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Study – My word of the week

Over the years, I’ve more than once pondered wistfully about home educating our three children. I followed so many blogs, from all round the world, where they home schooled. Their photos showcased children sitting around the kitchen table, individually studying, with absolute dedication. Pencil in hand. Unbrushed hair. Bare feet swinging under the table. Sunlight highlighting the perfect scene. Maybe a kitten or two playing under the table. They made it look so darn peaceful and easy.

Even looking at the photos and reading their words, I knew that just out of the frame was probably the household chaos of laundry waiting to be sorted and dishes to be washed, along with all the other areas of the house that had not passed as photogenic. They didn’t record the sibling fights or reluctant learners. Maybe they did and I chose to gloss over that part, preferring the other idyllic scene.

So, after two weeks of home schooling teens and tween, has it matched up to my elevated imagined scene?

No, not really.

For a start, not one of the children has shown up to sit at the kitchen table, even though the sun condescended to shine perfectly on it. Instead they are either at their desks in their rooms or on the computer downstairs. Most of the work is online, so it makes sense. It does mean, however, every so often, I have to run around the house making sure they are doing what they said they would do.

Also, no kittens. Hero the hound does his best to squeeze under the table, after dropped morsels, but it’s not the same.

The bare feet and unbrushed hair appears to be a real thing though. So that’s good news. I think.

First week was fine. It was novel and they flew through the work. I set up fixed times for elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea, to bring everyone together around the table. Second week has been less straightforward. Especially with youngest. I have to check more often and we have a list of work in progress up on a white board in his room now, including a note to say if he needs to return the answers to his teacher.

I think it has picked up. Just in time for the Easter break.

One area that I really haven’t got a handle on is exercise. Youngest has perfected a few skateboarding manoeuvres and has ridden his bike around the garden with the hound following him, which would be worth a photo, if I ever remembered to take it at the time. They all helped me to dig up the existing kitchen garden at the weekend. Certainly reminded me of a few muscles I’d forgotten all about.

This weekend, I have a solution. There will be a family walk/run. We’ll also put up the badminton net, as the weather is looking good. Badminton is always a real winner, so I know they will spend lots of time outside playing. Probably with me, in the background, digging up the other vegetable bed and discovering even more forgotten muscles.

On the plus side, despite knowing exactly how to wind each other up, they do help each other when their studies need clarity. I’m not sitting down and teaching them. More acting as a manager/cheerleader/therapist (delete as necessary), to keep them going. Deep down, I know I don’t need the kitchen table scene. So long as they are doing the work, learning and happy, that’ll do me.

I’m sure it will evolve.

Word of the Week linky

22 Responses to Study – My word of the week

  • Sounds good, all told Cheryl. You sure are keeping busy. We are a little less organised โ€” well I am anyway. Our boy is diligent around homework and likes getting things done, and ids a self-starter. Our creative, dreamy, and temperamental daughter is another story, but she’s not doing too bad, really. She’s not easy to manage, as any move to get her to work is an immediate confrontation scenario. But then she always was, and does get things done, even if it is at 1 in the morning! #WotW

    • Craft Mother says:

      They are all so different, aren’t they? I’m working on the approach that if the school supplies the work, I’ll make sure they have a good learning environment. I need to perfect my checking up part.

  • Anne says:

    I’ve done it before so I know it’s not so easy, unless you are thinking of not following any curriculum at all and just learning life skills, which is much more fun. Of course, they will be going back one day so it’s worrying not to let them fall too far behind. Or is it? Everyone will be in the same boat after all. Badminton sounds fun, I wish I could do gardening though. I still haven’t got the raised beds I was hoping for last year (And the year before.)

  • Lisa G. says:

    Cheryl, I always think of you as the ideal type of home schooling mother and have to remind myself that your kids go to school! I’m sure you’d find a way if you had to do it long term – you are a capable sort.
    My brother has little pots on top of the fridge and hopes to see some green in them soon!

    • Craft Mother says:

      Thank you, Lisa! ๐Ÿ˜€ It was never going to be the same as my imagined scene. The work direction still comes from school, which is good, with the venue changed. Not so much a case of home schooling as school work done at home. I hope your seedlings flourish.

  • Val says:

    You paint a gorgeous picture…I can almost see them round the table ..lol
    It never quite works out as we plan does it but it sounds like you are doing a fine job …
    I think I may be an awful warning rather than a good example..oh dear.
    stay safe x

    • Craft Mother says:

      It was never going to happen. ๐Ÿ˜† So long as they are learning and keeping up, that is enough really. I must resist the temptation to hot house them in maths. Val, I’m now intrigued to hear what you are up to!

  • Karen says:

    Your ideal of home schooling made my smile, especially since my son point blank refused to go and sit at the dinning table to do his work at first LOL! But I’ve persisted and the fact that his sister is there doing her work has helped. I’ve planted some veg seeds and the kids helped. I can see home grown food taking an up turn in popularity this year.

  • I quite like that image of homeschooling although us homeschooling doesn’t live up to that image either and didn’t when I homeschooled Jessica after her surgery. It sounds like your children are doing well at getting on with their studies though. I like the sound of setting up the badminton net – that’s a nice way to get some exercise. I’ve been digging up the garden this week too and discovering muscles I’d forgotten I had too! #WotW

  • Lovely photos! It sounds like you are doing okay! I also haven’t got a handle on the exercise. I have gone from walking every evening to not being allowed further than 100 metres from our home. I know I need to start PE with Joe ๐Ÿ™‚ #MMBC

  • Kim Carberry says:

    hehehe! Home schooling is totally different in reality. It sounds like the kids have been working well though.
    My two have been pretty good when it comes to exercise. I think they’ve had more in the last couple of weeks than when they were at school. lol x

  • Carol says:

    Lost my first comment. Sounds like the family is adapting to the stay home order and I love your flower photos. #MMBC

  • Alex says:

    It sounds like you have a well run ship. I for one appreciate teachers so much more now. #MMBC

  • Laurie says:

    I was a teacher for 30+ years. When the coronavirus hit, I thought I might homeschool my grandson but no, I can’t even visit him! I saw a meme that said “I have been homeschooling my kids for 1 hour and 11 minutes so far. Teachers should be paid $1 million/year!” ๐Ÿ™‚

    Beautiful spring flower photos. Stay safe!

    • Craft Mother says:

      It would have been so perfect to use your experience too. I have heard that it is easier to teach a classroom of other people’s children than to teach your own. I guess it works for some.

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