Is homeschooling fun?
Well, sometimes. I guess my answer would be yes and no.
What’s Your Idea of Fun?
A lot of it depends on what is your idea of fun. A trip to Disney sounds like a death march to me, but maybe not to you. Perhaps you love crafting a lapbook with your kids, whereas I would want to throw my printer out the window. It’s all perspective.
Homeschooling is not an either/or proposition in the fun department. Every family is different and has a different idea regarding what is “fun.” It’s up to you to figure out what you consider fun.
We all know the crafty, homeschool mom who loves to put together unit studies complete with theme dinners and amazing projects. Perhaps math is always tackled through games and science is full of sticky, goopy kitchen messes. They’re the moms who love to have a plan and can follow through. I admire their energy and creativity.
Then there’s me.
I usually have a broad theme in mind for our year, but there is usually little planned except for maybe a booklist. My kids typically prefer to finish math as quickly as possible so they can head outdoors, which is where most of our science takes place (nature). On a beautiful day, we may sit outside to read which seems to be the pinnacle of fun.
I don’t intend to exclude fun from our homeschool, but keeping everything “fun” has never been my intention. Also, my kids can smell contrived “fun” a mile away and want to have no part. They would prefer I get to the point and then let them pursue their interests.
However, when other people initiate fun, they can be more interested. We attend a co-op, and in that setting, with friends, they are more likely to enjoy fun activities. That’s just more interesting than mom having these crazy ideas. There’s also order in a class that doesn’t exist in our everyday home existence.
Fun with an agenda.
Kids are keener than many adults like to believe. Heavy-handed moralizing and banal attempts to make something engaging only increases a child’s belief that something is boring. They think that if it weren’t, you wouldn’t have to try so hard.
So why do we interact with children this way?
Good Eats is not written as children’s programming. We aren’t given the pleasant voice over at the beginning telling us how this episode will focus on dealing with others, healthy eating, and personal responsibility. No, we enjoy the silly skits, marvel at Alton’s skill, and just happen to learn some science and history along the way.
Life is Fun
Sitting and watching the birds is fun.
Going to the Aquarium is fun.
Reading a new book is fun.
At least they are to me. Most everyday life activities are fun and enjoyable. Making cookies, going for a drive, or watching a movie can be fun. Visiting a museum, state park, or an unusual store is fun. Since these things are the basis of my homeschool, I guess we have a good time, but to some people, this may sound exceptionally boring.
Focus on Enjoyment
Perhaps we should scale back our focus on fun and think more about enjoyment. Enjoying something seems more attainable than making everything fun.
Is a warm cup of tea fun? Probably not, but it is certainly enjoyable.
Don’t we want our time with our children to be enjoyable? I do.
For me, maintaining a fun pace is a quick road to burnout, whereas enjoyment keeps me perpetually charged.
Know yourself and what helps you to enjoy your day’s homeschooling. Maybe that is a trip to Disney, but it’s ok if it’s not.
You’ll find me happy at home with a cuppa and a book.
Enjoying life is part of my homeschool mindset, you can read more about that here.