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About Rozanne Dioso-Lopez

Rozanne likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain (with an umbrella, of course because she’s also slightly neurotic about being prepared). She is just getting the hang of having 5 children, let alone homeschooling them. Her secret? Coffee and a sense of humour. You can read more about her family adventures at her blog, Tomfoolery & Shenanigans, and see her flex her writing muscles at Sense of Story with other mama writers.

How to have a homeschooling non-vacation

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Written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery & Shenanigans.

“Mom, when are we going to do schoolwork???”

Asked in frustration, my darling 11-year-old daughter looked at me imploringly as she ran up the beach with boogie board in hand. We had been in Costa Rica for four days and she had had enough of vacation mode.

Looking up from my book I reassured her, “Monday.  Tomorrow we start.”

She pumped her fist, waved goodbye, and as she turned to catch more waves, she flung her sandy saltwater hair to the side in triumphant glee.

For the first time we are traveling abroad to one location for an entire month. We decided to try an experiment.

Although one month isn’t long enough to really live in a place, it’s long enough to settle in and try to imagine if living abroad is feasible for our family.

Prior to the trip, my husband and I discussed our goals.  What did we want to accomplish? Was this a sight-seeing trip?  One of those busy “doing” vacations?

We agreed that we didn’t see this trip as a “vacation” in terms of our previous family travels. It was just going to be a break from the ordinary.

It was a reprieve from winter’s bite.  It was an opportunity to introduce the children to another culture: eating and living local.

Can we transport our life at home to another place for an entire month? More specifically, what does homeschooling look like during this month?

Some tips on how to homeschool abroad in non-vacation mode:

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PE ideas for homeschoolers who don’t live on 5 acres

rozannepicmo

Written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery and Shenanigans.

The dining room table begins to shake.

Someone keeps re-adjusting themselves in their seat.

Then it’s the finger-tapping.

My coffee, previously still, begins to sway in its cup.

Shortly after the table movement, the accusations begin, “Who took my eraser?”

The bickering follows.

And I grab my coffee before it spills and say, “Everybody UP! Time to MOVE!”

A morning of lessons needs to be broken up with time to move their bodies.

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Starting a real-life fitness regimen as a homeschooler (and how to keep it up)

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The following is a guest post written by Rozanne Dioso-Lopez of Tomfoolery & Shenanigans.

Prep lesson work for three children. Draw a topographical map of North America on the chalkboard.  Plan a felting craft for a 4-year-old. Bake a loaf of bread. Gather materials for a project on government and democracy. Research the answer to my 6-year-old’s burning question: “How do jellyfish eat?”

… and it’s not even 6 a.m. yet.

I began my homeschooling journey with my five children three years ago. I was consumed with choosing a curriculum, planning their year and participating in a homeschooling group for support that would preserve my sanity.

As we entered into this new chapter in our lives, I was psychologically ready to educate my kids at home.

However, I sorely underestimated the physical demands of homeschooling. I was on my feet doing lessons, cooking, clearing tables, resolving conflict and engaging in constant activity.

I found myself hitting the proverbial wall by 2 p.m. and instituted mandatory “quiet time” because one more question about the internal anatomy of a jellyfish would send me over the edge.

It was a Catch-22.

I had to find the time to take care of myself in order to increase my energy so I would be able to present a feast of wonder to my children. Time and energy are precious commodities — finding any extra amount is akin to finding the holy grail.

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