Workbooks all the way

I love home education! I love big projects. I love fun experiments. I love hands on teaching and learning through play.
Unfortunately, over the last few weeks, the boys have become extremely reluctant to join in. We’ve had tantrums instead of Lego, screaming at suggestions of new computer games, point blank refusal to play.
It took me a while to figure out the problem. I tried varying the lessons a bit more. I tried splitting the boys up and working with each one alone. I tried mixing things up with a few more trips. I tried giving the boys more unstructured time in the day. Have you spotted my big mistake yet?
I eventually figured it out. I was making things too exciting! It should have been obvious. How many times have I warned other people that what they think is fun can be scary for the boys? How many times have I talked about the importance of routine? How could I forget?
A timetable isn’t a routine! What use is it to know that you’re going to be doing ‘Science’ if you don’t know what that will look like? I may as well have written ‘Lots of Surprises’ instead of subject headings!
So, I’ve been online and I’ve ordered some new workbooks, lovely reliable workbooks. The boys can trust that they will be facing the next page (with a similar layout to the previous page) when they sit down. They can even take a quick peek and see exactly what’s coming!
When the days have a structure that the boys can trust, then I can introduce new games and exciting trips slowly, and the boys might actually be calm enough to enjoy them.
I have a horrible feeling that I might have lost sight of the purpose of home education. It’s not about me having fun. It’s not about giving the boys as many different experiences as possible. It’s about a tailored education that suits THEM. Not an education for the child I was, nor an average child, an education that suits the boys, just as they are.
Here’s hoping that things will calm down a bit now. I will certainly be more careful next time I have a new idea and remember: take it slow, one new thing at a time. Boring is good!
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3 thoughts on “Workbooks all the way

  1. We use workbooks too, in fact quite a few of the ones you have , I home educate 4 kids and we are quite structured really, not in a school way, but in a routine way and work books definitely help that ! Good blogging x

  2. Pingback: Using boxes to encourage independence. | frogotter's Blog

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