Homeschooling is nothing mystical or special – it’s just enjoying running in the park, turning over leaves, window-shopping, engaging with the world around you like a happy (I’d like to say, normal) family. Books and desks are not the only way to learn reading and writing (that’s what schools do and it kills the pleasure of learning often) – enjoy life around you doing ordinary everyday life stuff.
Lego, cars, blocks, balls, boxes, being mother’s little helper are excellent imagination starters for 2-3 year olds. Remember you are the mother and if you want them to sit and ‘read’ a book with you for a few minutes, then that is what you work towards.
Choose what is really important to you and your family in life (your priorities), then pursue those. You are answerable to God, your husband and child/ren, and yourself for the choices you make. If your child isn’t speaking and reading by the time he’s 10-11 yo, then come and see me. (But you probably won’t need to) 🙂
Don’t buy in to others’ comments. Comparison is a killer – it leads to pride or shame/ rejection/ depression. None of that stuff you need on top of the responsibility of being the fantastic mum + helpmeet that you are.
The best thing for your child’s mind is you smiling, chatting, touching, engaging – even for short bursts throughout the day.
We were talking about pocket money on a homeschooling list. I wrote out what we did/do:
Throughout the week, when the children (age about 4-11 yo) did ‘above and beyond the call of duty!’, they got given a reward ring (from a large peanut butter jar – not to be twisted, kept round, and kept safe – they were responsible for it – gave them a clip to keep them on in their special drawer.) NOT for dishes, setting table, helping with laundry, nor making beds – these were the everyday things they did.
~ I had a notebook for each child that I stuck a sticker in with a citation “for being a wonderful hostess for our guests”, “for sticking at maths and getting to the end”, “for being compassionate to younger brother” – valuing positive virtues and behaviours. (They find these books periodically and still sit to read them at 12+14 yo!)
~ Saturday morning was banking/trading day. Count up of rings, a time of encouragement, read out the citations in front of the whole family (and choosing their favourite citation), and I would bag items from the bottom gift drawer they could choose blind (could only poke bag with index finger – this was a funny part of the process) and 5 rings would be equiv to a $2 item (not food). They could save up more rings and bank real money [because money is for spending, saving, investing to make more money, and for giving away].
Also Sat morn was getting toys out of toy jail (the things repeatedly left lying around) – often with a cost of 2+ reward rings.
~ Now they are 12+14YO, we’ve just started rings again now worth 50c for an impeccably tidy bedroom (each day), also the chn can earn rings (cos I never have money on me!) for ironing shirts ($2 for 5 shirts of good quality iron), and 3 batches of cooking (of what Mum wants) also netts $2. This money goes towards camps and special events they want to go to (they pay half).
~ If grandparents give them money I do not expect them to buy foodstuffs with it. Banking some IS expected.
Cooperative effort makes life much sweeter for EVERYONE.
There’s a Maori (native NZer) saying that goes:
Nau te rourou Naku te rourou Ka ora ai ki te manuhiri
With your (food) basket and my basket It will be good health for all our
Everyone helping everyone, life is about giving and taking,
“It’s more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35),