Homeschooling is what started this whole journey. Having traits of ADHD, much like her dad, Lily needs to move around and she quickly loses focus if the subject is not of interest to her. We realized early on in this process that the ‘traditional’ schooling schedule was not going to work. Which led us to building a store, decorating it and even finding products throughout the house that this made up store could sell.
Lily grabbed some of my wax melts and we played for hours, focusing on customer service, mathematics - we even phoned our supplier (AKA Dad) to ask for more products so we could keep practicing! Lily said ‘I wish I could do this everyday”, - fast forward almost a year later and here we are!
What struck us most was Lily’s change. Having dealt with countless issues of bullying and falling behind in school, keeping her home led Lily to start to become herself again. We had some very long conversations when schools opened back up and decided to keep her home for a homeschooling process full-time.
Being able to work with Lily on a one-on-one basis full-time was an absolute game-changer. She started grasping things she hadn’t before and absolutely loved her new learning plan! Lily was also able to join in some extracurricular activities as time was more permitting. She now is a part of both figure skating and competitive gymnastics.
We have a routine and schedule that involves learning classes, business work and her activities. A day usually starts off with Lily’s favourite protein waffles or porridge or even some fresh fruit. While we also enjoy some tea, we assess the day ahead and have a family meeting. Everything is tabled in our family and Lily is involved in every decision.
If Lily woke up not feeling up to starting some schooling right away, Chloe will take her to the gym to do some yoga or fun physical activity. We also go explore if the weather is cooperating and enjoy some outdoor activities. Lily is also involved in any daily tasks we need to do - we take every opportunity to teach her a new skill. Without specifically being in front of a computer, Lily learns math skills, English skills and other important subjects. Our rule is also no small business work past 2 pm to ensure she has a balanced day and she can enjoy herself.
Everyday has a scheduled sports activity, no matter the weather. We count a good 30-45 minutes of working on Lily Lou’s Aromas needs; answering emails, replying to clients and vendors or some social media management. Ellie, our youngest goes to bed between 6:30-7:00pm and after that it’s time for mom, dad, and Lily to have our own activity. We either play some Mario Kart, have a relaxing evening while we watch some Friends or a different activity. It’s important for us to have some wind down time together, especially as we’ve been a unit of 3 doing everything together and traveling the world together, we have a little routine for us three as well.
We also ensure Lily has time to spend with friends. We either take turns taking friends to the pool, or Lily will have friends over and they play some fun video games, make bracelets together and even show them how to make their own candles! It’s a lot of learning through play as well which requires a lot of revision and continual assessment - but it works for us!
Each homeschooling experience is different. Where usually it involves the child learning the entire day in front of a computer or with books, we have decided to adapt it to fit Lily and her learning abilities. It has worked wonders for us, to the point where Lily has now completed the equivalent of grade 7. We ensure Lily learns throughout the day, without necessarily having to sit in front of a computer and do traditional lessons. Whether it be budgeting while we do groceries, reading us a part of her book before bed every night and learning how to do daily tasks, Lily continuously learns and poses questions to further her understanding and skills. Without the anxiety of traditional tests in a stressful environment, Lily’s schooling has thrived.
The most important is that Lily is involved in every decision, including her homeschooling, small business and daily activities. She has the opportunity to tell us if she is not up to sitting down and learning something new and if she needs a rest. This permits us to modify our schooling and daily routine to fit her and her needs. She has the tasks and freedom of an adult without having the responsibilities. It may not work for everyone as every child is different, and we are so grateful to have found our own secret recipe for our Lily to thrive in her daily life!