Flexibility rather than rigidity is becoming, more and more, the tone of our schooling. It takes a few years to really get on your feet in this endeavor. And reprogramming myself away from classroom methodology is half the battle. Now, there’s something to be said for structuring so that you can get through it all during the day and we actually do have a pattern we follow: Bible, Book time (Social Studies or Science lesson), Activity, Math, and Stations (Penmanship, Language Arts, Reading, Memory Verse, Vocabulary/Spelling, Unit Study, Creative Drawing, & Phonics practice.) My idea was to do these stations last because the boys actually love them the most. But after today, I’m beginning to question this rationale. And the baby made me do it.
Our little S is sweet and fun and just about the time we begin for the day at 9:00 or so, he decides it’s time to wrestle. If we three cozy up on the couch for book time, he’s GOT to be there too. If we try to do an activity on the floor (such as the big book we’re making for our Ancient Rome Unit), he’s ALL over it. And forget about thinking during Bible time. Once our little man decides to take a nap, however, we get a TON of stuff done and enjoy the process a lot more as well.
So, today we worked with the baby instead of in spite of him. And it was a good day. The boys did math first today… because they like the computer games they get to play to go along with it. And the baby and I played. Then they began the stations that didn’t require my help and I changed the baby and cleaned up a bit. Then as we were sitting down to do a project about the Roman roads together, the baby wandered off to destroy something in the boys’ room. And he fell asleep on the floor in the middle of his mess. Too cute. We happily put him in his crib to finish his nap and completed the rest of school without a hitch and before lunchtime.
Other homeschool proponents say that it’s possible to teach toddlers not to interrupt and to even play happily on the floor at your feet with blocks while you teach. I say, “I’d like to visit your planet sometime.” Doing what’s natural to the child’s rhythms seems to make a whole lot more sense to me.