Why I've abandoned home-based learning and what I've chosen to do instead...


In our home, we have been struggling with home learning. School is very understanding and don't have high expectations for what we might accomplish. But, it has been over 8 weeks since since our child has been able to attend school with no end in sight! Our child is bored and frustrated. As parents we are still working full-time + studying and using digital learning just doesn't work for our child. It is draining, doesn't allow for significant learning and puts us all at odds with each other. To top it off, the digital platform was attaching our 9 year old even more firmly to what could shape up to be a fairly dominating screen addiction 😳

So I decided to do something a little different. Rather than perpetuate the struggle with the home-based digital learning programs, I dared to go a little rogue and have developed my own learning opportunity for my child to follow me like an apprentice.

This came after being at my wits end with a feeling of forcing my child to do what feels like 'busy work'. Lying in bed that night I remembered that my mum had parents that spoke at least 4 languages other than English, yet never taught these languages to their children. I wondered at how many things we lose along the way due to misplaced ideals, time shortage consciousness or who knows what reason?

Every day I do things that I have taken years of discovery to perfect. It is only because it is inconvenient for me or because it seems beyond her current understanding that I don't bother to teach them to my child. So, I thought she could follow us throughout the day and document the things that interest her in an art journal. We can continue to work and study ourselves, spend time together and maybe even learn some truly useful things!

Perhaps in the process I might even learn more about what or why I do things, through my own explanations or insightful questions from an unhabitual perspective.

So what will follow here is a daily account of the things we get up to. On our list are simple home based activities like how to bake and grow food to eat. But we are also going to share our studies and our crafts, as well as our business duties. We will be teaching everything we normally do- how to conduct a staff meeting, write a professional email and enter an invoice. How to build a website and edit a video. How to write and perform a song, do fine art techniques, develop positive psychology interventions. I don't expect her to be able to fully absorb and replicate these tasks, but rather spark passions and develop possibility thinking. This will be child-led learning.

For the hours that she 'works' I will give her a theoretical wage. We will use the 'wage' to work out our weekly household budget, plan our meals and buy the weekly groceries (as a major foodie she is super excited about this one!).

I'm also going to focus on core life skills. She will be discovering her strengths and values, learn how to set positive goals, make a decision, discover passion and mastery.

We have only started recently, but even after only one day after creating our journal and beginning lessons she came up to me early in the morning and said happily "what are we going to learn today?" And whenever I say it's time to start another lesson she says "yay!" and bounces into action. And if you only knew what an amazing turnaround this is from our home-based learning battle you would know just how wonderful this is. 🥰

I'm excited to see where this goes and will share our challenges and successes each day. We've been learning so much and having so much fun that we plan to continue this even when things get back to 'normal' Please feel free to make suggestions or ask questions!

#isolation #lockdown #coronavirus #homeschooling #education #empowering

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