It’s hard to believe that it’s been 4 weeks since beginning this homeschooling journey, and as we move into the beginnings of the 5th week, reflecting on the journey so far is a little challenging.
My main insight is that I love it. I love homeschooling my children. Yes, it is wrought with challenges that both diminish and multiply depending upon the day of the week. Yet, I love it and am working studiously toward creating a level of balance that supports the continuation of thriving as a family, as a learning system, and as individuals all doing our individual things.
This woman, this goddess, the queen of the clan, is more than a homeschooling mumma. I am also a student, studying in the field of Mental Health. I am also a spiritual entrepreneur, which simply means I do my best to provide a service and products supportive of all area’s of our health and wellbeing, from the comfortable space of our home. I am a wife, a mother, a homemaker, a support system in so many ways, and still, we chose homeschooling over potential physical and mental health disruptions for our 8 and 11 year olds.
Balance is key.
So, balance is key. Balance is always one of the greatest keys to living a happy life. And yet, it’s one of the contributing challenges that give rise to stress. Even in this moment right here, right now, as I write I am challenged to find the balance of sharing. What’s the right thing to share? How much is too much? How much is too little? What supports me as human being, as a role model? What supports us as a family and you as reader?
Balance! A beautiful balance of the highs and the lows, the lessons and the challenges, the questions and the answers.
I can feel it like a novel, set with trials and tribulations, triumphs and tantalising tidbits that make me think of the fabulous Drew Barrymore and her quirky character ‘Sheila’ in ‘Santa Clarita Diet.’
So I will do my best to keep our vlog and blog system well informed and stocked with insights and sharing’s that help us all grow in body, heart, mind and spirit, and of course, in our knowledge and abilities of homeschooling.
I will note that my system needs recalibrating in order to be most effective and efficient, and I will endeavour to take notes and keep score regularly 😉
Everything has it’s challenges.
The challenges that we faced over the past few weeks was mostly in relation to my health. I have a body that absorbs energy for processing and it manifests in the form of cold and flu systems; no, there was absolutely no concern over it being Covid related because I don’t really go anywhere 😊; plus, it doesn’t help when our 7 month old puppy likes to get up super early because someone decided that when he came to live with us, waking up between 5am and 6am for meditation and journaling practices would be great…..not naming names.
The ‘being unwell’ challenge meant that I wasn’t always able to function properly from day to day, so planned lessons may have been pushed to the wayside or swapped out for something a little more easy so that this Mumma could rest.
Planned lessons? Yes. We, I, opt for the planned lesson structure. We utilise the core programs from Simply Homeschool, and know, we implement a lot of free resources from Twinkl; more on that shortly.
I feel that it works best if we all know what we are doing, however that doesn’t mean that we aren’t flexible. Flexibility is needed, especially when experiences, people and situations are moving into the distress and stress levels area.
And when it does, I am finding that it absolutely works best to be flexible in some way. Do an online activity. Change the lesson. Create a level of fun. Do art. Get moving. There are lots of ways to be flexible rather than overwhelmed in our endeavours to teach our children. It simply becomes a matter of being willing to choose ease over distress.
Once I began to feel well enough and not impacting upon my fellow students health, including perpetuating fear or anxiousness because I had a cold, we were presented with the added challenge of ‘the teacher’ not teaching for two days our of the week.
This meant that I had to prepare lessons for Monday’s and Tuesday’s, that were both relevant and simple. Simple because I wasn’t going to be around to diffuse any situations. Simple because ease and simplicity works best for Husband and the children. So I had to evolve my existing lesson planning into a new way of planning, already, but this is what being flexible and focused on ease looks like for us.
I am still to find that perfect fit for my Sunday planning, the fit that is balanced with lesson planning, business planning, study planning and life planning, and even though this evening I felt overwhelmed at only having achieved one level of planning, I know that balance in this area will come also.
It takes time, even for the children.
The children experienced challenges in accepting lessons. It took, and here’s the flexible nature again, two day’s to get to the beach for a nature lesson. Once there it was fabulous, fun and fruitful, despite it being a challenge to get there.
Our 8 year old finds it challenging to write, not with his ability to do so, but more in his desire to do so which impacts his attention to do so. We are working our way through this challenge and one of favourite ways to support Master 8 is by decluttering the whiteboard and spacing out the essential words and sentences that he is required to write.
Miss 11 surprises me with her cuisines in spelling, so my challenge is to find words that she finds challenging to spell….because she get’s everything right, first go!
I feel she is a little challenged at slowing her pace to work in with Master 8, however this only presents another area where we as a family need to seek that balance that is supportive of both.
There a few things that I have noticed about homeschooling so far, beyond the love of it, and that is…
1. We are spending a good sum of money on resources and storage and presentation etc. Officeworks is a godsend, so too is online shopping, and we need to remind ourselves that we should have shares in Officeworks because hey, it’s kind of a case of ‘shut up and take my money’ 😊
2. There is so much out there in the internet realms that can and will be enough to support you one your journey of being a homeschooling mumma/parent. So keep looking and do your best to not be overwhelmed by everything that is out there.
3. We find it best to have a plan and be flexible also. Every day things can easily be utilised as ‘lessons’ for the day. Example, M8 & M11 woke up with colds and wanted to snuggle on the lounge and watch a movie. So we did. We watched How To Train Your Dragon 3, did a written movie review afterwards and then created dragon characters in our animation programs. Yes, it can be that simple.
4. If you don’t know something, example, I had absolutely no clue on what the angle of rest/repose was this week, let alone how to measure it, which meant I had no idea how to teach it! Aargh!!! I could have pulled my hair out, but choose not to. Instead, I asked Husband who had presented home for lunch at the absolute right moment in time, and I used google. I asked the children to look it up also so that they weren’t waiting for me, and basically, we just ended up learning, teaching and supporting each other. So, don’t stress over not knowing something, okay!
5. There is always going to be something, in a two parent home, that the other is more adept at teaching, so, get them to teach that. Whilst our core programs cover all KLA’s, maths is focused on during Monday and Tuesday lessons because, well, Husband is a super star at math and I decided long ago that I didn’t need to remember all that we were taught about math in highschool.
PLUS, we have two older children in highschool, who are both super smart, so I know that I/we, can lean on them to help us understand those things that we don’t.
So there you have it. The bibs and bobs that get you up to date on our homeschooling journey so far.
Before we sign off though, I wanted to share a little on a fabulous online resource called Twinkl. We are signed into the Simply Homeschool system, which has made it incredibly easy to discern what’s required to teach, and provide the lessons and supports to teach fabulous programs like Australian Backyard Explorer, Creative Spelling, A is For Australia and so on.
Twinkl. Twinkl though, has a fabulous range of free and subscriber based resources that support teaching children from pre-kindy through to highschool.
We currently make use of their free resources as we’ve already paid for other systems, but, I know that when the time comes, paying for a user membership will be welcomed.
Ooh, we also have the fabulous and highly noteworthy, Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots resource box on it’s way. It’s free and if you visit the website, there is so much that you can access and download that will help teach children about the environment, sustainability, animals and leadership.
Ah, so much to sink your teeth into, and so much to keep our children enlightened and educated.
Signing off, until next time,
“Sharing bibs and bobs of ourselves and our lives to touch down on this earthly plain with a grounded, practical, everyday perspective of family life and learning together in our raw and real homeschooling journey.”
Author: Gemma Rose Green is the Raw & Real Goddess! She has been working with energy and spirit for over 10 years now; working with spirit, nature and universal energies.
Gemma is an Intuitive Energy Healer, Psychic, Medium, Witchy Woman, Homeschooling Mumma, Author & Creator.
In working with Gemma, you benefit from an inspired healing revolution through the adaptation and embodiment of individualised holistic health and well-being approaches.
Together, we can unleash the goddess within!