2021 Homeschool Week 15 | April 12

Oh no, we didn’t open any books again!

(We did listen to audiobooks, though – three, even)

Our available time and energy has shifted again. And with that, some habits have dissolved and are being replaced with new routines. I notice myself feeling like I haven’t done the things I’m used to, while reframing expectations to include all that’s been added. Are we balanced?

My effort in homeschooling this week felt minimal. It didn’t make a big impact on me. Looking back over the week to assess what we did, I started to think “oh no, did I forget to homeschool this week? Do I retroactively call this Spring Break? All we did was play in the pool… “ 

Then I look over the day to day list I keep clipped to the front of a clipboard to quickly track and recall what we’ve done – I write it in as we do it or at least when I take a break. This week, I had scribbled a few things on a scrap sheet of paper so I wouldn’t forget to record them neatly and in order, two days not even getting written down on the master sheet until part way through writing this. 

Yesterday I had asked, “hey kiddo, what did you do yesterday morning when you got up?” to which he replied “mom, I always do the same thing!” Then I had to acknowledge I meant AFTER he took care of his chickens. “Oh, Prodigy then Cubic Castles,” he replied. “I thought that’s what you did today?” I asked. “It is, and yesterday” he answered, going back to his game. (Further explanation of Prodigy math game and other thoughts below to keep a good flow through our week and my reflections on it).

He also had a couple classes with Varsity Tutors this week that he completed on his own. His Under the Sea: Ocean Exploration Class wrapped up with one last class, and he started a new session of Around the World with Google Earth since we enjoyed the previous class. We didn’t make it to every class of either Google Earth session, but it’s easily a class to come in and out of – and also shows him how he can explore at his own interest in the future. 

Sometimes I listen in on classes, and sometimes I use it as an opportunity to do other things. This week, I’m in spring cleaning mode, swapping out winter wardrobes for summer pieces, finding swimsuits and which clothes fit, and discovering what we may need. 

While Myles played and I managed our lives and home, we listened to audiobooks as we typically do.

Life is best with the proper level of sensory input for any given moment. This has become a major awareness in how we find balance, adding or taking away as needed. (I have noise cancelling headphones, Myles has chew necklaces, we check in with each other about adding things like music…)

We finally finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Book 5*! We listened to this one slowly over months, listening for hours at a time or not at all for several weeks. We purchased it through audible, so we can easily do this at our leisure as it fits around other things. When we check out books from the library, we attempt to prioritize finishing them quickly, but often we have to check them out more than once. 

Myles had started listening to The Dragonet Prophecy: Wings of Fire, Book 1* and didn’t make it too far before we got busy with other things. When it became available again this week, he decided to restart it. 

We picked up where we left off on The Hobbit*, trying to commit to finishing this one before we move on to the next book in the Harry Potter series. We may or may not keep to this plan. If you haven’t noticed by now, we do what we want when it causes no harm. 

*This is not a trap; it is an affiliate link, and I may earn a commission from its use. Thank you for supporting the time and effort I put into providing this content. I only recommend products I have used.

We spent afternoons in the pool, taking our time filling it up while splashing around or floating on floats…making the most of each stage of the filling up process. It will be full for the rest of the summer. Filling it up is part of the fun!  

Our babysitting adventures continued with our friend’s first softball game and a sunny afternoon in the pool.

Myles played with another friend at the park, well after sunset and everyone else leaving. I made a note to myself this is a fantastic time to play at the park, though not such a great time to try to keep reading while they play!

At home, we tried out Myles’ new drone. He created a takeoff spot on top of an old coffee container. He called it the landing strip, but I assure you it never landed there!

Together, we opened a new Atlas Crate on Kenya.

We looked over the Adventure Cards, drawn to the vibibi (pancake) recipe and the mancala game I remember playing when I was a kid. We also explored the map of Kenya and some random facts provided. Myles is looking forward to doing the crafts, which I’ll likely get to show off next week!

I’ve been really impressed with the Atlas Crates so far, and I’m glad we tried these out. If you’re interested in getting your own crate, our link will give you a $10 credit (we get one too, thanks!).

We also had a conversation about taxes and why I needed to spend my time doing them, how they work, and why they’re taken. 

We watched a couple Disney movies and of course continued on our journey through the Arrowverse. 

I wanted to take a more in-depth look at what contributed to how I felt with a less hands on approach this week since I didn’t choose it intentionally or notice until reflecting back.

Life finally just flowed. That’s a time I want to slow down and notice how to continue supporting this in the future.

I mentioned that Myles has been playing a lot of Prodigy math game. It’s a math-based adventure game that is progressed by solving math problems, which causes damage toward enemy attacks and provides rewards.

He goes to it on his own, seeking the fun and personal reward it brings. He’s motivated to answer the questions and learn in order to progress the game. 

It’s almost like with proper motivation, humans pursue their desires.

Why then do we force so much on kids instead of giving them the freedom to find for themselves what motivates and drives them forward with passion? Why as a society do we have so little trust in children? Why do we rarely call them people, needing them to constantly be distinguished as less than adults? When kids challenge authority, we say they’re disrespectful and choose punishment before we even listen. Then we ask adults to come up with poor solutions to issues they can only see from their trained (brainwashed) perspective. Pat ourselves on the back and repeat. (This is a systemic issue, not a personal attack – though if you feel defensive, that’s your sign to examine your training and take back your control. You get to choose how you live this life.)

While Myles was playing, I was taking care of various things around our home, keeping up, planning ahead, getting the details handled before it feels like last minute chaos so it runs smoothly – what a luxury! (For once, this is not sarcasm, just single parent reality!)

Because he was able to learn independently, it was extremely low impact for me, and I almost forgot it happened – exactly why I record a day to day list of activities for my convenience.

The list I keep is easy, not a micromanagement tool, which I point out because I know how easy it is to become obsessed with lists as if they’re going to suddenly be the thing that fixes your life….when you’re trying to live it by standards that don’t work for you. In this case, this list is a quick tool for my memory and it’s useful in that regard. It’s extremely easy to keep up with, and it adds more than it takes from me to keep up with. 

This may seem obvious to some, but if just existing in this world has taken more effort than you typically have to give, you’re not alone. Keeping up with norms for the sake of being normal will cause burn out for the neurodivergent. It’s not easy to rid yourself of the expectations that have forever been imposed upon you. From this side, I’d argue it’s worth it, and remind you it doesn’t happen all at once. I haven’t forgotten how impossible it felt to get here, but it also felt impossible to live on that side of things. Often, I didn’t want to live at all…not because I wanted to die, I just didn’t want to live…like that. 

So this week I lived a life I want to live, didn’t feel the impact of “work”, and kept it going smoothly. One thing I enjoy about sharing our week is that it brings me to reflect over it. Sometimes we only notice when things aren’t going well and forget to be grateful for the smooth times that feel more effortless. 

This week was busy enough, but balanced well. 

Looking over the week from a past mindset, it’s almost like I’m living someone else’s life. Saying that, I realize what that means for the past version of myself that made the commitment to get here one step at a time. 

It’s not effortless or accidental. It has taken so much awareness, unlearning, and growth to get here; and I refuse to sit on this side of things making anyone feel like their current place on this journey is anything less than where they should be right now. (We don’t do ableism or toxic positivity here.)

I hope to inspire you, showing you it wasn’t always this way for me, so you know it’s attainable and not just luck that brought me here. I’ve finally made it where I set out to be, when I knew I wanted freedom but didn’t know how to let go of expectations to get there. When I still thought it was more about adding things to be “better” than taking away the things that were in the way.

I realize it in seemingly insignificant moments or short reflections. I am grateful for where I am, and I appreciate myself for doing the work to get here. I appreciate the reality I have created and now get to live. It’s a journey worth taking.

I encourage you to create the life you want to live. It doesn’t need to look like mine. It gets to feel like peace and freedom to you. What would that be like for you?

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