Wednesday, January 27, 2010

time for a change

So, we've been homeschooling for 5 years now and I do love it so, but every now and then our homeschooling rhythm needs a slight face lift. We've been learning the basics for all these years and we've gotten over the hump of learning to read and now it is time to start refining those skills and learning how to use the world as our oyster. For some people, refining involves letting the kids learn on their own and do their own thing and I am all about that - if it works in your life. The older I get, the more I realize I like to adhere to a somewhat rhythm and plan for my days. Maybe some of it has to do with working and having a schedule with that, or maybe it is that I like to have some time on my own each day along with working and schooling. I have really come to realize in the last few years and especially months that I do not have the personality to ALWAYS be available for my children. I really admire the moms who do, like my friends Rachel and Jennifer. I think they are some of the greatest moms I know because they continually go over and above to have their kids learning and doing all the time with such involvement, but I just can't do it. It wears me out and in the long run it drives me crazy because I can not find it in me to help them when I want to do something else and I tend to get down right mean about. I don't know if it has to do with being an only child or being an Aries, but whatever it is unschooling just doesn't work in our life and even though I firmly believe in the principle of it, I am FINALLY accepting it just doesn't work in our house because of MY personality. The truth is, my kids seem to like structure and having set tasks each day and I don't freak out when we don't achieve the set day results, we just try again the next day. Some aspects of our schooling are free for the kids, we don't have a set plan for science or history or geography and art, but we get plenty of that in with living life and being open to talking about most everything.

So, where is all this rambling going?! A few months ago, I started researching curricular for grammar and writing and spelling. Another homeschooling mom really helped me settle into our plan and the more I look it over and read, the more excited I get. We have settled on the Classical Writing Series. Kalib is doing the winter Primer
primer
and India Student Book 1 of Aesop
aesop.
It's a big change for us from the simple workbooks that are drills. It is application and practice through literature and art. I really picked the curriculum more for India because she is such a fan of classic literature and she will get to really explore it and learn to write in the same fashion and she absolutely loves writing. The way it examines grammar and vocabulary appeal to me and practicing writing a story each week and learning to incorporate different aspects of writing each week appeals to her. She's super excited. Kalib's book gets him going on basic literature and folk tales (which we already read a lot of). He explores art and writing every day and vocabulary too, just in a way that he will retain it. We've done 3 days so far and both kids are excited to get going when they wake which is all I can ask for.

We have also started Latin. India made the request to learn Latin and how can I not accommodate that? Again, Erin, helped move us in that direction. We are learning with Latin Prep
latin
The kids know it isn't going to be easy. The more I look at it the more I realize just how hard it really is with me having NO latin background what so ever, but we are going to persevere and I'm going to be doing it right along with them.

So, my point being... I feel like I've moved into a good place accepting where I fall short and recognizing that some philosophies work for some and that some don't and knowing that as much as I wish I had the personality for unschooling because I do so love it, seeing that it just doesn't work for us is liberating and I'm embracing it and reveling it and reveling in my friends who it does work for! I'm excited about the new frontiers and the possibilities of where it all goes and the ability to change directions on a whim... life is good and homeschooling for us is where it is at and I love that all of our pictures of it can be different and the kids still grow up to be amazing children full of possibilities.

3 comments:

  1. Isn't it so exciting to feel like you've had a revolution! It's one of the things I honestly most love--and at the same time find so challenging-about homeschooling. It requires that we continue to evolve and adapt and challenge ourselves to know ourselves better.

    I love those times where there's a big realization and then the immediate fruit when we respond to that increased awareness.

    Kudos on having the courage to be you!

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  2. You are one of the most thoughtful mamas I know. you are attentive to your kids' needs and interests, and yet don't let them eclipse your own. I have all the faith in the world that you will continue to evolve in your family dance in as graceful a way as you always do.

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