Small People

Small People

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Homeschooler Spotlight: Thinking Is Work Too

Welcome to Homeschooler Spotlight. Each week I feature a different homeschooler and her blog. This week we have Christy from Houseful of Chaos. She's sharing how thinking is work too.

Christy Knockleby is a homeschooling mother of three. She blogs at

Thinking is work too.

I know that I don't have to spend all day working, yet there is a part of me that still wants to feel like I have accomplished something every day. Sometimes the work is taking the kids out for adventures and sometimes it is house cleaning. I have a pretty lose definition of work and count working on my blog as work, or doing the social networking it takes to stay sane.

Today though, I realized that thinking is work too. Let me explain a bit about how I realized that.

I'm not doing much homeschooling this summer but I do insist that the children do half an hour of schoolwork on any day I ask. If we're busy at the beach or on some other adventure I don't bother asking, but two or three days a week they do their half hour. It allows me to review things with them I don't want them to forget, but more importantly it allows me to test whether things I am planning for the fall will work or not. 

Yesterday a friend had lent me a copy of the history program she uses, so I could check it out before deciding whether or not to get a copy myself. The program is History Odyssey by Kathleen Johnson, and it uses the Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, which I already own a copy of, so I went ahead and assigned my oldest to do lesson one from the book today. He did the first assignment which involves reading a couple of pages and labeling a map. Then his job was done, and my job of thinking really started.

I've been wondering about doing my own history unit study with the kids, but I got bogged down in all the possibilities. One book led to another book until I couldn't picture how I could possibly know enough to teach the children what I wanted to teach them. To sit down and really look at what my children would be doing with a particular other history curriculum helped me put what I was doing in perspective and realize I can do my own unit studies instead if I tame my expectations a bit and keep them a bit closer to the size of the program.

Before I can even get around to really planning, I have a lot of thinking to do and that thinking is work too. It is easier to recognize the role of thinking as work when it is done at a place of paid employment, and harder to recognize it when it happens around the house in amongst the day to day distractions of child-raising.

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