love of reading. How many “school” kids dread reading assignments? I know I did!
Is there a routine? Yes and no. Unlike “traditional” school, we don’t have that early morning rush to get out the door. We don’t have the problems of busses, school bells, lining up, head counts, etc. We don’t have to schedule in breaks for recess or lunch. We don’t spend most of our day listening to lectures, lining up, shuffling from class to class, choosing between eating a snack or going out to play, and having to do mindless, useless busy work, knowing there will be an hour or two of homework too!
Our routine is to sleep in as long as we want. Mornings are slow, lazy, and relaxed. By 11 or noon, we may begin our school. Since Peanut is in Kindergarten (for the most part) we do no more than 90 minutes a day of work. He does handwriting practice, reading practice, phonics, math, geography, science, fine motor skills, thinking skills, art, and STEM. If Peanut seems distracted or extra “wiggly” we take a break. Sometimes an hour or two makes all the difference in if we struggle through or enjoy our learning experiences.
Learning happens almost everywhere for us. At home, we sit at a table, cuddle on the couch, jump on the bed, or even lay on the floor with the dog, it doesn’t matter as long as our work gets done! We can move it outside, and even learning experiences happen when we’re having fun at the beach, grocery shopping, or just driving around! We aren’t tied to a desk, to a clock, to a rigid schedule. The only thing I insist on is that our work is done by the end of the week, and we can say we had a great time learning.