Friday, 14 March 2014

Home Education and Interruptions

Over the last month, we've had plenty of interruptions to our days. Grandma has come home, from the hospital, and that has been a positive thing but to help there have been carers, physiotherapists, home care agency assessors, nurses and several other professionals. Most of these have arrived during prime home education time. Yes, that has bothered me.

Does this matter?

In some ways, it is easy to say that the children need to learn that people are more important than academics and yes, that is true. However, when the morning carer arrives during phonics teaching on a daily basis it may matter.

Additionally, these professionals will see that we home educate. Hopefully, they will understand that the children need breaks but it does help if the children are usually doing some work.

How has all this worked? Variably, to be honest. I've also found that it is easy, too easy, to be anxious about missed time.

How we've tried to work round interruptions

  • Whenever possible, we arrange appointments at times when the children are not working so either at lunchtime or towards the end of the afternoon.

  • Asking the children to do parts of their work independently at times. This is fine for the older two but five year olds need supervision/help most of the time that they are working. Mine certainly does!

  • Reading Eggs is one way that we keep the younger two occupied. It isn't our primary method of learning phonics but we find that it is helpful for re-enforcement; the children can use it independently or one can help the other. 

  • Other on-line programmes. Reading Eggs is the best programme that I have found for independent learning but ixl also works well for maths.

  • I have, on rare occasions, asked Middle Son to listen to the end of a reading book.

  • Taking breaks when the interruption occurs and then working a bit longer later.
Still, I'm wondering about the Easter holidays. Usually, we become unschoolers in the holidays: the children follow their interests and I try to strew educational items around to catch their attention. This means that I read aloud a fair amount, the younger two draw, paint, make models and love history trips out whereas Middle Son hones his computer skills! This time, there might be a little phonics and fun maths for the little ones.

How do you manage interruptions?

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  1. Oh, how lovely that Grandma is home!

    But it is hard to deal with homeschool interruptions. I wrote about interrupted school on Monday, because we've gotten way behind this year. Maybe some of my ideas will help you, too.

    God bless you!

  2. Thank you-I've just had a read of your post. I loved this part
    "we must learn to celebrate more, connect better, and drown our sorrows and temptations in gratitude."
    I guess that applies to us too.

  3. I am a retired teacher who homeschools 3 grandchildren - ages 6, 8, and 9. My interruptions come in the form of a late start to the day because of delays getting to my house, where we have school, or medical appointments for one of them or someone else in the family. It is difficult to get back to routine. We homeschool year round, so we are able to catch up a bit and we just have the years flow one into the other. There is no definite year end because some subjects take longer to complete than others. We struggle, but we manage. My "organized" self has difficulty with it, but I have no choice.
    Myra, from Winnipeg, Canada, where we are again experiencing temps of minus 25C. Will spring ever come???

    1. Myra, I'm really tempted about year round schooling. However, one of my children was in school before being home educated and would fine this difficult after being used to school holidays. For the younger two, I suspect that this is the way forward.

      Minus 25C is properly cold! Here, it feels as though Spring has come, with temperatures in double figures and bulbs out. Hope Canada warms up soon!