We really are not trying to ‘duplicate school at home’. In fact, our home learning looks very different than that of a public or private classroom. First of all, we are really trying to serve the body, mind and heart of each of our children throughout the day. What does this mean? This is something I learned from our ENKI curriculum. Well, 4 hours of brain-work (in the mind) in the morning would be ignoring their heart & body. So, we will include a walk, some stretches, some twirling and jumping during our formal learning time. When we take time to stop and do this after the contraction of book work, shake the wiggle out, I find the kids can sit back down and do their reading, writing & math much better. What about their hearts? If we are in a time of conflict, which happens at times, does it serve their hearts for me to be upset with them and still try to teach. Or is it better to have a visit, a break or a hug? Then we can resolve our problems and learn in times of non-conflict. I have very different learners. I have a high schooler, a middle schooler and a first grader! I have to try so hard to be in tune with their very different needs throughout the day. Do I mess up now and again and yell at them that they ‘must sit and be quiet and do their work!!!!” Yes, but when I take the time to FIGURE OUT what’s up, what’s wrong, why the brain isn’t settling down, it sure helps out!
My best tip for a hard day in math – when the child is just having a hard time making the numbers in his head come to the front of his brain is to play a chocolate chip challenge with simple flash cards. Flash cards I know they already know pretty darn good. This motivates them because they want chocolate chips and also brings the numbers out of their hiding spots in their brains!