Guest post by Carissa at Cardinal House
As a homeschool Mama to my one and only son, I don’t have a lot of spare TIME. I just don’t. When we don’t have play dates, field trips or coop days, I’m embarrassingly still in my PJs way into the afternoon. I don’t know how my friends homeschool multiple kids, but they say homeschooling more kids is much easier than having to do it for just one. That said, homeschooling has allowed me to have the quality TIME for what matters most to me and my family.
What does QUALITY TIME in our daily homeschool life look like? We have:
time to cuddle every morning, every night, and during the day.
time to read together. Recently, I started reading out loud again and my son asks for this time together. I love the reading lists on Ambleside, especially because you can download these quality age-appropriate books for free. If you don’t prefer reading out loud for long periods of time, there are Librivox, and Audible audiobooks. As a family, we love listening to books on CD (borrowed from the library) in the car.
time to discuss ideas together and learn together. After cuddles and some playtime in the morning, the first thing we do while having breakfast is to watch CNN student news. We love to discuss current events as a family.
time to enjoy doing things at off-peak hours when the rest of the world is at work or school. It isn’t crowded and prices are usually cheaper, especially traveling.
time to make slow-cooked meals. Most of our meals are from scratch, except lunch which is mostly leftovers so Mama is not in the kitchen all day. Some of our fave recipes from yours truly are here: Mama in the Kitchen.
time to have unstructured time together. We love just playing outdoors, watching movies, reading, experiencing new things, creating new games, dancing, making music and clowning around. Recently, we bought some larvae, watched them eat and eat, turn into chrysalides, come out of their cocoons, and when they learned to fly, we let them go in our garden. These memories will always warm my heart.
time to give my child immediate feedback, an art which fills our days with teachable moments.
time to communicate with my family. We talk at leisure about wants, needs, challenges, strengths, weaknesses, fears and dreams. These conversations are not forced, but come up naturally during our daily life. We understand and know each other very well.
time to focus on and emphasize the subjects he needs in order to fulfill his dreams. While we are structured during some part of the day (we love a mix of secular Charlotte Mason and Classical Homeschooling, we leave a lot of time for Project Based Homeschooling too. My son has the freedom to create and develop his own projects: he acts on stage several times a year, creates videos for his own YouTube channel, blogs, creates original jokes, creates original music, authors books, and drums like a punk rocker. All this is part of his first grade homeschooling and I am very proud of the time he dedicates to his projects.
time to live slowly. It is possible to not feel rushed and sweetly enjoy just being home with my family.
Our time together is deliberate and meaningful and I recognize that our choice to homeschool has allowed us the precious time to enjoy our life together.
Carissa Leventis-Cox is a Vegan Homeschool Mama. While homeschooling and family life keep her busy, she blogs passionately in The Cardinal House about parenting and homeschooling her asynchronous learner and in Mama in the Kitchen about her family’s Vegan journey. She is a District Coordinator for her local homeschool accountability group, serves as Regional Contacts and Ambassador Program coordinator for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum, and also runs a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math based homeschool coop School of the Minds. She has contributed to The Wise Mom, Glamo-mamas, Power of Moms, Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop, and more.