One of the most important lessons I have learnt in the five and a half years we have been home-educating is that it is a lifestyle. You learn to stop and answer questions, when you don’t know the answers you find out together, when the kids start showing an interest you try to encourage that interest even if it is in an area that you yourself have no interest or knowledge, you find ways to ask them questions so that they start thinking about something new, you bring topics into conversations – it just becomes part of your family way of doing things.
But the more it becomes a lifestyle the more you also need to find ways to recharge. And for everyone that is different. I have found that by the end of the day I need some time to myself and luckily it just so happens that my husband loves spending that time with the kids. It developed naturally over the years but it has become a tradition in our house, as soon as he gets home from work the kids have about 45 minutes of dad only time. Everyone LOVES it and I get to totally veg out while the three of them read / discuss Science or Engineering topics (the latest one being designs of aircraft which has now developed into our youngest wanting to have his own plane design company). It is something that works well for our little family, my hubbie gets some time with the kids, the kids get dad time and I get some time to veg out or do some planning.
But as much as I value my evening break the kids and I need time to recharge together. You can not just sit indoors and work away, or go from one activity to another. I have in the past made the mistake of over-scheduling our week and no-one was happy. We have learnt that we need time to unwind together. And for us a big way of doing that is getting out and going for walks, exploring in the woods or visiting one of the National Trust Sites, just somewhere open and quiet where we can hear nature.
Everyone relaxes, breathes a bit better, even when it is freezing cold we still wrap up and get out.
For us even being out on a quiet nature walk in the middle of the week is a learning experience, but it is a relaxed, unwinding type of learning experience, where everyone gets to recharge a bit and often I get some new ideas for possible projects / activities