Home education and adapting to circumstances

I posted about taking a long or short view of educating our children, and I suppose this is a sort of part two to that.

Charlotte Mason wrote very clearly that the role of parents was to form a habit of learning in our children and that we do that by providing an “atmosphere” of education for them. It means that we set up a rhythm in family life so that the children understand that learning is part of their everyday life. In teaching our children to learn we set them up to be very adaptive to whatever might happen in the family.

It has been very important in our family to establish a “habit of learning” with the children and from there to encourage independence in learning but obviously with support.

With the building blocks of the children’s learning in place, they simply know that learning time is learning time and can get on with whatever work is set out for them, and I can be there to help when they are stuck, or look up the answer with them.

I have to admit that the massive gaps in my own learning get shown up at times. When Ronan was working on his English and asked what a predicate verb is, I didn’t have a clue. Fortunately his workbook had the answer! Another example of how we learn together.

But in every family (well most) there comes a time when things get very complicated and the children’s education needs to be adapted so that as a crisis or a long term health problem happens they can continue to learn and grow.

A friend of mine who went through chemotherapy and surgery for breast cancer arranged her lessons and set out each thing the children needed to do so that on chemo weeks when she was out for the count, her parents could take over or her husband and the learning could continue. As with many home ed families who have been through this sort of experience, when they came out the other end, the children had learned well and there wasn’t much catching up to do.

I think it will take me a while to sort out how I want things to go should life get any more difficult, but I will blog the progress so that anyone else out there home edding through a rough patch can glean some ideas. I’ll also try and make a note of anything that doesn’t work and why. So watch this space…

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