Q. How do you prioritise just having fun in your homeschool day? E.g. do you just fit it in at the end of school work or weekends? Is it a minor or major priority?
A. One of the things that I’ve tried hard not to do is become my children’s teacher, with my husband the principal. We are their parents, who have the God given responsibility to teach and train our children and that is what we set out to do all day, every day. Though we set aside time specific for learning this is a time management thing not compartmentalising our life into school and family.
With this mindset learning happens at any time of our week, as does fun. I do tell my children that not everything needs to be fun, but then again not everything needs to be learning either. We have some very silly moments where I doubt even I could find learning value!!!
I don’t actually set out to have fun so in that sense it isn’t a high priority (this would be a personality thing I think) – I set out to have memory making, relationship building times – sometimes the kids will think that was a fun time, other times it is just what our family does. I am aware that we need to laugh together as a family, that we need to relax and enjoy each other’s company – and if that is what you call ‘fun’ then that happens when we read a book together, when we sit around the table, when we drive to town, when we go camping, when we meet with friends, and sometimes even when we do our chores.
Another aspect to planning fun is in recognising the seasons of your family life.
December / January for us is family time, the kids work on a lot of creative projects, we read books together and generally have a fun time. I tend to think in terms of relational time, though I think the kids who like ‘fun’ would see it as a fun time. We have lots of interaction with people during this time as well, which suits the party-souls in our family.
February is often a family project month though we also get some good times to play together as we enjoy the wet season rains with waterholes and waterfalls. Our kids would have 1-2 hours of table time during this month which gives them some specific study time.
March, April, May is a time where we focus on our studies though we still live life as a family which gives us all sorts of opportunities to enjoy life.
June / July our focus is on creative projects, camping, family projects (some days they would also have 1-2 hours of table time). Once again maybe more ‘fun’ to some, more relational to others.
August, September, Oct is another study focus season
November we start making Christmas presents, though we still do a little study.
When you look at our year like this you can see fun and study are intertwined, and yet also become a focus at different times throughout the year. It really does depend on your definition of fun. Fun happens because of who you are – not because you are homeschooling or not.
This post is a part of a series springing from the Q&A session at the Mum Heart Conference. I’m taking time to answer these questions this week as I think they are helpful questions for most homeschooling mums at some time in their journey….