Stuff I Reluctantly Learned from Homeschooling, Vol. 4

Okie dokes! It’s another edition of my reluctantly learned lessons and quite frankly, even though these were mostly for the month of March 2016, since I did nothing for April  and May 2016, they get lumped into this group as well. Yay for efficiency!

So, because I’m on a rare brevity roll, let’s get straight to it!

1) Homeschooling can withstand a LOT of “nothing.”

Ever since I got pregnant in February, the life energy just got sucked out of me and all I did for the first trimester was lay on the couch and not move much except change the channel on the TV.

This, of course, rightly concerned Hapa Papa, but honestly, I wasn’t too worried. Cookie Monster was up to 3rd grade math. He knew all his letters and I wasn’t going to teach him to read in English this year anyway. And he finished Sagebooks earlier than I anticipated and I was OK with coasting.

So, we coasted. For months. It has worked out just fine.

2) Classes help when you feel awful.

It’s fantastic that I am a lazy sort of person in general and outsourced most of our homeschooling anyway with classes. Thus, even when I dropped off the face of the earth, it’s not as if I were teaching a ton of subjects at home to Cookie Monster, anyway.

So, I continued shuttling him to all his classes and he still learned math, science, Chinese, Chinese calligraphy, art, kungfu, soccer, and basketball. This child was NOT deprived. I’m pretty sure he still ended up learning stuff.

3) Cutting screen time increased play time.

This seems so obvious once you type it out, but I am amazed at how often I have to re-learn this tidbit. Yes, yes. We all hear how screen time is the devil incarnate and we should cut it out. Blah, blah, blah.

But I always worry that the kids won’t know what to do with themselves. And always, it’s a baseless worry.

Here’s what my kids did with less screen time: they played.

A lot.

With toys. With each other. With Minecraft swords and light sabers. With dolls. With sand and play dough. With art. And stickers. With friends. With dress up. With fighting. With whining. With books. With pillows and couch cushions (to my never-ending dismay). With the outside. With chalk. With blocks. With Magnatiles. With cars. With trains. With EVERYTHING they ignored for years.

It was beautiful.

I just took away the screens and gave them zero options and they would come back and forth to the kitchen to graze on fruit or snacks I left out. They would whine. And then they would proceed to beat the crap out of each other.

They are really into beating the crap out of each other.

Then they would play some made up game they learned from watching Minecraft or YouTube videos and all three of them would alternate between screaming at each other in frustration and then joy.

It was awesome.

4) Use real life circumstances as teachable moments.

Truly, I hate the term, “teachable moments.” It’s so trite and stupid. However, it is useful so I guess I’m using it.

Anyhow, once I told the kids I was pregnant, they were very curious how the baby could grow and live in my tummy. So, I found YouTube videos that show the baby growing from conception to birth. The kids were fascinated and still remember. And now they know how babies grow.

Yay, internet!

Alright. I will likely take a break from this series until we start up again in August/September. This time, with Gamera officially starting TK homeschooling! Whoooo!