Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Back to school {my top tip for home schooling mothers}

Today's the day.

We started back school.

Quite frankly, I don't even feel we've had a summer. The joys of pregnancy nausea, and a pretty busy schedule, had meant we haven't done much. (well, the children took days on end to tidy their rooms - their choice, their loss...)

Such is life, however.

Our life involves a lot of children and a new pregnancy, right now.



We HOME school, ergo, what our life is like at home is how our school is shaped, NOT the other way around.

It's taken me YEARS to get to this point. Years, I say. If my words of wisdom just help ONE other worn out and devastated mother, whose first day plans have gone awry, then it will be worth it.

Plans are good.

Plans are GREAT.

I have a whole post planned on planning for school.

In fact, as planning goes, I have been best prepared on the planning front, EVER.

All the best planning in the world - all the best intentions in the world - all the best intelligence and wisdom in the world - does not mean TUPPENCE when "home" life happens.

Not tuppence, I say.

Did you, for example, end up way busier than you thought, resulting in your workbooks not being bound when you hoped?


I did.

Did you, per chance, get woken up at 6.30am with a daughter announcing she'd been ill in the night, and vomit covered sheets were your lot?



I did.

Did you, maybe, have great plans to have everyone start full pitch the same day, only to realise you hadn't been as organised as you hoped, and older children needing help pushed your youngest child into the sidelines?


That was me.

What I realised, or what I guess I had to REMIND myself, pretty quickly, was that we HOME educate. Being at home means that life happens, and you get the proverbial spanner thrown into the wheel on a fairly regular basis. You just simply CAN'T let it get you down, or feel like a failure.

I had a crazy summer, filled with nausea and exhaustion. That was simply life in my home, so it shaped our HOME school.

A child was ill - TOTALLY out of my control (which is why I hate children being ill!) - but it was more important to deal with that, and not stress about how it affected our first day of school.

Half of my children's knowledge had clean DROPPED OUT THEIR HEADS over the summer (please tell me that's not just me that experiences that phenomenon?), which meant a lot more one-on-one with them than normal. My oldest needed guidance in doing more self-led planning of his week. We needed to get that established today, as a priority. Will my sweet little 5 year old, who is already learning faster than light just from HOME surroundings, be bothered that we don't start "formal" schooling today? I know he won't! He didn't know he was SUPPOSED to do anything today!

The home part of "home schooling" is what matters most. We have our children at home for them to learn more than literacy, numeracy and everything else under the sun. They need to learn kindness, flexibility, patience, diligence, helpfulness, and numerous other things that don't come with having your nose in a book.

Today, we had "home" happening, as well as school, and that's ok!

My top tip? Don't forget that HOME happens in homeschooling.

I was able to implement my "second from top" tip, too - adapt, change, and don't worry about it!

Flexibility is your friend. Inflexibility is your enemy.

We still did "school". It just wasn't how I envisioned it. Instead, we had home life that happened, and changes we had to make, but we still learned a whole lot at the same time.

I knew my day was going to work out, no matter what, in any case.

I have a verse that I have claimed as my "home ed Mum" verse.

The visiting preacher on Sunday morning read the whole of James 1.

My devotional in my Homeschool Moms Bible came from James 1, so I  then carried on and read all of James 1.

I needed wisdom for today. I need wisdom for EVERY day. And, God never disappoints. He gives to all men LIBERALLY, and doesn't hold back.

So, whenever you start back after summer on your home ed journey-  or even as you meet EACH NEW DAY - remember that the home part of homeschooling matters as much as the schooling part.

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