20 August 2013

Things to Do (to help with the Home-Ed Freak-Out)

A list of inspirations and ideas for things to do, when you're worrying about what you should be doing and how much to offer. Pick one that sounds fun, and gently feel your way in to a more relaxed mindset. Or treat it as a checklist. Don't forget to breathe. ;)

- Learn something *you* always wanted to, yourself, and let your kids see you inspired and interested. Read a book you always wanted to read. Pick up some non-fiction if you usually only read fiction - or vice versa. Fill your own cup with peace, grace, and interesting things to learn about.

- Make a blank poster of questions you genuinely wonder about and attach a pen for the kids to write on it too if they want to - see how long you can all IGNORE the poster for. No, really. Don't make a big deal about it, or turn it into work.

- Cultivate your sense of playfulness about things. Wonder. Talk out loud about the things that interest you, no lecturing, just sharing. Ask your child's opinion and thoughts at least as often as you share your own.

- Next time you do food shopping, get just one thing you haven't tried before. Pick a weird-looking fruit or vegetable and find out how to eat it. Pick out a recipe that you'd never thought to try before when making dinner, or pick something totally different from the menu in a restaurant.

- Ask the kids where they'd like to go/visit and write everything down (even the impossible-sounding answers like Peru - or Mars). Visit somewhere you never went before. Stop in a new cafe or shop. Explore something, even something mundane-sounding.

- Go for a walk and see if you can get lost in your own neighbourhood. Walk down a street you never walked down before. Name the flowers in the gardens, look for simple machines (like latches, wheelbarrows, levers, pruning sheers). Look for berries growing wild and pick the ones you know are edible. Pull out a map or a list of local attractions and remind yourself what is nearby for visiting and exploring. Go somewhere you haven't been for weeks, months, or years!

- Buy stickers for no reason or turn the whole of downstairs into a masking tape roadway for toy cars. Plan to surprise your children with fun and unexpected things. Do something sweet for them.

- Set yourself a challenge to Spring Clean your home, especially the toys, craft supplies, books, and unschool supplies. When the children get distracted by something newly discovered in the tidying, just smile, find another area to clean. Move things around, and rearrange to make supplies more accessible and useable. Everything doesn't have to be out all at once - is there a way you can rotate things, make a new display for art work, or create a new area?

- Browse Pinterest, together if you like, give them their own boards of potential interesting things. Get out an open-ended craft and start work on it yourself. Ask if they'd like to plan and make tea by themselves. Make some mess. Collect ideas for later, for just in case, for another day.

- Buy books that interest you, or that might interest them. Queue up their favourite things on Netflix or borrow some new video games to leave lying around for them to find.

- Say yes to something you wouldn't previously have considered saying yes to, and see what happens.

- Try not to jump on their new interests with your ideas or an attempt to teach them something. A fair bit of deschooling is figuring out the dance of when to offer and support, and when to get out of their way. Many of us still have some deschooling to do. Measure your child only against themselves, and really look at them, are they healthy, interested, growing? Breathe.


  1. Such lovely ideas Sarah. We love doing the try smething new when you go shopping the latest have been a dragon fruit (so fabulous looking!) white & purple peppers.

  2. Love this list of positivity, especially measuring the child against themselves, since there is an inevitable tendency to do otherwise!! The bit about breathing is vitally important!



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