How am I going to homeschool my kid when homework is a daily reenactment of WWII?

Did you enjoy homework when you were in elementary school? I didn’t have homework in the early grades when I had attended school because educators were free to follow best practices back then. Kids were free to learn while they were at school and continue to learn after school with one of the best learning vehicles, play. Kids played and ran and walked and did things like discovering important facts about the world around them by interacting with it. It wasn’t that tough to make it through a school day because when you weren’t in school there was lots of running around and independent play. That’s homeschool. Lots of time for children to use their physicality in order to learn about themselves and the world around them. Homeschooling means NOT sitting for six hours a day followed by sitting in the car or on a bus then sitting at home for dinner, homework and bed. My butt is numb just thinking about all that sitting. When learning isn’t confined to school walls children are free to move their bodies and give their brains the energy it needs. Parents can find the natural rhythm to their family’s day and naturally incorporate lessons during times when their child isn’t exhausted and overstimulated. A six hour school day followed by play for 30 minutes or a structured activity followed by dinner and homework when a kid is six and goes to bed by eight would make anyone rebel. A significant amount of the school day is spent transitioning to and from classes, teachers setting up and providing instruction to various groups, cleaning up, forming lines and that’s a nonissue for homeschooling. You get time back. It’s a secret hidden gift. My 9 year old is finished with all of his academic work within a two hour time period spread out throughout the day. However, he is constantly learning whether through play, sports or the arts and because he has the time to just freely read, he does. When a child that has more free time during the day, it results in more time to learn.

Homeschooling is not a re-creation of school at home. Homeschooling is whatever you make it. It should resemble what is true and important to your child and your family. My daughter loves wolves. When I first began working on writing non-fiction books with her, I told her we were going to do this awesome wolf study. We were going to do a ton of research on wolves including going to a few wolf sanctuaries and rescues and use everything she learned to write her very own non fiction book. She didn’t fight me on it. She jumped up and down with excitement. The focus isn’t on the drudgery of forcing a six year old to learn to talk about text and the features non-fiction books share but on the OMG insert your favorite emoji, I’m going to go see wolves, like for real, in person! When you look at the big picture versus the little details of what needs to be taught even the most resisted subjects can transform into passions.

Published by Candice

Hi, I’m Candice and I am so happy and honored to have you visit my site. I am a homeschooling mom with an MS in Education with fifteen years of experience in public and private school settings in NYC in addition to homeschooling my children the last 7 years. I love helping families to find what works best for their family in a home education environment. Homeschooling is limitless and your children and family can learn and grow together in whatever configuration you can imagine. I would be honored to help your family on that journey.

One thought on “How am I going to homeschool my kid when homework is a daily reenactment of WWII?

  1. Before this lengthy article, I want to add it’s for everyone, but also to understand how thinking and learning occur. Having said that, I don’t want to seem overly intellectual. I am goofy and serious as the next person. When I was in a Kindergarten class, I was more interested in play and using “fun” things for instruction, talking at their level. With older kids, it’s the same. To understand learning doesn’t mean changing one’s personality. My former students will tell you how serious I can be, but also how fun we have it, including projects, plays, and discussions, and always going to P.E. and learning a new sport, like Australian handball. Kids need space, time, and play with one another, not to be placed in sanitized plastic bubbles, organized every step of the way. So, without further ado, here goes:
    I was reading a blog about education and ways of instruction that are meaningful. Having taught for over two decades, I learned from the opportunities, from the difficulties, from the students, and simply, from the time passing. Yes, even the times while not teaching. And I discovered how important time away is to better instruction.
    Let me step outside myself and look at it from this angle. During the second stint in college (Some may remember.), I realized I could not (or would not) study twenty hours or more a week. After working in various jobs, some with mostly my hands, I had sort of disengaged from academics, and preferred the “real world” and its applications. I realized that in order to get my degree with good grades I would have to find “another way.” But what that would look like remained to be seen.
    Little things. Little understandings. I remember learning that the brain had two hemispheres. I also heard that we learn through all five senses. And as I liked the physical, working with my hands, I knew I couldn’t be purely intellectual. It just wouldn’t work.
    To share a small part, I learned, to a small degree, how both hemisphere’s learned. I also saw how I could engage all the senses, getting them to work together. For instance, as I sat in class, listening to lectures, I also read the text (Yes, I discovered I could multi-task, but that motivated.). I also took notes, drew pictures of what was being said, and later shared the learning with others (i.e. friends or classmates). I was using my ears (listening to lectures), my eyes (reading and looking at the pictures I drew), my sense of feel (again, my hands while writing or drawing, and where I could my nose and sense of taste (Let’s say, the chapter was about food.). Sometimes, I would summarize chapter passages with brief recaps, in my own words (This is key: rephrasing in one’s own words to engage understanding.), and with pictures so I could “see” what was being explained. But there was something else alluded to above.
    I discovered the importance of the empty time. What I mean is after school, while cycling, walking, exercising, or even grocery shopping, my mind would dwell. I would see lessons in the real world. I would make connections. And I also realized, while I wasn’t studying, my mind would put things together. I suppose, for me, that worked because I was looking for it. I would say to myself, oh, how those people are talking relates to what I read. Oh, the argument they’re having explains a part in the history text. And I would also “see” relationships between classes, so what I learned in one reminded me of what I read in another. In a sense, I was reviewing lessons in another class without thinking that way. I realized that later. But because of this “empty” time, I didn’t have to study after school, except a few minutes before tests. And the empty time was crucial for real learning, not to just become programmed to memorize and get good grades.
    Even the horseback riding was positive. For while I was enjoying the lessons, cleaning stalls afterwards, helping set up competitions, I might sometimes find myself thinking about class lessons. What did this all do? Honor roll. Many times. But for me, the grade was not the goal. Real learning, understanding, was. For I decided, if I had to learn, I was going to really learn, finding value in the real world.
    This is what I wrote in response to the other writer’s blog about education. Our brains are like organic computers. As I see it, our brains are like organic machines. In a sense, it’s not intelligent. Information in, information out. Input output. But what do we do with that information? That’s the key. And I realized why not all people should go to college. I sometimes think I never should have gone. But I used it to educate others to think for themselves.
    You see, we can be taught anything. But we’re also human. We have souls. And I firmly believe understanding is the key. Or a key. We’re not meant to blindly believe whatever is in texts, what the professor says, or what we learn.
    In the bible, our Lord says man does not live by bread alone but by every word from our Father in heaven. I believe that was in response to someone encouraging Him to eat. I had pondered upon that sentence. What it meant. I understood it more clearly today.
    As I understand, when we learn something, anything, what do we take from the learning? Are we just being computers, following a set of directions, or do we see deeper meanings: real meanings. Do we have “ah haaa…” moments? As I “see it”, we place a gap between ourselves and any learning. We have a filter, or most of us do, and that filter separates rhetoric and propaganda from reality. The reality is in our souls. Our souls live from reality. Reality is our bread of life. It’s from above. And we may not fully understand it, but the understanding brings life to learning. It’s what enables to say, Oh, I see.
    Like the teacher who asks students how do you know 4 + 3 = 7? One says, oh, because that’s what I was taught. The other student says, well, I can see it is. The second student gives the right or real answer. And that’s how learning should be. Students should be encouraged to “see” for themselves. Oh, I see! Yes. Exactly. And the eyes tell everything.
    And this is why I have been a great supported of home school. I was a public school teacher, but I probably taught more like a home school teacher than many of my contemporaries. Do you see, I would ask the students? Unfortunately, many of them have slowly lost the light. They were learning, but they weren’t seeing. Or they were seeing in a limited fashion. I explained to them, if you understand what I’m saying, what I’m teaching, I mean, really understand, you will never have to learn it again. You might need review to cement the skill, but you’ll always understand. Even if you forget the lesson, and years pass, it will come back as soon as someone shares the teaching again. Teach to understanding and the kids really get it, the understanding becomes a part of them, actually the understanding brings it out of them, and it’s like a joy. It’s living knowledge. Not intellectual or rhetoric.

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