Homeschooling – The Road Less Travelled
I am homeschooling Flora since she turned 18 months old. She started showing early signs of grasping and motivation and since then I have left no stone unturned to make it a worth while journey with the help of many teachers and of course my family. This experience has been daunting and leaves me perplexed at the same time. It’s either online classes or homeschooling and I want to focus more on the latter because it’s definitely the right way. We cannot expect anyone to learn in a full fledged way without hands on experience and practical exposure. Knowing well before hand that this journey is bound to be overwhelming, stressful, full of challenges and new experiments I chose to pursue it till I could. I will give credit to five people for being with me on this bouncy path. My mother, my sister, my husband, QP and my house help’s daughter.
Some distinct things that we should remember before entering this crazy world.
- You will feel immensely clueless at first and get stressed by the unrealistic social media expectations but hang in there. There are only two right ways to do this, either follow the syllabus and plan a term as per your convenient timings or focus on how your child learns and their learning styles, subsequently plan weekly activities and learning sessions. I chose the latter because Flora is damn logical like her father and spontaneous like me. She is extremely moody therefore we have to see at least for a week what works and what does not.
- You will have to plan and execute with extreme precaution as the child should never see you prepping. It hampers the learning process. They might feel the pressure.
- In all of this me-time is most crucial as it gives your brain some rest. As a mother you yourself have to be in the right spirits to give the best to your child. Nap when you need, take a break on a fine day or just spend time drinking coffee while your child is busy on the screen for an hour or half.
- I am very shameless when it comes to asking anything to anyone. I don’t feel shy. This is one quality that you need when you ask for help. You must never ever hesitate to supplicate your feelings. This is a difficult time for all, therefore it is in our hands to entreat. You will not sound needy if you ask it in a polite manner without concealing anything. I have made so many mom friends around the globe now including Germany, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Spain and of course all over India that it helps me understand a worldly view of how early education should look like.
- Kids learn to express themselves after they are 26 months old. Ask them their choices and preference before choosing. Sometimes in a jiffy of completing an activity we forget to focus on the intent of learning. That must be avoided. Try out an activity or topic once, if they don’t like it, change your way of teaching.
- When you allot time to study or practice something there should be least possible disturbance around you. Keep their toys away, keep the computer or laptop switched off, no noise, even parents shouldn’t scroll anywhere.
- This one would come as a shock but I am against keeping less expectations or no expectations. If parents are not motivated enough to teach their kids or see them develop, the child has and learns the same attitude. This does not mean bombarding them or filling their rooms with books, however, it is indispensable to keep them motivated. This can be done by saying positive affirmations each day, reading books that give them information about their culture and values, telling them the vital nature of humanitarian and egalitarian thinking etc. This in turn will let your kids pick up books and activities by themselves. Choose your fairy tales, toys and cartoons wisely for this purpose. As we all know monkey sees, monkey does.
- One thing that I lack is lots of patience. My husband will agree that there have been moments where I have been stern with Flora but apologized later on because the guilt ate me. Homeschooling requires a hell lot of patience. Nowadays when I perceive or even get a tinge of sensation that some activity/topic can make me lose my temper I pass on the baton to Kris because he is a Buddha in literal sense. So learn to delegate 😂😂😂😂.
- Traditional academic subjects are crucial but at the same time other things like cooking with them, screen time, messy play, pretend play and coloring matter too as it gives a boost to their cognitive skills and increases productivity.
- We hear of so many new words related to toddler learning like gross motor skills, fine motor skills, pincer grip, Montessori learning, critical thinking, memory retention, photographic memory, right and left brain modules, working memory, IQ, EQ and AQ.. Blah.. Blah… Blah…. Well, hang on, don’t take it lightly, each skill has a major role to play once your kid turns 6 years old. The absorption process is 5 years after which their brain starts processing things and within one year you see the implementation of what you nurtured and worked with. You must have heard that a child is like a sponge for the first five years, somewhat like wet mud too, that can be sculpted and moulded.
If you have the time, money, patience and all the determination then read about these things and focus on giving them exposure and all that a child needs along with love, happiness and discipline too.
If you need help finding resources or a right medium for any activity I am just a message away.
Happy growing as a Mom.
©Rucha S Khot.