Letter 19 – Have Fun!

Encouragement for new homeschoolers ~ reflecting on thoughts, attitudes, ideas and approaches I have considered as I have journeyed in my 19+ years of homeschooling …

Dear Nadene,

Have fun!  Relax!  Don’t take your homeschooling so seriously! 

Really, it is only the final 3 years that require an earnest, academic commitment to prepare for those final exams.  It doesn’t take 12 years of serious book work, workbooks and study to graduate! 

So breathe.  Let go.  Relax.  Slow down.

You will prove over and over that it is best to stretch out a year plan to 18 months and MAKE time and CREATE margins of time for fun!

Plan fun for your kids!  Do messy stuff, bake and make stuff.  Dress up and act things out.  P1150685Plan outings, meet others at a park and do fun activities with others.  Go on nature walks and sniff flowers, catch butterflies and climb trees.  Follow your child’s spark of interest and enthusiasm and flame that flame. 

Don’t squash your child’s natural, built-in love to learn with extensive seat work, long lessons, and dull, difficult tasks.  Start your day with something sweet ~ a circle time of songs, Bible story and prayer.  Then go on to short, sweet 3R’s.  Add a few physical activities like skipping, bouncing, clap songs, or give a few minutes outside break before sitting together, all cosy and relaxed, to read aloud.  Then — FREE TIME!

Kids need time to be free, to create, to explore and to discover.  Encourage outside play wherever possible.  Provide new stimulus such as a ball, bubbles, sand box toys, water games, dress-up clothes or some rope. 

Plan fun for yourself!   You need the grace of  “Mother Culture” activities.  You need to enjoy the homeschooling journey with your family.   Remember, homeschooling is first about relationships and not information.  So go ahead and join your children!  Relax with them.  Draw and sketch and paint together.  Sing, walk and talk together without it being a lesson or a learning experience.  (Your kids HATE your “mom-the-teacher voice”!)  Leave your desk, your un-filled tick-the-box schedules and have fun.

With hindsight blessings,

Nadene

I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic!  Please would you share yours in the comments.

In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:

4 thoughts on “Letter 19 – Have Fun!

  1. This is so beautiful – I’m going to save it for the day a new homeschooler asks me for advice – I wish I could have understood this when we started…

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    • @Renee, I was so terrified to “make a mess” of my homeschooling that I was too serious and stressed. It took me a while to figure out the secret of having fun! Blessings!

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  2. I am enjoying this series very much – thank you for taking the time to write and share your wisdom and experience. You’ve mentioned in several of the letters how you’d stretched your 12-month curriculum over an 18 month period. I am curious as to how you went about doing that with Sonlight? We use the 5 day schedule and because we spend most of our time on the 3R’s, the Sonlight IG is really handy, or else I might never get around to reading as much history, science and good literature as we do. However, there are also many other things which I would ALSO love to spend some time on with my children, so I’d really appreciate it if you could advise as to how you practically stretched it out. Thank you in advance.

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    • @JFMama, we found an “organic” rhythym to our schedule, covering the chapters and topics, but ignoring the days and dates. When we stopped for extra hands-on activities or projects, we either left off the other books, or used the time to catch up a subject that “fell behind”. Essentially, we simply used the schedule as a guideline. Hope this helps a little. Blessings!

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