While driving home from work yesterday, I realized that my homeschooled son and I had very different “back to reality” experiences.
The first school day of 2017, my alarm went off at 6 am and I was up getting a shower. In contrast, my son woke up at 9:30 and he was able to move at a comfortable pace until breakfast.
His first official day back to school was slower than his regular schedule. This sounds indulgent to most but for him, it is a necessity.
Transitions have always been hard.
I say “official” because it is a return to routine; however, there was plenty of learning during holiday vacation.
When most were taking a break, my son read, watched TED Ed videos, created his own videos to upload to YouTube, investigated new software, and explored new technology gifts.
He pushed himself and socialized more than normal with a college friend home from school, gaming mentor, and family. My TBP also attended a 3 day Lego stop animation class where he worked cooperatively with another homeschooled boy close to his age.
Did you see the part where I wrote cooperatively? Yes. Big progress.
My son did all of these things, gained all of this learning, without thinking he was “doing school.” That’s the best part. When his interests are supported, encouraged really, he gains so much more.
I know that isn’t true just for him.
While I had to jump right back into a full day, his return was gradual, scaffolded with his preferred subjects first. He had the opportunity to eat and take breaks when it met his needs.
Not as true for me. My return meant I knew at 6:00 am that I would eat lunch at 11:35. I better visit the restroom at 12:05 or I wouldn’t have another chance until 1:35. Seriously.
Now I love my job but that part is a bit bizarre.
Knowing this, I allow my students to eat at different times throughout the day. They are allowed to use the restroom most of the day. They are encouraged to “meet their needs first and then consider their wants” during choice time.
Within my busy day full of curriculum, I try to be accommodating for my students. Despite the flexibility I can do, my students need to work a full day with reading, math, writing, social studies and science. They were tired in the afternoon.
This is okay for many, probably most. It would be hard for mine. Too hard.
The “return to reality” went pretty well. I hope yours did too. 😀