Written by Purva Brown of The Classical Unschooler
I started homeschooling ten years ago. It was my first time dealing with FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. You see, I started homeschooling right around the time social media took off.
Every other post I saw seemed to have photo shoots of moms celebrating languishing in backyard pools or planning mimosa days when the kids went back to school.
Yet here I was trying to teach my kids to count and string coherent words together. It was enough to make me organize a pity party.
“Is this how it’s going to be forever?” I wondered, bemoaning my supposed weary, hapless state.
The good news is, no. Absolutely not. Homeschooling is not, and should not be, a life sentence. What’s more, it’s not all drudgery. I’ll be the first to say there are times when sit down work, even supposedly “busy work” is necessary. But that does not mean that it’s all boring.
In fact, I’ve come to believe that it’s the public schooled kids and parents who are really missing out. How the tables have turned!
Here are four ways I’ve learned to make homeschooling more fun since we first began:
1. Take Advantage of Time and Liberty – Plan Well
I often say that time and liberty are your biggest assets as homeschoolers. You are not limited by someone else telling you when to go on vacation, how many hours to volunteer, how many cookies to bake, what days to create crafts or dress your children a certain way, what to feed your children for lunch or otherwise the socially or politically acceptable manner in which your children are supposed to behave.
You are free!
Do not squander that freedom. Use it to shape your homeschool, blending life and learning as closely as you can so that there is very little difference. The reason why we use classical unschooling as a method is because it works for us. It may not work for you. It doesn’t matter.
As long as what you’re doing is working, stick with it. Regulate your own schedule and do it your way. It is way more fun than following a public school’s marching orders.
Not everything is learned through books. In fact, there is so much I know today that I picked up merely through talking with my parents. Conversations are the cornerstone of any good family.
Check on any family that is well bonded that you respect and you will probably find a common thread of openness and advice. Just ask yourself what you remember most about your parents and chances are oft repeated phrases will rise to the surface.
Remember to have good conversations with your children. You can even expand on what the textbook covered that day. What they read or even write may not stick as much as what you say and your take on it.
3. Different Media
Education is about learning and often teaching methods to learn. It’s about finding out and, yes, persevering. As such, it doesn’t always have to be pencil and paper. It doesn’t always have to be lectures.
Remember how fun it used to be when they wheeled in the TV during school? I know, I know, I’m dating myself here.
My point is this: there is nothing wrong with learning something through Netflix, YouTube, Khan Academy, lectures, audiobooks, and whatever other method works best for you and your children to learn something.
If adding different media makes something more fun, in addition to teaching something useful, go for it. My favorite way to learn something? Rabbit trails.
I love researching things and following different trails. I find there is a time for focused work, but rabbit trails extend the breadth of my knowledge as focus increases the depth.
4. Write About It
Here’s an odd one. I find writing about homeschooling on my blog actually deepens my enjoyment of it.
Maybe it is that I look at it differently because I’m looking for things to write about as I’m doing it. Whatever the case may be, starting a blog about your homeschool is a fantastic idea.
It gives your children a place to showcase their work, and it can be a memory keeper, tracking your journey from the beginning. It can also help extended family know what’s going on. This is especially useful if they’re not fully on board with the idea…yet.
Who knows, it might even launch your writing career!
The weird thing I’ve found since we started is that what we refer to as “fun” often looks, to others, like work. But it’s not drudgery to us.
Your job is to chase down whatever it is that attracts your or your child’s fancy that sounds like fun and see if it does indeed satisfy that itch.
You might surprise yourself.
What was fun this week in your homeschool?
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!