Struggles in Homeschooling & Changing Our Approach

We’ve been struggling in our little Montessori home (hence the lack of posts). Joey has shown a real lack of interest, and almost aversion, to school the last week or two. While we only have our school time 2-3 hours in the mornings on the weekdays, he’s resisted and wants to play. I’m very hesitant to force him to do school, because he is still so young and I would rather him come willingly and eagerly to school than it to be a fight.

What’s interesting is that he’s interested on his own terms. He loves the solar system theme and we read multiple books on the planets a day. He has the planets memorized, can tell you multiple facts about each, and how they’re different from each other. For example, Uranus spins on its side or he’ll correct you if you say Saturn is the only planet with rings.

I’m noticing he’s in a sensitive period for counting and writing/reading. If he sees numbers or a set quantity, he’ll stop and count it. Before reading books, he’ll often trace the letters in the title. Yesterday, he surprised me by sounding out Antarctica on a map!

I know he’s still learning and has the desire to, it’s just not looking the way I planned. And I like to have things planned. 🙂

So, I guess we’re adapting to where he is for now and playing into his interests. We’ll keep reading books, asking questions, pouring into space, and encourage him along the well.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to flow back into a little more structure. If not, we’ll just keep following the child.

What have been some of your struggles in homeschooling?

4 comments… add one

  • Randalin March 13, 2012, 3:03 pm

    I really admire your approach and willingness to follow Joey’s lead. As a fellow planner, I know it can be a challenge to go with the flow – but in the end it’s usually worth it!

  • Jamie March 31, 2012, 5:43 am

    I feel your pain of those days. I have a strong-willed ten year old boy and most days things flow well, but there are days when having school is obviously not in his plan for the day. I have learned to just let it go. If I don’t push, he relaxes and we can “discover” things all day long in a fun environment and he has no clue he is still actually learning. Letting go of the way I was schooled in a classroom is my biggest challenge. I’m getting better.

  • Lori March 31, 2012, 8:10 am

    I think what you are doing is precisely what Montessori is. He is taking his interests seriously and when he needs to move on he will. I’m sure some good questions could take him further into his interest or maybe you can tie some of his other activities or purpose behind those things into his interest for some good ole interconnectedness. Don’t we want our children to develop strong interests and learn to think deeply about them?

  • Jean April 8, 2012, 11:33 pm

    That happens in my classroom too.

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