So it’s finally happened. I’m now officially a homeschooling dad.
After the emotional turmoil of the last few months with my children’s school closing down amid great controversy and, quite honestly, disgusting lack of care and communication for those the school promised to protect, St Bees School finally closed its doors for good at the beginning of July.
My children then both tried a week at a local state school. My daughter (Thing I for new readers), predictably, hated it. My son (Thing II), equally predictably, loved it. The result, after family consultation of the four of us, is that his nibs will go to school come September and her ladyship will homeschool.
I’m not a believer in holidays and so, after a couple of weeks allowing the pair of them some rest, we’ve cracked on with homsechool for Thing I with my son to audit the time partly so he can see what it’s like if he ever changes his mind but mostly because his ADHD means he has to have a timetable during the holidays or
we he goes mad!
That said, he’s been off on a camp in Keswick this last week so it gave Thing I and I a real opportunity to see what this is all going to be like for us once September comes and we’re staring at each other 24/7.
I’m encouraging her to write about her own perspective on homeschooling on her own blog Just a third culture kid) so you will probably see some very different views there but so far I’d say this homeschooling lark is going pretty good!
My own ADHD means I try to pack way too much into the day and so have to timetable myself (as I have done since I was 14). That works well but only as long as I actually remember to stick to it. Having my daughter here has helped me to do that because it is her education and happiness at stake – which is all the motivation I need.
I’m sure things will evolve but so far our timetable each day looks something like this:
8-10 am: I do two solid hours of writing, getting Thing I out of bed at 9 during my tea break. We do 10 minutes of flash housework just before 10 am.
10-11 am: We walk Asha, our puppy and talk about our mutual plans for the day.
11-12 noon: Thing I has her first study period while I iron and then do some music practice.
12-1 pm: We spend 30 minutes reading our own books in the study while listening to classical music and finish with discussing what with we’ve read. Thing I is reading Wuthering Heights and I’m reading The Trial. Then we spend 30 minutes exercising on the exercise bike and weights bench.
1-2 pm: We have lunch, do the dishes and then have a study period together where Thing I tells me about her studies and we discuss any problems and set goals for the next day.
2-3 pm: I give Thing I her music lesson for 30 minutes then she begins an hour of writing while I do emails and paperwork.
3-4 pm: While Thing I continues writing I take Asha for her second, shorter walk. Then we come together again for 30 minutes more study – usually languages, memory technique training and shorthand training (yes, I can write shorthand!).
4-5 pm: I go back to my writing work and research while Thing I studies languages and does her music practice.
5-7 pm: Wifey returns home and I teach Thing II his music lesson and do some magic tricks work with him (he’s just got into card magic which I love!). Thing I does two hours of study as needed plus her own interests – reading, dancing, crochet etc.
The rest of the evening is family time. We eat together, watch specific TV programmes together (just finished Lost and now halfway through all the 24 episodes). Sometimes we play pool together upstairs.
Once a week Thing I and I go to the pub with our books and do our reading there while having lunch which is really cool. I dread to think what we look like to the other customers!
This week we made the final decisions about what GCSEs Thing I is going to begin with. We’ve ordered Psychology, Sociology and Business Studies. The materials should arrive on Monday and then we can begin this studying routine for real and see if we’re giving the right amount of time to complete it in half a year or if we need to adjust the timetable. I’m not sure which of us is more excited about getting the books! What a couple of nerds we are 🙂
So far, so good. We’ll see if it continues so well.