If only I knew. Somehow we've done it - are doing it. But I wonder how it is for other home educators. How do they do it? Is there a secret magic formula? Are they super-structured and organised in their day? (If so, I'm doomed) I now have a 12.5 yr old boy, a very nearly 10 year old boy and a 7.5 yr old girl. All very different. With different styles of learning. With different needs and interests. With different abilities to moan and sulk and throw tantrums at the prospect of certain activities and to infect their siblings with their stormy moods.
Eldest child is at the age when he wants to do exactly what he wants to do and is not interested in being led to water to drink even if he is at death's door through dehydration. (a long-term feature of his personality, but now the effect has been multiplied a million billion trazillion times). I live in hope that entrepreneurs don't need to know times tables or be able to spell and are ok to wear clothes covered in pva glue and with chewed sleeves.
Middle child is at what I call the 'sponge age'. The age when Romans and museums and the solar system and cub badges and flags and the insides of plants and prime numbers and what do you get if you cross a giraffe with a belly dancer and microscopes and...well...everything...has potential to be interesting. An age when they will listen (if siblings are not around to infect them) and make interesting conversation about things they've been wondering about and actually read and write and cut-out-and-colour those things you always dreamt your home educated child would cut-out-and-colour. Ok. There is the downside of his IT (computer/wii games) obsession, but really I should be capitalising on the home ed potential and separate him from his siblings. Quick get those long-abandoned lapbook thingimagigs and cut-out Stevensons Rocket from the shelves!
Youngest child would also be entering the 'sponge age' if I actually had any time left over to spend with her, focusing on her needs and interests. I count my blessings that she is an independent sort and, not unlike eldest child, likes to do EXACTLY what she likes to do, but as a non-reader there is a limit to what she can access without my help. And sometimes I wonder if I really know what she is interested in...apart from soft toys and flowers. Perhaps I am just used to boys who are interested the workings of machinery and want to build catapults and race tracks and perhaps I have forgotten how to interact or find educational value in small defiant people who want to make potions and build little houses under trees for Mr Beany Tiger.
When my eldest was the age of my youngest we were exploring so many things. Educational things. But was that because he was the eldest? Or was it because he was the sort of child he was? Is my home education experience different with my middle or my youngest because of birth order or because they are different characters? Do others find themselves worrying over one child's needs only to find as soon as they've fixed that problem, they turn around to find another child has stopped growing.
Or maybe all this contemplation and deep-thinking is due to lack of sleep after small children have been vomiting into tub trugs for the past few days and nights. Four people infected and just me to go. Oh joy! I cling to the hope that my coca cola drinking addiction will burn all those bugs with its teeth-dissolving acid properties. May the Curse of the Coca Cola kill the Evil Bugs from Outer Bug Land.