Back in September we started our homeschooling adventure. It was definitely a little scary to start but I am so glad that we did. We did about 8 solid weeks of work. Somedays it just didn't happen and I had to learn to be ok with that. I had to remind myself that the boys are still very young and if it the lesson just doesn't happen then it's going to be alright. Especially as I got farther along in my pregnancy, it was hard to do homeschooling. We ended up taking about 6 weeks off in order to get ready for the baby. Last week we finally jumped back in. A few things I've learned...
~Lesson plans need to be completed by Sunday night (at the latest). Flying by the seat of my pants during the week just ends in frustration and tears for everyone involved.
~The earlier in the day we start the better. I used to do lessons at 10:00 and sometimes 11:00. That proved to be challenging because they would start to get hungry for lunch and then sleepy for their nap. So I try to do the lesson as close to 9:00 as possible.
~Being ok with a mess. Toddlers are messy. Asking them to craft or paint is going to be even MORE messy. If I'm going to do these fun lessons with them I need to understand that I might have quite a bit of clean up.
~Taking our time. When we first started I would run through the lesson pretty fast. Like "ok done with that now on to the next thing!". Since we've started back up, I've begun to watch for the things that capture their interest more than others and then let them spend more time on that activity. If Peter wants to build his puzzle a couple extra times, I let him. Or if James is enjoying coloring in his journal, I don't make him stop, I just let him go until he tells me he's done (which is usually signaled by the throwing of crayons).
~Don't interrupt the imagination. If it comes time to do a homeschool lesson and Peter and James are totally engrossed with what they're playing with I don't interrupt. At this age they learn the most by playing and using their imagination. So if our lesson is a little delayed because Iron Man is busy defending baby Jesus then that's totally fine.
So that's pretty much where we're at. I'm still reading and researching as much I can on homeschooling. Right now I'm reading Teaching in your Tiara and really really enjoying it. If you are even just the tiniest bit interested in homeschooling you should check out this book. I'm also loving my Wild and Free monthly bundle. I'm learning all about Waldorf, Montessori, Charlotte Mason and Unschooling. So far I still feel drawn to the Montessori style of education but it's good to read about the others because it's very unlikely that all my kids will be have the same style of learning. What works for James may not work for Aria. It's good to be familiar with all the options. Anyway, I am always looking for more resources so if you know of any good homeschooling books let me know!