If you read my last post then you will know that January was not a good month for us. I struggled with home educating as well as parenting and just the general bleakness of the mid-winter weather. February’s arrival was very welcome and I can already notice the evenings getting a bit lighter and the daffodils starting to bloom which always makes me feel happier.
I covered what snapped me out of my home education struggles in yesterday’s post so I won’t go over that again but I will go into a bit more detail about the changes we’ve made in our family life. When I first started homeschooling I had no idea about all the different styles, then I started reading into something called unschooling and I loved the idea of it, the way you let your children choose what they want to do with their time and the things they want to learn about. I would definitely say that for our education style we identify more closely to the unschooling philosophy but it didn’t work for us to try and roll it out across all areas of our lives. I think the idea of letting go and trusting them to make their own decisions when it came to what they eat and when they go to bed was just too much for us and as parents I think you need to be happy with the choices you are making otherwise they won’t work. I realised that I need a few hours of peace in the evening to be a good mum and having kids awake making noise until I was going to bed was stressing me out and making me moody.
Mr C and I had a big talk when things were really bad and realised that one of our big problems with how we parent is inconsistency, both of us say different things depending on the day and our mood. In fact Cherry actually told me that she hated the way I always said different things which was a bit of a wake up call! So we decided to introduce a much stricter bedtime routine, it basically involved being in bed by 7pm, having the door pulled shut, no getting out of bed and no bright lights in bed with them (they previously had LED torches etc!), it actually worked so well that they were asleep by 7.30pm. That was over a week ago and every night we’ve stuck to it and it’s meant we have some quiet time to ourselves in the evening, I know that won’t be a luxury we have forever so we are making the most of it now. It hasn’t been easy, we were a bit lazy before and would just do things when we felt like it but making sure we do things at a certain time does seem to be what the children needed, they know what to expect now whereas before I guess they didn’t know what was happening.
We’ve also introduced set snack times, before the kids were saying they were hungry all day long and asking for food so now they know what time snack time is and it’s helped them a lot. I know every family is different so I don’t in anyway think we are doing things the ‘right’ way, it’s just a case of finding what is right for your family and Cherry and Tiger seem to have really responded well to have us being a bit more consistent with everything.
We’ve also taken our telly down and restricted Netflix on the iPad to certain times of day. They can use the educational games on it as often as they like but I take the Netflix app off for most of the day. Until before dinner when I could do with them sitting quietly.
We recently stocked up on craft supplies as we’d run low on it all. This has resulted in Cherry constantly making things, it does mean our house looks like a craft bomb has exploded but it’s what she enjoys doing so I can overlook that!
We’ve been doing lots more cooking on our days at home, a favourite at the moment is these coconut vegan scones. They are SO good. You can find the recipe here. As well as cooking I’ve also started suggesting a few more activities, things like keyboard lessons which Cherry loved. Music projects, we are going through famous musicians and learning about the styles of music. Things that I know Cherry will enjoy, they we tie some writing etc in with what we are doing.
We’ve started a new science group which is really good, it’s aimed at younger children so Tiger likes joining in as well. The first session we made bouncy balls and the last one the kids made structures out of marshmallows and spaghetti.
I mentioned in my last post how a bad experience in a sports class had resulted in Cherry being put off lots of her usual activities, she has said she will join in with gym again this week so I’m hoping she does as she loves it so much. We shall see…
This Homeschooling Life is a linky for you to share either a week, a day or just a moment from your life as a homeschooling family. We are hoping it will be a really nice way to discover new blogs and learn how we all do things differently.
2. Link up a post from your month, no more than 3.