Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Breathing Easier Now
I have been a complete wreck for about a month now. Since, I started homeschooling my two youngest sons. I had this wonderful idea about how I wanted things to be. We were going to explore the world from our little urban setting. I was going to enrich and inspire them and we were going to be a unstopping learning machine. That was until I got in the way. I was so worried about making sure that I was teaching them several subjects everyday that I forgot about why we decided to homeschool in the 1st place. Instead of fueling their creativity I was squashing it. So, worried that I would be judged if i wasn't teaching exactly what the school I took them out was teaching. if that was the case, I should have kept them in school. I didn't take them out of school because they weren't being taught. They were both straight A students. I took them out because I wanted them to have a childhood. I wanted them to be able to not worry about grades and standardized tests and kids that wanted to spit and hit them just because. i was going to bed almost in tears because my children were beginning to dread the lessons of the day. We were all frustrated and not really getting anywhere. Just as i was about to plunk down $400.00 for yet ANOTHER curriculum, I paused. I decided to wait just one more day and see if I really needed to make that purchase. I was online going through a homeschool parenting forum when I came across a blog of a woman who "unschooled" her children. They were allowed to let their interest be their catalyst into what they learned that day. I knew this wouldn't work for me because, I figured my children would only want to watch television and play video games all day. I was definitely not going to let that happen. I read on in the blog and my stress started to melt. I wondered what would really happen if I let my sons pick what they wanted to learn. Well, this morning instead of sitting down for formal lessons, we let them choose. To my surprise, they wanted to play chess. Not video games or Spongebob. They only wanted to play chess. So, we let them. Then they started to ask questions. Not about chess. They wanted to know about square roots and percentages. Why the sky was blue and who invented ice cream. It was a good day today. Tomorrow lessons will include, how to play a card game called Phase 10. How long will we continue this new way. I am not sure. A big part of me still believes I should be teaching more formally. But, i must admit, it feels good to breathe a little easier now.
Posted by J.A. Dorsey at 10:32 PM