We tried to do homeschooling activities with the kids while we were stuck in Enhanced Community Quarantine. Short story, when I was pregnant with Aiden, I knew I was going to be a hands-on mother. I was aware and ready to dedicate my time to my son. Homeschooling was brought up a couple of times when my son was growing up. I tried teaching my son the alphabet but I had a hard time because I wasn’t as patient as I thought I’d be.
Here are the things I realized while Homeschooling my kids:
1. Homeschooling involves a lot of PATIENCE– when you think you’ve exhausted all your patience just being their mother, try teaching them how to read. I’ve never felt this frustrated with our kids before. I know my kids are smart and can go through life in their own ways but teaching them made me realize that as a parent, I should be contributing more for them to develop.
It was very hard not to get mad at my kids because I knew that anger will not help them get better at reading and learning. My eldest son is always guessing the words before going through the words himself. Instead of identifying the letter and blending the words, he would guess the most possible scenario for the sentence to be complete.
2. Homeschooling needs a lot of CREATIVITY– I have never unleashed my creativity this much before. When I wasn’t a mother yet, I would be the most creative aunt there is. I would take my nephews out to paint and create projects to minimize their screen time and I knew I was prepared for this when I become a mother myself. On a normal day, we would do crafts almost three times a week. It was a great way to disconnect and have the kids open up their creativity. But when we started Homeschooling, we would need to do crafts at least once a day. The kids are always looking forward to crafts so I didn’t have much of a choice but to create different activities for them.
The first week was fun, we took out all the available materials and did all sorts of crafts. We started recycling to utilize all the materials we had and we would have great projects to show. But after the 2nd week, I found myself with fewer and fewer ideas. We would have to improvise by painting rocks instead of canvas and looking for fun ways to keep them entertained.
There would be projects that we won’t have the right materials for so I have to improvise with the materials that I have on hand. A mother’s creativity will never be enough when you have kids asking you every 10 minutes “What are we making now, Mom?”.
3. Homeschooling requires a lot of PREPARATION– Making projects doesn’t only require paper and crayons. You need to be creative and use different mediums to keep them entertained. You’d be shocked how much fun they have with crayons one day, and absolutely get bored with them the next day.
I usually prepare all the materials one week before, have them all lined up and ready for the week of crafts. This has helped me become prepared and ready for them when it’s time to do some crafts.
TIP: Don’t overdo it, Kids will love the activity no matter how much or less you prepare it.
4. Homeschooling makes you LEARN a lot about your children- Seeing them on a daily basis is nothing compared to being their “teacher”. Over the past few weeks, I learned so many things about my kids that I wouldn’t have realized by just being their mother. As a mom, I am there for their every need. They depend on me for absolutely everything. Yes, I should make them tend on their own by now but a part of me wants to keep them needy. I know that one day, they won’t need to prepare their lunch anymore, and they won’t ask to hold my hand going up the stairs, so I try to stretch the time that I have with them as children.
This changes when you transition from mommy to teacher, you need to give them space. They need that space for them to explore and learn, and you are merely there to guide them. This made me realize a lot of things about my kids. I realized that a little independence can go a long way with the learning.
Just when you think you know your kids, they surprise you with new traits and characteristics. My eldest son has always been someone who loves a challenge, always wanting to be a winner and this is because we raised him this way. We keep telling him to be an achiever and we see that with his academics. He strives to be better in every single task, but he has a weakness, his reading. He really takes after me when it comes to being frustrated.
5. Kids learn in DIFFERENT WAYS– Both my kids were brought up the same. They play with the same toys, have the same amount of attention, yet they learn differently.
Homeschooling my kids made me discover that my firstborn is a kinesthetic learner, where he can absorb more things when presented with physical activities rather than listening to a lecture. We had an idea about this when he was younger because he would always pick up new ideas and lessons from TV and Educational videos that he watches. He can’t seem to have any attention when it comes to one- on- one learning and activities, and he digests more with educational clips and songs.
My younger son is only 3 years old and tends to want to play all day. He doesn’t have the longest attention span which makes him distracted at any moment. That’s why the perfect way to get him to learn is through play.
We did a lot of learning activities through play. In the photo, I asked him to put the corresponding number of toys according to the number we drew on the board. We made sure that we made him play with us like a real board game. We would have challenges and obstacles courses for him to finish as well for other activities.
6. There is MORE THAN ONE WAY to teach your children- I’ve been experimenting with different methods for kids to learn. We’ve been doing homeschool activities through worksheets we find online, and so far the kids have been responding to it well. They like doing their work and are always having fun in answering their worksheets. Another way is through online videos and lessons, we find a lot of educational videos online and the kids love to watch them in between their worksheet assignments. Another way is the Montessori method, we searched some ideas on Pinterest and Google on how to teach kids lessons the Montessori way.
7. The best lessons in life DO NOT COME FROM ANY BOOK– what I’ve learned about trying to homeschool my kids is that the best lessons are not from any book. Life lessons are the best things I can teach my kids. Through the past few weeks, I’ve learned how to adjust to situations, lengthen my patience, and appreciate our little ones.
How did I Fail?
I failed because I didn’t know how to listen. I didn’t listen to my kids when they wanted to skip homeschooling for that day. I didn’t get enough research about homeschooling and online learning that I ended up rushing to have my kids learning. I gave myself unreasonably big expectations on how my children should learn instead of letting them explore on their own.
I pressured myself by comparing the reading progress of other kids with my son and didn’t let him learn at his own pace. With that, I am now more confident in teaching my kids at home and we have decided to take homeschooling to a whole new level.
In parenthood, we will experience a lot of failures. We will fail in a lot of things but we need to remember to get up and try again. We take those failures as experiences and learn from them. We don’t forget how and why we failed because that keeps us grounded and humble throughout our journey.
We vlogged about our first try on Homeschooling on our YouTube Channel. Click the photo to learn more about our journey!
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