Last night I had two dear homeschooling friends bring me dinner and stay to visit. I asked them "please tell me it's ok if I don't get any schooling in right now!" They both looked at me like I was nuts to even think about doing it and told me about their days so I could feel better. I physically can't do much, and don't last very long before I'm completely exhausted, burned out and needing a long long nap. I just can't do what I was doing. In fact, I'm lucky to be getting anything done that requires lots of physical energy. I know that is part of the reason we homeschool - the flexibility. But I also knew that if we did something for school the kids would not be making messes, getting into trouble, or making it harder on me.
So I've tried to change my thinking, knowing that we wouldn't get normal school in, but looking for opportunities to get any learning in, or recognizing those learning moments when they did happen. So here is how school looked the last couple of days at our house.
Picking rocks outside with dad while mom slept - practicing counting, earning a penny for every rock picked, practicing adding their money, using tally marks, paying tithing, and spending money on a treat later. Plus learning hard physical work.
Practiced Piano - Piano Lessons
Played a vowel game - identifying the vowel sounds in words. (Isaac's learning to read and everyone is helping)
Watched some educational movie clips and filled out a graph on the various types of weather and natural disasters, so mom could get some sleep after having a physical and emotional break down. Which lead to Isaac not wanting to sleep tonight because he was scared. "What if something bad happens like a flood, tornado or earthquake?" We tried to address why he didn't need to worry about each of these issues. "What about poisonous gasses?" Caitlyn asked. Obviously they all retained the information from the movies a little too well.
Did Math using one of the I Love Math books from Time life books. (My kids LOVE these books and love doing the Math inside of them.) Mirian and I sat on the couch for a good hour while I rocked Belen to sleep and went through almost the whole book.
The skills we practiced: Counting by 10's, counting, adding, and subtracting money, acute, obtuse and right angles, time, mapping skills and spatial sense, logical thinking, multiplication and division readiness, grouping. She didn't want to stop. We might have done 1/2 of the book and practiced all of that. (At the bottom of each little section they tell you what skills your practicing, and give you additional activities you could do as well to expand it.) We first found them at my local library. I then picked them up really cheap through amazon for my kids to read and do anytime. They are ALWAYS taking these books to their rooms to read.
Photography - Mirian taking pictures for her online photography class assignment
Legos and Programming - building her Lego duck assignment and then programming it on the computer so it could move around. Savannah loves these sets. They're the Lego WeDo sets that are made for the elementary age kid. Simple robotics for really young kids. Isaac can even do it. You build it with the instructions then you plug it into the computer, use a simple programming program to make it do what you would like.
Learning really can happen, even if you are unable to teach.