I find that the best conversations and learning opportunities I have with my kids are while they’re freely doing their own thing and wanting to verbalize what’s going on in their mind, imagination, little worlds. I cherish those little peeks into their puzzlers.
I decided to start adapting that learning style to parts of our homeschool day. Instead of sticking to a strict schedule with clock times written down, we now follow more of a routine, not necessarily tethered to a clock.
Our day starts with a bit of scripture time (when I remember! I’m getting better) and discussion followed by some keyboarding and math facts practice. After that, the older kids go off their own way to complete independent school work while I spend around 1 and 1/2 hours with Matthew. He’s the type of “get all my school done in one sitting so I can spend the rest of the day playing outside or with toys” type of kid. He really does enjoy our little school time together though, and so do I.
We then break for snack and play time. After play time, I start helping the older kids until lunch. Lunch break is good and looooong! The kids usually talk me into reading to them. We’re reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and my voice hasn’t given up yet! After lunch, the big kids and I take about 2 more hours to finish up our work.
Since we’ve adapted this loose routine, I find the kids are much more thoughtful and not rushing through their work. I also find that I’m more keen to let conversations veer a bit off track when one of the kids is processing some thought. This especially happens during literature time, which is my favorite time to let minds wander!
I love being visited by the littlest ones during the school day. I’m able to sneak in a few (a lot) of books for those cuties. Stella, Max and Matthew flitter in and out of the classroom, steal pencils, and cause general mayhem which usually leads to laughter, or sometimes fights and tears to be honest.
This way of teaching the children always makes me feel like Mrs. Darling in the first chapter of Peter Pan. She tidies up the kids minds as they are sleeping and puts things straight and in their proper places. A bonus to tidying up the kids minds is that I get a small glimpse into their Neverlands.