“How do I structure our days
and how do I structure our learning time?”
I felt moved to suggest an answer to the question about how to structure a day of child-directed learning. I think it should be “Woke up, got dressed, ate, played, ate, played, etc.” In other words, I don’t think there should or can be any “days off” from child-centered “education.”
If this seems wrong, try this experiment: Keep your child from learning anything for a few days. Make sure that from the first waking moment there is nothing learned, no new material, no original thoughts to ponder, etc. The only problem is that you would have to keep the children from playing, talking, reading, cleaning or repairing anything, etc.
We have a new neighbor who attends private school. On the way home one day he wanted to get an invitation to come back to play the next day, and he phrased it this way: “Does Kirby have homeschool tomorrow?” (My less memorable answer was “homeschool is just sort of whenever.” Had I known I would be writing this I would have tried to be more profound.) The answer was YES! but that might have made my neighbor feel unwelcome. Little does he suspect that he is a guest instructor at our 365-day-per-year homeschool!
(This was part of the “Dear Susanna” column in the September 1992 issue of The Connection, the newsletter of New Mexico Family Educators. Kirby was six years old. The neighbor was seven.)