Saturday, September 15, 2012

Home school year one complete!

It has now been more than a year since we stared this home school journey. How have things gone? How have my thoughts on it changed? Let's explore that.

1) I wish I could go back and tell myself to stop freaking out.  The first day of school my kids finished what I had thought would be 5 hours of school in about an hour and a half. Or less. I can't remember because the icy cold fear that took my breathe away also erased some of my memories. I'm actually a little thankful for that second part. Now we are much more relaxed. One morning we might watch an episode of an educational show instead of going strait to math. Or maybe we take lunch at the park and do closer to 7 hours between school start and end. Either way it is a lot looser. Which leads me into my second point...

2) Kids will learn despite your best attempts to not teach. When I want some downtime and don't want to teach (aka weekends and sick days) the kids are STILL LEARNING.  I realized when you aren't teaching they're still learning, you've just got to decide if it's really what you want them to know. Every line to an episode of Sponge Bob or some new words? How to teach a little brother how to do math or more fart jokes? In many ways you have to parent. Go figure. Kids stay home and you get to parent! In many ways I walk a fine line between traditional home school and unschooling. I like to think that while we aren't schooling we're unschooling and that quickly fills up the day. I like the mix because I want them to learn how to study and get through something that is not a favorite thing (maybe like training for a new job) and be lifelong learners.

3) No sick days and congrats your school still has a principal. In many, many ways my husband is the principle. I need him to be that because if issues become elevated the kids and I need someone to settle our disagreement. And if I'm having a problem getting something through to the kids I need someone who knows my teaching style and their learning style and can make suggestions. Sometimes your frustration is blinding despite your best efforts. Just bouncing it off a familiar wall helps clear it right up. And heaven forbid you are sick and you need an adult who will at least turn on that educational video in the evening while you take some fever meds and "check out".

4) Don't you love those photos of kids all doing work together at a kitchen table? What about the ones all sitting at individual computers in a row using the exact same learning style? Yeah forget that. Your kids are going to have different learning styles. Can you force the issue and make them all use an online or workbook or other system? Yes. Will it make everyone miserable? Completely. The quicker you admit that the sooner everyone can get to learning. And you can get to stopping the tears from the child who just hates text books or computer based learning.

5) You're gonna fail. Ew. That "F" word no one wants to hear. But it's true. And you know what happens after you fail? You learn and you move on. Workbooks drove my son to tears like a hippy at a war protest. Computer learning did the same for my daughter. Oh and hearing her brother whisper while he read the screen of the computer made her left eye twitch. After trying workbooks, then online we settled on him learning online and her using stacks of books and sitting in another room to not hear her brother. Suddenly we are done with school early most days and can go onto more learning opportunities in the community! Yay! Failure sucks, but if you allow it'll lead you to success.

1 comment:

Gumonyershoe said...

I'm so glad that it's working out and working well for you all!