Friday, March 30, 2012

Always Learning

Homeschooling my boys has been an educational journey, not just for them, but perhaps even more for me. I will have four years under my belt when May 4th rolls around and we call it quits for 2011-2012. I'm not even half-way there for my youngest. But as each year comes to an end, I realize how often I am having revelations about new ways to do this crazy thing we are doing.

This week I found that I just didn't feel like doing the things I had planned. In fact, the closer we get to our last day, the less I feel like doing pretty much anything related to structured homeschooling. The boys have picked up on my poor attitude and use it to their advantage whenever possible. Something in me must have known this was coming because the field trip a week plan has been a life-saver. We enjoy the days out and a great deal of learning generally takes place.

Don't get me wrong...we are still making progress. Both of the boys continue to have daily reading assignments, work on vocabulary and spelling, math and grammar. History studies are almost exclusively conducted as read-aloud sessions from various sources, including ancient, American and Pennsylvania history every week. Science is reading, discussion, movies and the field trips. This week we also began construction on a volcano model that has been in our craft closet for three years.

The main difference right now is that the start time of our structured schooling gets pushed back later every day. The boys have some ambitious projects they are working on together in their morning hours. Today they were creating their own board game based on a universe JT and EM have been constructing all week. When I see that creativity in motion and need to say, "Time to start our work." I feel like what I'm really saying is, "Work that is important to you and enjoyable is a waste of time. Stop now so we can do something none of us feel like doing." So I let it continue a bit longer and before I know it, we have too much to do and not enough time to do it.

This is work.

This is NOT work.


Not work.

See the difference? Me neither.

So my new plan for the rest of this year and something I will incorporate into future plans will be the need to have less 'plan' for the last two months of our school year. We have accomplished so much by this time each year...why do I feel the need to keep pushing at the same pace right up until the last day? From here on out there will be more self-planned project work. As long as it's creative I'm happy.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the immense responsibility that comes with home educating. There are so many things I'm afraid I will do 'wrong'. It seems so complex. But is it really? Maybe it's so much more simple and I'm making it too complicated. Maybe one of these days I'll find the perfect balance.


Ingi Mc said...

Oh wow - I love this post! I don't think there's a homeschooling mother (or father) out there who wonders if they aren't doing it "properly". And I totally know what you mean - "stop reading that fiction book which are enjoying and come and do english with me, which you won't enjoy". Duh! And if you can't be flexible with homeschooling, then what would be the point???

Cyber Momma said...

Flexibility...the blessing and the curse of homeschooling. :-)