Are you met with resistance every time you mention that maybe, just possibly, they might want to do some written work of some sort? I am, but I have a secret weapon or two in making homeschooling easier on everyone. I’ve had a lot of practice.
I have the sort of boys who will occasionally throw themselves on the floor and writhe as if being disemboweled at any suggestion of book work. It hurts me as much as it hurts them, but I have an answer. It works for us, maybe it will work for you.
We can happily do a little written work, no fuss, no grumpy children, nobody stressed out. It’s quite simple really, I just get them out of the house.
At home there are computers, Lego and opportunities to wrestle. There are floors to dramatically throw themselves upon, rooms to disappear to and doors to close.
I have similar issues with book work at home. I’m always tempted to carry on working on my websites and just sort of help them with one hand, one eye and half a brain while I make money on Amazon or tinker with social media.
There is lunch to cook, washing to hang out and tea to brew. My tendency to multitask is my own worst enemy when it comes to homeschooling. I can never quite switch off from everything around me in the home and give it 100%. You need to give it 100%. It’s the same for them as it is for me.
I never work to a schedule, I never say that at x time we will do x amount. That’s impossible for me and for them, we need spontaneity and the chance to finish whatever we may be involved in. Our lives don’t run to any sort of time table.
So when we’re ready we go out. I pack a workbook or two, the pencils, rubbers and sharpeners and head off to a café. We’ve done this everywhere, from Bangkok to Laos to London. Lately, you’ll find us lingering in Pret a Manger or Starbucks in Richmond Upon Thames, eating chocolate slices and sandwiches, drinking hot drinks and tap water ( tap water is free) before opening the books and getting stuck in. Without the distractions of home they carry on quite happily and I’m there to offer full support and encouragement, everybody is smiles. The tasty treats work wonder too!
I’m sure the other customers think I’m an evil mother pressuring her kids to study in school holidays. That’s not my problem and they couldn’t be more wrong.
There is also the added incentive of a walk along the Thames, a chance to catch Pokémon and a playground stop on the way home. They’re making lots of friends in that playground as they practice their daily parkour moves.
Obviously, we don’t do written work every day, sometimes we’ve been too busy. The last 2 weeks have seen them taking their diving course and we’d all get home pretty exhausted. It doesn’t matter, they’re under no pressure to follow a schedule.
Why bookwork rather than an opportunity to maybe write something of their own choosing? They prefer it, it’s easier for them. That’s the simple answer. If you’d like to know which books we use they’re in this post.
So that’s what our homeschooling looks like right now. I’ve gone down a year or two with the workbooks for both of them, easier books, happier kids, and reinforced learning. There’s nothing worse than books that are too hard and as we’re not working to anybody else’s schedule, it doesn’t matter. They just need to write something, anything. I know I’ve said before that if I didn’t heavily persuade them they’d never lift a pencil. It makes a big difference for them to write little and often (and I do believe they need to write, though some would argue otherwise) so right now, everyone is happy, life is good and summer in London is fabulous.
Do you have any good ways to make homeschooling easier? Any fellow café homeschoolers out there? Maybe we should call it café-schooling? I wonder if I can be credited with inventing that term? Somebody beat me to it with worldschooling and travelschooling. As always, the lines are blurred, we do a bit of this-schooling a bit of that-schooling. Whatever works for everyone right now is always the best way to go.
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