This week in my area, all the kids are back in school. Most of Yadiel's little friends have had their first day of kindergarten pictures taken with their big grins and cute little backpacks on. And life here in our house has resumed as normal. It feels kind of weird driving past the school that Yadiel would've gone to while he's in the car with me running errands and whatnot.
It finally feels real; WE'RE ACTUALLY DOING THIS.
What homeschooling looks like
My eyes are being opened to what homeschooling even looks like, and it looks NOTHING like I thought it would! It actually makes me jealous of anyone that's been homeschooled. I remember going to a family friend's house whose four boys were homeschooled and I would look for their desks. I never figured out where they "did school" but I now assume it likely happened at their kitchen table or any other place in their house or yard.
I had this image in my mind that when I started homeschooling "for real", we'd have a schedule every morning that we'd be following and they'd be sitting in their desks like sweet little cherubs. Maybe homeschool will look like that for us in a few more years when the boys are older (minus the cherub part), but right now it doesn't. Right now it looks like our normal every day.
What our days look like
I have a dedicated homeschool area that houses all of our curriculum and craft materials, and once a day I ask my son if he wants to "do homeschool". It means he can go over and pick out anything he wants to do and we'll do it. Today he picked out his Morphun bricks, a puzzle of the human body, a puzzle of Europe, and his math manipulatives. We spent an hour or so doing all of that. Other days we really don't do much in the way of "homeschool". Looks more like playing around the house, taking naps, going to the grocery store, playing outside, going to the library and museums, etc. The usual stuff you do with kids still at home.
The cool thing though, like today when he picked out his math curriculum, is that he did two week's worth of curriculum in about 30 minutes because he was so engaged and loving it! That's what I want for him. I'm definitely going to be taking a child-led approach to learning and follow his interests, while still introducing him to other things along the way to see if he's interested or not.
My goal for myself
One thing I really really really want to work on for myself is not comparing. Even in the homeschool world, especially with all of us newbies just starting out and not wanting to mess up, there's a lot of potential for feeling like you're not doing enough or your child is behind, etc. I've seen homeschooling moms in my Facebook groups with three year olds who are already reading. I have the type of personality to just feel unnerved and frazzled right away over something, so seriously, my goal is to relax and not get caught up in any kind of inner rat race or comparing game.
It's a little scary to go off on your own grid because it means you don't know for sure if your child is learning everything they're "supposed" to. I'm trying to unschool myself because learning happens in so many other ways besides sitting at a desk with a teacher in front of you. And so much of what I learned in school I never even used! Nor remembered. Most of what I've ever really remembered or used in life was something that I had a personal interest or need in learning.
So that's where we are with homeschooling right now. It's official now, yet so unofficial. It's just life with some dedicated learning time, and I think I'm really going to love it.