The ‘Less is More’ model of homeschooling

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!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bec
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 04:58:49

    That’s so great! I can tell how enthusiastic you all are about it.

    Yes it took my kids some time to get the hang of choosing a project for the week – one of them needed to narrow down his list of things he wanted to do in order to be able to focus on just one thing, the other had to get into the swing of finding something to be interested in. After six months they’re both finding it a lot easier, and I don’t even have to prompt them anymore.

    Reply

    • dalishah
      Sep 15, 2012 @ 07:15:08

      Exactly…. I am learning that it is really important to know how BIG a project to focus on…. Shams’ karate was great for a couple of days but then he ran out of things to do that interested him… whereas Safiyah’s photography is more like a year-long goal! Setting realistic goals is such a big skill…. perhaps that’s my next blog 🙂

      Reply

      • Bec
        Sep 15, 2012 @ 07:20:08

        So true. We also have a larger set of semester goals, which we break down into the smaller weekly goals. Like ‘make my own video game’ was one, which we broke down into steps like ‘choosing a style of game’, ‘writing out the story’, ‘drawing the clip art’ etc, which became the weekly goals.

  2. safiyahalishah
    Sep 15, 2012 @ 05:50:01

    Finally a new post!! And yay, photography is awesome!! 8D I can’t believe I never gave a second thought to it beforehand.

    Reply

    • dalishah
      Sep 15, 2012 @ 07:20:27

      What I love about photography for you Safi is that it fits so beautifully with your personality… quiet, reflective, artistic, thinking, patient. I cant believe you didnt think about it before either 🙂 What is your learning objective for next week?

      Reply

      • safiyahalishah
        Sep 19, 2012 @ 11:42:41

        Haha I guess photography and drawing are both things that fit my personality because I’ve decided that they’re both things that I actually can do and not get too stressed out with. I can think when I do them. You know what I mean? 😄

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