…just me thinking out loud, as it were. Really, really don’t bother to read it, unless you’re Henry’s grandmother, or maybe an auntie, or me in the future. Or very curious about this nutty home ed thing I never shut up about. Seriously, dull, though, and long- you’ve been warned!
And no pics, because I’m still a, (hmmm, what’s a non-rude but funny way to call myself a retard? Sorry, I don’t think there is one.)
Okay, what am I trying to do? I want to write a post about the way I think our weekly routine might look, once we get up and running. But I also want to post about 6ish other things, and I can’t figure out how to put photos into posts, and I’m discouraged by how lame that makes me feel.
Right, so, I have this developing sense of how I want our weeks to work. I have been mulling things over in a bunch of ways, and I am about balanced between this (sort of) plan that I’m about to detail here, and the understanding that I’m going to look back in six months and laugh myself silly at how naive I was.
Henry has 16 more days of nursery school. I am excusing myself from starting any of our “home ed” stuff until then- he’s quite tired after school, (8:30-11:30 am,) and grouchy because he pretty much hates it, and I don’t want to try things and flop because of that. And I am too excited about home ed- so in a way I can’t risk committing anything here, because it might not work out at all… But also I kind of feel like when I was pregnant the first time, and you know you have to get plenty of sleep and also finish reading Les Mis already because things are ABOUT TO CHANGE, and this is your LAST CHANCE. So I’m spending heaps of time reading blogs and stuff, and right now he is playing the iPad and Lauren is watching cBeebies. Bad, bad Mummy!
The tv is one of my big issues. I’ve read a few things arguing that it’s simple economics- laws of supply and demand. If I try to limit the screen time that he wants, he wants it more, and that stressful wanting takes the value out of other things we do, because he’s only half involved. So, I’m thinking no tv (unless it’s a specific show- their one favourite each morning, or the cooking one to decide what to make for lunch, or something,) until 4 pm, on weekdays. And I won’t care if it’s on all day on weekends- I know quite often it’s on and they’re ignoring it anyway.
Alright, so, Patricia from Wonder Farm (http://patriciazaballos.com/blog/ and just so you know, I think I’m going to refer to her a lot.) has this philosophy about creativity being a habit. Needing a routine to foster your creativity- I’m probably getting this a bit wrong, but of course you’ll never crack on with your project if there’s laundry to do, (cBeebies to watch) and no structured time and place to drop into the head-space of working on whatever it is. As much as I love what I understand unschooling to be, (more on that later unless I forget,) I want there to be a bit of rhythm and structure to our days. (No, I would edit that if I could be arsed, because I don’t think those 2 are mutually exclusive.) A bit of predictability for them, and accountability for myself, because otherwise I might spend many days reading blogs and playing spider solitaire.
And there’s lots of things I want to include on a regular basis, like volunteer work. Plus, I want them to see that I do chores, (and that it’s not all left for the cleaner, who comes once every 5 weeks, as a sort of safety net for me- otherwise it’s overwhelming, all that cleaning, forever!) and to have their own chores, but the regular daily routine type, not just the pairing-socks-when-we-feel-like-a-fun-game type of chores we have now.
Anyway, the way it looks in my head at the moment is that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings we will stay in, and have morning chores and play time, and around 10 we’ll get together at the dining table for morning tea and then project time. (Project-based Learning- I’ll tell you more about that another day, no doubt in greater detail than you want.) I’ll be completely available if there’s anything they want me to help with, and I’ll have some interesting table activities ready to go otherwise.
I think one of those days it will be Henry’s job to make lunch.
And those 3 afternoons will be outings. I really don’t want to give up Baby Café, my wonderful breastfeeding support volunteer role, but I need to figure out how to make it work for him. He’s pretty good at watching DVDs on the iPad. Probably alternate weeks, and I want to find some volunteer work that he can do- perhaps walking dogs for the local RSPCA or some elderly person. We’re not that keen on dogs, though. Perhaps something else for an elderly person- I used to take large print library books to a nursing home, about a thousand years ago. Or gardening. I don’t think you can take children as National Trust volunteer gardeners, because of insurance issues, but there is a community farm near here, that I just love. Or something like the food bank in San Francisco- they had all sorts of drop-in volunteers. I remember once sorting good from rotting grapefruit, from a huge container, with a high-spirited scout group.
Then there’s my delicious Craft Group, that has been one of my absolute favourite things for over 4 years. He can’t come once he’s 5, neither to the crèche (unless they’re short on staff and I’m in there,) nor to the Mum’s group- fair enough as one of the beautiful things about it is the opportunity to moan quite specifically, and a kid in the corner, even focussed on the iPad, would wreck that. Plus, I think one situation where he is fobbed off on the iPad so we can do my thing is probably enough!
And the 3rd of those afternoons- I expect we’ll find some nice group to go to. In fact, we’re invited to one tomorrow, and I’m very excited! New HE friends!
That leaves Mondays and Fridays for whole-day outings. Our only cousin lives a bit under 2 hours away, and I hope we can get back to seeing her regularly. And I have just determined that I really want to learn my way around London, after over 10 years here. (But that should be a whole post of it’s own, if I ever get around to writing it.) So empty days- no worries.
Then in September 2014 everything’ll change, as if it won’t be changing constantly, when Lauren starts her year at the wonderful Purley Nursery School. (I don’t think Henry could possibly actually hate it as much as he claims to.)
Hey, remember I was also going to write about about unschooling and stuff? Well, not today.
I have great intentions about posting regularly once we get going, which should be in August. Please ask me questions if you want- I’m still trying to figure out what I think about so much of this!