Avoiding Resistance In An Interest-Led Homeschool (week 8 lesson plans and recap)

This is Week Eight in a year long series, all about lesson planning in an interest-led homeschool. Each week, I share a recap of last week’s plan vs. reality and then our new easy homeschool lesson plans for the upcoming week.

interest-led homeschool

One question that has come up frequently over the course of the last two months is how I actually decide what we are learning. Is it all my son’s interests? What if he doesn’t want to learn something? How do I navigate resistance to a particular topic or subject?

As you are following your child’s interest, I wonder how you navigate these discrepancies between the plan and what happens throughout the day? Do you start with sharing the plan with your child, then make choices together and do them? Or do you all start with one thing from your list, then get sidetracked and just go with it? Is there ever a power struggle when these choices are unfolding? I guess I am just looking for an example of how to be child-led without it turning into a constant negotiation or power struggle.

Rebecca
resistance in interest-led homeschool

Avoiding Resistance In An Interest-Led Homeschool

Please know, as I am sharing these plans, there are plenty of days where my son is just not as engaged or interested as I would like him to be in our learning. Here are the things I do to help keep both of us happy and progressing in our homeschool.

How Do I Create These Lesson Plans? Do I Include My Son In The Planning?

For the most part, I do not overtly include my son in the creation of these weekly plans. I do have frequent conversations with him about what he is interested in learning more about, and keep a running list. (My free homeschool planning pages have places to keep notes and lists as we go.)

While my son is not actually sitting down with me to create our daily to-do’s, I am always conscious of his interests and strengths as I create them.

For example, you will notice that there is very little writing in our last eight weeks of learning. This is a very difficult task for my child and one that causes a ton of frustration, as he has a severe dysgraphia diagnosis. When we work on writing, we do it in short lessons and in ways that he perceived as interesting (i.e. signing his name on official documents, filling out forms, writing song lyrics, etc.).

How Do I Navigate Discrepancies Between The Plan And How The Day Actually Progresses?

I hold these plans loosely (VERY loosely). I see our lesson plans as a guide for our week, but never the goal. My goal is to teach my son how to find the information he is interested in and learn the skills he needs to learn over time.

This means if he is incredibly interested in one topic and wants to stick with it, we may only accomplish that one task for the day. It means we may not do anything on the planned list and instead pursue a deep dive into Nasa’s pictures on Instagram for two hours.

This used to scare me. I worried that my children would never learn what they needed without me checking it off a list somewhere and holding them accountable to it.

What I learned with my oldest is that time matters far more than we give it credit for. (My oldest and I followed these same types of lesson plans and he is now in college on a full scholarship. I didn’t fail him, much to my own surprise!)

We have years and years of learning with our children. Over the years, interests add up to an entire education.

This is why I am sharing these plans for the entire year. Over the course of time, I want you to see how many different topics and subjects we are able to cover, while allowing my son to guide our learning.

Lesson plans are a guide for our week, but never the goal.

How Do I Handle Power Struggles In Our Homeschool?

Most of the time, I avoid them completely by not pushing something that he is not ready to learn. If he is truly avoiding a subject or activity, I let it go and try to find another way for him to learn it.

My experience has been that a resistant learner doesn’t retain anything anyway, no matter how much I am try to force them into learning.

I don’t give up completely. I simply let it go for a while and then come back to it with a fresh approach. This is less stressful for him and much more enjoyable for me too!

resistance in interest-led homeschool

Last Week’s Homeschool Lesson Plans vs. Reality

Monday

The Plan

  • Mapwork
  • YouTube Video – His choice
  • Infusion – 4 hours

What Actually Happened

  • YouTube Video – 24 Skills In 24 Hours
  • Nasa Instagram Account Deep Dive and Discussion
  • Infusion – 4 hours
resistance in interest-led homeschool

Tuesday

The Plan

  • Driver’s Ed Online
  • CTCMath
  • Spelling Practice using Spelling Plus
  • YouTube Video – His choice, something educational
  • Online Voice/Music Lesson – one hour

What Actually Happened

resistance in interest-led homeschool

Wednesday

The Plan

  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • Driver’s Ed Module
  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Science: Human Body Study
  • Figurative Language Activity

What actually happened

Thursday

The Plan

  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing with friends – 3 hours

What Actually Happened

  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing with friends – 3 hours
  • Long discussion about Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Friday

The Plan

  • CTCMath
  • Driver’s Ed Module and Quiz
  • History – read aloud, Major Events in American History
  • YouTube Video – his choice and educational
  • Science: Human Body Study
  • Online Song Writing Class
  • Creative Writing?

What Actually Happened

  • CTCMath
  • Driver’s Ed Module and Quiz
  • Language Arts – Examples Of Foreshadowing In His Favorite Books (Harry Potter Series)
  • MapWork – Eastern Europe
  • YouTube Video – History of NATO
  • Online Song Writing Class
resistance in interest-led homeschool

Our Homeschool Lesson Plans For This Week

Monday

  • Mapwork Continued From Last Week (add NATO Countries to current map)
  • YouTube Video – His choice
  • Infusion – 4 hours
  • Current Events Discussion – read and discuss various news reports

Reference Notes: Every Monday, my son has subcutaneous immunoglobin infusions. Because of this, our Monday routine is very light. We do the minimum and prepare for his medical treatment in the afternoon.

Tuesday

  • Driver’s Ed Online
  • CTCMath
  • Figurative Language Activities
  • YouTube Video – His choice, something educational
  • Online Voice/Music Lesson – one hour
  • Current Events Discussion – read and discuss various news reports

Reference Notes: Tuesdays are our first full school day of the week. Because my son always feels better post-Monday’s infusion, we typically do a large percentage of our more traditional homeschool work on this day.

Wednesday

  • Physical Therapy – 2 hours
  • Driver’s Ed Module
  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Science: Human Body Study
  • Figurative Language Activity, continued
  • Current Events Discussion – read and discuss various news reports

Thursday

  • Audiobook and Discussion
  • Social Time with friends – 1 hour
  • Art class – 1 hour
  • Rock Climbing with friends – 3 hours

Reference Notes: We spend Thursdays in lessons mostly outside our home.  My son attends a program on Thursday afternoons through a local private school.

Friday

  • CTCMath
  • Driver’s Ed Module and Quiz
  • MapWork Continued
  • Current Events Discussion – read and discuss various news reports
  • YouTube Video – his choice and educational
  • Science: Human Body Study

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