It’s been an incredibly intense first 2 weeks of school, and although I beat myself up about slacking off on Wednesday to play Monopoly instead of doing science and the fact that today was completely hijacked by Skyrim, it has been fantastic so far. By fantastic, I mean the level of enthusiasm and ‘wow that’s awesome’ kind of moments we have had.
The secret to our success so far? Less is more. Woo hoo. We should patent that, right? Actually I remember reading about the ‘one hour a day’ schooling philosophy when we first quit school and thinking they were totally insane. And look how far we’ve come….. one hour a day for serious school subjects like maths, science and English – and that is going swimmingly. Supercharged Science is as good as I hoped, Khan Academy maths is as good as it’s always been, Shams is back on Pebble Maths (must write a blog about that sometime) and everyone is settling into a nice routine.
But what I’m most excited about is our learning objectives. Since ‘real’ school really only feels like one hour (even though they are doing other learning for 3 hours), the hour the kids spend on their learning objectives doesnt really feel like school at all. Safiyah is roaming around taking photos as she learns about photography. Shams is doing flying kicks at everything in sight and rolling on everything he can find as he improves his karate skills. Diyana is learning to play the Bansuri or bamboo flute. And they are all writing their blogs without me having to push them because they have lots of talk about.
Best of all, when we first started they really couldnt think of anything for their learning objectives. Now, as we head into week 3, they are already planning their objectives next week. Since a major part of my motivation here was self-directed learning, I have found myself having plenty of those ‘Wow that’s awesome!’ kind of moments myself. In fact, I often think I’m enjoying homeschooling more than the kids…
Actually a week is a long time to spend on one objective now that we are doing it, and that’s great because it makes them push themselves a bit to persevere. In this house we tend to suffer from the 5-minute enthusiasm syndrome, so 5 hours on one thing over a week is a big deal. But this is the beauty of the ‘less is more’ model of homeschooling…. a little bit every day is a really effective way of learning and growing, as opposed to slogging away for hours on one thing and only learning a little.
Bring it on!