First thing Friday morning, before David and Joe were up, Harry said he didn’t want to do homeschool on Fridays anymore – could we do Mondays instead? I chose Fridays because it’s the day they seem to do the least work at school. They have a long assembly, they have Golden Time and they also frequently watch a film. I suspected this was the problem and I was right. “I miss all the fun!” Harry said.
I know I’ve been struggling to make homeschooling as fun as I want it to be. As I said in yesterday’s post, I’ve found myself wanting to do a “good job”, impress Harry’s teacher and the Head, show them that I can teach him as well as they can. But that’s made me lose sight of why I wanted to do these Flexi Fridays in the first place.
So this week, I told Harry he could do whatever he wanted. If he didn’t want to work at all, that was fine with me. We’d still go to Starbucks, but we could just sit and chat. I got his Friday bag and took all the stuff out and spread it out on the floor. There was quite a lot. A Carol Vorderman times tables book, a couple of French books and a Learn French CD I’d just bought, a couple of books about plants, the Read Me Out Loud! poetry book, Wreck This Journal, Pick Up Your Pen, The Usborne Write Your Own Story Book and the curriculum stuff that school had given me.
I told Harry he could take anything he wanted or leave it all at home. His eyes lit up. He picked up Read Me Out Loud! Then Wreck This Journal. Then the maths book (I really wasn’t expecting that). The French CD. And then he added his school spellings book. I took the rest away. I think it may have been the moment I really knew that, despite Harry’s reservations, I’m doing the right thing with these Fridays. He’s so keen to learn. Of course, when I told David he said, “Brainwashed already…” but I really don’t think it’s that. And I honestly don’t think it was to please me either. He just can’t resist books – I don’t know where he gets it from…
We listened to the French CD in the car on the way to Starbucks. When we got there, we read a poem (he liked it better than last week’s). He did his spellings using a writing app on the iPod (can’t believe I didn’t think of that sooner!). He loved Wreck This Journal – I think it’s great for his motor skills and it gets him writing without realising he’s writing. We did some French words and he asked me how you say “Olympics” in French (I googled – “Jeux Olympiques”). We read the first two pages of the maths book, which were the one times table and the zero times table. I thought I may as well go back to the beginning and it’s a good job I did. Currently his homework says he has to learn the three times table and “division facts”, but I realised on Friday that he’s still not entirely comfortable with zero and one – probably best to learn them first before moving on, eh?
In the afternoon we went to see Beauty & the Beast at the cinema. Harry has been learning about stories at school, particularly about “warnings and promises” and so we’d been talking about fairy tales. We also have a theme each month and this month’s is films – it’s Movie May! After seeing the film (new 3D version is barely any different – I really wouldn’t bother shelling out to see it at the cinema), Harry asked if we could learn more about the Beauty & the Beast story and about Walt Disney. And I made a note to have a chat with him about how if we want someone to love us, tricking or imprisoning them is not the way to go about it!
This post is longer than I intended, so I’ll round it up! We also went to B&Q and bought aSuttons Fun to Grow Vegetables pack and, when we got home, sowed the seeds. And one of the teachers at Joe’s preschool gave Harry a bug-catcher and challenged him to bring a bug when we collected Joe. We only managed to catch an ant, but even so…
So this week’s been challenging, but I think it’s been important. I now know I need to speak to Harry’s teacher and tell her we won’t be doing the work she’s given me (no idea how she’s going to take that…) and I also know I don’t need to push Harry – he wants to learn, I just need to relax and let him follow his interests. LOA.