Educationally Speaking: Homeschooling allows for the down time some kids need

I’ve written before about why I like to homeschool, and this past week highlighted a couple of those reasons perfectly.

When Little Miss had a major dental procedure due to a soft enamel issue the week before last, I backed off strict homeschool lessons for a few days afterward. Giving her time to recover was possible because of the flexibility of homeschooling. There was no pressure for her to get back into class even though she was having some discomfort and trouble eating.

We spent a lot of time reading books, picture and otherwise, snuggling, watching educational shows, playing with Legos or outside, making slime, painting or just chatting.

On Tuesday Little Miss’s friends were off school because of snowy weather. This gave her a chance to visit with them via the phone and cheer her up after a difficult few days of recovering. We did a little bit of school that day but not as intensive as some days.

We were grateful that pain wasn’t a large part of Little Miss’s recovery. Being unable to eat normally was part of the recovery process, unfortunately.

This left me anxious for two or three days until I decided to make some soups from scratch that would add protein and nutrients to Little Miss’s diet.

She lived on Jell-O, pudding, yogurt drinks, and my homemade soups for about three days. On the fourth day, she discovered she could eat tater tots without pain. On Wednesday she was back to eating almost completely normally.

As someone who was educated in public school, it has been hard for me to change my mind about school needing to be six hours of instructional time, even though that isn’t how many hours students really spend on academics in public school anyhow when you figure in time in  homeroom, lunch, extracurricular activities, study halls, and for the younger children, recess.

When you cut out the time on the bus, homeroom, recess, etc., school really only takes 1-3 hours depending on the day. Children who are homeschooled can do their work without having to wait for the rest of the class to catch up or slow down. They can get their lessons done and the rest of the day is theirs to do what they want with (within reason, of course).`

I’ve really had to work hard to change my mindset about education overall in the last couple of years actually. I’m very much still stuck in the mindset that we have to do “book learning” during our school day, every day, versus simply reading books, doing art, or exploring nature and learning on some days.

However, last week I let a lot of that go. I reminded myself that educating a child is a long  term commitment that goes beyond what they learn from a textbook.

I also reminded myself that healing from something that was traumatizing to a child is about much more than physical healing.

Little Miss needed emotional comfort as much as she needed her gums to be comforted and in order to do that I had to back off heavily pushing math and science lessons that she could easily make up after her recovery was complete.

The time we spent cuddling on the couch with a book or watching an educational show instead of opening up the textbook was even more important than academic learning.

There are many ways you can enrich your child’s education without doing set curriculum for times when they need some one on one time.

A few ideas:

  • Read educational or simply entertaining books to them.
  • Watch educational or enriching shows together.
  • Create art together  
  • Take a walk together in the woods or somewhere outside to see what you find and can turn into a lesson.
  • Do only the simplest lessons from your curriculum
  • Visit their grandparents
  • Simply hold them and cuddle them as much as they want

2 thoughts on “Educationally Speaking: Homeschooling allows for the down time some kids need

  1. Pingback: Sunday Bookends: Enjoying Spring weather, Magpie Murders, and new book series | Boondock Ramblings

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