Dear Chaos

Dear Savvy Homeschooler,

chaos-1Homeschooling has been a nagging thought at the back of my mind since my oldest started kindergarten. This year it has been more than a nagging thought. I have 2 kids who have been in tears multiple times to have to go to school, saying they hate school. I just don’t know that I could handle 3 curriculum’s (and eventually 5) with everything else. Already, I feel it is impossible to even get through homework time. Last night, for example, one kid was fine, working independently, but also using the computer that both other kids needed. I was trying to get dinner made, but both other kids needed help on homework. The 3 year old was running through the house, loudly playing, and the toddler was between fighting with the 3 year old or needing me to hold her. It was loud. It was chaotic. I ended up putting dinner half prepped into the fridge and we had pancakes for dinner. I can’t imagine trying to teach them in that situation, as all we were doing was a few math worksheets and it was nuts.

Dear Chaos,

Having multiple kids can for sure make you wonder “how in the world am I supposed to teach all these kids and at different grade levels?” Let’s first start img_4148by making sure you don’t compare your experience with homework after to school with how homeschooling would be. Those kiddos that struggle with doing homework after school most likely are done with school. They’ve already been in a structured setting for most of the day and the last thing they want to do is sit and do more work. I mean, how many adults want to come home after a full day of work only to sit down and do more work? Not many! Kids are being required to do more and more sitting desk work at an earlier and earlier age and studies are showing that it is seriously harming children. They need more free playtime to explore and imagine.

Now back to your evening of craziness…you only have one computer and 3 children that need to use it and a short amount of time in the evening to get the assignments done. If you were homeschooling each child could have a set aside time during the day to get their work done on the computer without having the rush to get it done. And because all the schoolwork is getting done during the day, there is NO homework at dinnertime! No dinnertime rush! clocksThere still might be days where something might need to be finished in the evening, like maybe additional help with an earlier assignment, but nothing like what you have been experiencing. One awesome thing too, is that because your older kids aren’t totally preoccupied with trying to get homework done before bedtime is that they can learn and help cook dinner. My older kids are fully capable of making many different dinner options and they have the time to do it. They love it! And I love it because it allows me to accomplish things that might have been overlooked earlier in the day. There still might be pancake days because we are still living life and things happen, but our evenings are a lot less crazy.

As for multiple curriculum’s, that’s true! There will be multiple curriculum’s, but you won’t necessarily be trying to teach those curriculum’s to your children, let alone trying to do it all at the same time. I personally feel that we should be raising self-learners and that our children shouldn’t need to be spoon-fed all of their education. That means giving your child the proper materials and then letting them work through it on their own. They might need help here and there, especially depending on the child, but most of the time if given the chance they can figure out a lot of things on their own. Another option is if you know you are going to need some more time to tend to younger children, online curriculum’s can be a great resource. The child reads, listens or watches a lecture and then has a corresponding assignment. A lot of the time those assignments are even automatically graded and then the results are emailed to you so it’s a very hands off approach for you as the parent. If there are certain subjects that you want to teach one on one or together as a family, you can have various activities set aside just for those times that those younger children might not be able to participate as fully. Activities such as blocks, play-dough, and lace up cards are just a very small example of different things you could offer to keep little hands occupied.

Now I don’t want to give false ideas that there won’t still potentially be chaotic days, but that’s life. But if you’re considering homeschool and one of the reasons you’ve held off doing so is because you’re worried that your img_1491homeschool days will resemble the craziness that happens in your current public school evenings, rest assured that it won’t. Homeschooling allows you the freedom to be as busy as you want to be. You get to decide how much you do. Your schedule is no longer dictated by the school district. Freedom! Now there’s some food for thought!  savvysignaturegold

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