When I first envisioned us homeschooling, I imagined slower days with time planned out for the kids to just “be”. Time for them to explore the areas around our house. For them to actually have time to play with their toys for long periods so that they had an imaginative story created to go along with the Lego creation currently being built. To have the TIME to get lost in a good book during the day instead of stealing precious hours of sleep like they used to do when we ran from one activity to the other 9 months out of the year.
I was surprised that the transition has been hard for all of us. Not in a “we don’t like this sort of way” in a “we feel like we should be on the go” sort of way. It has been ingrained in our systems that if we are not running around we are not doing something of worth.
When we finished our day of school, the boys seemed to look at me waiting to hear where we were going, or what we were going to do. They were ready to hit the ground running. I loved it! We would go to the library, museums, go on bike rides and swim in the pool and take the dogs for a walk. I realized that we are still on the go. Yes, these activities are wonderful and the kids are outside at least 4 hours a day being active. BUT, we still haven’t slowed down.
We had an activity based frame of mind. My intention is to avoid our being home as a waiting station between activities.
I realized we were all going to have to learn to slow down. After the boys had their structured reading time, I set an hour quiet time. They had to choose a quiet activity. Reading, coloring, Legos, toys, writing letters. The hour isn’t intended to do anything else than create a buffer to train ALL OF US that we do not need to switch from one activity immediately to the other.
Some days we (all) were just waiting for the hour to end so we could go “do something” and other days we would find something interesting and get lost in it a bit. Several hours pass as we create armor out of cardboard, build army bases with tape and make stop motion videos of our Legos. It’s working and I need to remember to just get out of my own way and this will be our new norm.
The concept is still new to us, but I need to learn and TEACH my children that we do not “need” to have our entire day scheduled with activities. Fall sports are coming up and I’m not sure if that will help our slow down movement or not.