Something crazy happened towards the end of 2017, time picked me up and carried me away and plonked me here in Feb 2018. I completely lost myself in the madness of the end of the year festivities. I must say as much as I love Christmas and holidays each year I find it more and more intense the big ramp up and chaos that seems to suck you in and spit you out the other side! Surely this must be a sign of ageing! LOL But it was great and we completely got lost in no routine, some time away and catching up with loved ones. Don’t you love how time seems to melt away over the holidays, nowhere to be and no demands of routine life aaahhh…..
So flash forward and here we are and I am loving all the grounding and back into routine that February is offering. It kind of feels like January isn’t really the start of the year but really we kick it all off now and I love all the feels of finding our feet in 2018. This is our first “official” year homeschooling and while it doesn’t feel like much has changed, I think a big thing has me. After our year last year of taking a step back from life and really re assessing our families priorities, myself and where I am at this stage in my life, I have come out the other end clearer, more focused and more grounded in what it is that we are hoping to create for the needs of our kids and our own journeys.
“This is our first “official” year homeschooling and while it doesn’t feel like much has changed, I think a big thing has me.”
This year I guess one of my big homeschooling intentions is, I want to create a few more full days at home and a few days out and about. Really having that time to cocoon and consolidate all the learning and growing we have from our adventures out in the wide world. Having that separate time clearly defined, but also open to change if that’s what needs to happen. Creating rhythm through the weeks and also time to rest. It’s actually one big things I think if Otis was off to school, I am not sure he would physically be able to keep up. After a couple of days out and about doing activities he is beat and still will have a nap here and there throughout the days. Its seems like quite a demanding schedule for someone so small. Teaching the kids about planning their own days and finding that balance of things they need to get done, want to get done and how they can achieve it. Also balancing my needs for work and the households needs, because living in this space full-time can create A LOT of work. I have created a very casual chart that Otis enjoys filling out everyday throughout the week. We tend to have breakfast and have a chat about what he wants to do that day and if he has any classes or meet ups on. Then he has some cards of activities that he sticks on the time slots, as he chooses how to plan his day out. He can change it at any time and things pop up, it’s fluid but it has really begun to help him get a handle of what setting up his day looks like and tapping into how he wants to roll through, also creating a sense of awareness of what other family members needs are that need attention. It has also helped with the flow of activities if we have to be somewhere to be at 10am setting up all the arts and crafts at 9am is not going to work so maybe we could do that as an afternoon activity, we chat about it and move forward how we see best.
“Really having that time to cocoon and consolidate all the learning and growing we have from our adventures out in the wide world.”
The more time I spend with the kids, the more I trust them to lead the way. I am happy to watch their budding interest evolving and they are so excited and curious to know more, play and learn. I see my role not so much as a teacher but a facilitator, capitalizing on the expression of interests. We talk a lot and they tell you things they want to know about and it’s so amazing to find out all the things that they learn about, without you sitting down and telling them in a prepared “lesson”. You watch them play and hear their banter, it’s evident that their little spongy minds are soaking up the world around them and in this age of information they have infinite resources and intelligence at their fingertips. They know it and know how to search and look for what it is that they are after, even that it’s ok to ask for assistance. If I am being really honest to me what is most important for me to see in the kids in this current stage is, them learning about themselves in the world and building up their strength and character. The reading and writing will come when they will need to draw on those skills, but for me this time of childhood defines such key elements in our characters. I want to give them time to develop, explore freely and be nurtured. Otis has a natural interest in books so we are lucky there that there is no battle but I guess that’s because there has also never been any force or coercion. So he doesn’t feel that pressure to “perform”.
“The reading and writing will come when they will need to draw on those skills, but for me this time of childhood defines such key elements in our characters. I want to give them time to develop, explore freely and be nurtured.”
A big thing I am learning is also to find a rhythm in self-care. I have found waking an hour or so before the kids doing some yoga practice, journaling and sitting in quiet meditation is what I need to ground me and set my intention for the day. I want to try this year to take a weekend off whenever I am feeling burnt out to try to rejuvenate and give myself that time, space and love in order for me to maintain holding that space for my family but also reconnecting with myself and spending time doing things I love that bring me joy and happiness, that filter through our family life. I don’t think this is a homeschooling mother challenge just a challenge that falls under the ol’ motherhood banner in general. It was never really modelled for me as I grew up to maintain self care, to give myself what I need to be the best mother, partner, woman, human I can, even in those moments when it feels like a tough call to make. I love being there for so many people but I am only just learning to love being there for myself, supporting myself, loving myself.
So this is where we are at the start of this year. We have lots of big things coming through this year which I will talk about in the future but it’s all really exciting stuff and I feel so blessed and deeply grateful to be on this journey.
Blessings, love and gratitude
“I love being there for so many people but I am only just learning to love being there for myself, supporting myself, loving myself.”