The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell, do not go back to sleep.
5:30 am wake up – yes, my girls love an early morning. We do deep breathing with the lights off and a candle lit, drink water, yoga, and meditation. Sometimes they partake and sometimes they don’t, if they don’t join in then they’re free playing around the yoga mat. I don’t mind if they don’t want to join but I like to be present doing my practice. I think it’s good they see me doing my self-care and perhaps one day they will choose to use it as part of their own daily routine.
7:30 Dance party while getting breakfast ready. We usually start with fresh fruit which is in abundance here. Papaya generally being the go-to. Then we have something warm. (click for ayurvedic inspired breakfast recipes which are affordable too!)
8:00 wash up, tidy up, pack up. Talk about our day to make sure everyone is happy with what we’ve got planned. We try to have a weekly routine to ensure we get everything we want to get done within the week. I try to include my children on washing up and packing for our day. They don’t have any screen time aside from the odd French music video if I need to get a chore done that they can’t really be part of.
Mondays and Wednesdays: Beach 9:30-11:00- Usually they make friends easily at the beach and spend this time playing with other kids. In general, they like playing in rock pools, jumping off giant granite rocks, swimming skills, foraging coconuts, shell collecting, sand play, wildlife observations; flora; i.e. Seaweeds, all the local trees that surround the area, and fauna; i.e. Fruit bats, birds, crabs, jumping tadpoles, mollusks, etc. Football, drawing using sticks, digging, imagining, singing, floating, being. I also like to alternate week to week focusing our time at the beach on either a science-based activity or maths. For example, one week we might discuss the habitats of the various creatures we see and try to create a habitat later at home using foraged items. Or if doing maths, we might like to measure the tide during our stay. At about 11:00 we may go home, sometimes we carry on at the beach and I nap my youngest in the shade and picnic. Otherwise, if we go home, we make a healthy lunch together and then we leave the house promptly around 1 to go to the local park for some time to interact with other children if they haven’t already done so at the beach. From 3:00-3:45 my eldest has swimming lessons as part of a group. After that it’s our family time and we usually just enjoy each others company. On Wednesday evenings we go to our local night market to eat on the beach and play with our friends. The girls have friends from all over the world and we love their being exposed to different languages and cultures.
On Tuesdays we try to do a non-beach-based nature outing. We are starting to do nature journaling whereby we use arts and one day writing to interpret what we see on our adventures. For example, an activity I might plan is stamping some neat leaves we found at the beach with paint and discussing the parts of the plant, labeling it together and learning the plant name. We usually go on a walk and picnic on this day. This might be in the morning or the afternoon depending on if my youngest takes her morning nap. Sometimes a few homeschooling friends might join for the adventure.
If we’ve been out in the morning then the afternoon is free range learning at home either in the garden or in the house. They also have some children who come home from school in the neighborhood who like to come by to play around 3pm or we might meet up with friends who have small children to play at each other’s homes. They have lots they can choose to play with through learning and sometimes I might support them with a specific activity in mind say if they showed interest in something or just enjoying following their lead in play.
4:00 My husband gets home from work and we might go for a quick family dip or else just play at home.
Thursdays we like to have a home day. My eldest likes adventure but she also enjoys having a day to just create using what she has to play with at home without having to stop to go out. We use this day to do a big art project (usually she attends a private art lesson on a Friday but for the next few months this is not on as the teacher is away). My eldest loves to bake so on Thursdays she takes the lead on making something and we enjoy it along with local teas such as citronnel and reading books and poetry. We also have some discussion about feelings, emotions and I might use music, art, or drama to share these ideas.
Fridays we try to do an outing with the other homeschooling families on the island. We might go to the Botanical Gardens for example or do a beach clean-up. We are a small group but at least we can get together and share our experiences.
On weekends we always get together with friends who have kids and the girls get plenty of time to play. Saturday mornings they attend Gymnastics classes which they really enjoy. We might do forest walks or go to further flung beaches, or else enjoy spending time at friends’ homes, or visit a nearby island via boat excursion, or travel abroad as often as we can during my husband’s time off. We are grateful to be near the most beautiful beaches in the world and enjoy our time there. We don’t know how long we will live here so we try to just be present and enjoy what we have. How my girls play in the beach environment varies every time without needing to tell them what to do or initiate play. They just get so absorbed in what they’re doing in the beautiful fresh air. Is every day perfect, of course not! Some days I’m tired, or they are tired, or someone is not well, etc., that’s life but at least we are sharing it together and we can go at our own pace every day (Thanks to my husband who keeps us afloat financially!).
5:30 dinner which my husband usually does with the kids. He might pick up fresh caught fish on the way home sold roadside along with whatever local vegetables are on offer.
6:30 tidy, bath, books and bedtime.
Chek out our blog posts below for some more ides on homeschooling
THE CALL OF THE WILD AND FREE: RECLAIMING WONDER IN YOUR CHILD'S EDUCATION
Allow your children to experience the adventure, freedom, and wonder of childhood with this practical guide that provides all the information, inspiration, and advice you need for creating a modern, quality homeschool education.