Today I had an interview as a part of the process for us becoming respite carers for foster carers (that’s a mouthful isn’t it!) It was a bit weird having someone you didn’t know coming into your house to ‘judge’ you but it is a formality that has to happen. This one incident shaped our day.
Actually our day started much earlier – I woke at a ridiculous hour of 3.30 suddenly very anxious about not having bought the Christmas gifts for this year – we live away from family so we have to have things organised early for postage and this year I’m running late. So I started my day looking for presents – took a break to talk to my mum on the phone and then back to online window shopping! I then had some time with Peter before everyone else was up and at their day.
Pete had a rubbish tip run to make so Daniel went with him. Not only a good opportunity to do some ‘man’s work’ but also an opportunity to spend time with Dad.
Just as we were about to start our focus time (study) we received the call regarding the inspection/interview so the next hour or so was spent spiffying-up the house! One of the things I’m working on as a parent at the moment is to give the hardest housework tasks to Naomi not always Jessica. It is easy to give them to Jess – she is so efficient but it is time for Nomi to practice now and become efficient. So Jess helped me with bits and pieces, and Nomi did the cleaning.
Of course homeschooling came up in the conversation during the interview and the lady presumed the kids were busy doing their school work as we spoke. In one sense she was right but as I said to her – the beauty of homeschooling is that you can fit your days around what is either happening in the family, or with activities to match each individual child. Today was an interest driven day. Naomi was working on a thank you card – she had sketched a design, worked out what materials to use and was starting to put it together. Daniel did some creative writing – he has a story constantly on the go, drawing practice, as well as his speech therapy exercises.
The kids finished watching a movie over lunch (there was no educational benefit to that!!) Then I took Naomi into her drama programme for the afternoon. While I waited in town for her I managed to get a little bit of Christmas shopping done.
Meanwhile back at home Daniel read his assigned book for a time, then mowed the lawn. Mowing the law is his employment – we pay him to keep our yard tidy and maintained. Then he had free time for the rest of the afternoon.
This was a pretty simple day – we didn’t touch formal academics – but the kids had time to build on skills that they are personally pursuing, there was plenty of relationship time and a bit of relaxation. Though not every day is like this – it was a great homeschooling day!
I think it is a good practice to take the time to write out – either as a diary entry like I have here, or as a list, the things that you actually did do today. Another thing you can do is list beside each activity the skill or knowledge learnt or practised This will help you see the educational benefits in every activity that you do. If you do take the time to do this regularly (not necessarily ever day, though you may choose to do it daily for a short season), once you do it regularly, you’ll start to see a pattern of strengths and weaknesses – so you can relax or change things to work better.